After a 30-year wait, WWE returned to the UK for its first major stadium event with Clash at the Castle in Cardiff, Wales on Saturday. The major pay-per-view had an announced crowd of 62,296 with fans coming from around the world. The National was in attendance for the big weekend, as well as the event itself. Here are five noteworthy things that happened:
WWE fans take to Cardiff
The capital city was more than ready to host the WWE with plenty of weekend festivities for fans, including pop-up installations, a superstore and fan signings. Fans travelled from as far as Mexico City and France for the event. There was a number of things to do, including attending the Undertaker’s one-man show in which the retired wrestler took questions from fans discussing his career.
Meanwhile, the WWE superstore, which was located in St David's Dewi Sant shopping centre, was almost entirely sold out of merchandise ahead of the event, with fans needing to queue in massive lines just to get in.
Special Olympics Great Britain partnership
Ahead of Clash at the Castle, the WWE took part in a Special Olympics basketball game at the Sport Wales National Centre. WWE Superstars Drew McIntyre, Liv Morgan, Rhea Ripley and Butch were honorary coaches for the event, held with Special Olympics Wales athletes, to promote inclusion and empowerment.
The hour-long event had the wrestlers facing one another on opposing teams in a friendly game. There were a couple of sweet moments from it, including McIntyre talking to a young person of determination while on the bench during a break and Morgan giving her Women’s SmackDown Championship title to a young fan to hold after the game.
The knitted wool jumper and title belt
WWE fan Charlotte Peacock, who owns Twin Made in Cardiff, along with nine other knitters had the task of creating a specially knitted wool jumper and title belt for the event. The result was a beautifully crafted piece that paid homage to Wales, including allusions to the country’s flag, dragons, the castle and Welsh spoon.
“The belt came along with a jumper. So we started with the jumper and then they were like, ‘we want the title as well’. So [we] obviously had to say yes, the title came about really quickly. And it was just a couple of us working on that,” says Peacock.
“The jumper was a lot more work because we had to design it and then the pattern for the knitters to then do. The title we knocked out in like eight hours. We watched a couple of like documentaries, [and] got it done. The knitted jumper took about 160 hours.”
After the pay-per-view event, it will be on display at the National Wool Museum in Felindre, Wales.
WWE fans in the UK love to sing
The energy displayed during the nearly four-hour pay-per-view was surreal. Throughout the match card, there were plenty of chants and singalongs. From serenading Bayley with DJ Otzi’s Hey Baby to the “who are ya” chants to Roman Reigns during the main event, there was plenty of noise from the lively crowd.
However, one of the most impressive scenes of the night came from the more than 60,000 people who sang along to Edge’s theme song Metalingus by Alter Bridge for nearly a minute as the Hall of Famer came out for his tag-team match with Rey Mysterio against Judgement Day.
A new era under Triple H
Clash at the Castle has already been praised by many fans for its strong booking and storytelling. It was one of the first major events under the direction of Paul “Triple H” Levesque, executive vice president of talent relations, head of creative and chief content officer for WWE. Part of this new vision seems to include doing live-streamed post-event press conferences.
Journalists and media were asked to attend right after the final match finished, with talents such as Reigns, McIntyre, Seth Rollins, Gunter, Liv Morgan and Levesque in attendance answering questions — a format more commonly seen in other promotions, such as All Elite Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling. This is the first time that the WWE has done such a thing, with many saying that it offers a more authentic feel and asking for it to be repeated in future events.
Scroll through images of fans arriving in Cardiff for Clash at the Castle below