WWE Clash at the Castle is another international PLE with the arena gate record in sight

Photo Courtesy: Peacock

By: Lucas Charpiot 
Special to POST Wrestling 

History repeats itself. 

Following their record-breaking gate at Backlash in Lyon, France in early May, WWE looks to continue on their successful path by producing two televised events in the land of cakes. Just like last month with France, it will be the first time that Scotland will host a pay-per-view/premium live event since first receiving WWE 34 years ago. 

Although, unlike the Hexagon, Scotland isn’t a stranger to hosting televised events. WWE hosted one edition of Raw and Smackdown in Glasgow at the SSE Hydro – OVO’s former name – in November 2016 (as well as taped episodes of Superstars and Main Event). Glasgow was also the home for NXT UK in April 2019 as six shows were taped at the Braehead Arena – home of the Glasgow Clan ice hockey team. While the attendance of those NXT UK tapings remains unknown, WWE managed to sell about 10,000 tickets for each of their televised shows at the SSE in 2016, according to Pollstar data. Since then, the company has hosted yearly live events in Glasgow and Aberdeen, but none have been televised until tonight’s Smackdown. 

Per WrestleTix, 10,512 tickets have been distributed already for Saturday’s event with 607 of them still being available as of Tuesday.

International strategy in place

Business is booming for WWE from an economic standpoint. WWE generated $316.7M in revenue for TKO during Q1. Merging with UFC under the TKO umbrella in September 2023, the company generated $1.326 billion in revenue for the full year of 2023. One of the key directions the promotion from Stamford took to maximize its revenues was to organize its major shows all around the world. Since 2022, the company has hosted premium live events across the UK, Canada, Puerto Rico, Australia, France, and the twice-a-year contracted shows in Saudi Arabia. It’s a move that highly contributed to their recent financial growth. 

According to TKO, the Elimination Chamber site fee in Australia, last February, was the highest for an international event outside of Saudi Arabia (which is $50M for each event). More than just setting new records, it is WWE’s newest economic strategy that boosts this increase in international PLEs. 

WWE President Nick Khan said at a conference call in May 2023 that it’s the company’s goal to eventually get a government subsidy for each PLE throughout the year. This was, for example, the case for the first edition of Clash at the Castle at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. A press release from the Welsh government implied WWE got a subsidy worth £2.2 million for that event alone. However, this is still not the case for all of the PLEs WWE is promoting outside of the United States. 

Felix Gouty reported for POST Wrestling that the promotion did not receive any subsidy for WWE Backlash in Lyon at the LDLC Arena. This didn’t stop this show from being the largest gate for an arena show in their history, a record that could be broken as WWE nears a sell-out of the OVO Hydro on Saturday.

While the promotion is thriving and showing off these results, this can come at the expense of a certain portion of fans. Indeed, when tickets were first made on sale, Glasgow’s Clash at the Castle had the most expensive entry prices for a WWE event in the company’s history ($419). Since then, as was the case for Backlash in Lyon, ticket prices have lowered – as the entry price for Saturday’s event was roughly $316 on Wednesday. Yet, it is still an enormous price increase compared to the standard only a few years ago. The first edition of Clash at the Castle in Cardiff had an entry price below £50. 

It appears that what was once a spectacle for everyone has turned more and more into a show where low-income range families are being priced out. In a business where prices are based on demand, organizing shows in a highly-craving market like Scotland is the chance for them to maximize their revenues while attracting a more wealthy fan base. 

A celebration of local talents at the OVO Hydro 

Unlike French fans at Backlash, the Scottish crowd at the OVO will have the chance to support their local heroes. Amongst them is three-time World Champion, Drew McIntyre. The 39-year-old, born in Ayr, Ayrshire, a town located on the southwest coast of Scotland, looks to capture the World Heavyweight Championship at the hands of Damian Priest. McIntyre is no stranger to championship battles at Clash at the Castle as he fell short to Roman Reigns during the first edition of the PLE in Cardiff. Two years later, Drew is still heavily acclaimed for his work by fans and observers, especially with his recent use of social media. Moreover, the recently re-signed Scot has received the honor of being inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame of Scotland, an accomplishment that celebrates a 23-year career marked by highs and lows. 


Indeed, it was ten years ago when McIntyre was released from his WWE contract. During his time away from the company, he wrote his own story on the independent circuit. Amongst the promotions he wrestled for was Insane Championship Wrestling, based in Glasgow, Scotland, and founded by Mark Dallas in 2006. There, McIntyre – then known as Drew Galloway – headlined, in 2015, the biggest sell-out crowd show for a British-based promotion since 1982 by facing Grado.

Piper Niven will also represent Scotland on Saturday as she is scheduled to compete in the Women’s Championship match against Bayley. 

Born in Kilbirnie, a small town of 7,280 inhabitants on the west coast, Piper started her career in her native country at the Scottish Wrestling Alliance – now BOP Wrasslin. Known back then as Viper, she has also stepped into the ring at ICW where she won the Women’s Championship twice. 

However, she will not be the only former ICW Women’s Champion on the card. Alba Fyre – known on the independent circuit as Kay Lee Ray – started there in 2011 and won gold three times. She is set to team with Isla Dawn, also from Scotland, to face Shayna Baszler & Zoey Stark and Bianca Belair & Jade Cargill for the Women’s Tag Team Championship. No doubt that these Scottish-born wrestlers will be heavily cheered by the OVO Hydro on Saturday.