Connect with us

Sports

Electric Atmosphere At WWE Clash at the Castle Gets Dampened With Roman Reigns’ Win

Avatar photo

Published

on

Electric Atmosphere At WWE Clash at the Castle Gets Dampened With Roman Reigns’ Win

WWE Clash at the Castle from Cardiff, Wales on Saturday night will go down as one of those events.

“Those” meaning a stellar must-see event with near-WrestleMania energy that remained that way until the ending of the main event—this time Roman Reigns against Drew McIntyre—which could leave things on a sour note.

The first major stadium event in the UK since 1992 and first pay-per-view in the UK since 2003, Clash at the Castle was an example of pro wrestling at its very best.

In front of an electric crowd, the six-woman tag match that started the show was fun and did much to propel Damage Control (Bayley, Dakota Kai, and Iyo Sky), the new hottest faction in WWE. Gunther and Sheamus predictably tore the house down with a bruising slugfest, and Liv Morgan continued her stellar run with a win over Shayna Baszler.

Unlike some other big event crowds in WWE, things only seemed to intensify from there. What could have been a “cool-down” match sandwiched between Morgan’s title bout and the two main contests to take the show to its conclusion was instead an outright show-stealer.

There, Edge and Rey Mysterio, with an assist from Dominik Mysterio, picked up a win in tag action over The Judgment Day. The match was great, but more important was WWE electing to use the platform to set up major stories for the immediate future: Dominik turning on Edge and his father, brutalizing them.

Those personal stakes only amplified in the clash between Seth Rollins and Matt Riddle, with the former capping off the feud in a classic match by goading his opponent into getting overly emotional, which cost him.

Rollins is The Architect, after all, and now we’ve got serious character development on the table for a maturing Riddle.

Advertisement
Submit your 2022 Austin Neighborhood Feedback

It almost looked as if nothing the main event could throw out would spoil the fun, too. WWE had a years-in-the-making-and-remembered-fondly-forever setup:

  • A beloved babyface
  • An intensely disliked heel
  • The perfect location
  • The perfect crowd

But the result? Reigns wins via interference (again), this time with Solo Sikoa pulling the interference pretty much out of nowhere.

Before the jaw-droppingly silly result and McIntyre then hamming it up by singing alongside Tyson Fury (after losing via shenanigans, no less), things were going great. There were no interferences, both men put on memorable spots and there were creative near-falls. Even the important storytelling of Theory attempting to cash-in unfolded in the perfect moment, only for Fury to end that from the sidelines. This was a Reigns match without the silly interferences and Paul Heyman there to guide him along.

Until it wasn’t, of course. The men put on a classic in what could have been an all-timer of a memorable result, but instead fans had to accept that even this special occasion just couldn’t rip the company from the plan.

And this is again the product of WWE booking with one goal in mind and everything else is filler when it comes to the main event scene. This is Reigns’ GOAT-making run and the company still has eyes for The Rock at WrestleMania 39 in Inglewood, California.

Problem is, everything before that sags under the weight of the holding pattern. And should Reigns beat The Rock (if it happens/he 100 percent will), nobody is a credible contender to upend him later. Even if it’s Cody Rhodes instead, at WM39 or some other point, nothing will match the energy, timing and moment that was Clash at the Castle. And WWE can’t say that has been the plan this whole time because the idea of Rhodes leaving All Elite Wrestling then was nonexistent.

While Sikoa’s addition to The Bloodline will make for some interesting pit stops at things like Survivor Series, the reality is Saturday’s result means a continued (mostly) part-time champion holding both belts.

One thing WWE has always struggled with is that all heat isn’t good heat and Reigns’ run might have just hit a breaking point from fans that it can’t recoup.

None of this is to say Clash at the Castle won’t be remembered by fans with a smile. But it’ll be of the WrestleMania 38 variety from earlier this year, which was a great show until a shrug-worthy main event between Reigns and Brock Lesnar with the understood ending.

