WWE Clash at the Castle 2022 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights
Could Drew McIntyre do what no other Superstar had done for two years and defeat Roman Reigns in the main event of WWE Clash at the Castle?
It was the question on the minds of fans Saturday at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, home to the first pay-per-view to be staged in the United Kingdom for 30 years.
Would The Scottish Warrior feed off the support of a home crowd and put an end to The Tribal Chief's dominance as the undisputed WWE universal champion or would Reigns conquer another rival on his way to a legacy nearly unmatched in company lore?
Find out now with this recap of the September 3 event.
- Undisputed WWE Universal Championship match: Drew McIntyre vs. Roman Reigns
- SmackDown Women's Championship match: Liv Morgan vs. Shayna Baszler
- Intercontinental Championship match: Sheamus vs. Gunther
- Bianca Belair, Asuka and Alexa Bliss vs. Bayley, Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky
- Matt Riddle vs. Seth Rollins
- Edge and Rey Mysterio vs. The Judgment Day
Kickoff Match: Madcap Moss and Street Profits vs. Theory and Alpha Academy
WWE kicked off the show with a six-man tag team match pitting The Street Profits and Madcap Moss against Theory and Alpha Academy.
A high-energy opener, it highlighted all six competitors adequately before Montez Ford exploded late and finish Chad Gable off with his awe-inspiring frog splash.
This was a perfect taste of things to come. The crowd was molten-hot for everyone involved, despite no prior storyline to speak of. Moss, in particular, looked great and continues to impress anytime he gets a chance to showcase himself inside the squared circle.
It was mostly meaningless, but it did pop the crowd and informed the audience that the setting for this show was unlike any in recent memory.
Moss and The Street Profits defeated Alpha Academy and Theory
- Gable executed a deadlift German suplex to Angelo Dawkins that displayed his raw power.
- Moss delivered a fallaway slam to Otis that looked super-dangerous but drew a huge pop.
- Ford delivered a double blockbuster off his partner's shoulders to a huge pop.
Alexa Bliss, Asuka and Bianca Belair vs. Bayley, Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky
Raw women's champion Bianca Belair, Asuka and Alexa Bliss kicked off the main show when they squared off with Bayley, Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky in a six-woman tag team match.
The newly dubbed "Damage Control" earned a hard-fought victory in another action-packed contest. The babyfaces rolled early before Bayley and Co. isolated Asuka and cut her off from the rest of her team.
Belair predictably received the hot tag and exploded into the match late, but superb teamwork from the heels gave way to Sky delivering her trademark moonsault and Bayley stacking up The EST of WWE for the win.
.<a href="https://twitter.com/itsBayleyWWE?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@itsBayleyWWE</a> has pinned <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WWERaw?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WWERaw</a> Women's Champion <a href="https://twitter.com/BiancaBelairWWE?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BiancaBelairWWE</a> at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WWECastle?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WWECastle</a>!!! <a href="https://t.co/PXtSQ183Fl">pic.twitter.com/PXtSQ183Fl</a>
The outcome was not surprising as Triple H and WWE sought to continue building momentum for the top heel act in the Raw women's division. Bayley pinning Belair sets her up for a title opportunity, something that was also predictable given the creative leading into the show.
In this case, predictable is far from bad as The Role Model is a genuine star and the most logical option to challenge for the gold. Considering she and Belair never had a suitable conclusion to their rivalry a year ago, their rivalry is long overdue.
This was a good match that got considerable time to unfold, and all six competitors had a chance to shine.
This was the right call for an opener given the exposure the talent involved have received over the last two months on the red brand and set the bar high for the rest of the PPV.
Damage Control defeated Bliss, Asuka and Belair
- The heels entered the arena to new theme music and the "Damage Control" name.
- Bayley repeatedly heeled it up, attempting to stop the audience from singing to her.
- Michael Cole brought up Iyo Sky's previous partnership with Asuka during their time in Japan, a big moment for those who remember Vince McMahon refusing to allow the commentary team to recognize wrestling history and any promotion outside of his own.
