The next WWE PLE will be emanating from Glasgow, Scotland and is notable for being the first major WWE event to take place in Scotland. This event itself even happening is historic, as it appears that this all but makes Clash at the Castle a recurring UK event on the WWE calendar  

Traditionally, in the months following Wrestlemania, WWE tends to see a bit of a dip in quality. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just a consequence of the format, as the enormous stories going into Wrestlemania resolve themselves and we basically start a new “season.” The shows between ‘Mania and Money in the Bank are usually seen as filler or building block shows, but with new management at the helm, they will use every ounce of screentime to help tell all these stories.

But who is throwing down this go ‘round, in the second ever Clash at the Castle event? The Beat’s got the skinny on just why these angry guys and gals will be grappling in Glasgow. WWE Clash at the Castle: Scotland will be streaming on Peakock+ and WWE Network depending on your region on Saturday, June 15 at 2pm eastern time.

World Heavyweight Championship

~The Judgment Day are banned from ringside~

Damian Priest (c) vs. Drew McIntyre

In the opening match of Wrestlemania 40 Night 2, Drew McIntyre successfully vanquished established World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins to win his first world title in the company with fans present. However, Seth Rollins was not the only man on Drew’s mind that night. The other man living rent free in his brain was one CM Punk, who made his shocking return to WWE in November. Punk was trying to finally get his Wrestlemania main event, but was injured in the Royal Rumble by a move from McIntyre. 

This led to weeks of McIntyre spitting lemons in Punk’s injury, though the infamously vocal Punk would shoot right back. This would make McIntyre the #1 hater of CM Punk in the world, a list that isn’t short. That hatred of Punk would consume McIntyre as he raised his new World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania, where an injured Punk would strike McIntyre flush with an arm brace. This left McIntyre at the mercy of Senor Money in the Bank, Damian Priest, who picked his spot and became the second man to successfully cash in his briefcase at Wrestlemania. 

In May, McIntyre would take some time and heal up his own injuries, when Damian Priest promised McIntyre a championship match when he was medically cleared. At King and Queen of the Ring, McIntyre was announced cleared and would get his shot in his home country of Scotland and Clash at the Castle. 

This match is technically heel vs. heel, however there’s no way Glasgow is going to boo McIntyre. He will have an entire stadium and nation of support versus Priest who has had a solid title reign in his own right, but the sooner the World Heavyweight Championship gets transferred to the pending McIntyre/ CM Punk feud, perhaps the better.

This isn’t a dig at Priest, either. He and his faction the Judgment Day were all set up for an entire new year of dominance after Priest won the big gold belt. Paired with Rhea Ripley’s utterly dominant Women’s World Championship reign continuing, Judgement Day was all set…only for Rhea to get injured badly enough that she had to vacate the title. 

With Rhea, the central character of the Judgment Day and their de facto leader, on the bench, the stable has seemingly been falling apart. Largely because not only can Priest never seem to get on the same page as his boys, but new Women’s World Champion Liv Morgan has been trying to worm her way into the group via femme fatale tactics and Dominik Mysterio’s pants.

All that to say Priest is unfortunately playing not only third-wheel to the McIntyre/Punk story, but is also the member of his own stable with the least compelling story. Even Rhea, who has not appeared on TV since her injury, is made infinitely more compelling due to her anticipated reaction to Liv’s moves on the group and specifically Dom. Oh, and the rest of the Judgment Day are banned from ringside for the match thanks to McIntyre’s victory this past RAW.

What this all leads to is an extremely interesting main event because despite all of what I just listed, it could still go either way. Priest hasn’t been the most compelling character, but that just means he still has lots of room he could grow throughout the course of his title reign. That being said, I also find it incredibly difficult for WWE (or specifically a non-Vince influenced WWE) to have McIntyre walk out of the UK with his heart broken again after doing so at the first Clash at the Castle that was the spark for Drew’s current heel run as it is. It would be too good of a full-circle moment to have McIntyre a) definitively win a world title in front of fans and b) gain redemption by doing it in front of his home crowd.