The fact that fans went in expecting this sort of finish isn’t exactly a great look for WWE’s main event scene or even its biggest events. It’s a good thing, then, the rest of the card again delivered. And it’s another blinking signal to WWE brass that more international events in front of scalding-hot crowds like this are a no-brainer.

Advertisement
Submit your 2022 Austin Neighborhood Feedback

As much as Clash at the Castle delivered for the UK, the inverse is true, too. It’s that sort of synergy that makes an event a classic, to the point that even a colossal misfire of a show-ender can’t tarnish things too much.

Read More

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Latest

Panthers outlast Hurricanes in 4th OT in 6th-longest game in NHL history

Avatar photo

Published

on

Panthers outlast Hurricanes in 4th OT in 6th-longest game in NHL history

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers seemed determined to keep playing. And playing. And playing.

The teams opened their Eastern Conference final playoff series with Florida’s 3-2 victory in four overtimes early Friday, with the game ranking as the sixth-longest game in NHL history.

Matthew Tkachuk’s goal came at the 19:47 mark of the fourth OT to end this one, which marked the 15th four-overtime game in NHL history and the longest game in franchise history for each team.

The longest game in NHL history came on March 24, 1936, when the Detroit Red Wings beat the Montreal Maroons 1-0 in the sixth overtime on Mud Bruneteau’s goal at 116 minutes, 30 seconds of extra play.

Florida’s previous record for longest game was 104:31 in Game 4 of the 1996 Stanley Cup final against Colorado. Carolina’s previous record was 114:47 for Game 3 of the 2002 Stanley Cup final.

The only good news for the teams is they had an extended break before this series began. Carolina closed out New Jersey exactly a week earlier, while Florida eliminated Toronto a day later.

But this game ended roughly six hours after Thursday night’s puck drop, and the teams have a Game 2 in less than 48 hours.

___

Advertisement
Submit your 2022 Austin Neighborhood Feedback

AP NHL playoffs: https://apnews.com/hub/stanley-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Read More

Continue Reading

Latest

Barcelona says probe found no evidence of corruption by club

Avatar photo

Published

on

Barcelona says probe found no evidence of corruption by club

MADRID (AP) — The investigation ordered by Barcelona into its controversial payments for refereeing reports found no evidence of corruption by the club, president Joan Laporta said Monday.

Laporta reiterated that the club’s payments over several years to the company owned by the vice president of Spain’s refereeing committee were only for technical reports and not to influence referees. He said he believed there were no ethics breach and that Barcelona was the victim of a campaign to hurt its reputation.

“This is one of the most ferocious attacks in our history,” Laporta said. “I ask FC Barcelona supporters to be as united as ever in defense of our crest, our essence, and our ownership model. No campaign to discredit us will prevent us from continuing to be an organization of reference in the world of sports that is beloved and admired by millions of Catalans and by many more millions of people around the world.”

It was the first time Laporta spoke at a news conference to give explanations after it became public that the club paid 7.3 million euros ($8 million) from 2001-18 to the company of then committee vice president José María Enríquez Negreira. Prosecutors have accused Barcelona of alleged corruption in sports, fraudulent management, and falsification of mercantile documentation.

Barcelona opened the probe to look into the actions of all the different presidential administrations that made payments over the years, including Laporta’s first at the club. The investigation was conducted by an external company.

The club said the probe found that “no conducts of a criminal nature associated to sporting corruption have been identified, nor are there any grounds to investigate any form of criminal activity associated to bribery.” It added there was “official documentation on the invoices and payments” for the services of “scouting and advice regarding referees, which are common practices in the professional sports sector.”

“Consulting on technical-refereeing issues does not constitute any type of illegal act,” Laporta said. “Consulting, as is done by the big clubs, that was carried out transparently, with the corresponding invoices, at least in my first mandate as president.”

