Reviews

TJR: WWE Mixed Match Challenge Review 09/18/18 for Season 2, Episode 1

It’s time for WWE Mixed Match Challenge season two. They changed the format this year where the Raw teams will face eachother in a round robin format and the Smackdown teams will do the same. There are two matches per episode.

The show airs on Facebook Watch in the US and some other countries, but not in my country of Canada. It does get uploaded on WWE Network on Thursdays, but I want to get these reviews done on Wednesdays most weeks, so I use WatchWrestling for it.

The show took place on Tuesday, September 18 after Smackdown in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The announce team for the show is Michael Cole, Renee Young and Vic Joseph. The announce team for the first season was Cole, Corey Graves and Beth Phoenix.

Braun Strowman made his entrance with Ember Moon. Strowman’s original partner Alexa Bliss is out with an injury, so Moon is Strowman’s partner for now. If Bliss is healthy enough to compete later in the tournament then she will be back as Strowman’s partner.

The duo of Kevin Owens and Natalya were up next. They are both Canadian. They are called Team Pawz since they like cats. Strowman laughed at Owens when Owens got in the ring with him since they have had a rivalry this summer.

The rules are men vs. men and women vs. women. They have dumped the deal where the teams were representing charities.

Monster Eclipse (Braun Strowman and Ember Moon) vs. Team Pawz (Kevin Owens and Natalya)

The match started with Owens saying that he helped Strowman beat down The Shield and he tagged Natalya in to face Moon. There was a rollup from Moon early on for a two count. The duo of Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox were on their phones backstage talking to fans in the comment section. Natalya with a running shoulder tackle, then she did a cartwheel and Moon mocked the cat name of Natalya. Owens yelled at Natalya to not let Moon tag in Strowman. There was a hurricanrana from Moon for two. Moon went up top, Natalya tripped her up and Natalya hit a spinning Powerbomb. Natalya slapped on the Sharpshooter submission in the center of the ring. Strowman yelled at Moon to fight through the pain. Moon got close, so Strowman pulled her over and tagged himself in.

Strowman faced off with Owens with Strowman hitting two splashes. Owens with a boot to the face, so Strowman punched Owens out of the ring. Strowman ran outside the ring and hit a shoulder tackle on Owens. Strowman ran around the ring again, so Owens hit a superkick and whipped Strowman into the ring post. Owens shoved Strowman over the announce table at ringside. Strowman got back in the ring before the ten count where Owens hit him with another superkick to the jaw. Strowman popped back up with a punch to the chest. Owens broke free to tag in Natalya, which meant Moon had to go back in. Natalya tried a Sharpshooter, but Moon hit an enziguri kick. Strowman decked Owens with a punch. Moon stood on Strowman’s shoulders, she jumped off and hit the Eclipse stunner on Natalya for the pinfall win at around eight minutes.

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

Analysis: **1/2 It was a fun match that fit the format of this show. They did this match to build up the tag to Strowman for his team. The finish was well done with Moon hitting the Eclipse off Strowman’s shoulders. Natalya sold it perfectly. Owens and Strowman had a fun exchange while they were in there. Owens was funny with some of his smartass comments while also running away from Strowman whenever he could. Strowman and Moon (or Bliss) are obviously going to be big favorites to win it all due to Strowman being on the top. I liked that Moon got the win because it puts her over a bit whereas Strowman doesn’t really need it since he’s a top guy.

Here are the standings on the Raw side:

Here are post match comments from both teams.

Next week from Raw: Legit Dominance – Bobby Lashley and Sasha Banks vs. Mahalicia – Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox.

The husband and wife duo of Jimmy Uso and Naomi made their entrance. They were in the first season of Mixed Match Challenge as well. Their name is Day One Glow. Naomi’s outfit was full of glow while Jimmy had on glow shoes and a glow hat.

