On January 16th, WWE wades once more into the future of media with their Facebook exclusive “Mixed Match Challenge.” The tournament will be a first of its kind broadcast on Facebook Live with WWE promising unique opportunities for fans to interact with the match and the wrestlers. The tournament will consist of mixed-gender tag teams from both Raw and Smackdown in a single-elimination tournament with the winning team earning $100,000. This is considered a significant test and investment by both WWE and Facebook to see if social media can get the same numbers regular TV can.
Here are the announced teams for the Mixed Match Challenge
Alexa Bliss & Braun Strowman: Team Little Monsters
Naturally, WWE created this team because of the hilarity of having a real giant team up with the smallest person the roster. They’re also two of the most prominent heels on the Raw roster.
Charlotte & Bobby Roode: Team ROBE!
If they don’t come out in matching robes for every match then what is even the point?? Roode teamed with Charlotte’s father, Ric while the two were in TNA. Roode even used the figure four and adopted several of the Nature Boy’s mannerisms.
Sasha Banks And Finn Balor: Team #BossDemon
— $asha Banks (@SashaBanksWWE) January 4, 2018
This one is a bit of a surprise as WWE was hinting heavily at Bayley teaming up with Balor. But I guess they needed to put the two “cool” stars together.
Bayley wasn’t too pleased with the pick.
What da? Kurt, you have some splainin to do 😡 https://t.co/G8F5SSr4ge
— Bayley (@itsBayleyWWE) January 4, 2018
Naomi and Real-Life Husband Jimmy Uso: Team Uso
This one makes the most sense. It will be fun to see one Uso working without the other. Though Jimmy’s heel stance clashes with Naomi’s good-girl routine.
Rusev and Lana: TEAM MACHKA!
The other wrestling couple becomes official. Though I thought Lana’s wrestling days were over. We will see how this goes
Nia Jax And
Apollo Crews ALL OF TITUS WORLDWIDE
Nia is confounded by her Mixed Match partner and we are too. Seems like a last minute decision. Why put Nia with a guy who has been on a cold losing streak and not even a notable one like Curt Hawkins. Seems like they were put together to give Nia a losing partner so she can save her strength.
Here’s how Nia responded on Twitter.
Let’s get a couple things clear…I am NOT, I repeat NOT apart of #TitusWorldwide & I am actually very delighted with my partner @ApolloCrews, one of the most talented men on our roster, I just wish he didn’t come with such….BAGGAGE 🙄 #WWEMMC
— Nia Jax (@NiaJaxWWE) January 5, 2018
Asuka And The Miz: Team Asuksome!
OK, yea this one is the weirdest yet. Asuka and Miz seem like it was just pulled out of a hat. Maybe this means we will get Azuka beating up the Miztourage? I’m scratching my head but I like it. As I have said countless times, wrestling is at its best when it is weird and unpredictable. This is a good opportunity for WWE to put people together who never interact. I look forward to Miz being petrified of Asuka.
Goldust and Alicia Fox: Team Actual Crazy People.
Finally a team that makes sense! Alicia and Goldie will surely have a few comedy matches in the tournament. Both of them are veterans who have cultivated personalities as unique and un-hinged weirdos!
WWE introduced the team with this cute video!
Who will be Bayley’s partner?
Bayley is also participating in the Mixed Match challenge, but we the fans get to decide her partner. WWE will let fans vote for Samoa Joe, Jason Jordan, or Elias to join Bayley. Who would you vote for? Personally, I’d vote for Joe. The juxtaposition alone is worth it!
Turns out Joe did win, but due to injury the runner-up will be Bayley’s partner.
— Kurt Angle (@RealKurtAngle) January 9, 2018
The last two teams are random just because there doesn’t seem to be anyone else left.
Nakamura And Natalya: Team Cat?
— Shinsuke Nakamura (@ShinsukeN) January 9, 2018
Becky Lynch And Sami Zayn – Gingers!
WWE announced earlier this week that Beth Phoenix will be joining the commentary team for the event, fueling speculation that she will be returning for the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble.
The Mixed Match Challenge will precede Smackdown starting January 16th, live on Facebook Watch.
We’ll keep this post updated as more teams are announced. Are you excited about the Mixed Match Challenge? Share your thoughts in the comments below.