The probe found 629 technical refereeing reports and 43 CDs that the club received over 18 years for what Laporta called “market price.” More reports were likely lost over time, he said.

Advertisement
Submit your 2022 Austin Neighborhood Feedback

“I reiterate with all my resolve, I am convinced that FC Barcelona has not committed any crime of sports-related corruption. I hope that sooner rather than later, it is fully exonerated,” he said. “Accusations must be proven. We live by the rule of law, which guarantees among its basic principles the presumption of innocence.”

He said that if there were any irregularities committed by Negreira, Barcelona would be a victim of them. He also said Negreira was not in a position to directly influence referees, and that it was Negreira’s son who actually produced the refereeing reports.

“I dare anyone to show an instance in which Barcelona was favored in a match because of these payments,” Laporta said. “We will allow the justice system to do its work and I’m sure that Barcelona will be cleared. I am fully convinced that FC Barcelona has never performed any act with the intention of altering the competition to gain an advantage.”

The Spanish league, Real Madrid and other clubs have been among those taking part in the legal proceedings against Barcelona. Laporta criticized league president Javier Tebas for making accusations against Barcelona, and also took a shot at rival Madrid.

“Everyone knows that Real Madrid is a club that is historically favored by refereeing mistakes,” he said.

Laporta said Barcelona has always been a club that takes pride in its values, and it would never want to win anything with outside help.

“Throughout its 123-year history, FC Barcelona has always been a model of fair play, both on and off the field,” he said. “If we have won for so many decades, it has undoubtedly been a result of effort, talent and knowledge.”

___

Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni

Advertisement
Submit your 2022 Austin Neighborhood Feedback

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Read More

Continue Reading

Latest

Silicon Valley councilman indicted in 49ers report leak

Avatar photo

Published

on

Silicon Valley councilman indicted in 49ers report leak

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Silicon Valley city councilman has been charged with perjury after he allegedly lied about leaking a grand jury report to the San Francisco 49ers last year that detailed a purportedly unethical relationship between the team and the city council, prosecutors said Friday.

Santa Clara City Councilmember Anthony Becker is accused of providing the secret report titled “Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Santa Clara City Council” to the team’s former top spokesperson and a local media outlet in 2022, days ahead of its official release.

Becker then allegedly lied to the grand jury about the leak, prosecutors said, prompting the criminal charges.

The 49ers play in Levi’s Stadium in the city of Santa Clara, about 35 miles (56.33 kilometers) south of San Francisco. Santa Clara County is broadly considered home to Silicon Valley.

The city of Santa Clara owns the stadium and leases it to the team; fighting between the two groups has led to ethics complaints, legal disputes and years of bad blood.

Al Guido, the team’s president, and Larry MacNeil, the former CFO who worked extensively on the team’s stadium project, were named in the indictment as witnesses who spoke to the criminal grand jury for Becker’s indictment.

“The 49ers have cooperated fully with the District Attorney’s Office in their investigation, and will continue to do so,” team spokesperson Brian Brokaw said in a statement Friday. “However, because this is an ongoing legal matter, the organization is not able to make any further comment at this time.”

Prosecutors say the team has bankrolled Becker’s political career by spending $3.2 million through independent expenditure committees for his 2020 city council race, which he won, as well as his unsuccessful 2022 mayoral bid.

Advertisement
Submit your 2022 Austin Neighborhood Feedback

The “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” report alleged that Becker and four other councilmembers regularly voted “in a manner that is favorable to the 49ers” and would routinely meet with the team’s lobbyists but not disclose what was discussed.

Becker faces a felony charge of perjury under oath, as well as a misdemeanor charge of willful failure to perform duty. He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.

Becker did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday, and it was not clear whether he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

“Councilmember Becker violated the public’s trust,” Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement. “That an elected official would commit perjury and lie under oath before the grand jury strikes at the very heart of our justice system and requires accountability.”

Representatives for the Santa Clara City Council did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read More

Continue Reading