WWE's Clash at the Castle: meet the fans who travelled from around the world to Cardiff

More than 62,000 people attended the WWE's first major UK stadium event in 30 years

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There was a buzz in the air at Cardiff's Principality Stadium on Saturday.

Fans from the UK had waited a long time for the return of the WWE. The last time the wrestling company was in the country for a major stadium event was 1992’s SummerSlam, while the last pay-per-view was 2003’s Insurrextion, which was broadcast only in the UK.

For Clash at the Castle, fans made a statement by turning up en masse, with an official attendance of 62,296 announced for the event.

Nick Lansdowne and Geoffrey Easton came from London and Cambridge to attend Clash at the Castle, wearing T-shirts of Bret “The Hitman” Hart, one of their favourite wrestlers. The two attended a signing the WWE Hall of Famer was doing in the city earlier in the day.

Meanwhile, Ali Haidar, a French YouTuber who vlogs about wrestling, came from Strasbourg, France with his friends. They travelled 10 hours, stretched over three train trips, to get to Wales.

“Today is a historical event for us. It's been more than 30 years that the WWE hasn't done a pay-per-view in a stadium show in Europe. So, when you're a wrestling fan, you have to be here,” said Haidar.

He isn’t the only one who travelled the distance. Victor Exposito Cato, 29, and Ismael Petrone, 27, journeyed all the way from Mexico City to Barcelona, where they stayed for a week, before heading to Bristol and then Cardiff.

“We love wrestling. Wrestling is a really important part in my life since I was 8 years old. And this is my first pay-per-view,” says Cato. “I've also seen shows in Spain and Mexico. And I think this is so huge, so big and it's amazing to see different people from all countries. I think wrestling and the WWE bring all cultures together.”

Those who lived closer to Cardiff were equally as excited about the event. Alistair Hamilton, 28, from Wales, attended with his mum. Dressed as “Macho Man” Randy Savage, he said that he was initially surprised to hear the news of the event being held in Cardiff but was happy with the choice.

“I didn't think that Cardiff would be the first choice for a big, big scale pay-per-view. They usually go to London or Glasgow or Manchester." As someone who spends most of his time in Wales and Bristol, he was thrilled to hear the event would be held in Cardiff. "It's kind of in the middle, which meant I could meet family here, so I was really really excited,” he says.

Others who decided to come down from London included Heather Scheftel, 42, and Lorraine Mullings, 41. Scheftel, who is from the US, said the event brought back memories of when she was a child, and the nostalgia factor was enough to compel her to buy tickets, although she admitted to not watching as much wrestling as she once did.

Heather Scheftel, 42, and Lorraine Mullings, 41, outside of Principality Stadium ahead of 'Clash at the Castle' in Cardiff. Evelyn Lau / The National

“I grew up watching what was then WWF, now WWE, in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. It was something that I got into with my dad and brother and we used to go see it when we came to town live,” she said.

“Children under 4 were free so my dad would pick up my brother put him on his shoulders, scrunched down. It was just a different time and there was so much nostalgia, and I saw just on TV this was coming. I was like, you know, I haven't been to wrestling since I was a kid.”

Scroll through images of fans watching WWE in Saudi Arabia below:

Updated: September 04, 2022, 4:28 PM
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