WWE's Clash at the Castle event could wind up as the definitive start of a new Triple H era in hindsight.
Look no further than the main event on September 3 in Cardiff, Wales, between Drew McIntyre and Roman Reigns for the latter's Undisputed WWE Universal Championship.
It might be the most polarizing main event WWE's hosted in quite a long time. Some fans surely expect Reigns to retain as his GOAT-establishing run stretches to the next WrestleMania for a possible encounter with The Rock. Others undoubtedly expect McIntyre, a native of the United Kingdom, to pull off the upset in front of a favorable, sold-out crowd, making for an iconic moment.
Just one question: Why not both?
It sounds ridiculous on first pass, but there's an everybody-wins scenario right in front of WWE if it pulls the creative strings in interesting ways. Managing to split the main-event titles again is the only scenario in which Clash at the Castle truly stands as a landmark event that signals the company really will change. If Reigns wins, the more-of-the-same stigma sticks. If McIntyre wins, it might be viewed as derailing Reigns and tearing up Vince McMahon's plans.
Both guys "winning" is the best course of action that will appeal to the majority of fans. Reigns gets to stay on his trajectory, and losing doesn't hurt this run when viewed through a long-term lens—especially if he doesn't eat a pin. McIntyre also winning means the Raw main-event scene is finally restored to its normal state.
While Triple H's arrival as the lead guy has put a refreshingly major importance on the mid-card titles while Reigns holds both top straps, those mid-card titles just don't carry the same weight. Getting a top title back on Raw via McIntyre will make the entire show that much better. Again: Why not both, right?
The mechanics of it aren't even hard to pull off. There's time between now and the show to add another body to the main event for the specific purpose of preventing Reigns from taking a pin. Maybe that's Theory being goaded into it or Kevin Owens sneaking his way in. It doesn't really matter, provided we know the match will be a banger either way and the end result is split titles.
Getting there isn't difficult either given this is pro wrestling and the silliest of things (Chris Jericho's "List," that one SmackDown chinless jobber, etc.) get over huge with fans. Adding a third can take a serious tone. Or heck, make it a borderline funny scenario in which Paul Heyman gets tricked during the writing of contracts and doesn't read the fine print.
There's just something so special about the unknown in an era where the curtain has almost fully been pulled back and the behind-the-scenes drama is often more entertaining than the storylines themselves. Reigns getting the first fall to win one of his belts and things looking like business as usual before McIntyre pulls off the big win to steal the other in front of that live crowd would simply be a can't-miss moment.
As is so often the case in pro wrestling, nothing is more important than timing. The sheer timing of McIntyre being in this match in the UK makes this possible. This idea doesn't work with pretty much anyone else. It's hard to dream up anyone who deserves it more, either. McIntyre, after all, carried the company on his back during the audience-less COVID-19 pandemic era and never really got his reward for that, nor did he ever get that gigantic title-win pop.
That can change on September 3. It's a layup, truly, with Vince McMahon's former "chose one" coming full circle and winning a title in front of a home crowd. The beauty of this outcome is that there is enough wiggle room to not harm either top guy in the process and serve fans in a rewarding manner.
It's the least WWE could do for McIntyre, and it's the least they can do for fans, too, after the colossal mistake that was putting both top titles on one competitor in the first place—likely with the knowledge beforehand that said top guy was going to then reduce his workload, effectively feeling like a part-timer.
There's nothing wrong with the direction Reigns is going when it comes to attendance and role. But there is also no denying his reign now feels stale and could actively be doing harm to it when viewed a long time from now. It's also just holding the rest of the roster in a hold.
Again, perfect timing. With a wink of admission toward hardcore fans, McIntyre stealing one title at Clash at the Castle to get things back on track would be the perfect move that satisfies the most fans and gives a deserving Superstar the moment real life stole from him.