The John Report: WWE Mixed Match Challenge Review 11/13/18 for Season 2, Episode 9

Welcome to my review of week eight of season two of the WWE Mixed Match Challenge. The show took place on Tuesday, November 13 after Smackdown in St. Louis, Missouri.

As a reminder, the show airs on Facebook Watch in the US on the Mixed Match Challenge page and some other countries, but not in my country of Canada. It is added to WWE Network on Thursdays, and most weeks I use WatchWrestling for it.

The announce team for the show is Vic Joseph, Michael Cole and Renee Young.

There was a clip of Daniel Bryan walking away as the WWE Champion. AJ Styles was still in the ring getting helped after his tough loss.

As a reminder, the top Raw team will face the top Smackdown team at the December PPV called TLC. All Raw and Smackdown teams face eachother once, so there are at least four matches for every team.

We also found out this week that the winners of Mixed Match Challenge get to be #30 in the men’s and women’s Royal Rumble match, so after nine weeks of this show there is finally a reward announced.

This is about as big as a regular week of this show can get with 3-0 teams matching up on each side.

The lovely Mickie James was up first for her team followed by Bobby Lashley with his manager Lio Rush. They are heels now, so they have that in common.

The opponents are the “War Goddess” Ember Moon, who the announcers say is a future Women’s Champion. She should be, but they don’t book her the right way. Anyway, Braun Strowman is still not the Universal Champion and he is Moon’s partner for this team known as Monster Eclipse. Good pop for Strowman doing his yell routine.

Country Dominance (Bobby Lashley and Mickie James) w/Lio Rush vs. Monster Eclipse (Braun Strowman and Ember Moon)

Country Dominance and Monster Eclipse both have 3-0 records.

The ladies started with Moon tripping up James and each woman was able to get some pin attempts for two count. They battled over a backslide with James turning it into the dreaded abdominal stretch. A clip was shown of Paige talking to Charlotte Flair with Paige saying she got Charlotte a replacement for AJ Styles since he’s injured in the storyline, so we’ll find out that partner later. Moon with a kick to the gut, knee to the face, James came back with a jumping kick and they each ran the ropes leading to a double clothesline spot. The guys tagged in for a showdown of the big men that are on the same team at Survivor Series. Each guy got the advantage of a shoving battle. Strowman with a shoulder tackle, whip into the rope and another shoulder tackle. When Lashley tried a charging attack, Strowman kicked Lashley in the chest to knock him down. Rush grabbed Strowman’s foot, so Lashley capitalized with a running shoulder tackle to the ribs of Strowman. Strowman picked up Lashley and dropped him with a front suplex. Moon chased after Rush, so James hit an impressive dropkick off the apron onto Moon on the floor. Strowman chased after Rush, then ran over Lashley with a shoulder tackle. James went up top, jumped off and Moon hit an Eclipse on James leading to a pinfall win after about six minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Monster Eclipse (Braun Strowman and Ember Moon)

Analysis: **1/2 It was a fun match with not as much comedy as some of the other matches on this show, so I’m glad that it was done in a more competitive way. It was shorter than I would have liked, though. I didn’t notice a tag to make the women legal, but maybe it was done by James before her dropkick on Moon. The only wrestler of the four in this match that is not wrestling at Survivor Series is Ember Moon, yet she’s the one that got the win. I guess that kind of thing doesn’t matter that much on this show. I loved the spot by James hitting the dropkick on Moon on the floor, but it was not to be for her team and Moon was put over strong. Strowman and Lashley barely did anything in the match, which is likely to keep them fresh going into Survivor Series.

Strowman and Moon celebrated the win while the announcers wondered if any team can beat them.

Here are the standings on the Raw side:

Analysis: That means that Strowman and Moon have locked in the top seed for the playoffs. There is a playoff apparently where four of the five teams advance, so I assume it would be 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3 on each show.

The announcers talked about the winning team gets the #30 spot in the men’s and women’s Royal Rumble matches.

Here are post match comments:

Next week from Raw: Bobby Roode and Natalya vs. Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox in a battle of two winless teams. Comments were shown from both teams.

