Keep or Scrap Clash at the Castle

Keep or Scrap: Clash at the Castle Scotland

Read Time:5 Minute, 53 Second

Clash at the Castle: Scotland has come and gone. Similar to most PLE’s put on by WWE nowadays, wasn’t a show of great length, but packed a good amount of quality into a concise package. Only 5 matches were slotted to take place, all 5 matches being for championship gold and most involved an array of rising Scottish talent.

Scotland’s first PLE ever started big, closed big, and peaked in the middle as it expanded on arguably the strongest story going for the company at the moment. A night of ups and downs, twists and a major return, there is plenty to pick apart from WWE’s first PLE out of Scotland.

Let’s take a look at what we would Keep or Scrap for the 2024 edition of Clash at the Castle.

Keep: Sami Zayn & Chad Gable put on a clinic

Sami Zayn’s rematch with Chad Gable on Saturday wasn’t the 5-star masterpiece many would likely come to expect. What it demonstrated is excellence at the basics of telling an effective wrestling story inside the ring.

Every move, twist, turn and near fall was executed brilliantly from top to bottom. Sami Zayn is the ever-resilient babyface champion who stands up for those being undermined in the form of Otis. Chad Gable’s descent into an even darker version of his already excellent heel character is money.

It was wrestling melodrama at its best and didn’t skip out on genuinely great in-ring work either. Their previous clashes on Monday Night Raw edged this one out for me. But, this time the story did lean toward Gable losing himself alongside his stablemates.

Otis, however, was the star of this match. He has shown us the best character work from him in years. It was also the single loudest pop of the night outside of Cody Rhodes’ entrance. What will follow this feels like must-watch television. It could become the defining chapter in Chad Gable’s career as he evolves into something truly special…

Scrap: Cody Rhodes reuniting with The Bloodline

Following his I Quit match against AJ Styles, WWE Champion Cody Rhodes was reunited with a familiar foe. The sudden emergence of Solo Sikoa, Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa aimed to set up what is Cody’s next obstacle as champion.

In theory, this match is everything. It further established the presence of Solo Sikoa as a credible threat to WWE’s bigger stars. It also reunites Cody with the stable he’s spent the last 18 months in battle against. The issue here lies with the company’s booking of Solo as a heel over the past year. While their post-WrestleMania strategy of adding new layers to Solo has been successful, this feels like a story better left for a few months from now.

Solo is early into his growth as a star emerging from the shadow of Roman Reigns, to properly warrant him the position as a threat to the champion isn’t something that can happen in a matter of weeks. WWE’s past insistence on having The Bloodline’s second-in-command suffer endless losses alongside a handful of meaningless victories needs time to remedy.

While I’m sure this will build to an eventual rematch between Cody Rhodes and Roman Reigns, it’s something best left until a later date.

Keep: Hometown Triumphs

One WWE trope that has been done to death is a hometown hero losing when the stakes are high for the sake of a heel act getting over. Something this show was no stranger to…

In light of this, seeing Isla Dawn & Alba Fyre stamp the biggest achievement in their wrestling careers to date in front of their home country was a sight to see. A genuine, feel-good moment that was necessary considering how the remainder of this show played out. Not only was the victory deserved, but followed a solid contest that seems overshadowed by an unfortunate botch from Jade Cargill.

The Unholy Union got their moment. It was arguably the only match involving hometown talent on this card where this could have worked. Both Drew McIntyre and Piper Niven were placed into positions carrying more complexity regarding long-term booking. But seeing Scotland’s own climb atop of the growing women’s tag team division was an easy high point for the show.

Scrap: Minimalistic Production Design

Any criticism here doesn’t apply exclusively to Clash at the Castle. It applies to any PLE outside of WrestleMania, King of the Ring, or Elimination Chamber earlier this year.

WWE’s production have undergone a significant overhaul as of late. Following the TKO merger, they have gone the route of mimicking a vibe closer to that of the UFC. It’s a minimalistic approach toning down the extravagant stage setup of old. While there might be justifiable reasons for these changes from a production standpoint, things felt even further bogged down. Especialy in their return to the UK compared to previous years.

Both Money in the Bank in 2023 and Clash at the Castle in 2022 encapsulated things in a way that wasn’t overly inflated with their production. But it still nailed that sense of spectacle shows like this should embody. Particularly, for an international audience whose ticket prices were amongst the highest I’d ever seen.

Clash at the Castle: Glasgow was a solid show. It, at times, lacked the aura necessary to truly make things feel what WWE has always been about… Larger-than-life characters performing larger-than-life acts of artistic violence. I don’t see this as an aspect that will change anytime soon. But, it’s a gripe I find myself consistently coming back to with each passing PLE.

Keep: Damian Priest & Drew McIntyre tear it up

Clash of the Castle’s main event took a little bit of time to find its footing. But once it did, it turned into a great hoss fight between the reigning champion and hometown hero.

Drew McIntyre showed why he’s not just one of the top stars in the company today… He’s worthy of headlining any major card. Damian Priest though, has continued to exceed even my expectations. His championship reign has been incredibly entertaining. Following in the footsteps of Seth Rollins is a high bar to follow. The former NXT alumni are officially stars in their own right and put on a show on Saturday night.

It was a physical contest packed with big moves and near falls. Damian Priest also toughed it through what might be the nastiest botch seen in a very long time, getting his ankle tangled on the top rope. The outcome is up for debate. Some will argue that McIntyre deserves his big hometown moment considering how his last outing against Roman Reigns went. Others think it serves the ultimate escalation in an already diabolical program between Drew McIntyre & CM Punk.

Certainly not a match without controversy. But, it’s one that was more than fitting to headline such a show and a firm reminder of how far WWE has come in establishing a new wave of stars to ride off of.

About Post Author

Mishal Shuhaiber

A marketeer, aspiring athlete with current aspirations in BJJ & professional wrestling journalist. I was born and raised in the Middle East before moving to the UK to pursue my goals.
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