In an instant classic for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship, Roman Reigns outlasted Drew McIntyre on Saturday before more than 60,000 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
"The Tribal Chief" needed three spears, two Superman Punches, two guillotines and even the help of a new member of The Bloodline, Solo Sikoa, who intervened late in the match to help Roman secure the win.
Sikoa, who performs on NXT, is the younger brother of Reigns' cousins, the tag-team champion Usos. The Usos weren't on hand for WWE's first stadium show in the U.K. since SummerSlam '92, and neither was Paul Heyman, but Sikoa debuted to attack McIntyre, who was attempting to end Roman's two-year run as champion with a third Claymore.
The interference helped Reigns connect with a third spear to deny McIntyre, who hails from Scotland, the chance to win the titles in front of his hometown fans.
Heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury consoled McIntyre and led the crowd in a rendition of his trademark cover of "American Pie." But that wasn't all for "The Gypsy King."
With Reigns and McIntyre incapacitated after a Claymore took out Roman and the referee, Austin Theory sprinted to the ring to cash his Money in the Bank briefcase. Before a second referee could ring the bell, Fury connected with a big right hand that left Theory knocked out in a heap.
Besides Sikoa and Fury, Karrion Kross also made his presence known early in the match after he tossed a water bottle at McIntyre. "The Scottish Warrior" was in control, but the distraction allowed Reigns to grab the upper hand after he ran McIntyre into the turnbuckle post, which led to a nine count. They took turns, back and forth, attempting a suplex before Roman finally dropped McIntyre with a series of strikes. Reigns then told the crowd to "Acknowledge Me" before McIntyre connected with the first of many Glasgow Kisses.
The big men traded punches before McIntyre delivered a pair of belly-to-belly suplexes followed by a neck breaker. A spinebuster and a jackknife cover led to a two count before Roman stormed back.
He hit McIntyre with a Uranage but Drew responded with the Future Shock DDT. A Claymore attempt was answered with a Superman Punch, and Roman went for the spear but Drew countered with a kick to the face.
Roman hit the spear anyway for the first near-fall of the match. Unable to secure the pinfall, Reigns went for a submission with the guillotine, but McIntyre escaped by driving Roman into the turnbuckle. A second guillotine was locked in, but McIntyre sent Reigns to the outside this time. That's when all hell broke loose. McIntyre sent Reigns through the barricade with a spear of his own, followed by a Claymore attempt inside the ring, but Roman replied with a second spear. Yet again, McIntyre kicked out, whipping the shocked crowd into a frenzy. Roman lost his focus and argued with the ref regarding the count, allowing McIntyre to capitalize with the Claymore that took them all out. Reigns attempted a chair shot with the referee knocked out, but McIntyre connected on a second Claymore. After Roman kicked out, they exchanged punches again, and Roman snuck in a Superman Punch, but McIntyre fired back with a Glasgow Kiss and another spear. A second Claymore connected, too, and it appeared McIntyre was poised to wrest both belts from Roman before the champion's cousin interfered.
What's next for Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre? We keep asking who can dethrone Reigns, and it all points to the possible return of Cody Rhodes, and if not Rhodes, whoever wins the Royal Rumble in January. The addition of Solo Sikoa to The Bloodline helps set up several opportunities, namely the slow burn of Sami Zayn's "honorary" status being revoked and Solo's proper ascension, giving a Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn vs. Usos tag feud.
As for Drew McIntyre, where exactly does he go? He's still the biggest face not named Cody Rhodes right now, but he can go at Reigns again at Extreme Rules given their epic match in Cardiff. Then again, he still has an issue with Karrion Kross to settle after Kross once more interjected during Saturday's title match.
Clash at the Castle results
Seth Rollins def. Matt Riddle
In a fantastic match that lived up to the hype, Seth "Freakin'" Rollins defeated Matt Riddle with a pair of Stomps, the final finisher delivered from the second rope.
They maintained a frenetic pace throughout, following a build-up that felt personal. During the match, Rollins referenced Riddle's real-life divorce, saying, "This is why she left you, these people know it and your kids know it. You're a loser."
The comment set off Riddle, who allowed his emotions to get the better of him. He attempted a chair shot with Rollins on the announce table but missed, leading to the pair of stomps that ended matters.
The disrespect wasn't contained to just remarks, as Rollins stole two of Riddle's moves: the Bro Derek, and his partner Randy Orton's draping DDT. Rollins attempted an RKO, but Riddle reversed the maneuver into a rear-naked choke.
Rollins kicked off the action with a Barricade Bomb and later a suicide dive. He attempted an inverted superplex but settled for a two-footed stomp with Riddle in the Tree of Woe.
"The Visionary" later connected with a superplex and rolled through for the Falcon Arrow, but Riddle countered with the Fisherman's Buster and then a Floating Bro to the outside.
A pedigree attempt was reversed as Riddle hit the Bro to Sleep. Riddle later delivered a deadlift German Suplex and attempted the Bro Derek, but this time, Rollins nailed the Pedigree.
What's next for Seth Rollins? This feud will no doubt proceed with a rematch at Extreme Rules next month, where Riddle will look to exact revenge. The very personal program between two of the best workers on the roster is just getting started.
Edge and Rey Mysterio def. The Judgment Day
Edge and Rey Mysterio reunited to defeat The Judgment Day, but the real story was Dominik Mysterio's heel turn that's been teased for weeks. After Rey Mysterio connected with a 619 on Finn Balor, followed by a spear from Edge for the three-count, the team celebrated before Dominik hit Edge with a low-blow kick along with a clothesline to his father.
