WWE vs. AEW: Will Clash at the Castle or All Out Be the Better PPV?

Anthony Mango@@ToeKneeManGoFeatured Columnist IIIAugust 30, 2022

WWE vs. AEW: Will Clash at the Castle or All Out Be the Better PPV?

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    Wrestling fans have an abundance of content to digest this weekend with three pay-per-views heading our way.

    Sandwiching Sunday afternoon's NXT Worlds Collide will be WWE Clash at the Castle on Saturday and AEW All Out on Sunday night.

    But what if you only had the time and money to watch one of the two bigger shows? Which one might be more worthy of your investment as the better overall event?

    Let's attempt to break down what makes a PPV great and assess the pros and cons both are bringing to the table.

Momentum and Audience Hype

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    Things haven't been great for All Elite Wrestling's morale lately. (Credit: AEW)

    For the past few years, WWE had been a mess. All Elite Wrestling was created as a response and positioned itself as an alternative for fans.

    In the past few weeks, though, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction.

    Since Triple H took over WWE Creative, the company has seen a major improvement. There is positive buzz heading into shows, the television product is better than it has been in years and morale is riding high.

    Meanwhile, AEW has been suffering a drastic decline in team spirit. Every week, there are new rumors, speculation and reports of backstage drama like Eddie Kingston's fight with Sammy Guevara and controversy over Thunder Rosa's and CM Punk's title reigns.

    From the view of a casual fan reading the online chatter, WWE seems to be in bright spirits while AEW is struggling. Even if the newer promotion is not quite in shambles, the perception of it being in worse shape hurts it.

    Both shows should have have a hot crowd regardless, but the air of positivity in WWE combined with a UK audience not having a PPV on home soil since 1992 means those fans could boost Clash at the Castle to appear as the more fun of the two.

    Fans going into All Out will potentially be burned out after watching Clash at the Castle and Worlds Collide, so the energy might not be as high.

    This point goes to Clash at the Castle.

Match Quality

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    This era of professional wrestling has spoiled us with many great performers. Even if the storylines heading into shows can be weak, the in-ring action is typically on the mark.

    Neither card is fully determined ahead of the weekend, but when judging the potential quality of the matches at a quick glance, AEW has an advantage.

    All Out has almost twice as many matches scheduled. For every one thing interesting WWE has on its bill, AEW effectively has two.

    Gunther and Sheamus should have a brutal brawl for the Intercontinental Championship, but will that be as good as Jungle Boy vs. Christian Cage and/or Chris Jericho vs. Bryan Danielson?

    Six of WWE's best in the women's division will do battle, but AEW has a trios match with FTR and The Motor City Machine Guns on opposite sides, as well as the World Trios Championship match.

    Liv Morgan vs. Shayna Baszler could be a fun change of pace in Wales, but AEW has a four-way bout for the interim women's title and Jade Cargill is finally fighting Athena.

    The biggest downside to All Out is the current lack of a main event, while Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre could be awesome for WWE. Then again, we've seen this matchup several times before, so fans might be less interested in that by default.

    WWE has no response to the Casino ladder match, either, for fans looking to see some gimmicks and weapons.

    This point goes to All Out.

Surprises, Shocks and Significance

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    For many fans, it is less about the in-ring quality of each match and more about the big moments. They want to see title changes, stakes on the line, big surprises, shocking twists and more.

    Lately, WWE has been great with that. Johnny Gargano's return on Raw was just the most recent re-addition to the roster, while Dexter Lumis is off getting arrested for attacking The Miz from the crowd and so on.

    There is a chance something big is in store for Clash at the Castle. Tyson Fury could interfere to cost McIntyre the match against Reigns. Bray Wyatt could return and start a feud with The Tribal Chief. You never know what might be up WWE's sleeve.

    Two other titles are on the line, too. Baszler could dethrone Morgan for the SmackDown women's title, while the Intercontinental Championship is being defended on a pay-per-view for the first time since WrestleMania 37—a long time overdue.

    But AEW still has the edge in this.

    We know an interim women's world champion will be determined. That's a certainty, along with the crowning of the inaugural trios champions.

    The tag team titles and TBS Championship are also up for grabs, though they're likely to stay where they are.

    Without knowing the main event, it is impossible to tell what will happen with the AEW World Championship, but Jon Moxley's squash over CM Punk has drummed up both critical dismay and curious interest in what the next step is.

    The Casino Ladder match has no confirmed participants. Could we see some surprise competitors, possibly from other promotions?

    WWE might end up with just as many, if not more, big moments that are being a secret, but AEW wins this point for advertising more guaranteed noteworthy material.

The Verdict

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    Credit: AEW

    Both shows have tremendous potential, and we'll only be able to fully judge (at least, subjectively) which was better in hindsight. But All Out has more certainties for big moments.

    WWE could have major surprises with a Theory cash-in, McIntyre winning, a huge return like Bray Wyatt and more, but those might not happen. Meanwhile, AEW already is advertising two title changes as guarantees.

    WWE has the benefit of going first, but AEW will see what happens at Clash at the Castle and can respond in turn, possibly pulling some last-minute changes to steal the buzz from the weekend. Of course, if you aren't watching either WWE show prior, you'll run less of a risk of that burnout to begin with and will be fresh for All Out.

    AEW has a few more matches with stronger in-ring quality already on the lineup that an anchor the event between those bigger moments, too, and prevent any lingering downtime.

    The best thing to do is watch everything so you don't miss out on what could be an amazing weekend in pro wrestling!

    Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, Spotify and everywhere you find podcasts. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.


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