Intercontinental Championship Match: Sheamus vs. Gunther
Fans expecting a hard-hitting, physical match between intercontinental champion Gunther and top contender Sheamus got everything they wanted in the next match while still being surprised at the intensity of the bout.
Champion and challenger beat the life out of each other for nearly 20 minutes, testing each other's endurance, durability and toughness. Gunther reddened the chest of his opponent and dominated the action throughout the first half of the bout.
Sheamus seized an opening and punished the champion with an onslaught of forearms to the chest.
Hard strikes, heavy-hitting moves and a couple of near-falls followed before the Irishman attempted a Brogue Kick. His back gave out, though, and Gunther capitalized by delivering a powerbomb and finishing The Celtic Warrior off with a lariat for the successful title defense.
.<a href="https://twitter.com/Gunther_AUT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Gunther_AUT</a> retains the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ICTitle?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ICTitle</a> at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WWECastle?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WWECastle</a> in an absolutely incredible encounter! <a href="https://t.co/tQ5I0zFJ84">pic.twitter.com/tQ5I0zFJ84</a>
There are some loaded pro wrestling cards this weekend, but we will be hard-pressed to find a match as good as this.
While others may be more dazzling or theatrical, this was a hard-hitting battle that felt more real than predetermined, with the combatants throwing whatever they had at each other in the name of victory.
Gunther won, but the incredible show of respect shown to Sheamus by the fans in Cardiff was reflective of a guy whose contributions as an in-ring performer over 13 years with WWE are finally starting to be appreciated by the audience.
Gunther defeated Sheamus
- A video package recalled the classic Intercontinental Championship match between Bret Hart and The British Bulldog from SummerSlam 1992 before Samantha Irvin introduced the family of Davey Boy Smith and The Hitman himself.
- Ludwig Kaiser introduced Giovanni Vinci, reforming Imperium in a noteworthy occurrence before the bell rang.
- Kaiser and Vinci brawled with Butch and Ridge Holland, while Sheamus and Gunther stared each other down in the pre-match segment.
- Gunther kicked Sheamus square in the face, and a slow-mo replay showed the side of The Celtic Warrior's face collapsing under the force of his boot.
- Sheamus' face was painted with welts, scratches and bruises, the result of The Ring General's unforgiving strikes.
- The Irishman repaid Gunther for a barrage of chops by forearming the life out of the champion's chest.
- Sheamus broke out The Celtic Cross for the first time in what felt like ages, a call back to his early days in WWE.
SmackDown Women's Championship Match: Liv Morgan vs. Shayna Baszler
Liv Morgan sought to make it two-in-a-row against the Four Horsewomen of MMA when she defended the SmackDown Women's Championship against Shayna Baszler.
Morgan oddly worked submissions early, looking to defeat her opponent first with her own Karifuda Clutch and then an armbar. Baszler recovered from the onslaught and controlled the match by working her opponent's previously injured arm.
Morgan, like a good underdog babyface, proved resilient and fought her way back into the contest. Despite a late attempt at a clutch by Baszler, she stunned her with the Codebreaker and finished the challenger with Oblivion for a successful title defense.
.<a href="https://twitter.com/YaOnlyLivvOnce?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@YaOnlyLivvOnce</a> walks out of <a href="https://twitter.com/principalitysta?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@principalitysta</a> with the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SmackDown?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SmackDown</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WomensTitle?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WomensTitle</a>!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AndStill?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AndStill</a> <a href="https://t.co/QANDSTZs8o">pic.twitter.com/QANDSTZs8o</a>
There will be some who criticize the idea of Baszler losing again but given the fact that the seeds were planted by Rousey that her friend used to be a killer but had gotten soft, it plays into that narrative.
Here was a woman who had victory in her hand if she had just channeled that killer instinct. Instead, she allowed Morgan to hang around and it cost her.
As long as that is the direction the story is headed, the booking worked. If not, Triple H and Co. will have their work cut out for them in terms of rebuilding Baszler.
