WWE has officially announced the Mixed Match Challenge, a tournament of intergender tag matches to air exclusively via Facebook Watch starting January 16th. Teams are announced on the 4th, but in the meantime, let’s speculate:
Alexa Bliss and The Miz are a no-brainer as a pair of egomaniacal, preening narcissists who probably can’t work together and eventually lose because of it.
Bayley and Finn Balor have a natural chemistry, and Finn’s hard hits may draw Bayley’s offense out of its shell.
Enzo Amore and Nia Jax are starting a storyline together, so, despite Nia pushing for a wrecking-ball team with Braun on social media, it makes sense for the two new lovebirds to get together. They have the size difference and contrasting styles. There’s plenty of opportunity for fun spots where Enzo gets his ass kicked and Nia bails him out.
Alicia Fox and Goldust are cannon fodder for the first round, because… why are they here?
Braun Strowman and Sasha Banks give you David and Goliath in one package. Braun is a monster, as the catchphrase goes, and Sasha can be extremely vicious when she has to be. I also can’t think of any two wrestlers on this card who are less likely to cross paths in any other situation ever so this would be fun to see.
Asuka and wild-card choice Samoa Joe would be murder incarnate. Not as cartoonishly overpowered as Asuka and Braun would be, but still heavy locks to win. They’re hard-hitting, believable badasses without a borderline spoiler level of indestructible. This team would be genuinely amazing, and after thinking about it, I want an official intergender tag title so they can hold it until the heat death of the universe.
Rusev and Lana are obvious because they’re married, but also because Rusev could probably pull out enough fun character work to make watching Lana wrestle passable. Plus, it keeps her from dragging down anybody else.
Naomi and Jimmy Uso are another husband and wife I can see teaming up because, obviously, they have natural chemistry.
Becky Lynch and Shinsuke Nakamura are both alternately playful and absolutely vicious. They’re supernaturally root-for-able. Becky ripping off arms while Shinsuke knees guys’ heads off would make for a great tournament.
Charlotte Flair and Bobby Roode are both current faces who have a heel Ric Flair in them just ready to rise to the surface (Charlotte for obvious reasons, Roode because he can really rock a robe). They’re great in the ring and play their characters well; I’d love to see them against Bliss/Miz.
Carmella and Sami Zayn are, admittedly, kinda thrown together because Heels. But I can see an early loss and a greater resentment from Sami that will further his Smackdown storyline, as well as anything new happening with Carmella.
Natalya and fan-vote Big E have contrasting styles that would make them really fun to watch in the ring. Big E as the charismatic muscle and Natalya as the robotic submission machine balance each other out perfectly.
I’ll admit, I had to make one concession when planning these picks:
As awesome as Asuka/Strowman would be, it would be so impossible making either lose that the entire tournament would be useless. Might as well just cancel the whole thing if those two show up together outside of some DQ BS.
Written by Bobby Murphy (@RobertJMurph)
Image courtesy of WWE.com