Charlotte Flair entered first for her Fenomenal Flair team, but with no AJ Styles available due to losing a match earlier, it’s Jeff Hardy as the partner for Charlotte. They are both from North Carolina, so they have that connection. Charlotte tried to do a Jeff Hardy dance move and it looked awkward, but at least she tried.

Asuka was up first for her team followed by her partner, The Miz, who had a DVD of The Marine 6 in his hands. Asuka was cheered and Miz was booed as usual. They are known as Awe-ska and they are the team that won the first season of Mixed Match Challenge. They’ve never lost in MMC since it started.

Fenomenal Flair (Jeff Hardy and Charlotte Flair) vs. Awe-ska (The Miz and Asuka)

Fenomenal Flair and Awe-ska both have 3-0 records.

The guys started the match off. Flair and Asuka wrestled in t-shirts because the women tend to cover up on this show since it’s more family-friendly than the main shows even though it’s still a PG company either way. I’m just being observant. Hardy started with Miz as he whipped his head into the turnbuckle ten times with some “delete” chants in there too. Miz avoided a Twist of Fate and Asuka tagged in for the face off with Flair featuring two women that were WrestleMania opponents. Asuka was in control with an armbar on the left arm as the fans chanted for both women. Asuka missed a charge because Flair ducked and each woman hit an arm drag followed by a sequence where they each did a dropkick at the same time. Miz charged at Flair on the apron, so Flair kicked Miz down and Asuka did a running hip attack to knock Flair off the apron. Back in the ring, Asuka with an arm drag that grounded Flair as R-Truth and Carmella were shown backstage on their phones commenting on the match. Flair got back into the match with multiple chops to the chest of Flair. Asuka came back with a hard kick to the back of Flair. Asuka with a running kick attempt, Flair ducked, she got a rollup for two and Flair with a boot to the face. Hardy tagged in against Miz with Hardy hitting Russian legsweep and a leg drop into the pin for two. Hardy with a back elbow to the face followed by the Whisper in the Wind twisting cross body block attack off the top rope to earn a two count on Miz. Hardy with a back kick, but Miz got a foot up to block a kick in the corner. Each guy countered moves, Hardy got a two count and Miz hit a kick to the knee followed by a DDT for two as Flair broke it up. Asuka dumped Flair out of the ring. Miz nearly hit Asuka when Hardy ducked a clothesline and Asuka with a back elbow to Hardy leading to a two count for Miz. Hardy avoided a Skull Crushing Finale, Miz with an elbow, Asuka tagged in so it was time to face off with Charlotte. Miz and Asuka each connected with kicks to the chest of their opponents. Miz went for the roundhouse kick, Hardy ducked and Hardy hit a Twist of Fate on Miz. Flair got back into it with a Spear. Flair slapped on the Figure Eight submission and Asuka tapped out to give Flair the win after around ten minutes.

Winners by submission: Fenomenal Flair (Jeff Hardy and Charlotte Flair)

Analysis: *** That was one of the best matches of this season of MMC because it was treated as a serious match instead of the usual comedy routines that we get on this show. Miz and Asuka lost a match for the first time. It was fun seeing Charlotte working with Asuka again following their great match at WrestleMania earlier this year. I thought the finish was set up well with Charlotte getting the win for her team to give her momentum going into Survivor Series.

The announcers were surprised by the result with Cole calling it a “major upset” although I wouldn’t say that about the result.

Here are the standings from the Smackdown side:

Analysis: It’s the same thing as the Raw side, so clearly the creative team wasn’t that creative when they came up with the results in this tournament. The two winless teams meet next week, so the winners get another match in the playoffs and the losers are done.

Here are post match comments:

Next week from Smackdown: Ravishing Rusev Day (Rusev and Lana) vs. Fabulous Truth (Carmella and R-Truth).

The duo of Jeff and Charlotte celebrated the win to end the show while Miz and Asuka were upset outside the ring. That’s all for Mixed Match Challenge for this week.

As a reminder of the matches for next week, here you go:

Final Thoughts

This was one of the better episodes with more serious action instead of the typical comedy stuff that people do on this show. The second match was very good while the first match too short. I don’t know why they didn’t give them more time in the first match because it would have helped. It was a solid show overall this week.

Thanks for reading. My contact info is below. Go Los Angeles Rams.

John Canton


Twitter @johnreport

Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling on Facebook