Welcome back to the WWE Mixed Match Challenge Season 2, a half-hour show featuring a 10-team round robin mixed tag tournament between Raw and Smackdown. The episodes air live on Facebook Watch at 10 p.m. every Tuesday night, but you can last week’s episode and this week’s episode any time you want. Each week, I’ll be taking you through the ins and outs of this compact two-match card.
Two weeks ago, two teams saw their undefeated streaks come to an end, as Monster Eclipse (RIP) defeated Country Dominance, and Extreme Flair (who didn’t have an official name yet) beat Awe-ska. Now, let’s dive into last week’s matches:
Match One (RAW): Team Pawz Versus Mahalicia
This is the first of two matches between teams who’ve lost every previous match in this tournament. Mahalicia has had a storyline and some chaotic charisma (thanks to the hard work of unsung hero Alicia Fox) since day one, while Team Pawz wasn’t left with much when Cat Lover Kevin Owens was replaced by Dog Person Bobby Roode. For that matter, even on Raw all that’s happened to Roode and Natalya lately has been their personal possessions being desecrated by heels. Nothing against Bobby and Nattie as people, obviously, but the point I’m getting to is that there are very few situations in 2018 WWE where you’d say that Alicia Fox and Jinder Mahal were the obvious choice to win something, but they clearly were in this case.
And of course, finally winning a match gives Alicia something new and different to fight with Jinder and the Singhs about. I don’t like when she calls them the Singh Sisters (you may have noticed, but I’m not a big fan of gender-based insults in general), but overall Alicia has been the primary force that makes this team fun, and being fun seems like the main thing that’s keeping them around. So in that sense, Alicia really is the captain that led Mahalicia to victory.
Match Two (Smackdown): Fabulous Truth Versus Ravishing Rusev Day
R-Truth’s history is much longer and more complicated, but the other three people in this match were all heels not long ago, and none of them really had dramatic face turns. They just started being more likable, and people started liking them, and then they were faces, more or less. Not in this match, though. Rusev and Lana played the heels here, going so far as to interrupt a Dance Break (the main thing that’s made people like Carmella again) by attacking their opponents when the lights were out.
Lana’s still doing great stuff with her character’s unhinged desperation and eagerness to impress her husband, which took her to a pretty dark place here, as she slammed Carmella’s head against the announce table. Ultimately though, Carmella got the pin with a superkick, and achieved a deserved win for the most likable team in this all-losers episode.
While we’re here, can I take a minute to say that Carmella looks great lately? The burgundy hair with the blue gear, or even the rainbow gear she wore at WWE Evolution, has really taken her aesthetic up a level, and I’ve always been impressed with her style. She’s getting more fabulous every day, and I’m glad she seems to have won back most of the WWE Universe since the end of her ill-fated championship run.