The newest member of the Bloodline, NXT’s Solo Sikoa, was the difference maker for Roman Reigns at Clash at the Castle.
Reigns overcame challenger Drew McIntyre on his home turf with over 61,000 fans crowding Principality Stadium and cheering him on in Cardiff, Wales.
Retired professional boxer Tyson Fury also figured into the outcome. He was sitting at ringside for the event.
Before the entrances are made footage airs of Roman Reigns speaking to Tyson Fury. Earlier in the show we saw Fury giving some advice to Drew McIntyre.
Drew gets a special entrance video chronicling his career to his old Broken Dreams theme song. He swaggers out sword in hand to a tremendous ovation. He stops on the entrance way to take in the scene.
Michael Cole reminds us that Drew has never beaten Roman Reigns in one-on-one competition.
The crowd cheers…Drew! Drew! Drew!…and begins singsonging his name.
Drew is pumped and ready for war in the ring.
Roman’s song hits and the boos rain down on the Tribal Chief.
Roman comes to the ring without Paul Heyman or The Usos.
“Tonight, the Island of Relevancy is a lonely place,” says Graves.
Michael Cole explains The Usos and Sami Zayne are not “medically cleared” to appear tonight in Cardiff.
Drew doesn’t take his eyes off Reigns the entire time.
The two men stand face to face with Reigns holding up the belt in Drew’s face after his introduction.
There is no rush to engage as the bell rings. The crowd chants Drew’s name.
Drew backs Roman into a corner. The two collide in the middle of the ring. Reigns backs into the ropes and takes a walk on the apron. Reigns appears stunned and confused as Drew points at him. A shoulder tackle sends Roman outside the ring for another stroll. Roman motions for the fans to take their seats as he prepares to get back into the ring.
A haymaker sends Drew back a few steps.
“F–k you, Roman!” chants the angry crowd.
Drew turns things around on Roman with haymakers in a corner and a clothesline over the top rope. Drew slams Reigns’ head into the ringside barrier and the ring. Roman is whipped into the steel steps.
Karrion Kross, who is in the front row, throws a water bottle at Drew. Drew is distracted so Reigns rams his head into the steel post. Drew barely beats the count back into the ring.
Reigns kicks and punches Drew over and over. An onslaught of clotheslines has Drew dazed. Roman throws him into a steel post. Drew drags himself onto the apron where Roman punches him in the head. A jumping clothesline almost gets Roman a pinfall back in the ring and so does a kick to the head as Drew bounces off the ropes.
“Who do you think you are?” Roman spits in Drew’s face.
Drew answers with chops. Roman responds with haymakers.
Drew slams his fist on the mat. The two men try to suplex each other but Roman punches Drew down again.
Roman takes time to ask for a microphone.
“Cardiff! Acknowledge me!” he yells out.
When he turns around he takes a head butt from Drew. Both men are down.
When they get back to their feet another slugfest erupts. Clothesline after clothesline, a belly-to-belly suplex and a neckbreaker has Roman down. Drew kips up.
Drew delivers a running forearm smash in a corner. They fight on the top rope. Drew throws Roman off the top rope. Roman rolls out of the ring before Drew can hit a Claymore Kick.
Roman runs into a spinebuster and a two count. Drew dares Roman to get back to his feet. He finally yanks the champ up. Roman gets a two count after a Rock Bottom.
Both men are drained as they slowly get back to their feet.
Drew reverses a Superman Punch into a Future Shock DDT. Roman counters a Claymore Kick with a Superman Punch for a two.
Roman spears Drew. Drew kicks out and Roman shakes his head in utter confusion.
Roman gets to his feet coaching himself. He puts Drew into the Guillotine. Drew drops to his knees. Drew powers out. Roman goes for the submission again. Drew refuses to sink to his knees. He throws Roman into a steel post.
Drew spears Roman through a barricade and quickly rolls him back into the ring. Roman counters a Claymore Kick with another spear. Drew kicks out. The crowd rise to their feet cheering Drew on.
Roman begins arguing with the official, Charles Robinson.
“That was three! I speared him!” yells Roman.
As Roman threatens the official, Drew Claymore’s him from behind. Robinson is knocked out.
Suddenly, Austin Theory runs out to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase but Tyson Fury stand up and knocks out Theory with one punch ending that idea.
Back in the ring, Reigns swings a chair at Drew. Drew hits a Claymore for a two count when a new official arrives on the scene.
A slugfest ends with Drew spearing Reigns. A Claymore Kick has Reigns defeated but Solo Sikoa dressed in a hoodie pulls the official out of the ring preventing any count from being slapped. Solo guillotines an angry Drew on the top rope and when he turns around, he is speared for a three count.
Tyson Fury interrupts Reigns’ celebration. He shakes hands with him before he leaves the ring. Fury then helps Drew to his feet and holds his arm up as the crowd cheers. Fury congratulates Drew. He says he has done the entire nation proud. Fury and the crowd serenade Drew with a rendition of American Pie. Drew addresses the crowd. He vows to fight on as he leads the crowd in a singsong of Oasis’ Don’t Look Back in Anger.
