When WWE announced Clash At The Castle for the summer of 2022, comparisons were immediately and intentionally made to the iconic 1992 edition of SummerSlam.
Wrestling loves neat anniversaries, and the Cardiff supershow taking place 30 years on from what remains one of WWE’s biggest ever shows was for some a fateful and important moment in the flagging relationship between the company and this side of the Atlantic ocean. Triple H himself once called the ’92 show a commercial failure, live attendances aren’t what they were, NXT UK’s been a bust – now confirmed as such by the removal of half the roster just weeks before this event – and Drew McIntyre hasn’t been booked in such a way that he feels like a credible contender for Roman Reigns in the main event.
In the face of these potential obstacles en route, the most unlikely of events occurred. Vince McMahon’s removal from power shifted the conversation to a broadly pro-WWE one for the first time in forever, and “The SummerSlam you thought you’d never see” turned out to be this year’s edition instead of he Hart/Bulldog-headlined classic.
The build to this show was filled with near-unanimous positivity and a card to be viewed with optimism rather than a Saudi Arabian house show-adjacent sheen.
Will the company pay off all the good will?
The first egregious error of the Triple H booking regime took place at SummerSlam, and the rotten position Liv Morgan’s found herself in ever since will continue here as she loses the title to her other rival’s best mate.
Shayna Baszler’s been instantly reheated thanks to a committed new push from her former NXT boss, whilst Morgan’s banana skin win over Ronda Rousey at ‘The Biggest Party Of The Summer’ has resulted in the once-beloved SmackDown Women’s Champion losing just about all of her good will with a crowd that had previously helped guide her the title in the first place.
The doomed experiment ends in Wales – pushed with the same conviction as she was back at Elimination Chamber 2020, ‘The Queen Of Spades’ and former black-and-gold brand boss will make an excellent titleholder and friend-turned-enemy for Rousey whenever her kayfabe suspension is eventually no longer an obstacle between the two.
Winner – Shayna Baszler