It's easily the biggest weekend of the year for pro wrestling (oh and it happens to be my birthday weekend too.) The birthday wrestling Gods have gifted me two massive events from both major American promotions with a side of NXT with some exciting matches. Let's go through the cards, shall we?
WWE Clash at the Castle Preview and Predictions
The event is taking place in Cardiff, Wales – the first WWE premium live event in the UK in 30 years, since Summerslam 1992. The show will air live on Peacock starting at 1pm eastern, an early start time due to the time differences.
Here is the full, announced lineup with my predictions under it:
Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship
On the one hand, Roman has been unstoppable for two years, and should continue to dominate through WrestleMania for a rumored match with The Rock. On the other hand, Drew is the hometown guy and they have been pushing his story for weeks now, and if he loses, he will look like a total chump. Meanwhile, if he wins, the fans, a lot of whom paid a lot of money to attend, will have a happy ending. They could do a rematch in a few months and Reigns can win it back and Drew wouldn't look like a chump in the UK market. As I mentioned in my previous column, what I suspect will happen is that Sami Zayn somehow costs Roman the match, causing the Bloodline to turn on him and blame him, leading to Kevin Owens coming out to make the save for his friend.
Liv Morgan vs. Shayna Baszler for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
This is easily the biggest match of both of these women's careers and they both have a lot to prove. I hope that Liv plays the scrappy underdog while Shayna mercilessly destroys her limbs. Perversely, I want to see Shayna win here and feud with Ronda but I imagine Liv continues her reign.
Gunther vs. Sheamus for the Intercontinental Championship
Other than the main event, this is the match I am most looking forward to. This is as close to Japanese strong style as WWE will likely get and I look forward to these two striking and chopping each other so hard that both of their fair-skin chests are bleeding by the end of it. I can see this match going either way but I feel it's too early for Gunther to lose. If Sheamus wins here, it might be a consolation prize for Drew not winning later.
Seth Rollins vs. Matt Riddle
This match has been really well built up and while I was annoyed they kept it off Summerslam, it definitely feels like a hotter match now. I feel that Riddle can really use the win here.
Edge & Rey Mysterio vs. The Judgment Day (Finn Balor & Damian Priest)
Will Dominique finally turn on his dad during this epic tag match? Edge and Mysterio go way back to the golden age of Smackdown, and Finn and Damien will definitely have their working boots on so I am sure this will be a fantastic match. I can see either this or the Rollins match being the opener. In the end, maybe Dominique finally joins Judgment Day and they stand tall? Part of me feels they are leaning so hard in this direction because that's not where they are going with it, so we'll see.
Bianca Belair, Asuka, and Alexa Bliss vs. Bayley, Dakota Kai, and IYO SKY
This has the makings of a total barnburner and I bet the crowd is going to wild for everybody. In the end, I bet Bayley pins Bianca to set up an eventual title match.
AEW All Out Preview and Predictions
AEW World Championship: Jon Moxley (c) vs. CM Punk
With the show in Chicago and the story they are telling, I can see CM Punk fighting tooth and nail to regain the title. The crowd will totally go wild. The fantasy booker in me hopes after his win, he gets attacked by MJF.
AEW World Trios Championship finals: Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks vs. TBD
I imagine the TBD is going to be Hangman and the Dark Order's Alex Reynolds and Jon Silver and this match is going to be great. Storyline-wise, it would be cool for Hangman to get the pin here, but I bet one of the Dark Order guys gets pinned and the Elite are the first trios champions. On a side note, I am very happy to have Kenny back!
AEW Interim Women's World Championship: Toni Storm vs. Britt Baker vs. Jamie Hayter vs. Hikaru Shida
This match is going to totally rip! All four ladies worked so well together on Wednesday and I'm really looking forward to this one. If it were up to me, I'd give the hoss of the match, Jamie Hayter, the win but I feel like Toni is going to take it.
TBS Championship: Jade Cargill (c) vs. Athena
This match feels like it should have happened two months ago. This is a big test for both women, and I hope they deliver big. I see Jade retaining.
AEW World Tag Team Championship: Swerve In Our Glory (c) vs. The Acclaimed
This match seems a little out of place but how crazy would it be if the Acclaimed won? The crowd would go wild. Maybe we finally see Swerve turn on Keith Lee to cause the win? Although it does seem too quick for them to lose. Putting down my fantasy booking cap, I bet Swerve in Our Glory retain.
Bryan Danielson vs. Chris Jericho
This match should be great. I hope Danielson wins setting himself up as a future world title contender.
Sting, Darby Allin & Miro vs. Malakai Black, Buddy Matthews & Brody King
Sting always delivers an insane spot on a PPV so what is going to do here? All of these guys are going to be working hard. I imagine Miro just gets annoyed with Darby and Sting and does something to cause his team the match.