The main event wasn’t the only blockbuster bout of the evening though. Sheamus and Gunther fought in one of the harshest, most ruthless matches in recent memory with both putting in career-defining performances showing they both have Harley Race levels of toughness. Seth Rollins and Matt Riddle – Yes, he has his full name back – collided in a savage grudge match. On any other night, either match could have stolen the show but not tonight.
Clash At The Castle Results
AUSTIN THEORY, THE ALPHA ACADEMY VS MADCAP MOSS, THE STREET PROFITS
Theory and The Academy work over Ford for much of the match cutting him off from his partners. The crowd is hyped when Ford tags in Madcap. Madcap goes mental bulldozing over anyone and everyone in his path. Madcap lifts up Otis for a fallaway slam which brings the crowd to their feet. Dawkins picks up Gable off the apron onto his shoulders. Ford hits a blockbuster on Gable as he dives over the top rope also bowling over everyone. Back inside, Ford pins Gable with his top rope splash.
Winners: Madcap Moss and The Street Profits at 6 minutes and 33 seconds.
Match Rating: 7 / 10
BIANCA BELAIR, ALEXA BLISS, AND ASUKA VS BAYLEY, DAKOTA KAI AND IYO SKY
Although it is decent, this match runs too long, far too long.
Asuka seems to get the biggest reception of anyone. Bayley’s group is officially announced as Damage Control with new theme music and graphics. They come out together while their foes made individual entrances. Bayley is the target of that infamous UK-Bayley chants immediately. She freaks out. After a few cheap shots, everyone floods the ring for a brawl.
Belair takes over immediately on Bayley until Dakota and Iyo yank her out of the ring. The faces hurl the heels over with a triple suplex. Bianca lands a moonsault on all three members of Damage Control. They have to regroup on the floor. The crowd keeps up their singsong angering Bayley. Bayley screams at them to…Shut up! A shotgun drop kick from Kai drives Bliss into the barricade. Bliss is cut off as Damage Control batters her around.
Bianca is pulled off the apron and drop kicked off so she cannot make the hot tag to Bliss. Asuka takes her place running roughshod over the heels. Things turn into another messy brawl for bit. Belair takes over throwing Kai into Sky. Bliss and Asuka stand on Bianca’s back and give Bayley a Superplex. Bayley yanks on Belair’s braid from the outside. This allows Kai to kick Belair in the face, Bayley to hit the Rose Plant, Sky executes a moonsault off the top rope and Bayley pins Belair after all that. Michael Cole makes a big deal of Bayley pinning champ Belair.
Winners: BAYLEY, DAKOTA KAI AND IYO SKY at 19 minutes and 05 seconds.
Match Rating: 7.5 / 10
They replay footage from SummerSlam 1992 with The British Bulldog taking on Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart’. Hart is shown in attendance.
GUNTHER VS SHEAMUS – INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION MATCH
Giovanni Vinci is back and Imperium has reformed to back-up Gunther. He has put the band back together. The Brawling Brutes and Imperium battle and brawl as Sheamus and Gunther have a stare-down in the middle of the ring until the bell rings to start the match. Gunther lays in his chops as Sheamus punches the champion. Sheamus is already busted up and bleeding. He manages to suplex Gunther though. The crowd cheers Sheamus on. The match goes to the floor where Sheamus throws Gunther into the steel ring steps.
Gunther breaks out of Ten Beats of the Bodhrán several times. Gunther chops Sheamus off the top rope. He falls to the floor in a heap. Gunther reassembles the steel ring steps and slams him onto them.
The crowd taunts Gunther with “Walter!” chants.
Gunther takes over as Sheamus battles back from his knees until Gunther kicks him in the face. Sheamus is defenceless as Gunther lays in chop and punch after punch. Sheamus’ chest is a bloody mess. Sheamus powers out of a submission until Gunther chops and punches him down into the mat. The crowd tries again to give Sheamus the strength he needs to get back into the fight.
Sheamus catches one of Gunther’s chops hitting back with haymakers. As they head to the floor again, Gunther slams Sheamus and throws him over the announce table. Sheamus smashes Gunther’s head off the table twice and pounds his chest with Ten Beats of the Bodhrán. The crowd cheers even more for Sheamus, counting with each blow even more so when he does it over the barricade for about 14 shots.
Sheamus drops a knee on Gunther from the top rope. He pauses before setting up Gunther for what he hopes is the end of the match. A slugfest ensues though. Sheamus gets a two count with a running knee to the face.
A sleeper bring Sheamus down to one knee. Sheamus counters Gunther’s powerbomb with White Noise for a two count. A drop kick in the corner and a powerbombs gets Gunther a two count.
Gunther stomps on Sheamus’ back and climbs to the top rope. Sheamus drops Gunther with a Celtic Cross. He only gets a two count. Sheamus tries for a Brogue Kick but his back gives out. Gunther powerbombs him again. Sheamus defiantly gets to his feet. Gunther pins him with a running clothesline. As Gunther leaves with the title, the crowd rises to their feet to cheer Sheamus. Sheamus appears to have tears in his eyes. A great moment.