There is also a caveat here for interference on behalf of Priest – the Judgment Day is defined as Finn Balor, JD McDonagh, and Dom Mysterio. This doesn’t seem to count mercenaries like Carlito (or R-Truth lol), who have done work for Judgment Day but aren’t officially in the group. Carlito could still show up…as could one definitely not in the Judgment Day fella named CM Punk.   

Undisputed WWE Championship*

~I Quit Match~

Cody Rhodes (c) vs. AJ Styles

At Wrestlemania 40, Cody Rhodes finally finished his story and became WWE Champion. His first PLE/PPV title defense was against a resurgent AJ Styles, where Cody was successful. Styles would meet with Smackdown GM Nick Aldis in late May to ask for a rematch, mentioning that he might not have much time left in his career. Aldis told Styles he’d have to earn it.

Then the next week, on the May 31 Smackdown, Styles did an entire emotional song and dance perfected years before by Mark Henry and seemingly announced his retirement…only for the whole thing to be a ruse and he used the opportunity to viciously attacking Cody Rhodes, including a Styles Clash off the ring steps to the floor. With this provocation, Cody played right into Styles’s plan and gave him a title rematch – however, this time it would be under I Quit rules, where the first man to utter those devastating words will lose the match.

There isn’t a chance in the world Cody loses here; there’s still so much life in his title reign and he hasn’t even scratched the surface of what he can do as the face of the company. One allure of this match, however, has more to do with WWE’s cool new working relationship with TNA. While so far it seems restricted to NXT, but after TNA Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace challenged NXT Women’s Champion Roxanne Perez and Cody himself teasing even more forbidden doors being opened, there haven’t exactly been limits set on what can happen. AJ Styles was “Mr. TNA” following his run in the company from 2002-2013 and there’s speculation that Styles could win the title and do some kind of cross promotional shenanigans with TNA, especially with TNA’s Slammiverary right around the corner.

This is, of course, pure fan theory stuff that has no real source besides hope and imagination. I myself have great hopes AJ will show back up in TNA with this new talent exchange, but he isn’t doing it with the WWE Championship. 

The story of this match will mostly be seeing how Cody is booked during. This match type is built for a face-of-the-company level talent to establish the “never say die” attitude and Cody Rhodes, who may I remind you competed in a Hell in a Cell match with his pec torn completely off the bone without a second thought, is not going to legitimately say I quit. However, it is to be seen if Cody gets the “Superman”-esque booking that someone like John Cena would have in this scenario a decade ago. That kind of storytelling could start punching holes in the Cody Rhodes as “The Man” balloon.

*Right, so the current name of this belt doesn’t make any sense. It can only be “Undisputed” if there aren’t any other titles on its same level in the company, which clearly the World Heavyweight Championship is. The name is a holdover from when the WWE Championship and the WWE Universal Championships were unified, but things were made complicated; WWE wanted to tout Roman Reigns as the longest reigning champion of the modern era with his Universal Championship reign, but they also didn’t want to do away with the incredibly prestigious lineage of the WWE Championship. 

The compromise was a belt that represented both lineages, only to have the Universal Championship lineage quietly retired after Rhodes won the belt. However, they still haven’t dropped the “Undisputed” part of the name, even after the introduction of the World Heavyweight Championship last year. This is also a pretty irrelevant detail overall, but hey, I wouldn’t be doing this properly if I didn’t at least mention the asinine. 

WWE Women’s Championship

Bayley (c) vs. Piper Niven (w/Chelsea Green)

Insulted by being overlooked during the Queen of the Ring tournament, Piper Niven and her raging Karen of a tag partner, Chelsea Green, made disparaging remarks towards active champion Bayley. After some provocation, Bayley would defeat Green in one-on-one action, but she and Niven would have their say by winning a tag match later. Niven was named as Bayley’s #1 contender for Clash at the Castle.

