Saturday September 3rd saw WWE host the Clash at the Castle at The Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. This was the first UK televised stadium show that WWE have presented in over 30 years, with the previous event being SummerSlam 1992 taking place at Wembley Stadium in London on August 29th and airing on August 31st.
This was also the first ever televised WWE event that I have attended. I have previously been to 2 NXT house shows at Download Festival in 2016 and a SmackDown Live Event in Nottingham in 2017. While the previous events were in a festival tent and small arena respectively, attending Clash at the Castle was on a completely different level. Here are my experiences of attending WWE Clash at the Castle.
Cardiff Welcomes WWE:
Despite the popularity, wrestling has frequently lived in its own bubble amongst UK fans. It is barely mentioned in mainstream media and most host cities seem to try and ignore it until it goes away the following day. Credit to Cardiff, they embraced the event and every street had some form of poster, flag or banner up to promote the event. Staff at every establishment that we visited seemed happy to see us and everyone was extremely helpful.
The Fans Take Over:
Whenever any big sporting event or concert comes to a city there can be a sense of anxiety as to what over 60,000 people in one place might do. Thankfully, this was a very positive experience walking through Cardiff to get to the stadium. Multiple Woo-ing, fans dressed up and [safe] impromptu matches were all taking place in the street. Where else would you see people lining up to get hit with a steel chair? I have also never been to an event and seen so many fans in official merchandise. Not just t-shirts, but jewellery, replica belts and a long list of accessories.
Getting To Our Seats:
The doors opened at 3pm, 3 hours before the show officially started. From our seats we were the same side as the main camera films but higher up than was what was seen on TV. While the superstars could be seen in the ring, multiple big screens showed the action throughout the show so that everyone in the arena could see what was going on. The tickets cost approximately £40 each, with the price increasing as seats got closer to the ring. Some floor seats were more than £1,000 each, which did include a commemorative chair.
A DJ played up until around 5pm, with there being plenty of time to get food, drink and merchandise. This may only be the section we were sitting in, but sound quality was an issue throughout the night. Both entrance music and microphones could not be heard clearly from where we were sat.
UK fans are known for being loud and passionate for WWE Events, and the Cardiff crowd did not disappoint. Watching the show back on the WWE Network, the fans can be heard chanting throughout the night and the superstars at times in awe at the responses they were getting from the WWE Universe.
The show ran approximately 3 and a half hours, with 6 matches taking place on the card. A bonus pre-show match was put on for the live crowd in attendance, with Austin Theory and Alpha Academy losing to Madcap Moss and The Street profits.
The main card results were as follows:
- Bayley, IYO SKY and Dakota Kai defeated Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss and Asuka
- Gunther defeated Sheamus to retain the Intercontinental Championship
- Liv Morgan defeated Shayna Baszler to retain the SmackDown Women’s Championship
- Edge and Rey Mysterio defeated Finn Balor and Damian Priest – Dominik Mysterio would turn on Edge and Rey
- Seth Rollins defeated Matt Riddle
- Roman Reigns would defeat Drew McIntyre to retain the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. After the match, Tyson Fury and Drew McIntyre would sing in the ring together.
Most fans around us were understandably a bit deflated at the result of the main event, as many had predicted this would be Drew’s crowning moment in his home country. Others also seemed annoyed that no major surprise appearances or returns happened, and all titles were successfully defended. However, WWE did deliver exactly what was advertised and despite people expecting a Bray Wyatt or Braun Strowman return, it was never teased by WWE that this would be taking place.
WWE also acknowledged the history of WWE in the UK by showing SummerSlam main eventer Bret Hart in the crowd and British wrestling Legends Adrian Street and Miss Linda, with all 3 receiving a great reaction from the UK crowd. Boxing star Tyson Fury was also present at the event, preventing Austin Theory from cashing in the Money in the Bank contract by delivering a knockout blow to the WWE Superstar.
I feel that what will be most remembered from Clash at the Castle is the hot UK crowd. Whether it was singing Edge’s theme song in full, chanting like a choir to Seth Rollins or the deafening ‘Oh Drew McIntyre’ chants heard inside the Principality Stadium. WWE have not confirmed when the next UK Premium Live Event will be, but it won’t be the last.