With all the talk of Women’s Tag Team Championships, I am going to look at another suggestion, Mixed Tag Team Championships.
We all know that to have a Women’s tag division at the moment would require either a serious rise in female talent numbers or to have them cross-branded which would most likely include NXT talents. However, despite the fact that Women’s tag titles will be a natural move towards the evolution of women’s wrestling, I am far more interested in the dynamics and possibilities that the Mixed Match Challenge has made apparent.
Apart from the fact that it will give some of the more unused talents a spot, it can be used to keep main stars busy while their fellow top stars have their time in the spotlight, then switch around to allow for less stagnation. Just the sheer amount of teams that could be created brings more possibilities than male and female tag divisions combined. It would also see a big change in the interaction between the male and female stars. It would even be possible to have separate Raw and SmackDown versions due to the number of combinations possible.
This got me thinking of some teams that we could see enter this title scene. For the sake of how well these teams have already been shown to work, I am going to include the MMC participants that are still able to team up after the Superstar Shake Up, as teams such as Bobby Roode and Charlotte are now on separate brands. Some teams I have switched one of the partners out for what I believe could be a better pairing.
I would also have an annual tournament for a prize of a charity donation like the original MMC, featuring the top teams from each brand competing against each other. The concept was popular but was basically non-canon from the characters usual storylines. This new division should be part of the main roster story and recognized as such.
So, starting off we have Alexa Bliss and Braun Strowman on Raw along with Finn Balor and Sasha Banks, Elias and Bayley as our teams left together on the same brands after MMC, while on SmackDown we have the Miz and Asuka alongside Lana and Rusev, Jimmy and Naomi plus Carmella and Big E.
I understand that Apollo and Nia Jax, who were MMC teammates, are still on the same brand, yet I would switch Apollo out for Bobby Lashley. I think that both Lashley and Jax would compliment each other’s styles, as both are very hard hitting and would be able to tear through the competition with ease. Both of them possess a dominant attitude over their opponents and I think it would be difficult to find many teams that will be able to hold their own against them. This pairing would be a legitimate threat.
That gives us four teams on each brand so far. I am going to also include Charlotte Flair and Bobby Roode with different partners now they are on separate brands, plus Alicia Fox and Samoa Joe who were both scheduled to compete last time but were unable due to injury.
I would add five choices of teams to each brand as possibilities. Starting with Raw and it’s remaining superstars, the teams that I would pair up are as follows:
Ember Moon & Seth Rollins
Rollins is the current Intercontinental Champion and his partner has recently been called up from NXT, ready to work her magic on the Raw Women’s division like she did in NXT as champion. Both superstars are greatly over with the crowd and would be one of the fan favorites to win, with the role helping to get more eyes on Ember’s fantastic skills and how she handles herself in the squared circle with Rollins being the perfect guide along the way.
Bobby Roode & Ronda Rousey
This may seem like a strange pairing but I think Roode’s charisma and over the top style would mix well with Rousey’s style of going from seeming shy in her new surroundings, then switching into whatever zone she goes into when she locks eyes on someone she has chosen for destruction. She would be able to quickly dispatch their opponents and I think Roode’s experience at working with the crowd could do wonders for her to be around as well.
Kevin Owens & Ruby Riott
As with the other call-ups from NXT recently I think Ruby Riott could learn a lot of main roster experience alongside Kevin Owens, who himself made the trip from NXT to the main roster with great success. We saw Sami Zayn in the MMC tournament but this time around I would like to see Kevin’s dry sense of humor showcased here as he is hilarious when interacting with others, yet in the ring, both competitors will be a no-nonsense, viscous pairing.
Dolph Ziggler & Alicia Fox
I had to include Alicia Fox for the fact that she missed out last time around and although the logical choice would be kayfabe boyfriend Noam Dar I personally would like to see the interaction between Fox and Ziggler. Both are very good about looking after number one, can be vicious and can throw a tantrum if things aren’t going their way. I would expect some cheating along the way from these two.
My choices for teams on SmackDown are:
Charlotte Flair & Jeff Hardy
I would love to see the teaming up of the United States Champion and the former SmackDown Women’s Champion. The two of them are both very experienced in the ring and majorly over with the crowd, Jed hot off his return from injury and Charlotte having recently defeated Asuka’s streak at WrestleMania before being preyed on the following week by the first Ms. Money in the Bank, Carmella. I think this could end up as the second most popular team behind my next choice.
Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella
With Bryan now cleared to compete and being replaced as General Manager in order to pursue his in-ring return, amidst rumours of the Bellas returning to action in the event of the Women’s tag division becoming a thing, fans would love nothing more than to see these two in the ring together and would be picked by many as the probable winners long in advance. Their chemistry is great and with how much they care for each other it adds a dynamic that not all teams possess.
Zelina Vega & Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas
Another vicious team that could steal a win here and there would be two of the most recent wave of NXT call-ups Almas and Vega. The man has the pedigree and can back up his words, even if it is with a helping hand here and there from Zelina, who is also just as vicious as Almas. I would watch out for these two because one false move will allow them to walk out winners and take the division as their own.
Samoa Joe & Sonya Deville
I don’t think anyone would argue with the destructive capabilities here. I can’t imagine their matches lasting too long, with both being able to very quickly destroy their enemies. I would like to see their sadistic sides on the show as both seem to enjoy inflicting punishment on people, making these two a huge threat to the scene. Joe’s veteran experience would likely rub off on Deville who has only been on the main roster a short time, enabling her to take the lessons into her singles career.
Tye Dillinger and Peyton Royce
I had to throw these two in, not just for how much fans want them to be called ‘Pey-Ten’ but for how I think their participation could showcase them to the greater audience. Peyton is undoubtedly in the public eye at the moment after her recent debut on the main roster as part of the Iconic Duo with Billie Kay, while Dillinger is losing any momentum that he had upon leaving NXT. He is in need of something to do and this could be one way for him to have some great matches without having to be in the main or mid-card title scenes.
As I have chosen five teams for SmackDown and only four for Raw I’m going to use my fantasy booking creative powers to call up Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae to the red brand. The husband and wife pairing would be one of the teams I would make later on to enable Candice to have her time in NXT and for ‘Johnny Wrestling’ to finish his business with Ciampa. I’m also going to go as far as to say that this team could easily be the favorites and rise straight to the top of the scene, breaking them into the main roster and allowing for the larger crowds at Raw to see their skills showcased in addition to the singles runs they would also have, it may be used as a way to make the transition smoother for some stars.
That is not me saying I don’t think Gargano and LeRae wouldn’t make it on the main roster, but in general, this technique could be used for various call-ups and they already have a relationship established unlike most of the other teams that were more randomly selected. Just imagine these two against Bryan and Brie…
I am in no way suggesting that WWE goes ahead and makes all of these teams straight away, just exploring possibilities. Over time some could be used, with the others being kept in the wings to maintain everything in a fresh rotation, as mentioned before it can be used in conjunction with the stars singles runs so that they are always kept busy, as opposed to being ‘lost in the shuffle’.