The first PLE fully under the Triple H-led regime is almost here. And the first major WWE event in the UK since SummerSlam 92. And MAN, I am excited!! Triple H has done such a good job of building up this card, he’s had me invested every week on TV, and you know that crowd in Cardiff is going to be HOT for the action. While it will be very different watching a PLE at 1pm on a Saturday compared to at 8pm, I’m looking forward to seeing what crazy things are going to happen this weekend, and that’s not counting NXT Worlds Collide where Carmelo and Ricochet are threatening to steal the entire dang weekend from both WWE, NXT, *and* AEW! As of this writing, there are only six matches scheduled for Clash at the Castle, one of which was put on hold from SummerSlam (but was absolutely the right call). It remains to be seen if there will be one or two more matches added, but since Peacock is making WWE air their own promo video packages in place of commercials, WWE is limited now in how much time they have, and Triple H has clearly been focussed more on quality over quantity. With that, this is Mansfield’s Matchups for Clash at the Castle, so let’s get to it!
SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Liv Morgan ( c ) vs. Shayna Baszler
FINALLY! FINALLY! Shayna better get her moment!! Shayna was built up as the monster that she is to face Becky Lynch at WrestleMania 36, which she then lost, only for Becky to relinquish the title due to pregnancy and Shayna floundered in the women’s tag team division. And now, Triple H has rebuilt her as that monster to take on Liv Morgan, only the third woman ever to pin Ronda Rousey. How they went about booking Liv at SummerSlam is questionable, but it has sure made it so that way fans are more behind Shayna than they likely would have been otherwise, and maybe, just maybe, that was Triple H’s point. Ronda will be involved in this somehow, the only question right now is “how?”. Either way, I think Shayna comes away with the championship finally after over two plus years of when she should have won gold in the first place. Yes, it sucks Liv Morgan will be sacrificed to make it happen, but, oh well.
WINNER – Shayna Baszler (new champion)
The Judgment Day (Finn Balor and Damian Priest) w/Rhea Ripley vs. Edge and Rey Mysterio w/Dominik Mysterio
Okay, straight up, I’m a little upset/sad we’re not getting Edge vs. Balor 1 on 1, but as long as that comes at Extreme Rules or Crown Jewel, I’m okay with it (Same with no Rhe vs. Beth Phoenix). The fact that we will at least see these two guys trade blows in a tag team match makes me happy, though. The Judgment Day has been pretty great under Triple H’s direction. They haven’t won any titles yet, but hopefully that comes soon. Now, while we’ve seen Edge team up with *both* Mysterio’s at the same time on SmackDown in 2021, we have yet to see Edge and Rey team up together for the first time since 2010, so that is pretty exciting. Rey and Edge were only the second team to hold the then-WWE Tag Team Titles introduced by Stephanie McMahon as SmackDown General Manager in 2002, from which the current Raw Tag Team Titles trace their lineage. Edge and Rey were part of the SmackDown 6 with Kurt Angle, Chris B*****t, and the Gurreros. So seeing them team together is, I’ll admit, pretty nostalgic, not only for myself, but for all who weren’t 5 years old at the time in 2002 like me. This feud has been pretty great, and I think the biggest factor in this will undoubtedly be Dominik. They’ve been teasing his turn for a while with Rhea, and especially after all that has happened between Dom and Edge, with what happened on Raw this past Monday, there’s no way we don’t get Dom turning on Edge and his father here. The Judgment Day will win, and Dominik will turn heel on his dad. Then we’ll see where that twist finally takes us.
WINNERS – The Judgment Day
Damage CTL (Bayley, Dakota Kai, and Iyo Sky) vs. Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss, and Asuka
Okay, Hunter, you had me marking out good at SummerSlam when we got Bayley, Dakota Kai, and Io all return together as one faction. Now you better have a dang good reason for not making Dakota and Iyo Women’s Tag Team Champions. But, I digress. These six women are EXTREMELY talented and 5 out of the 6 are some of the best to come out of NXT not named one of the Four Horsewomen. All six feel like they have something to prove, and you better believe Triple H will make sure they shine. After what happened on Raw, Damage CTL is absolutely winning this to keep their momentum going. They need it. It will also cement Dakota and Iyo as immediate stars to those who may not have seen their NXT glory days. This match is going to be fun, and I REALLY hope we get to see more of Iyo vs. Asuka!!!
