RADICAN’S TAKE: Triple H needs to pull the trigger on Drew McIntyre at Clash at the Castle

By Sean Radican, PWTorch columnist (Twitter: @SR_Torch)

Clash at the Castle nearly sold out


Drew McIntyre needs to beat Roman Reigns at Clash at the Castle next weekend to become the new Undisputed WWE Champion.

There I said it.

Word is going around that WWE wants to do The Rock vs. Reigns at WrestleMania next year with Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer most recently reporting that WWE 100 percent wants it to happen.. Nothing could be bigger that I can think of than The Rock to topple his cousin and take his titles from him in the process to end his epic title run except for McIntyre to topple Reigns from the top of the mountain in his home country while still having Rock vs. Reigns on the table for WrestleMania next year, but without the Unified WWE Championship.

I think it will be good for all wresting fans and for WWE’s new creative regime headed up by Triple H to show this truly is a new era of WWE at Clash at the Castle. The main issue with WWE continuing on the same path and having Reigns remain with the company as a part-time champion with the only hope of him being defeated occuring when The Rock finally shows up is it defines down the roster that appears on TV and live events regularly. Under Vince McMahon, with the exception of Reigns finally breaking through, fans were conditioned to wait until a part-timer showed up for exciting things to happen.

Vince McMahon has taught WWE’s audience that the full-time wrestlers don’t matter for far too long. Business has only picked up when John Cena or Brock Lesnar shows up. Throw in a pinch of Goldberg and the now retired Underaker at times and you get the idea of how things have gone in the main event picture in WWE for a long time with the exception of the aforementioned Reigns who is now also a part-timer, although he’s been around a lot more than other part-time attractions since signing a new contract with WWE recently.

Another issue is that a Rock vs. Reigns match might not happen depending on what Rock’s Hollywood commitments look like heading into the first quarter of 2023. Will Rock even be able to wrestle at WrestleMania next year? That’s yet to be determined.

A Reigns vs. Rock match without any titles at stake can still do huge business and main event one of the two nights of WrestleMania next year, so what should Triple H do to send a message that this era of WWE under his creative leadership is going to be different? Put the belt on Drew. That’s it. That’s the plan. To me, it’s a no-brainer. Just look at the video WWE released today by WWE on BT Sport about McIntyre and the work he’s put into getting where he is today in WWE ahead of his shot at Reigns at Clash at the Castle next weekend. Try to tell me something different should happen.

The video shows the timeline of McIntyre growing as a performer with his wife by his side supporting him every step of the way going back to when they were dating and then engaged before getting married. The video concludes with a shot of  a luggage case towards the end with a note on it that says “Home” on the front. It’s one of the best videos WWE has produced in recent memory.

If the picture McIntyre posted on Twitter with the welts, cuts, and bruises all over his back after a vicious attack from The Bloodline to end Smackdown didn’t make my mind up for me that McIntyre has to beat Reigns, this new video package that hopefully airs on WWE this coming week, slammed the door shut for me. McIntyre is going home to the UK on Sept. 3 to face Reigns for the WWE Undisputed Championship and he needs to win.

WWE needs to be different under Triple H. A loss by McIntyre in his home country under Vince McMahon’s creative watch was all but guaranteed had he not been forced to resign from the company in July due to allegations of him paying hush money to those accusing of him sexual misconduct in the past. This is a chance for WWE to show how the product will be different under Triple H in the long-term.

Triple H hasn’t made many drastic changes since taking over creative. He’s brought back several of his acts from the black and gold era of NXT that Vince McMahon released. The matches are longer, the announcers are more loose and natural on commentary, promos don’t seem as wooden as they previously were, and the wrestlers seem more at ease without the pressure of being under Vince’s scrutiny upon them.

Drew McIntyre technically had his moment when he beat Brock Lesnar to capture the WWE Championship and then defeated surprise opponent The Big Show to retain the title immediately after beating Lesnar at WrestleMania 36: Part 2 in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. During this period,  WWE had no live audience in attendance and created what was called the ThunderDome that showed an audience of people watching the show at home on video screens that surrounded the ring.

McIntyre had two runs with the WWE Championship during the pandemic era and largely carried the ball for WWE during that time, but the problem was it is largely a forgotten period due to how unnatural it was to watch wrestling without a live arena full of people reacting to the product.

Drew technically had his moment, but really he didn’t when you think about it. Triple H pulling the trigger on a lengthy run for McIntyre at Clash at the Castle that shows he’s truly the guy in WWE for no less than six months is something the product needs badly. WWE needs to show their full-time performers matter. This is vital to determining whether or not WWE continues making money off its TV contract and airing their PLE’s on Peacock and is satisfied with just coasting along as it did with Vince McMahon at the helm.

McIntyre beaing Reigns at Clash at the Castle would make him a made man in WWE. His win would signal that wrestlers on the full-time main roster matter and can break through.

The early indicators are that people are excited about the WWE product with Triple H in charge of creative. The Survivor Series PLE, which is set to be held in Boston in November, sold out in just minutes last week when tickets went on sale. For that level of excitement to continue, McIntyre needs to get his revenge on Reigns and beat him in his home country.

The Rock and Roman can still have their WrestleMania match and I believe it can be just as big without the titles on the line given the star power that both men bring to the table. The match may not even happen depending on Rock’s schedule, so WWE would be prudent to begin working on Triple H’s first real star creation in Drew McIntyre next weekend.

Email Sean at pwtorchsean@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @SR_Torch

1 Comment on RADICAN’S TAKE: Triple H needs to pull the trigger on Drew McIntyre at Clash at the Castle

  1. THIS.
    Drew got dealt a bad hand when COVID broke out and WM got cut off at the knees by going into an empty building. Roman’s almost reaching the two year mark as Universal Champion. Quite frankly, he’s running out of things to do as champion. Stagnancy will be his undoing. Drew McIntyre needs to get this elusive victory in a stadium otherwise this could end up like Birmingham in ’97. IYKYK

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