The match was a good David vs. Goliath showdown that put Morgan over as double-tough and, hopefully, helps endear her to fans in a way that the booking at SummerSlam did not.
Morgan defeated Baszler to retain the title
- Morgan tried to apply the Karifuda Clutch on two occasions early, but Baszler easily escaped and reversed both times.
- The Queen of Spades targeted Morgan's left arm like a shark smelling blood, looking to exploit a part of the champion previously injured by Rousey.
- Morgan grabbed an armbar late in the match, again trying to work submissions against a woman nicknamed The Submission Magician.
- Baszler twisted, contorted and bent Morgan's injured arm in a way that was reminiscent of the old Queen of Spades fans grew to appreciate in NXT.
- Baszler countered a sunset flip powerbomb pin into the Karifuda Clutch in a smooth spot.
Edge and Rey Mysterio vs. The Judgment Day
Edge and Rey Mysterio may have defeated The Judgment Day, but that victory proved secondary to the events that unfolded after the bell.
Despite the veterans overcoming interference from Rhea Ripley and pulling off the victory following a 619 and Spear to Finn Balor, it was the stunning betrayal and long-awaited heel turn by Rey's son, Dominik, that stole the headlines.
A low blow to Edge and a sneak attack on his father drew a chorus of boos from the fans and elicited maniacal laughing from Balor and Priest, who believed they had turned him.
DOMINIK MYSTERIO, WHAT DID YOU JUST DO?!?!?<a href="https://twitter.com/DomMysterio35?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DomMysterio35</a> has betrayed <a href="https://twitter.com/EdgeRatedR?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@EdgeRatedR</a> AND <a href="https://twitter.com/reymysterio?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@reymysterio</a> at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WWECastle?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WWECastle</a>!!! <a href="https://t.co/5PS0cS3rxo">pic.twitter.com/5PS0cS3rxo</a>
Dominik left on his own without pledging allegiance to The Judgment Day, but he was clearly the hottest heel in the entire segment. It was a booking decision most saw coming from a mile away but may have lost hope for given the way the bout concluded.
The second-generation competitor badly needed to break free from his father and turn heel, if only to establish his own identity. Just being Rey's son grew stale quite a while ago. Now, he has the potential to become a star on his own while working with his father across the ring from him rather than by his side.
The contest was fine but, from a quality standpoint, it was no better or worse than something fans would see on Raw. Given the increase in quality on that show, that is by no means a bad thing, though.
Edge and Mysterio defeated The Judgment Day
- Edge entered the arena in a lucha mask, showing solidarity with his partner.
- The Hall of Famer broke out a 619 on Balor that Corey Graves best described as being "closer to a 519."
- Edge speared Priest through the ropes and to the floor, drawing a huge pop.
- Ripley wiped Dominik out at ringside, but Rey wiped both her and his son out with a tope suidicida moments later.
Matt Riddle vs. Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins intensified his rivalry with Matt Riddle on Monday's Raw, infuriating The Original Bro by bringing up his family situation.
Saturday, they wasted no time unloading on each other, with Riddle getting the best of The Visionary early before a tope suicida into the announce table and a powerbomb into the guardrail turned the tide in the heel's favor.
As the match progressed, the combatants threw everything at each other, even diving into each other's arsenals in an attempt to put the other away.
Rollins, a master manipulator, insulted Riddle's family again. When the babyface lost his cool and grabbed a chair, The Visionary took advantage of the distraction and delivered a Stomp.
Another from the second rope earned him the win.
The chemistry between the combatants is off the charts. Their dislike for one another beyond the ring is well-documented, but when it comes to putting in work between the ropes, they mesh extremely well. The transitions, counters and reversals were great, and Riddle barely rolling his shoulder off the mat during near-falls was a nice touch.
Rollins winning was the right call. His star burns brighter than Riddle's, and he figures to play a big role in the immediate and long-term future of Raw as one of its faces.
As Triple H continues to unfold his creative plans for the flagship show, he will rely on someone like Rollins to enhance certain programs.
