Posts tagged Mixed Match Challenge
Re-booking TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs 2018

Normally I wouldn’t do this for a B-show PPV in the middle of December, but the direction that things have been going in for the last couple of months has been pretty poor. In that case, I might as well have some fun with it. Here’s what this Sunday’s TLC PPV would look like if The Barber’s Chair booked it.

Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin - TLC Match

Source: WWE Network

Source: WWE Network

Assuming this match will still take place, the stipulation is as follows: If Strowman wins, he will receive a shot at Brock Lesnar’s Universal Championship next month at the Royal Rumble, and Baron Corbin will be stripped of his GM-elect role. If Corbin wins, he will become Raw GM permanently.

What Should Happen: The Baron Corbin authority angle was fun to me in the beginning, even with Kurt Angle being placed on “vacation”. But it’s run its course (as with all authority angles), and this is where it ends. Braun Strowman wins.

What Will Likely Happen: Braun Strowman returns, makes quick work of GM-elect Baron Corbin, and a new GM will be announced on Monday. Hopefully we get a Brock Lesnar appearance as well.

Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose - Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship

Source: WWE

Source: WWE

Dean Ambrose hasn’t competed on TV since the emotional night when he turned on his Shield brothers and attacked Seth Rollins two months ago. The heat has kind of cooled off on Ambrose since then, but it’s still fresh enough to pick it back up again.

What Should Happen: If the TLC match from this past Monday is indicative of anything, Seth Rollins should lose here due to one final power play from Baron Corbin. It wouldn’t make sense to have Rollins win two ladder matches in six days, but then again what has made sense on this show since October?

What Will Likely Happen: Seth Rollins may likely be considered the unanimous MVP over the course of 2018, and he doesn’t necessarily need the Intercontinental belt at this point. It would be wise to let Dean Ambrose go over in this one as Rollins (hopefully) transitions into Universal title contention over the next few months.

Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles for the WWE Championship

aj-db.jpg

Environmentalist Daniel Bryan aka The NEW Daniel Bryan might be the favorite WWE version of the former American Dragon. He also helps solidify my theory that tree-hugging vegans aren’t as nice of people that they think.

Bryan’s heel turn has done wonders to rejuvenate his career, and his WWE title run has been fun sp far. AJ Styles has consistently been one of the best workers in the company, and I can’t really name a bad match that he’s put on since debuting in the Federation three years ago. We all know what these two can bring, and I’d love to see them top the match they had on Smackdown a few weeks ago.

What Should Happen: For someone who was as beloved as Daniel Bryan was for the last five years, if you’re going to make him a villain, you have to go all out with it. To keep AJ Styles strong, have him win by DQ as Daniel Bryan goes crazy with a brutal attack as he further cements himself as the top dog on Tuesday nights.

What Will Likely Happen: I don’t know what’s in store for Daniel Bryan as we merge onto the Road to WrestleMania, but he’ll be WWE Champion for the good portion of that ride.

Ronda Rousey vs. Nia Jax for the Raw Women’s Championship

Source: WWE

Source: WWE

After legitimately breaking Becky Lynch’s face and taking her out of Survivor Series, WWE’s used the incident to propel Nia Jax towards another battle with Ronda Rousey six months later. This is one of three matches I don’t really care about, but it will have some long term ramifications to it.

What Should Happen: Make no secret that I am Ronda Rousey’s #1 hater, but the honeymoon phase with her has long passed, and I can see myself eventually having some competition if Ronda isn’t booked as someone we should care about. Jax has been positioned similarly to how she was in NXT, albeit this time she’s been given more mic time, which is another factor to me not giving a shit about what goes on in this feud. Six months after their initial battle, Rousey now has a little more experience and should be able to command the battle better this go around. She needs to look good in victory.

What Will Likely Happen: I can honestly see them formulating the matchup the same exact way that it was done at Money in the Bank, this time with Rousey actually getting a chance to close it out. Either way, she’ll be walking into 2019 still the Raw Women’s Champion.

Asuka vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair - Triple Threat TLC Match for the Smackdown Women’s Championship

Source: WWE

Source: WWE

This absolutely NEEDS to main event the show on Sunday night. (The Man) Becky Lynch has been incredible since winning the belt at Hell In A Cell, and her 2019 is already shaping up to be a great one if they book her the right way. Unfortunately, I see her dropping her title this weekend in one of two ways...