A fairly basic and elemental build for the most part, this is mostly a way of giving Niven the stage in her home country and the flowers that go along with it. Like Rhodes, Bayley’s long road to championship status made their inevitable wins feel huge, so she’s still got some life in the reign. This match, along with Drew’s and The Unholy Union’s later on, are emblematic of what seems to be the WWE PLE approach since roughly last year – make cards distinct events based on their locations. 

I expect a similar sort of showing and story to Zelina Vega taking on Rhea Ripley in Puerto Rico last year, although obviously the dynamics are different because Niven isn’t four feet tall. The added layer to this is by recent comments from Niven saying that seeing Drew McIntyre succeed in WWE made her and other Scottish wrestlers believe that such a thing was even possible. This is mostly for the “moment” aspect, I imagine, but I’m also tickled to see what nonsense Chelsea Green finds herself in as the match goes on. A match light on story and build, but will be big on emotion.

WWE Intercontinental Championship

Sami Zayn (c) vs. Chad Gable

Even moreso than either of the world title matches, this contest has the most compelling story behind it and it isn’t even close.

In the build to Wrestlemania 40, Sami Zayn and Chad Gable butted heads a bit over their desires to defeat Gunther, then the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion in WWE history. While Gable got some great fan reaction behind him, it paled in comparison to the crowd support behind Sami Zayn, who has maintained monstrous momentum ever since breaking away from the Bloodline last January. Accepting that Zayn would be the one to take on Gunther, Gable opted to be Zayn’s coach in the build that eventually saw Sami topple The Ring General.

Two weeks after Wrestlemania, Zayn successfully defended the IC Championship against Gable in his hometown of Montreal. However, after the match, Gable viciously attacked Zayn and turned heel, beating Sami to a pulp in front of his famiy. In the weeks that followed, the inspirational coach Gable devolved into abusive mentor Gable, treating his friends in the Alpha Academy – Otis, Akira Tozawa, and Maxine Dupree – like absolute garbage. He’s more or less become a midcard version of Roman Reigns: a manipulating, gaslighting, abusive leader who is all about control by fear and preying on the emotional connection of his followers.

This is why Zayn is the perfect foil for Gable in this dynamic, as he’d experienced all of this first-hand from Roman Reigns himself. In recent weeks, Sami has even acknowledged this, specifically to Otis, who seems to be the most conflicted about staying with Gable. Otis is essentially playing the role that Jey Uso played in the Bloodline, right down to being the most emotionally connected to the brutal captain and Zayn repeatedly trying to drill into his head that he has always had a choice.

Because of the incredible dynamics of this, it is the most unpredictable match on the entire card. Zayn can win and keep his emotional reign going and continue to try and convince Alpha Academy to turn on their leader…or he can lose in heartbreaking fashion to Gable, possibly with the help of the Alpha Academy, and sink deeper into his horrible habits with a championship belt as validation. No matter what, Zayn will keep trying to preach to the Academy, but eventually I see Gable taking the IC title until finally being turned on by Otis in what will probably be the feel good story moment of the year not involving Cody Rhodes. That’s down the line, but this is set to be the most emotional IC title feud in years.  

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship

Bianca Belair and Jade Cargill (c) vs. Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn vs. Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark

The emerging team of Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark won a #1 Contender’s match for the tag titles, but were accosted by The Unholy Union of Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn, who questioned how they could be legitimate contenders when they’d never beaten them. When Shayna and Zoey got their tag team title match later on, it was interrupted by The Unholy Union, leading to the Scottish tag team being added to the mix for a rematch in Scotland.

Another match made to help give some spotlight and flowers to the Scottish grapplers on the roster, this match, which will almost certainly be the shortest and least dramatic of the entire card, will perhaps have the most raw emotion behind it. It was recently reported that Alba Fyre’s parents were involved in a car accident when they came to visit her in Florida almost a month ago. Her father survived, but her mother tragically passed. 

Losing a family member just a few weeks before being able to perform for them so close to home is all kinds of heartwrenching, so it will definitely be wrapped in a cloak of mourning. If nothing else, I hope this contributes to the healing of her family.