Friday, September 2, 2022

WWE Clash at the Castle Preview & Predictions

Well, it's a loaded wrestling weekend, and not only does AEW have their annual All Out PPV on Sunday, but WWE has a big UK stadium show on Saturday, the first PPV lineup formed under the Triple H regime....

Triple H may be in charge now and may have assembled most of this card, but true to WWE form he's only announced six matches for a stadium show, meaning we'll almost certainly get 2-3 unannounced additions.  And man, are there a lot of people missing from this show, even some folks Hunter's finally been pushing on free TV.  Hey WWE, why are you the way that you are?

Let's look at the 2/3 of a show we have.....

Edge & Rey Mysterio vs. Finn Balor & Damian Priest

This should be a fine tag team contest.  Lotta good talent here.  Of course this feud feels super goofy since Edge was prematurely kicked out of his own group and Judgement Day doesn't feel like they have a real leader.  Weak sauce.  Anytime Rey and Finn are in there together should be fun times.  I think Dominik probably at long last turns on Rey, because unless you're the Usos, you turn on your family in WWE.

Pick: Judgment Day

Bianca Belair, Asuka & Alexa Bliss vs. Bayley, Iyo Sky & Dakota Kai

This one should also be a lot of fun, with a ton of talent on display.  It's probably a good thing though that Clash is the day before All Out since, good though this match looks, it won't touch the Trios final on Sunday.  Alexa seems out of place in this trio and generally looks like she doesn't want to be there.  I have to think Team Bayley wins here to further establish them as contenders for Bianca and Raquel/Aliyah, respectively.

Pick: Bayley, Iyo, Dakota

Smackdown Women's Championship: Liv Morgan vs. Shayna Baszler

This one could be hit or miss.  Both of these women are fully capable of strong matches, but will their styles gel?  Ronda Rousey is still waiting in the wings so I don't expect a title change here.

Pick: Liv retains

Seth Rollins vs. Matt Riddle

This is the one I'm most looking forward to, and I'm especially keen to see how Triple H books Riddle, since unlike Vince, Hunter gets him.  Riddle is a legit badass who can get over without being a comedy guy.  Seth is a good opponent for him too.  Not sure if this is the first match in a series or what, but I think Seth probably gets the win and this match probably steals the show.

Pick: Seth

Intercontinental Championship: Gunther vs. Sheamus

Wait....wait......The Intercontinental Title is actually being featured on a PPV??  Is this real life??  This match should also be pretty great, although I'm pissed Gunther vs. Nakamura wasn't saved for this show.  I get that Gunther would be cheered in the UK but so what?  Nakamura deserves a fucking PPV match - guy hasn't had one since 'Mania.  That said, Sheamus is a great opponent for Gunther, as these two will beat the piss out of each other.  Gunther should retain here and for a very long time.

Pick: Gunther retains  

WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre

Look, this main event should be very good and unlike Roman's matches with Brock it will be more than just the same two moves over and over, but I legit don't care about Roman vs. Drew.  Their WrestleMania match from 2019 was so steeped in mediocrity, the very embodiment of a heatless two-star match, that I'm just not particularly interested in seeing it now.  Is it fair to judge them on that match three-plus years later?  Nope.  I guess I'm just not that into either guy - Drew or Roman vs. someone I'm excited about would draw me in, them facing each other does not.  Regardless, this should be a very good match.  Does the company finally get off the Roman train for a while since they're in the UK and Drew will be massively over?  I think it might be time.  I know USA wants the titles split up again so RAW can actually have a top champion on the show, but I'm not sure how they finagle that here.  Maybe a controversial title change or something.  Either way I'll pick Drew to finally unseat Roman, because who the fuck else is there?

Pick: Drew wins one or both belts

Clash at the Castle looks like a pretty decent show, though that also depends on what matches get added last-minute.  A tag team title match?  I really hope WWE gets back to actually announcing full lineups ahead of time; how do you expect people to tune in without knowing the full card?

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