Jungle Boy vs. Christian Cage
A big test for Jungle Boy! Christian is going to do everything to make him look like a million bucks. Almost certain that Jungle Boy retains.
FTR & Wardlow vs. Jay Lethal & Motor City Machine Guns
This match almost feels a little out of place but all six guys will be working hard, especially the Machine Guns. I have to imagine FTR and Wardlow win though.
Casino Ladder Match for a future AEW World title shot: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Wheeler Yuta vs. Penta Oscuro vs. Rey Fenix vs. Rush vs. Andrade El Idolo vs. Dante Martin vs. TBA
Is the mystery person MJF? Is it Adam Cole, baybaby? I can see MJF winning and then attacking Punk after the main event. I love a MJF vs Punk rematch far more than Punk vs. Cole. Plus, they do have a very big event in New York City in two weeks, the perfect place for the match.
Ricky Starks vs. Powerhouse Hobbs
This is a big moment for both of these dudes but I have to think Starks wins.
Pre-show matches include Eddie Kingston vs. Tomohiro Ishii (I predict Kingston), AEW All-Atlantic Championship: PAC (c) vs. Kip Sabian (PAC retains) and FTW Championship: Hook (c) vs. Angelo Parker (Hook retains!)
NXT Worlds Collide Preview
Before All Out goes live, NXT will be doing a show three hours prior, merging their NXT and NXT UK titles. I haven't been following NXT too closely but some of these matches can be really fun.
- Bron Breakker vs. Tyler Bate for the NXT and NXT UK Championships
- Mandy Rose vs. Meiko Satomura vs. Blair Davenport for the NXT and NXT UK Women's Championships
- Carmelo Hayes vs. Ricochet for the NXT North American Championship
- Katana Chance and Kayden Carter vs. Nikki ASH and Doudrop for the NXT Women's Tag Team Championships
- Gallus vs. Pretty Deadly vs. The Creed Brothers vs. Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen for the NXT and NXT UK Tag Team Championships
The matches I am most looking forward to are the NXT title unification match and Carmelo vs. Ricochet, which might be a show stealer. Also, it will be great to see Miko back in front of a US audience. As for winners, I imagine the NXT folks will mostly retain over the guests.
Some news bits from around the wrestling world
Triple H spoke to Ariel Helwani about advice Vince gave him when Triple H took over creative.
“He did. Look, in some manner, I think, for both of us, it’s a tough situation for him. It’s even hard for me to picture now that he’s not in the equation, and he’s not in any way shape, or form. But it’s hard to think about that he’s not there. There was definitely that moment, definitely giving me advice but I think also in some manner, most of that advice was centered around like, ’This is what you’ve been sitting next to me learning how to do for 25 years, or whatever that is, and you got this, just be confident in your decision-making, listen to people, be open to ideas, be collaborative with other people.' Things like that that were just wonderful advice. And the truth is, it’s my father-in-law. He’s not involved in the day-to-day business, but if I had to say to him like, ‘Man, I find this difficult to deal with,’ he would give me some overall advice.”
In the same interview, he discussed a potential return for Sasha Banks: "Time will tell. I think in a lot of ways communication breakdowns are terrible. There was a communication breakdown there, for whatever reason. Starting back up that communication is not a difficult process but it can be a process and you have to go through the process. But
Braun Stroman is rumored to be returning to Raw this Monday night. During this same Helwani interview, Triple H commented "Braun Strowman, we'll see. He's a polarizing person a little bit sometimes in the business but for a guy his size, what he brings to the table, he's an amazing athlete."
Triple H also had favorable things to say about Bray Wyatt saying "One of the most - I mean this in the best way possible - crazy, creative people I've ever been around. Mind just never stops thinking of creative but it's like being in a whirlwind of stuff. So without the harness and without someone to point the tornado, it's just all over the place. He's a victim of his own mind and creative but I love working with him."
Undisputed Elite member Bobby Fish is no longer under contract to AEW. His contract expired on August 31st and the two sides couldn't come to an agreement. His co-members, Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly are under five-year deals. O'Reilly just underwent neck fusion surgery, so he will be out for a while.
Tony Khan was asked directly about if CM Punk was responsible for Colt Cabana's contract situation during a recent interview with Forbes. “There is certainly a perception out there that I don’t think is accurate that when I purchased Ring of Honor and also
Brodie Lee and Owen Hart have been confirmed as playable characters in the upcoming AEW video game.
Don't forget, Knotfest Wrestling will have a full video recap of all the weekend events on our weekly live stream, Mondays at 7pm eastern with hosts Alicia Atout, Colin Young, and Jordan Olds. Watch it on the Knotfest Youtube page.