Monday, October 3, 2022

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Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre

Clash at the Castle is Triple H’s chance to put his foot on the gas pedal of WWE’s creative.

While tweaks and adds to SummerSlam certainly made it a memorable show, a large portion of that card had been booked by Vince McMahon. It will be interesting to see how Triple H advances a number of big stories with his hand fully on the wheel of WWE’s first stadium show in the United Kingdom since SummerSlam 1992. That’s even more so when for the first time it feels like there is even the slimmest of chances Roman Reigns’ two-years as champion comes to an end when he faces the Scotsman Drew McIntyre in the main event.

Post pro wrestling columnist Joseph Staszewski tries to predict how it will all go down from Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales on Saturday (1 p.m., Peacock) .

Damian Priest and Finn Balor over Edge and Rey Mysterio

Dominik Mysterio’s loyalty to his father, Rey, his trust in Edge and his being tormented by Rhea Ripley really is the crux of this storyline and it feels like we are just getting started with it. There is also the feeling Beth Phoenix will need a reason to jump into this story as well. Hard to see any of that advancing without a Judgement Day win. I’m not sure if we see Dominik turn here, but he will have a negative impact on the outcome after Rey asked him to be in their corner.    

Gunther (c) over Sheamus (Intercontinental championship)

Man, this has a chance to be a fun physical war with probably some red chests and bruises. This is such a cool opportunity for the Irishman Sheamus, who is a heel but works perfectly here because of the show’s UK location and the chance to become a Grand Slam champion in WWE. Sadly for him, that won’t happen as the company has bigger plans for Gunther and has already laid the groundwork for him to feud with a true babyface Ricochet next.  

Seth Rollins over Matt Riddle

This has become the show’s second most anticipated match after Rollins brought up Riddle’s real-life divorce during a promo on “Monday Night Raw”, bringing out a vicious and angry side we rarely get from the Original Bro. This is now a fight more than a match. With the flames stokes around this feud and not much else for these two to do, who figure WWE will want to push this to Extreme Rules in October. Riddle’s anger is the perfect vehicle for a DQ finish that sets up a match with a stipulation later on.

Bayley, Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai over Bianca Belair, Asuka and Alexa Bliss

Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai already have one loss on their ledger after falling to Raquel Rodriguez and Aliyah – though maybe not fairly – in the final of the women’s tag team championship tournament. This will also be Bayley’s second match since returning and you don’t want to take the heat from your heels to early. This to me it about setting up Bianca Belair’s next challenger, which will likely be Bayley, Alexa Bliss or both, so that doesn’t bode well for the babyfaces winning here.

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Liv Morgan (c) over Shayna Baszler (SmackDown Women’s championship)

Liv Morgan will find a way to overcome the odds. That seems to be the story being told around the SmackDown women’s champion. It’s why they have given her an arm injury to overcome and put her against a physically punishing opponent such as Baszler, whose friend and former champion Ronda Rousey is still a big part of this. Morgan will escape with a win and then get a brutal beatdown from Rousey and Baszler, who have been teaming up on live events for much of August.

Roman Reigns (c) over Drew McIntyre (Undisputed WWE Universal championship)

While the setting and some of the hype videos would create an absolute storybook ending for McIntyre should he win, and he has the credibility to do so, the rest of the story doesn’t seem ready for it. One, you’d assume The Usos will lose the undisputed tag titles before Reigns loses his. Two, Karrion Kross has been stalking McIntyre and most of his promos have been directed toward the Scotsman. Kross ripping the title dream from McIntyre and leaving a clash with Reigns in the future would make a ton of sense here. The threat of an Austin Theory cash-in also looms, but don’t think that happens until his feud with Johnny Gargano really gets going.   

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