There have been whispers for weeks that WWE was planning on hosting a mixed gender tag team tournament in 2018. Now we have official confirmation of this, with WWE laying out the format for their upcoming show.
The Mixed Match Challenge tournament will air exclusively on Facebook Watch every Tuesday, starting Jan. 16 2018. The tournament will see men and women from the Raw and Smackdown Live brands teaming up to compete over a number of weeks.
Each 20-minute episode will reflect a progressive approach to production, with elements optimized for mobile consumption, experimentation and social interaction, including the ability for the WWE Universe to engage with Superstars during the show. In addition, fans will have the opportunity to select matchups, match stipulations and more, on Facebook.
WWE.com released the following statement about the show;
“As we continue to expand our strategic partnership with Facebook, this new series, Mixed Match Challenge, jointly reflects our innovative approach to content distribution and fan engagement,” said Michelle Wilson, WWE Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer. “This show will deliver the action and excitement our passionate fan base is accustomed to while offering new production elements and social experiences that only Facebook can provide.”
“As a leader in entertainment innovation, WWE is an ideal partner to demonstrate how the live sports viewing experience can be reimagined on Facebook Watch,” said Dan Reed, Facebook Head of Global Sports Partnerships. “Mixed Match Challenge is a new competition produced specifically to take advantage of the reach, interaction and ongoing engagement enabled by our platform. Fans will be able to directly influence and interact with the in-ring action, follow the rivalries and storylines in between events, and connect with one another as the drama unfolds. We’re excited for the WWE community to come together on our platform to watch some of the biggest Raw and SmackDown Live Superstars and engage with WWE like never before.”
“Mixed Match Challenge demonstrates WWE’s flexibility in creating and producing compelling content across platforms in a media landscape that is evolving each day,” said Jayar Donlan, WWE Executive Vice President, Digital & Social Content. “The social interaction leading up to and during each show will connect WWE Superstars with our massive fan base on Facebook in more ways than ever before.”
Kurt Angle made the announcement of the Monday Night Raw participants
- Alexa Bliss,
- Alicia Fox,
- Nia Jax,
- Sasha Banks,
- Braun, Enzo,
- Finn Balor,
- Jason Jordan,
- Samoa Joe.
Daniel Bryan announced the participants from the Smackdown Live roster, including;
- Becky Lynch
- Jimmy Uso,
- Sami Zayn,
- Bobby Roode,
- Big E/Woods/Kofi
It’s interesting that WWE has made the decision to stream this live on Facebook – rather than putting it on the Network. It’s perhaps a sign that the company is looking to expand its current selection of content – trying to bring in more eyes to the product on the whole.
It should also be stated that none of the teams have currently been announced. Both Kurt Angle and Daniel Bryan stressed that audiences could have a say in which pairings would be made
Our Take: It’s good to see WWE teasing the potential of intergender matches. Given that Smackdown Live very recently hosted the first WWE intergender match in over a decade (Becky Lynch and James Ellsworth) there’s hope that this could help open the door for more of those.
It’s also a chance to make use of Superstars who might not be getting the attention they deserve on the main roster. We’ll have to see what happens to 205 Live – which usually airs on Tuesday nights