What Should Happen: Asuka started off the year strong by winning the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble, but a loss to Charlotte at WrestleMania has derailed any momentum she had until just recently. Winning her first main roster championship would help her close out the year strong at a point when it seemed her WWE career was dead in the water.

As for Becky Lynch, this would give her the opportunity to jump ship to Monday nights, as we know that she has some business there waiting for her in the form of Nia Jax and Ronda Rousey. Perhaps a Royal Rumble win is in line?

What Will Likely Happen: Charlotte wins yet again *insert eye roll emoji*. Asuka has still yet to beat Charlotte one-on-one, and it’s likely that a Charlotte victory can build to a rematch in New Jersey this spring.

Drew McIntyre vs. Finn Bálor

This stat may be shocking if you haven’t paid attention, but Finn Bálor is undefeated in PPV singles matches since debuting on the main roster (6-0). Hopefully they play up this fact, as it’s something simple that can help the fans invest into this match even more.

What Should Happen: Can we get a Demon King appearance on this PPV? Drew Mac can surely afford a loss to THAT incarnation of Finn Balor.

What Will Likely Happen: WWE seems to have Bálor be the reliable stepping stone for others at this point in his career (not that that’s a bad thing), and I don’t expect anything different this go around as the Scottish Psychopath continues to run roughshod over the Raw roster. Drew McIntyre has asserted himself as a force on the red brand since his return in April, and now seems primed to reach the heights expected of him in 2009. A win here keeps him strong going into the Royal Rumble, as he can position himself as the favorite to win the annual classic.

The Usos vs. The New Day vs. The Bar for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship

Source: WWE

Source: WWE

I just want to get one thing off of my chest before proceeding with this match preview: Why the FUCK is this not a TLC match or at least a ladder match?

With that being said, This is a sleeper for match of the night. We already know what The Usos and New Day can bring to the table, and The Bar has slowly crept up to legendary tag team status (I recently realized that they’re in their FIFTH title reign in only two years). Should be a great match that will possibly open the show.

What Should Happen: There hasn’t been a whole lot of heat with this feud, but it isn’t necessary when you have three great teams like this. The Bar have been on a good run here, but I can see WWE wanting The New Day to set a record of title reigns (plus I’m bias), and a win here would bring them that much closer.

What Will Likely Happen: Since The Bar stood tall on the go home show this past week, that usually spells doom come the PPV. The Smackdown Tag Team belts have been playing hot potato a bit this year, so it would be smart to stick with a team and build them into the new year.

Elias vs. Bobby Lashley - Guitar Ladder Match

Source: WWE

Source: WWE

Before the main event of every PPV, there’s a moment where I go “Weren’t so and so supposed to wrestle?”, only to find out that match already happened on the pre-show. This is that match and I’ll probably never watch it.

What Should Happen: Bobby Lashley has been EXTREMELY lackluster since coming back to WWE. And while the partnership with Lio Rush had some potential early on, it’s very meh at this point. Have Rush pull a James Ellsworth and help win the match for Lashley, but have him receive his comeuppance post-match.

What Will Likely Happen: A likely pre-show main event, Elias wins to hype the crowd up for the main course.

Cedric Alexander vs. Buddy Murphy for the Cruiserweight Championship

Source: WWE

Source: WWE

Aside from their boss having an R. Kelly fetish all of a sudden, the 205 Live guys have been getting a lot of shine the past couple months. This past Tuesday, Mustafa Ali had a fantastic match with the WWE Champion Daniel Bryan, and while typically being relegated to the pre-show in the past, the Cruiserweight title has been defended on the main show in two of the last three Network exclusive events. Hopefully that trend continues this Sunday night, and I expect Buddy Murphy and Cedric Alexander to shut the place down.

What Should Happen: Continuing on with my “Let all the black wrestlers win tonight” narrative, I’m going to choose Cedric Alexander for no other reason.

What Will Likely Happen: It’s awfully soon for Buddy Murphy to drop the title, and I see him continuing his run of dominance over the Cruiserweight division. Time for some new blood to step up and present a new challenge.

Natalya vs. Ruby Riott - Tables Match

Source: WWE

Source: WWE

I don’t typically like when real life deaths are included in a storyline, but I can understand why it’s done, especially when all those involved agree with it. However, I really don’t care about this feud and can’t wait for it to end this weekend.

What Should Happen: I don’t believe crowds are invested enough in these two women enough to have Ruby Riott win. Riott has antagonized Natalya over Jim Neidhart’s death this entire feud, so there’s really only one way to end this and that’s with the Hart family name standing tall.