WINNERS – Damage CTL
Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. MattRiddle
HALLE – FREAKING – LUJAH!! RIDDLE HAS HIS FIRST NAME BACK!! Thank you Triple H (that certainly is becoming a theme in this column, isn’t it? And no, I’m not done with it!). WWE absolutely made the right call of waiting till Clash for this match. It has become so much more personal and gotten everyone so much more invested in Matt Riddle. We are seeing that boxer side, that ruthless side of him that so many have wanted to see out of him. I honestly don’t know how they’re going to contain these two in the ring with how much of the line Seth has crossed and how personal he’s made it. This is a match I honestly would not be surprised to see a DQ or a count out in, and it wouldn’t honestly ruin it for me, but would make sense. But, with Seth going so personal, Riddle needs to get the first win here if they’re making it a trilogy. They’re both Triple H boys, but Riddle is the future, bro, and needs that credibility before moving on to the big one.
WINNER – Matt Riddle
Gunter ( c ) w/Ludwig Kaiser vs. Sheamus w/The Brawling Brutes (Ridge Holland and Butch)
The one thing everyone remembers about the 1992 SummerSlam in the UK was the Intercontinental Championship main event between WWE Hall of Famers Bret “The Hitman” Hart and “The British Bulldog” Davy Boy Smith. A technical masterpiece. Now, for the first time in over a year and a half, the Intercontinental Championship will be defended on PLE, and it is happening in the UK. THANK. YOU. TRIPLE H!!! Now, this match will be anything but “technical”, it’s going to be a FIGHT! And I am so excited! Many have been saying for months that this needed to be the Intercontinental Championship match for Clash, and it’s coming to fruition. Sheamus has proven himself that he can absolutely have a great match, as has Gunter in NXT and on the main roster. Both of them know how prestigious the Intercontinental Title *should* be, and want to help restore its glory that has been dimmed over the last few years. MAke no mistake, these two are going to try and steal the show, and they’re gonna be red all over when it’s done. As for who wins, I don’t think Sheamus will win here. I think Gunter retains, but will eventually lose it to Butch when he returns to being Pete Dunne. Either way, I don’t really care who wins this match, not because I don’t care about the match, but because I’m 100% okay with either man winning because it’s going to be a great wrestling match. But, since I have to make an official prediction, I’m going with Gunter.
WINNER – Gunter (champion retains)
UNDISPUTED WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Roman Reigns ( c ) w/Paul Heyman vs. Drew McIntyre
“Out of time, so say goodbye. What is yours now is mine”. If we hear those words blaring through the speakers on Saturday as Drew walks out to Broken Dreams, he’s winning. Flat out, he’s winning. If he doesn’t come out to that song in Cardiff, WWE might very well have a riot on their hands with how much Drew’s been teasing it on Twitter this past week. This storyline has been great. Drew has truly been booked as someone not named Brock Lesnar who can finally take down Roman Reigns. Now, hopefully, this match only ends up being for one of the titles, not both, so Drew can take one to Raw and have Tyson Fury follow him over there, since Raw has been begging WWE to get one of the two world titles back onto Monday nights. Roman has now held gold for almost 1,000 days, and it’s been officially two years as Universal Champion. So, if a title is coming off of him on Sunday, it’s the WWE Title. And it should. There is no reason for Roman to hold both belts and Triple H knows this. They’re going to figure out a way this weekend to get one of them off of Roman. Whether it’s Drew, whether (goodness please no) it’s Austin Theory, or whether it’s something unexpected, one of the titles is leaving not around Roman’s shoulder. This match is going to be great, but for Drew to not get the win of the big title in front of a crowd in the UK would be one of the dumbest booking decisions WWE could make. So that’s likely why Drew won’t be looking up at the lights at the end of the night like he would if Vince was still booking it. Drew is winning. Believe that!
WINNER – Drew McIntyre (new champion)