Updated WWE Clash at the Castle 2022 Match Card and Bold Predictions
Saturday, WWE will present a UK-based pay-per-view for the first time since SummerSlam 1992. Like that iconic extravaganza, the main event features a beloved babyface with ties to the host nation challenging for a coveted title.
Drew McIntyre will challenge Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship in the night's top bout at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales as he seeks to dethrone a Superstar who has not been decisively beaten in nearly three years.
What other matches will join that blockbuster encounter on the bill and what might we expect from Saturday's event?
Find out with this look at the match card and a few bold predictions to go along with it.
- Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Drew McIntyre vs. Roman Reigns
- SmackDown Women's Championship: Liv Morgan vs. Shayna Baszler
- Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss and Asuka vs. Bayley, Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai
- Riddle vs. Seth Rollins
- Intercontinental Championship: Sheamus vs. Gunther
Bold Prediction: McIntyre Beats Reigns Clean
It would be difficult to imagine a scenario in which Roman Reigns loses the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship.
The Tribal Chief has ruled over WWE for two years in a way that most assumed we would never see again. Thanks to shorter attention spans and faster-moving television, the idea of one man holding a belt for years at a time was inconceivable.
But here we are. Reigns has dominated the competition, usually with the help of The Usos and special counsel Paul Heyman. Entering Clash at the Castle, though, his run atop the WWE mountain feels as uncertain as at any other time.
Drew McIntyre is a red-hot babyface and a fellow "chosen one." Tapped to be a top star in WWE at a young age, he shook off a disappointing first run with the company and returned to capture the top prize in the industry, only for the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure he never had the opportunity to perform as the top star in front of a live audience.
Placeholder feuds with Happy Corbin and Sheamus have brought the Scot back to the main event scene for a date with the most dominant star of his era in the main event of the first UK PPV in 30 years.
His popularity at an all-time high, Reigns' current part-time schedule and a British crowd that will be indisputably behind McIntyre means the pieces are in place for The Scottish Warrior to deliver on his potential and dethrone The Head of the Table.
The potential interference of Karrion Kross hangs over the match like a dark cloud, but that should prove to be a red herring; a distraction for fans in an attempt by the creative team to take their attention away from the potential of a new champion.
Not only will McIntyre win in Cardiff, but he will do something no man has done since December 15, 2019: He will pin Reigns' shoulders to the mat.
And he will do it clean in the center of the ring following a Claymore that generates the loudest pop in recent memory.
There are plenty of arguments to be made against that finish, including the desire to see a returning Cody Rhodes conquer Reigns at WrestleMania, but there are ways to get to that match between now and then.
For now, this is the time and Cardiff is the place for McIntyre to finally get the win and reaction he deserved at WrestleMania 36 in 2020, in front of a fanbase that will treat him like the megastar he has worked so hard to be since being anointed as the next big thing by Vince McMahon in 2009.
Bold Prediction: Bray Wyatt Does Not Return
The current creative regime under Triple H has become synonymous with surprises, most recently the return of former NXT champion Johnny Gargano.
Expectations are high that The King of Kings will usher in the return of Bray Wyatt, a Superstar whose release in 2021 stunned the wrestling world.
That may well happen but don't expect it in Cardiff, where attention will be paid primarily to McIntyre and his quest for the WWE Championship.
Wyatt is a virtuoso performer whose attention to detail and character work are second to none. Surely, he won't just randomly pop up without a hint of his comeback.
It would be out of character and, while it would certainly pop the audience and create considerable social media buzz, it would be an injustice to a persona that has long been a favorite of the WWE Universe.
Given his creative tendencies to this point, Triple H almost certainly understands this and will hold off on debuting him this weekend just to drum up discussion.
Bold Prediction: Ronda Rousey Costs Shayna Baszler the SmackDown Women's Championship
Recently, we saw Ronda Rousey illegally return to SmackDown despite being suspended and then go face-to-face with Shayna Baszler ahead of a contract signing with Liv Morgan.
During their brief interaction, the former UFC star told The Queen of Spades, "You used to be a killer."
Some have since speculated it was the start of an on-screen partnership that will see two of the Four Horsewomen of MMA dominate the blue brand.
Don't be surprised if the exact opposite plays out on Saturday.
Rousey wants her SmackDown Women's Championship back and, ideally, wants to defeat Morgan seeing as she is the woman who dethroned her in the first place. The Baddest Woman on the Planet will likely make her presence felt, suspended or not, and interfere in Saturday's title bout.
In the process, she will cost Baszler the title to maintain her dream of tapping out Morgan and regaining her championship.
It will create hostility between them, presumably instigating a feud between the friends, freeing Morgan up for a feud with the returning Charlotte Flair and giving SmackDown two high-profile women's programs.
Bold Prediction: Clash At The Castle Eclipses WrestleMania as WWE's Best of the Year
After WrestleMania 38 provided fans the return of Cody Rhodes, the first "Stone Cold" Steve Austin match in 19 years, a title unification main event and a show-stealer between Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch, the idea of any event eclipsing it as the best of the year in WWE is almost absurd.
Clash at the Castle, however, features a card that is quickly shaping up to be one of the best of 2022, thanks to a red-hot main event and an undercard featuring some intriguing matchups.
Sheamus vs. Gunther should be one of the best and most physical encounters WWE has produced in years. The Celtic Warrior and The Ring General are among the best wrestlers in the business over the last decade and will be motivated even more by a rare European PPV audience.
Riddle and Seth Rollins are two of the most consistently great wrestlers on the WWE roster, and their long-built grudge match may actually be as good, if not better, than the Intercontinental Championship clash.
A six-woman tag team match featuring some of the best in their fields and a SmackDown women's title bout pitting underdog against oppressive, dominant heel have the potential to be surprisingly engaging contests.
The card is as complete as any we have seen in some time, with the best creative by far and enough intrigue to keep fans invested.
Don't be surprised if fans applaud the show as a premier effort by WWE and its Superstars.