Charlotte Flair made her entrance. They showed images of Becky Lynch attacking Flair to end Smackdown in the main event of the show. Flair had a robe on like usual, but when AJ Styles did his entrance, she did the Styles pose on the stage. They are called Fenomenal Flair with the word “phenomenal” spelled that way for the team. Everybody in the Mixed Match Challenge was wearing shirts that you can get on WWE’s Custom Tees website.

Day One Glow (Jimmy Uso and Naomi) vs. Fenomenal Flair (AJ Styles and Charlotte Flair)

Jimmy started with Styles with each guy hitting arm drag. They did a funny spot where each guy caught the other man’s foot and then they slowly put their feet down. They yelled at eachother to tag out, so Flair tagged in against Naomi. Naomi tripped up Flair and kicked her in the head. Flair came back wit ha kick to Naomi. Flair did a twerking moment where she shook her ass, which also led to Flair laughing about it. Naomi gave her props for that. Naomi got a jackknife pin for two. Flair came back, they did the same “catch the foot” spot and agreed to put the feet down at the same time. Flair got a rollup for two. Naomi tripped up Charlotte and did the splits into a leg drop for two. Naomi with a baseball slide dropkick that sent Charlotte out of the ring. Naomi followed up with a dive over the top, Styles caught her and Jimmy yelled at Styles about it. Flair took advantage of that with a slingshot dive over the top to take out Jimmy and Naomi on the floor. Naomi hit a kick to the head followed by a running clothesline for two. Flair opened up on Naomi with chops, but Naomi stopped her with a double boot to the face. Naomi hit Charlotte with a slap. Jimmy Uso wore some Natalya cat ears that were in the corner, but then he took them off. Naomi missed a split legged moonsault out of the corner, so Flair went up top and connected with a moonsault for a two count. It looked okay, but not great. The team of R-Truth and Carmella were shown backstage commenting on their phones.

Jimmy got the tag and Styles jumped on Charlotte’s back leading to a clothesline. Styles hit a fireman’s carry neckbreaker known as the Ushigoroshi for a two count. Jimmy countered a Styles Clash attempt into a Samoan Drop. Jimmy with a spinning kick to the head and Styles came back with a Pele Kick. Naomi tagged back in, she hid a headscissors on Styles. Flair tossed Naomi out of the ring and Flair put the Figure Eight submission on Jimmy. Naomi went up top and hit a splash on Flair for two as Styles broke it up. Jimmy missed a superkick, Styles dumped Jimmy out of the ring and Naomi hit a butt splash on Styles. Flair with a big boot on Naomi. Flair slapped on the Figure Eight submission on Naomi and Naomi tapped out for the loss. They went around ten minutes.

Winners by submission: Fenomenal Flair (AJ Styles and Charlotte Flair)

Analysis: *** Good match with the women carrying a lot of the match, but the guys got into it at the end too. It would be great to see a Charlotte feud with Naomi one day because they are both very athletic. I’m not surprised by Styles and Charlotte getting the win because they are the bigger names. I can see Styles/Flair going undefeated in this tournament in the round robin stage and they could be the winners of the whole thing as well.

Post match, Styles and Flair celebrated the win. Cole pointed out that it’s not an elimination tournament, it’s a round robin. Styles and Flair were greeting fans at ringside, then Styles actually tripped and Flair fell over him. They laughed about it.

Here are the standings from the Smackdown side:

Here are post match comments from both teams:

Next week from Smackdown: Team Awe-Suka – The Miz and Asuka vs. Fabulous Truth – R-Truth and Carmella

After the show was over, Styles got some fans involved with “Woo” chants.

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

Final Thoughts

It was a fun show overall. They could have provided more info like when the finals are (the rumor is at TLC in December), what the winners get for winning, if there are any charities involved and a few other small things. I guess all of that will come in the weeks ahead.

Mixed Match Challenge is a simple concept. Two matches getting around ten minutes with some funny moments and a few unique spots thrown in. It’s an easy watch. I enjoy it.

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

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

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