Just moments earlier, Dominik aided his father and Edge from the outside. He distracted the referee as Finn Balor attempted to finish matters with a Coup De Grace on Edge, allowing Rey to connect with a hurricanrana from the top turnbuckle.
Then, Dominik grabbed Balor's boot as he attempted a plancha to the outside. Rhea Ripley finally intervened to continue her weeks long attack on Dominik, only for Rey to break it up with a suicide dive.
Other highlights included an Edge suicide spear on Damien Priest to the outside and a 619 attempt from "The Rated R Superstar" on Balor that didn't quite go as planned.
Now, it appears Dominik has joined The Judgment Day to add a new layer to the feud.
What's next for Edge and The Mysterios? Whether it's a single match or Edge remains involved, the program will proceed with Dominik Mysterio on the opposite side of his father for the first time. Edge has been feuding with The Judgment Day for months, so he could use something fresh while the focus turns to the Mysterios. -- Coppinger
WWE SmackDown Women's Championship: Liv Morgan (c) def. Shayna Baszler
Rousey's storyline left Morgan with an injured left arm, and Baszler went to work on it with plenty of stiff strikes and submission moves.
Morgan was able to turn the tables on the left-arm attack eventually. She hoisted Baszler on the turnbuckle and hammered her arm, followed by a running powerbomb from the second rope.
Baszler tossed Morgan in the Kirifuda Clutch but could not sustain it with her damaged left arm. She transitioned to an arm bar, but a rope break saved Morgan.
The former MMA fighter locked in the Kirifuda Clutch a second time, but Morgan escaped and connected with a Codebreaker, followed by ObLIVion for the pinfall victory.
What's next for Liv Morgan? Morgan will find a new challenger for her championship, perhaps a returning Charlotte Flair, who's been out of action since WrestleMania Backlash in May. Baszler challenged for a title for the first time in over 900 days, and this felt like a filler feud for Morgan. -- Coppinger
Intercontinental Championship: Gunther (c) def. Sheamus
It was promised to be one of the hardest-hitting Intercontinental title matches ever between Gunther and Sheamus. In the end, the Ring General added to his collection of title defenses with a 20-minute war to retain his title.
Gunther told Sheamus he would chop him down until he was red and the Intercontinental champion delivered his promise with several open-palm and knife-edged chops to the chest, turning Sheamus a bright red. However, Sheamus' chase for the one major title he's never held in WWE pushed him to new levels, delivering his Beats of the Belfast chest slaps from atop the announce table, from the ring apron and even in the crowd.
After targeting Sheamus' back with a powerbomb, Gunther wanted a splash from the top, but instead, Sheamus countered, delivering a Celtic Cross but only for a count of two. When it looked like he would take the IC title with a Brogue Kick, Sheamus' back wouldn't give, leading to a second powerbomb from Gunther and a lariat which would make Stan Hansen proud for the three-count. After the match, the Cardiff crowd gave Sheamus a well-deserved standing ovation.
What's next for Gunther? The longest-reigning WWE UK Champion of all time now has his stable back as Imperium reunited to combat the Brawling Brutes. Gunther has a solid amount of potential challengers, but with Imperium returning, the reunion offers not only a new wrinkle in the Smackdown tag division, but it also gives way to the real possibility of Imperium vs. The Bloodline. -- Caldwell
Bayley, Dakota Kai and IYO Sky def. Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss and Asuka
The trio of Damage Control announced themselves as a force at SummerSlam. They solidified themselves at Clash At The Castle with a hard-fought win over Asuka, Bianca Belair and Alexa Bliss.
At times, neither team could obtain a significant advantage, even after Asuka and Bliss delivered a tandem superplex to the WWE's "Role Model" while standing on Belair's back. Once left solo with Dakota Kai, the Raw Women's champ went into power mode, hitting her smaller opponent with a military press and a powerbomb. However, the burst of dominance from Belair wouldn't last for long as Bayley caught Belair in the corner and held her braid, giving Kai time to nail a Scorpion Kick, followed by a Rose Plant by Bayley and Sky delivering her signature moonsault. Bayley then stacked up Belair for the three count.
What's next for Bayley, Dakota Kai and IYO Sky? Damage Control firmly asserts itself as a definitive stable in WWE with an early signature win. IYO and Dakota are likely gunning after the Women's Tag Titles. Meanwhile, Bayley probably gives Bianca her next big test for the RAW Women's title, but don't be surprised if Asuka or Alexa call for their 1-on-1 matches with Belair. -- Caldwell
The NEW UFC Welterweight champion is in the building
Madcap Moss and The Street Profits def. Austin Theory and Alpha Academy
In the intro to Clash At The Castle, The Street Profits and Madcap Moss made their trip to Cardiff memorable with a win over Austin Theory and Alpha Academy.
The Profits and Alpha Academy have had several in-ring encounters in recent weeks, including one on a recent episode of Monday Night Raw with WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle. After a series of high-impact moves by both teams, Ford got everyone in Cardiff on their feet as he turned his usual somersault plancha into a Blockbuster neckbreaker on Gable, wiping out both Otis and Theory before delivering his From the Heavens frog splash for the victory.
What's next for Moss and The Street Profits? It's unclear where the Profits are headed, even as Michael Cole alluded to whispers of Ford's singles push but they're mainstays in the RAW tag division. For Moss, another high profile win should slot him for an Intercontinental title feud in the future. -- Caldwell