Rollins defeated Riddle
- Rollins and Riddle recovered nicely from an ugly near-botch on a top-rope spot.
- The Original Bro countered his rival's superplex into a Falcon Arrow spot by delivering a picture-perfect Fisherman Buster.
- Riddle countered a rolling elbow into an exploder suplex and then added a Floating Bro to the floor.
- Riddle tried for another Floating Bro, but Rollins got the knees up. The Bro recovered and caught The Visionary with a triangle choke.
- Rollins attempted to use his opponent's own Bro Derek against him but Riddle narrowly kicked out at two.
- "You're a goddamn loser, you hear me?" Rollins antagonized his opponent with insults toward him, his ex-wife and his kids, and he then added a draping DDT a la Randy Orton to boot.
Undisputed WWE Universal Championship Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Roman Reigns
Drew McIntyre elicited an enormous pop for his entrance into the Principality Stadium, which was preceded by a video package set to "Broken Dreams," a song fans have anticipated since his return to WWE.
Reigns, the defending champion, entered the arena on his own. There was no Paul Heyman and no Jimmy and Jey Uso. Even Sami Zayn was nowhere to be seen as The Tribal Chief made the long walk to the ring, without pyro due to the stadium setup.
The ensuing contest was a great main event and a legitimate Match of the Year candidate. Like Rollins and Riddle, Reigns and McIntyre have wild in-ring chemistry, developed from working house shows and TV dark matches against each other for the better part of a year.
They took everything they had worked through and developed over that time and executed it to perfection, with a red-hot Cardiff crowd to boot.
Reigns is a master of the near-fall and has timing that is impeccable. He knows exactly when to throw his shoulder off the mat to maximize the drama, and the result is often a contest that has fans completely invested. We saw it a couple of times on Saturday, but it was the superb timing of his cousin that set up the finish.
Solo Sikoa debuted in the closing moments, pulling the referee out of the ring and preventing a three-count following one last Claymore from McIntyre. He hung The Scottish Warrior up on the ropes, setting up a Spear by the champ that would bring about the conclusion of the contest.
ROMAN REIGNS RETAINS!<a href="https://twitter.com/WWERomanReigns?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WWERomanReigns</a> is STILL your Undisputed WWE Universal Champion at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WWECastle?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WWECastle</a> thanks to <a href="https://twitter.com/WWESoloSikoa?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WWESoloSIkoa</a>! <a href="https://t.co/bdSdwozYiq">pic.twitter.com/bdSdwozYiq</a>
There was an understandable disappointment on the part of the fans following McIntyre's loss, but other than his home-field advantage, he never felt like the guy to dethrone Reigns.
The Scot is over with fans and one of the hardest-working guys in the company. That will not change, and this was Reigns' match to win because propelling things forward with the addition of Sikoa to The Bloodline is a bigger development than McIntyre winning the title.
So, the call was controversial and likely annoyed some fans off who expected McIntyre to leave the United Kingdom with his title, but for the long-term future of the company's creative plans, this was the right call.
Reigns defeated McIntyre to retain
- The "Broken Dreams" video was fantastic and told the entire story of McIntyre's career in two minutes.
- The crowd's love of the Scot was awe-inspiring. The pop was deafening, and the chants for him after the entrances and early on lost few decibels.
- Karrion Kross and Scarlett provided a distraction at ringside that allowed Reigns to slow the onslaught of his opponent and turn the tide.
- The Tribal Chief talked trash to the top contender, allowing McIntyre to attempt a comeback with a few chops. But it was short-lived.
- Reigns grabbed a mic and demanded Cardiff acknowledge him, only to catch a nasty headbutt from McIntyre.
- The champ experienced doubt and frustration, with his facial expressions reflecting someone questioning what he needed to do to put away his opponent.
- McIntyre speared Reigns through the barricade, using one of the champion's favorite spots against him. He recovered and delivered his own Spear back in the ring for a dramatic two-count.
- The right hand from Fury to Theory that denied him a Money in the Bank cash-in was a great spot. It was perfectly executed and sold.