What Will Likely Happen: Sasha Banks, Bayley and Ember Moon aren’t doing anything noteworthy this evening. Let them help Natalya even the odds

Fabulous Truth (R-Truth and Carmella) vs. Mahalicia (Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox) - Mixed Match Challenge Finals

R-Truth and Carmella’s chemistry has been a factor in building momentum for their run through the tournament. And while Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox have slowly but surely gotten on the same page, there are some kinks that still need to be worked out if they want to close strong. It was harder to get invested in this season of the Mixed Match Challenge as injuries and kayfabe write-offs didn’t help at all. At the end of it all, the two healthiest teams from each brand persevered, and now have a shot at coveted #30 position in their respective Royal Rumble matches.

What Should Happen: I always look forward to a surprise #30 entrant each year, but Dolph Ziggler’s overall performance this past year made it a little lackluster. So I guess I can lower my expectations for 2019 since I know neither of the two on the men’s side have a chance of winning. Although, there’s a bit more credibility with Jinder Mahal being a former world champion which you can go off of, rather than R-Truth who has been an amazing comedic act for years.

What Will Happen: We get a Royal Dance Break at #30 as Fabulous Truth comes out of this one victorious. Should be a no-brainer, but I can’t wait to see if Truth tries to enter the Women’s Royal Rumble.

Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton - Chairs Match

Source: WWE

Source: WWE

Sidenote: I was in the 8th grade when these two first feuded on Smackdown in 2005-06. Glad to see they can both haven’t lost a step since.

Rey Mysterio has only been back in WWE for about two months, but it’s like he never left. The chemistry that he and Orton have when working together is amazing, and they won’t disappoint on Sunday.

What Should Happen: Randy Orton has been on a tear since his heel turn at Extreme Rules, and it wouldn’t make much sense to have that randomly stop here. The Viper’s run of dominance should continue on.

What Will Likely Happen: It’s a toss up as to who WILL win this match, as they can go either way with it. However, Rey Mysterio will always be in a great position to recover after a loss (see Jeff Hardy at Hell In A Cell) to where it wouldn’t be an issue.

Ruthless Aggression EP 34 - Unforgiven
This Week in WWE: The Bo$$ is back, and the road to Mania continues

Good

WWE

WWE

The Bo$$ is back?

Many have clamored for 2015-era Sasha Banks since her stardom shot up on Monday Night RAW. She’s been a popular face for the last two years, and WWE’s had no choice but to keep her that way based on her crowd reactions, merchandise sales, etc. But over the last two days… it’s sure seemed like she’s developing that cockiness that made her a star in NXT. Between that and eliminating Bayley in the fashion that she did (although they never went back to that on RAW, shocking as that is!) she seems to be developing some villainous tendencies.

Oh, and what’s not surprising or shocking is that she had an absolutely dynamite match with Asuka. Banks has always been a bit of a reckless performer, and while that’s a bit of a dangerous lifestyle, there’s a bit of a charm to it. She is willing to do whatever it takes to get the women’s division over, and if that means doing dives and crazy spots, then so be it. Banks had a couple of those in this match with Asuka, and it enhanced the match and made it even better. She didn’t come up with the win, but she looked as good as she’s ever looked on RAW. Let’s see how they play that off.

Braun kills Kane, Elias drifts and Cena winz

There were three Elimination Chamber qualifying matches on Monday night (Sidebar: The fact that they’re running a Women’s Elimination Chamber match is #GOOD). Each of which had its own fair share of action and uniqueness to it. Braun Strowman faced Kane in a Last Man Standing Match, where the winner would earn entry into the Chamber match. Braun won by toppling the damn stage that had the commentator’s table on it on top of The Big Red Machine, who died on the way back to his home planet.

Elias, meanwhile, defeated Woken Matt Hardy in his qualifier, thanks to a distraction by Bray Wyatt. Right call here, as they clearly think highly of The Drifter, he’s over, and he’s getting more polished in the ring as well.

Then there was the main event between Finn Balor and John Cena. Finn, who made reference to the fact that Cena eliminated him at the Rumble, tried to oust Cena from title contention. However, the leader of the Balor Club fell to Cena, who won with an AA off the middle rope. I don’t personally have a problem with this. Cena hasn’t been in (or won) a major match in a LONG time. One loss to Cena isn’t going to turf Finn, who seems likely to be turning heel soon anyway. And besides: since Cena threw him out of the Rumble match AND cost him a shot at the Universal Title at Elimination Chamber, it could very well open the door for Finn to get his revenge at EC by costing Cena the match. A Finn-Cena program for NOLA? Sign me up.