Winner: …and still champion…Gunther at 19 minutes and 39 seconds.
Match Rating: 9 / 10
LIV MORGAN (C) VS SHAYNA BASZLER – WWE SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
A disappointing match that proves once again that Liv isn’t ready for main event status no matter her popularity. Liv is shoved off the ropes and hurts arm on floor. Shayna slams Liv’s arm into a barricade. booed as focus on arm. Shayna stalks Liv attacking that compromised arm any time she gets to. Liv puts Shayna in a submission which hurts Shayna’s arm. Liv wins with an awkward Code Breaker and Oblivion.
Winner: …and still champion, Liv Morgan at 11 minutes and 05 seconds.
Match Rating: 7 / 10
Miss Linda and Adrian Street are shown in the audience.
EDGE AND REY MYSTERIO VS THE JUDGMENT DAY
Dom is out with Rey. Graves calls Dom a “petulant crybaby”. Edge comes out wearing a luchadore mask. He takes off the mask when he gets into the ring. The crowd singing along with Edge’s theme song brings a smile to his face.
Someone has a sign that reads: Don’t refresh the page. Funny that.
Balor wails on Rey during the start clobbering him from pilar to post. After a hurricanrana, Balor bails out. The crowd wants Edge to tag in. One right hand from Priest takes Edge down to the mat though. Priest pummels Edge in a corner. Edge is whipped into a corner, Mysterio absorbs the damage allowing Edge to send Priest to the floor and Mysterio the chance to splash him on the outside. Judgment Day takes over keeping Mysterio on their side of the ring. Priest blocks Rey from tagging in and spits at Edge. Priest gets crotched on the ringside barricade. Edge executes a 619 on Balor and spears Priest off the apron to the floor.
Dom runs into the ring distracts the official so Rey can stop Balor’s Coup de Grace on Edge. Ripley attacks Dom. Rey leaps onto Ripley taking her out. Dom trips up Balor. Rey hits the 619 and Edge the spear for the win.
As everyone celebrates their victory over Judgment Day, Dom hauls off and kicks Edge into the “lower abdomen”. Rey tries to talk sense to his son. Dom clotheslines Rey to the canvass as the Judgment Day laugh. The crowd boos Dom as Rey mouths…Why? Why?..in the ring. Dom takes a walk leaving Edge and Rey behind. He rips off the Mysterio shirt he is wearing and throws it into the crowd. Edge gets to his feet and Rey apologies for his son. Edge hugs Rey.
Winners: EDGE AND REY MYSTERIO at 12 minutes and 42 seconds.
Match Rating: 7 / 10
MATT RIDDLE VS SETH ROLLINS
Riddle gets his first name back as he is introduced as “Matt Riddle”. Rollins comes out dressed as a devil in flames, looking like Elton John. The match begins as a slugfest. Rollins covers up as Riddle attacks. Riddle snaps and shoves the official. Riddle and Rollins brawl on the floor. Riddle flings Rollins around with some gut-wrench suplexes. Riddle is powerbombed into the ringside barricade. Rollins dives at Riddle from inside the ring. He misses but Riddle still rolls over the announce table. Rollins gets into the official’s face. The official warns Rollins he will disqualify him if he has to.
Rollins and Riddle mess up an attempted Superplex from the top rope slipping down off the ropes. Rollins gives Riddle a double stomp from the top rope instead. They redo the spot. Riddle is Superplexed but Riddle hits a Fisherman Buster after they land. Riddle hits Rollins with a Floating Bro on the floor. A Bro to Sleep, a slam and a running knee almost pins Rollins.
Rollins puts up his knees to block a Floating Bro. Rollins escapes a triangle to Bro Derek Riddle for a two count. The crowd cheers when Rollins Pedigrees Riddle but Riddle kicks out.
“You are a loser! That is why your wife left you! These people know it and your kids know it!” shouts Rollins.
Rollins gives Riddle a Randy Orton draping DDT while the crowd sings his theme. Riddle blocks Rollins’ attempted RKO and just kicks the crap out of him. He smashes Rollins’ head over and over into the announce table. He swings at Rollins with a steel chair and misses. Rollins Stomps him once as Riddle rolls back into the ring and then Stomps him again from the second rope for the win. The crowd applauds Rollins’ victory.
Winner: Seth Rollins at 17 minutes and 34 seconds.
Match Rating: 8.5 / 10
ROMAN REIGNS (C) VS DREW MCINTYRE – UNDISPUTED WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Winner: …and still champion…Roman Reigns at 31 minutes and 18 seconds.
Match Rating: 9 /10
The next WWE event is Extreme Rules on October 8th.
Clash at the Castle
It has been thirty years since the UK hosted an event of this magnitude but it was worth the wait. With three really outstanding matches on the card and nothing really sinking – except maybe the humdrum Liv/Shayna match – Clash at the Castle had great wrestling and great surprises. Come on. That Theory/King moment was pretty hilarious. This show was far better than average in every respect.