The WWE announced today that the WWE Mixed Match Challenge tournament, where mixed tag teams compete in a tag team tournament (mixed tag rules, not intergender), will be returning for a second season on Facebook Watch, and quite a bit sooner than expected – the second season kicks off on Tuesday September 18 at 10pm EST, directly following Smackdown Live on Facebook Watch. The first season of Mixed Match Challenge debuted January 16, 2018 and finished this spring, April 3, 2018, with the team of The Miz & Asuka defeating Charlotte Flair & Bobby Roode in the finals. For winning the tournament, Miz and Asuka’s chosen charity, Rescue Dogs Rock, received a $100,000 donation from the WWE.
From the WWE’s press release today:
Each season 2 episode will reflect a progressive approach to production, with elements optimized for mobile consumption, experimentation and social interaction, including the ability for fans to engage with Superstars during the show. Fans will have the opportunity to vote to impact and influence the show for all 14 episodes on Facebook throughout the season.
The unique storylines for Mixed Match Challenge season 2 will continue between episodes across WWE’s Facebook Pages with short-form videos and social content. WWE will also promote and recap the series across its extensive digital and social footprint, including on the Mixed Match Challenge Facebook Watch Page.
Ten teams will compete this year (last year saw twelve), with a few favorite pairings returning for Season 2, plus several new duos. Here’s a look at the ten tandems vying for the Mixed Match Challenge crown.
Mixed Match Challenge: The Returnees
THE MIZ & ASUKA, Smackdown Live
The defending champions The Miz and Asuka return, once again representing Smackdown Live. En route to their win over Charlotte and Roode in the finals, they knocked off Big E & Carmella, Finn Bálor & Sasha Banks, and Braun Strowman & Alexa Bliss.
BRAUN STROWMAN & ALEXA BLISS, RAW
This “Beauty & The Beast” pairing became immensely popular during the first MMC, and are back once again to the delight of many WWE fans. After taking out Sami Zayn & Becky Lynch in the first round, and Naomi & Jimmy Uso in the second, the tandem met their match and lost in the semi finals to Miz & Asuka, when Alexa tapped out to Asuka.
JIMMY USO & NAOMI, Smackdown Live
One of two married couples returning for the second season, Naomi and her husband Jimmy Uso beat the popular Goldust & Mandy Rose duo in the opening round, but ran into the monster Braun Strowman and Alexa Bliss in the second round, ending their tournament earlier than expected.
RUSEV & LANA, Smackdown Live
The “Rusev Day” power couple knocked Bayley & Elias out in the first round in the first season, before losing to eventual finalists Charlotte Flair & Bobby Roode in the second. With “Rusev Day” stronger than ever, expect them to go far.
Mixed Match Challenge: The New Teams
AJ STYLES & CHARLOTTE FLAIR, Smackdown Live
With her former partner Bobby Roode moving to RAW, Charlotte Flair has been paired with WWE Champion AJ Styles. With both the WWE and Smackdown Women’s Champion working together, this Royal Court would have to be favorites to take it all this year.
FINN BALOR & BAYLEY, RAW
Bayley didn’t fair so well last year with Elias as her partner, bowing out early in the first round. This year she’s paired with Finn Bálor, who last year made the semi finals with Sasha Banks.
SASHA BANKS & BOBBY LASHLEY, RAW
The only returning duo not to be reunited this year was the semi finalist team of Sasha Banks and Finn Bálor. Bálor is being paired with Banks’ current tag team partner Bayley this time around, and Banks has traded in Finn’s quickness for the muscle of Bobby Lashley.
R-TRUTH & CARMELLA, Smackdown Live
Former Smackdown Women’s Champion Carmella is back for her second attempt at the MMC, but she’s ditched her partner from last season, Big E, and replaced him with the man whose seemed determined to pin her of late, R-Truth.
ALICIA FOX & JINDER MAHAL, RAW
Alicia Fox was originally paired with Goldust in the first season, but a broken tailbone caused her to be removed and replaced by Mandy Rose. She’s back for the second season, this time paired with former WWE Champion Jinder Mahal.
KEVIN OWENS & NATALYA, RAW
The Canadian Connection pairs together Montreal’s Kevin Owens with Calgary’s Natalya, as Nattie replaces her season one partner Shinsuke Nakamura (she moved to RAW, while Nakamura remains on Smackdown Live). One of the toughest teams combined, Nattie will look to go further than last year’s first round loss to Finn Bálor & Sasha Banks.