Roman Reigns: GOAT TV match guy

Another week, another instant classic on free television for Roman Reigns, who invoked his Intercontinental Championship rematch clause against The Miz. It’s hard to remember a better run of consistently great TV matches from anyone since Kurt Angle or Eddie Guerrero in the Smackdown Six days. Reigns and Miz tore the house down, and Miz was able to use the numbers game to his advantage and get the victory via rollup after Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas tried to get involved and ate Superman Punches for their trouble.

People may not like Reigns, but if anyone still thinks he “can’t wrestle”, they’re not worth your time. In a Raw loaded with fantastic moments and matches, this stands out just as much as any other.

Nothing bad to take away from this show. This was one of the best episodes of Raw in recent memory.

TOP GUYS WATCH

The Revival had a match on Raw for the third straight week, and they won! This is an excellent development for the TOP GUYS. Bonus points to them for Shatter Machine-ing Rhyno instead of the much less bulky Heath Slater. After the match they had another interview with Charly Caruso where they mentioned their wrestling prowess. Great stuff.

Other Stuff

  • Titus Worldwide fell to Cesaro and Sheamus, who retained the Tag Team Titles. This was a good usage of this spot for Titus and Apollo, who’ve found themselves in the midcard of the tag division. There was no sight of Jordan or Rollins, and you wonder what’s next for the tag division on RAW. It needs a shot in the arm in the worst of ways. Then again, a reviving of The Revival (ba dum tss) could be what it needs. Does that mean Cesaro and Sheamus will turn face again? Well, we’ll see.
  • As we mentioned, there’s an Elimination Chamber match for the women. Unfortunately, not much information was given towards how the participants are going to be chosen on this episode. We figure that’s going to come next week. Given that Asuka is out of the picture and Alicia’s injured, the participants in the match figure to be Alexa, Bayley, Sasha, Nia, Mickie and probably one of Sonya or Mandy. It should be a fun one in Vegas.
  • Jonathan Coachman is back on the commentary team in place of Booker T! How exciting. Though, I will miss Booker and Corey’s constant back and forth which always felt like Booker was one moment away from shoot-tackling Corey.
  • The Dudley Boyz are the newest addition to the WWE Hall of Fame.
  • Ronda Rousey wasn’t there. It’s fine. Relax.

Good

Nakamura Time & Fractures Forming

Ever since Shinsuke Nakamura got to WWE, everyone has been waiting for him to have his moment in the sun. With his Royal Rumble victory, that’s finally arrived. He lead off the show in the ring before getting interrupted by Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, who said they shouldn’t have lost to AJ Styles because the wrong guy took the pin. Eventually Styles came out and Shane McMahon made a tag team match for the main event and Daniel Bryan announced that Zayn will face Owens next week for a shot at Styles’ title, since they were in fact wronged by the referee.

There’s a lot to unpack here. First, the continuing rift between Bryan and McMahon by way of Bryan making this match. Second, and perhaps more interesting, is the relationship between Owens and Zayn starting to crack a bit. Zayn took a couple subtle shots at Owens during the promo battle with Styles and Nakamura. Then, in the actual main event match, Zayn walked out about midway through and watched the rest of the match from the back as Nakamura and Styles picked Owens apart. This is fantastic psychology because the prevailing thought now is Owens may not be 100% next week, giving Zayn an advantage.

Also, Nakamura’s backstage interaction with Styles where he repeated “I’m going to beat you at Wrestlemania” like five times before laughing it off was great banter.

Day One Ish

The Usos are still the tag champs and aren’t afraid to let everyone know it, even using cool new graphics to hammer home their point! A lot of people didn’t like the graphics. I did.

 

They went on to talk about all the teams they’ve beaten lately, and I really thought it would lead to Authors of Pain coming out. Not this week. Maybe next week? The Usos clearly need new competition.

There was some unmemorable stuff. But nothing we flat-out hated.

