The very concept of the mixed tag team match has been a WWE staple, albeit an infrequent one, over the past several decades, usually a match of convenience instead of an institution, like MMC is attempting to make the concept. Whether it was on-screen couples going to war, or a creative way to fuse two singles feuds into one intergender battle, mixed tags have had their place in WWE lore.
Going beyond the parameters of the recent Mixed Match Challenge tournaments, let's take a look back at some mixed tag team matches in WWE history that were notable for one reason or another. Some were pretty good, others excellent, and some just made their mark in their own way just by being memorable.
10. Bubba Ray Dudley & Trish Stratus Vs. Stevie Richards & Jazz (Raw, 13 May 2002)
This was during Richards' run of being dominated by female partners (Jazz, later Victoria) while being presented as something of a maniacal hardcore wrestling warrior. One week earlier, the participants of this match were involved in a convoluted run of Hardcore title changes, after Jazz had retained her Women's title over Stratus.
For this mixed tag bout, Jazz's belt was at stake, and wouldn't you know it, it just so happened to be in Stratus' hometown of Toronto. The brief-but-eventful match was contested under hardcore rules, and Stratus indeed regained the gold from Jazz. Afterwards, the deposed champion was Bubba-Bombed through a table, a means of writing her out to have ACL surgery, from which she wouldn't return for more than eight months.
9. Eddie Guerrero & Chyna Vs. Val Venis & Trish Stratus (SummerSlam 2000)
Another mixed tag with singles gold at stake, only this time it's Stratus who takes the fall. Guerrero and Chyna's complex relationship was at its zenith at this point, though things would go south after Guerrero's infidelity was exposed that fall. This really is the last peak of that Eddie and Mamacita tandem that brought out Guerrero's WWE personality, though it would be Chyna getting the glory here.
Venis' Intercontinental belt was at stake, and his concern was that Stratus (who was far, far away from the wrestler she would become) would cost him the belt should she tag in. Well, she didn't tag in until late in the match, and when she did, she cost him his belt after Chyna obliterated her. Good call, NostraVenis.
8. The Rock & Lita Vs. Triple H & Trish Stratus (Raw Is War, 31 July 2000)
This one gets its due for a rather unseemly conclusion that had the crowd in stitches since at this point Attitude was certainly in full swing. For the most part, the match was a backdrop for the tensions between Helmsley and wife Stephanie, which escalated when she walked in on her husband demonstrating a Hammerlock on Stratus, in order to teach her the legsweep escape. It wasn't what it looked like!
The match here was just good, clean (?) audience fun, with Lita polishing off Stratus with a Moonsault, before Rock battered Triple H with a steel chair in such a way that he landed on Stratus and yet another compromising fashion. And this is why certain programs on the Network come with preceding disclaimers.
7. Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn Vs. Big E & AJ Lee (SummerSlam 2013)
Talk about being in a spot. The four individuals here had to occupy space between a hellacious brawl between Brock Lesnar and CM Punk, and what was to be a scintillating main event title bout pitting John Cena against Daniel Bryan. The crossed wires here had plenty of juice, as Lee had cost then-beau Ziggler a chance to win the World Heavyweight title, and was still being chased by Kaitlyn, whom she dethroned for the Divas title.
Given the time constraints (less than seven minutes bell to bell), the four made the most of what was given them. Big E, in particular, stood out during his powerful wear-down of Ziggler, showing that he had more to offer than just being the folded-arm mute (and this certainly was not his final form).
6. Rich Swann & Sasha Banks Vs. Noam Dar & Alicia Fox (Extreme Rules 2017)
The match is only 18 months old and yet it feels positively ancient. The complex Dar/Fox relationship wasn't something I particularly enjoyed, but I have to admit that their antics in this match were pretty amusing (i.e. hugging to facilitate tags), and they did make good foils for the energetic combo of Swann and Banks.
The match is a nice little blend of cruiserweight aerial assaults and pronounced character work, making it an enjoyable undercard match for what basically amounted to a throwaway pay-per-view when all was said and done (though a far cry from the awful Alexa Bliss/Bayley match that followed). Swann and Banks each looked fantastic with their respective daredevilry, and this match is a nice hidden gem in hindsight.
