TJR WWE Mixed Match Challenge Review: Braun Strowman and Alexa Bliss vs. The Miz and Asuka – Week 10 (Semifinal #1)

This match took place in Dallas, Texas immediately following Smackdown on Tuesday, March 20th.

The start of the broadcast showed Smackdown General Manager Daniel Bryan being taken away on a stretcher. Michael Cole encouraged us to check out WWE’s social media for updates on Daniel Bryan.

The announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Beth Phoenix welcomed us to the show from their spot at ringside. The duo of Bobby Roode and Charlotte Flair were shown in the locker room on their phones interacting with fans on Facebook.

Asuka made her entrance first for her team. The Miz walked out next with the Intercontinental Champion. A pre-match promo was shown with Asuka told him they need to win for her streak. They are competing for the charity Rescue Dogs Rock.

Braun Strowman was up first for his team wearing his “Get These Hands” tank top. Alexa Bliss, the Raw Women’s Champion, was up next and she jumped up to give the big man Strowman a high five. A pre-match promo was shown with them saying they’re “going all the way” and Bliss said all the way…in the Mixed Match Challenge.

Braun Strowman and Alexa Bliss vs. The Miz and Asuka

The women were going to start the match, but Bliss tagged out and Strowman told Miz to get in there. There were several tag in and tag out moments with Miz not wanting to face Strowman and Bliss not wanting to face Asuka. The men finally started with Strowman nailing a running dropkick on Miz followed by a clubbing blow to the chest with Asuka making the save. Asuka was yelling about her streak. Strowman tossed Miz across the ring, so Miz tagged in Asuka. The Miz tried to leave, but Strowman cut him off to prevent him from leaving. Bliss was on the apron, Asuka with a running hip attack and Bliss landed in Strowman’s arms in a very flirtatious spot. The crowd was cheering, but Strowman just put her back in the ring. Beth said there is manipulation from Bliss and Graves said there’s a spark there with Bliss and Strowman. Bliss worked over Asuka with her foot on Asuka’s throat and Bliss grabbed a headlock. Bliss dumped Asuka out of the ring.

Strowman tagged in and tossed Miz across the ring again. Strowman with a kick to the ribs of Miz and a hard whip into the turnbuckle. Strowman with a clothesline on Miz. Strowman with a running splash in the corner. Miz avoided the Running Powerslam, punch to the back of the knee and Miz with a running dropkick to the knee. Miz did several kicks to the chest that Strowman didn’t sell and Strowman hit a Chokeslam. Asuka was freaking out about her streak. Strowman kicked Miz out of the ring. Bliss called Strowman over, grabbed him by the beard, pulled him in close and Miz hit Strowman in the back to stop that moment. Miz ran outside the ring, Strowman chased him and shoved Miz into the barricade. Strowman whipped Miz into the barricade. Strowman launched Miz back into the ring, which was dumb because Asuka tagged in. Running hip attack by Asuka followed by a knee to the face and a spin kick. Asuka with a running knee that knocked down Bliss for a two count. Bliss sent Asuka into the turnbuckle followed by a slap to the face. Asuka rollup got two. Bliss hit a dropkick to knock Miz off the apron. They did a double KO spot with Asuka hitting a kick and Bliss with a punch. Strowman ran at Miz outside the ring and Strowman tackled Miz through the barricade. That drew a “holy shit” reaction from the crowd. Bliss got a rollup on Asuka for two. Asuka jumped off the turnbuckle with an attack, Bliss moved and Bliss rolled her up for two. That was close. Asuka avoided the DDT and Asuka slapped on the Asuka Lock submission. Bliss tapped out to give Asuka the win after 11 minutes.

Winners by submission: The Miz and Asuka

Analysis: ***1/4 That was a very entertaining match. I think it was the best match in this tournament so far. Well done by all four wrestlers. I liked the story of Strowman looking very dominant, but Miz was crafty enough to tag out and Asuka beat Bliss to continue Asuka’s undefeated streak. There was no point in the match where Strowman was in any danger of losing, so the strategy should have been that he stayed in as long as possible. Instead, Asuka got back in there and that was bad for Bliss. I liked some of the nearfalls for Bliss because the crowd bought into it as a possible end to the match even though most people probably assumed Asuka would win.

Asuka was celebrating in the ring while Miz was still selling Strowman’s attack that took out the barricade. Strowman carried Bliss in his arms and they went to the back. Asuka left the ring to check on her partner The Miz, who was still out on the floor.

The second chance fan vote was won by Finn Balor and Sasha Banks with 40% of the vote. Charlotte commented that it was her old nemesis Sasha Banks.

Analysis: That’s no surprise that Balor and Banks won since they are both faces and they are big names. I thought maybe Nakamura/Natalya might win, but with Natalya as a heel that probably hurt their chances even though Nakamura is popular.

Asuka helped The Miz back to his feet as the show ended there after 20 minutes.

Next week: Bobby Roode and Charlotte Flair vs. Finn Balor and Sasha Banks. The winners go on to the finals.

Week 12 is the finals on April 3.

Analysis: I think Asuka and Miz will win the whole thing due to Asuka’s streak. I think Roode and Flair will make the finals, so that will be the first time Charlotte and Asuka are in a match together less than a week before WrestleMania takes place.

Here are some post MMC videos.

Check out all of my Mixed Match Challenge Reviews right here in case you haven’t been following along. I’ll be back for more next week.