Other Stuff

  • Baron Corbin defeated Tye Dillinger with an End of Days. It was a fine match, I just don’t really care about Corbin at this point. It feels like he’s been given a few opportunities and never really did anything with them, and yet we’re all supposed to continue to want to see him. Maybe he should start tagging with Dolph Ziggler!
  • Benjamin and Gable defeated Breezango after an incredibly entertaining backstage segment where Benjamin and Gable destroyed the locker room in a rage. Chad Gable’s “SHUUUUUUUUSH.” makes me laugh every time and it pains me that there’s not a YouTube compilation.
  • Charlotte got beat up by the Riott Squad after she talked about how she’s not afraid of Ronda Rousey. Carmella came out and looked like she was going to finally cash in her Money in the Bank contract, but missed Charlotte and dropkicked the referee before he could make the match official. It was hilarious.
  • Bludgeon Brothers defeated a couple jobbers. One of them was Drew Gulak’s brother Rory, which led to this incredible tweet right before the match:
  • Rusev won a Fatal 4-Way Match to become the #1 Contender for the United States Championship. He’ll now face Bob Roode next week for the title. His name is Bob Roode now. Those are the rules. We don’t make them, we just follow them.

Mixed Match Challenge

Braun Strowman/Alexa Bliss d. Becky Lynch/Sami Zayn: Sami Zayn’s face when Alexa tagged Braun in and Zayn had to come in was absolutely amazing, as was Zayn continually trying to leave the ring to avoid him. This match worked well because both of the pairings spent a decent chunk of 2017 working with each other, so there was strong familiarity there. Also, Alexa doing Twisted Bliss off Strowman’s shoulders was an absolutely perfect ending.

Smackdown builds towards the Rumble, Mixed Match Challenge rolls on

Good

IMG_7378.JPG

Sami Zayn and AJ Styles 

Robert O’Neill: Styles had two matches in the main event segment, facing both men he’ll be facing at Royal Rumble. The match with Zayn was very good. They work well together, and Zayn used the Blue Thunder Bomb as a finisher for the first time in recent memory which was awesome. This matchup still feels fresh because they haven’t done it to death, as WWE sometimes does. This is only the third or fourth Zayn/Styles singles match that I can remember.

 

OUTTA NOWHERE 

Robert O’Neill: These days, I’m (at best) indifferent to Randy Orton. His best days are behind him, and his character work hasn’t been interesting to me in about a decade.

However, when he interrupted the Baron Corbin/Shinsuke Nakamura match (a very good match, in its own right) with an RKO OUTTA NOWHERE (https://youtu.be/GWB3hohzed0?t=118)  on Nakamura as he was preparing to hit Corbin with the Kinshasa, I almost jumped off my couch. Orton’s got a long history in the Royal Rumble, and while he probably won’t win a second straight Rumble, he’s going to put in a lot of time in the ring Sunday.

 

Bad 

Kevin Owens and AJ Styles 

Robert O’Neill: Owens and Styles are two of my favorite wrestlers on the planet. The Owens/Shane McMahon story is one of my favorite WWE stories in years. But good lord, we need to get Owens and Styles far away from each other. For whatever reason, they just don’t click. If you go back to their US Title series of matches last year, it’s hard to find a good one. With Styles likely to retain at the Royal Rumble, hopefully we see a different direction on the other side of the PPV.

 

Other Stuff

IMG_7379.JPG

Chad Gable d. Jey Uso 

Robert O’Neill: I will always watch Chad Gable singles matches, because he’s immensely talented in the ring. That was the case here, as well. It’s just a matter of time before Gable becomes a singles star, though he and Benjamin will likely have a nice run with the Tag Titles sooner or later.

  

Naomi def. Liv Morgan 

Chris Novak: Blah blah, Naomi defeated Liv Morgan rather emphatically. Blah blah, the women’s division got their licks in. Blah blah, teases for the Rumble. Blah blah, Charlotte came out and said she was impressed by Becky Lynch. Let’s just get to the Rumble already and hope things get better then and after that.

Bobby Roode and The New Day def. Jinder Mahal and Rusev Day 

Chris Novak:  Completely inoffensive six-man tag team match that set the midcard up nicely for Sunday. New Day singing along with Roode’s theme song was hilariously awesome, and just about what we’ve come to expect from them. Not much else to say here, though. Everything’s mostly just building up for Sunday.

 

Mixed Match Challenge 

Asuka/Miz d. Carmella/Big E 

Robert O’Neill: Carmella came out in a New Day-colored Fabulous singlet (and Big E had a matching one!) which was really cool, but I kinda felt terrible knowing she was about to get her head kicked off by Asuka. It was a really fun back and forth match, and Asuka and Miz doing dueling Yes Kicks was a fantastic spot. Eventually, Carmella tapped to the Asuka Lock.

WWE Mixed Match Challenge preview

One of the coolest WWE things of the past few years has been the rise of unexpected tournaments. In 2017, we saw the United Kingdom Championship Tournament and Mae Young Classic. Both came after the success of 2016’s Cruiserweight Classic.