5. Chris Jericho & Trish Stratus Vs. Rico & Miss Jackie (Raw, 1 December 2003)
Speaking of hidden gems, here's one that was sadly rendered moot by an angle later in the show in which Jericho revealed that he was merely playing with Trish's emotions as part of a juvenile wager with Christian. It's a shame that the storyline went that route, because Jericho and Trish had some crazy chemistry together.
It's evident in this match, which is almost certainly Jackie Gayda's greatest match ever. Jericho and Trish milk the babyface tag formula and have the crowd eating out of their palms of their hands, building to a satisfying finish that had everyone going nuts. Of course, that's what made Jericho's betrayal sting more, that he and Trish were a genuinely awesome combination.
4. The Hardy Boyz & Lita Vs. T&A & Trish Stratus (Fully Loaded 2000)
At this point, the list may as well be "times Trish got physical with male wrestlers in sanctioned matches", given how often she's been employed in noteworthy mixed tags. At this point in time, though, Trish wasn't the main focus, as Lita was the one coming into her own as a rising star among fans of all genders, and was only a month away from winning the Women's title.
She reinforced her devil-may-care attitude with an array of wild manoeuvres, including a picture-perfect Tornado DDT on Test, as well as some good-looking Planchas and Hurrachranas. The match was clearly designed to make Lita look like the next big thing, and on that front, it succeeded. It's otherwise a good formula tag to open a pay-per-view, with very smart designs in place.
3. Marc Mero & Sable Vs. Goldust & Luna Vachon (WrestleMania 14)
Although Sable was superseding every other wrestling female in terms of popularity by this time, expectations for this match weren't sky-high. Neither Mero nor Goldust were particularly heroic, so the only real interest was seeing Sable unleash her rage on Luna, and simple revenge would have been satisfying enough. Then Sable busted out some unexpected offense, allowing this match to overachieve.
The fans in Boston revelled in Sable's use of both a Powerbomb and a TKO (fireman's carry into a cutter), but may have simply been gratified by the knockdown/drag-out fight that had ensued before then. Sable was already a star, so calling this match a star-making performance may be a bit of a stretch, but thanks to some inspired selling on Luna's part, this match, as noted, overachieved.
2. Tommy Dreamer, Terry Funk & Beulah Vs. Edge, Mick Foley & Lita (One Night Stand 2006)
Given the relatively-minimal involvement of the women, it's kind of a mixed tag in name only, but since it was Mrs. Dreamer taking the pinfall loss, it merits inclusion. Certainly, it's the most violent match on this list, with Funk and Foley both turning back the clock to each liberally let the juice loose. The flavour was meant to be ECW, and that's exactly what it was.
Lita and Beulah had proven in years past that they were game to mix it up with the men (Beulah vs. Bill Alfonso is one of the greatest matches ever, and that's no joke), and each took their lumps here - Lita sustained a Spicolli Driver from Dreamer, and Edge ran through Beulah with a Spear for the pin. Some of the wildest of anarchy ever attempted under WWE's watch.
1. Kurt Angle & Ronda Rousey Vs. Triple H & Stephanie McMahon (WrestleMania 34)
Really, nothing else could've taken number one. In previous examples, Sable and Lita were the beneficiaries of match designs that put the focus on what they could bring to the table, and both would flourish in those situations. In Rousey's first match ever, she would have her chances to show what she could do, and in the process, silenced oh so many doubters.
Rousey's game face, demeanour, and world-class athleticism were on full display in a match that couldn't have been drawn up any better. For their part, Helmsley and Stephanie brilliantly cut off tags and employed underhanded tactics, rifling through the bag labelled HEEL 101 for their chicanery. By the time Angle tags Rousey and she goes on her rampage, the fans are all too giddy to watch Stephanie get chewed up. It's not only WWE's best-mixed tag ever, but it's also one of the best WrestleMania matches of this decade, easily.