2018’s tournament is perhaps the most ambitious installment to date: The Mixed Match Challenge. Twelve teams containing one male and one female superstar will battle it out over the next three months for the prize of $100,000 to a charity of their choice. One match a week will air on Facebook Live following Smackdown every week.

 

Finn Balor and Sasha Banks

Off the bat, we have one of my favorite teams in the entire MMC. Banks and Balor have similar styles and should develop chemistry fairly easy, not to mention watching Balor square off with Shinsuke Nakamura will be a blast in the first round. Bonus points for this team if Banks does demon paint or Balor wears stunner shades as part of the entrance. While this team is fine, I probably would have put Banks with Seth Rollins or Roman Reigns and save Balor for someone I’ll touch on below.

Shinsuke Nakamura and Natalya

This team misses the mark for me, if only because I don’t really care for Natalya. I wish there was a way she could have teamed with Cesaro, despite the show difference, as a callback to Cesaro’s tag team with Natayla’s husband, Tyson Kidd. As noted above, watching Nakamura and Balor go at it will be fun, and Banks is good enough that Natalya won’t bore me as much as usual.

The Miz and Asuka

As you can see from the bracket, most real-life couples in WWE are teaming up for this. However, with Maryse being pregnant, Miz was left without a partner. He ended up with a good one. Miz is one of the most underrated workers in the company and everyone knows how great Asuka is. This is a team that could go far.

Big E and Carmella

Carmella has been misused ever since James Ellsworth got released so I didn’t care much about this pairing, but then New Day released a Rocky-style training montage complete with pancakes and music and I’m 100% on board now.

Big E can handle Miz but, uh, Carmella is probably a bit overmatched against Asuka.

Alexa Bliss and Braun Strowman

My personal favorite team in this entire tournament. Just the visual of the two of them standing next to each other will be amazing, but I also really enjoy watching both of them work, and will especially like watching them each rehash old rivalries in the first-round tilt against Becky Lynch and Sami Zayn. It’s tough to bet against any team with BRRRRRAAAAAUUUUUNNNNN in a tournament like this, so they may very well end up being my pick to take the whole thing.

Becky Lynch and Sami Zayn

I really wish they didn’t face Braun and Alexa in the first round, because this is probably my second-favorite team in the tournament. Becky and Sami work well together because they’re both weird and it’s embraced and fantastic. I’m pretty sure the losing team between these two will be back in with the fans’ choice vote later in the tournament.

Goldust and Alicia Fox

Speaking of weird, how about these two? Goldust remains the same weird character he was 20 years ago (except PG, but it still works) and Fox is coming off one of her most fun runs in a while after Survivor Series. She’s cooled off a little since then, but I think the comedy between these two will be top notch.

Jimmy Uso and Naomi

We’ve finally gotten to one of the real-life couples! This will be a ton of fun. Jimmy Uso is one of the best tag team wrestlers in WWE history and Naomi has been one of the highlights of the women’s division since reinventing herself to the Feel The Glow persona. Like with Banks and Balor, I’m interested in seeing how they handle the entrance.

Elias and Bayley

Elias is a fun act that everyone really enjoys. Bayley is a fun act that everyone really enjoys. And yet… WWE dropped the ball here. Putting Balor and Bayley together was an absolute layup, and WWE blew it.

Again, Elias and Bayley will be fine and probably lead to some fun pre-match concert stuff, but the entire time I’ll be thinking about the big time missed opportunity, and that’s unfortunate.

Rusev and Lana

Real life couple, again. It’s fine. Lana’s not very good but Rusev is excellent in and out of the ring and if there’s any good in the world, Aiden English will still be the one to announce their entrance

Apollo Crews and Nia Jax

Nia wanted to team with Enzo Amore but he got sick and was ruled out of the MMC, so she ended up with Apollo Crews. That’ll be fun. They have similar styles and their first round match against Bobby Roode and Charlotte should click well.

Bobby Roode and Charlotte

Another dark horse team brought together by their love of nice robes. Roode and Charlotte are two of the most decorated NXT stars of all time and the success has translated to the main roster. It definitely wouldn’t be a surprise to see them in the finals.

Prediction

It’s really tough to predict something like this because it’s never happened before and we don’t know how the teams are going to gel. If I had to pick right now, though, I would take Braun and Alexa over Roode and Charlotte in the finals.

All photos courtesy of WWE