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Every WWE Mixed Match Challenge Team's Chances Ranked From Worst To Best

Who will triumph in Season 2?

So, WWE's Mixed Match Challenge is back, and back far sooner than a lot of us expected.

It's set to premiere on 18 September on Facebook Watch and will feature a combination of new and returning teams - as well as a brand new round-robin format.

The first edition (or 'season') of the tournament took place at the beginning of the year, and saw the unlikely heel/babyface duo of Miz and Asuka win - toppling Charlotte Flair and Bobby Roode in the final, and preserving Asuka's undefeated streak in the process.

But, as we all know, the landscape of WWE can change a hell of a lot in eight months or so. Asuka has slipped a long way down the card since losing to Charlotte at WrestleMania, while Miz is currently locked in an ongoing blood feud with Daniel Bryan.

Despite the lasting popularity of both Miz and Asuka, it would surely be unlikely to see them sweep the competition for the second consecutive time. But if that is the case, then who will step in to claim the mantle of Mixed Match Challenge winners?

Well, we think we've got a pretty good idea. Get comfortable, because we're about to rank the chances of all 10 teams taking part in Season 2 of the tournament, from outsiders to favourites.

10. Alicia Fox & Jinder Mahal


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At first, the pairing of Mahal and Fox may seem like a pretty uninspired choice - lumping together two midcard heels to make up the numbers. (It feels so weird saying that, given the fact that Jinder was WWE Champion less than a year ago.)

However, looking at their personalities, this duo could actually prove to be quite entertaining. Alicia's famed short fuse and Jinder's newly tranquil outlook are guaranteed to be played for laughs at some point.

Unfortunately for the pair, I think this juxtaposition will only work for one or two matches - particularly given the strength of some of the other teams in the competition. It'll be a difficult tournament for Fox and Mahal, but one which could entertain us more than we think.


9. R-Truth & Carmella


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This is the most immediately eye-catching team on the list - and not just because of Carmella's trademark leopard-print.

R-Truth and Carmella are currently locked in a 'feud' of sorts, albeit one which is all one-way traffic. Truth has led himself to believe that pinning Carmella will result in a title shot, having watched Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch do so in the build-up to SummerSlam.

Having dropped the SmackDown Women's Championship, it'd be nice to see Carmella do fairly well in the tournament - especially given her recent improvements in the ring.

Unfortunately, I don't think this'll be the case. Having to fend off two opponents and an openly mutinous tag partner will probably prove too much, even for the cunning Staten Islander.

8. Jimmy Uso & Naomi


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Now we get to the first of two real-life couples in the tournament, and arguably the Mixed Match Challenge's most athletic team.

Jimmy Uso and Naomi took park in Season 1 and impressed in a victory against the oddball pairing of Goldust and Mandy Rose. Unfortunately, their chemistry couldn't carry them past Braun Strowman and Alexa Bliss in the quarter-finals, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a similar performance this time around.

The high-energy offence of Jimmy and Naomi will definitely pop a crowd, and could see them overcome a handful of opponents in the new round-robin format - but ultimately I think the upper reaches of the competition will be out of reach.

7. Rusev & Lana


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Rusev and Lana were one of last season's most beloved teams, and were clearly having a blast in the ring with one another. They didn't get very far in the tournament, and I don't think they'll come particularly close this time either - but that doesn't mean they won't be a highlight.

The major benefit of this season's round robin format is that we get to see more of every team, particularly those that would have otherwise been eliminated in early rounds. Rusev and Lana certainly fit that description, and may even pick up a few more wins than expected.

On the other hand, I've hesitated to place them too high on this ranking. WWE never seem too keen to give either Superstar the big victory their popularity warrants, meaning a lower to mid-table finish makes the most sense.


6. Natalya & Kevin Owens


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Immediately, heel/face pairings don't inspire much confidence - but just look at Miz and Asuka from last season. If the Mixed Match Challenge has taught us anything so far, it's that strange pairings aren't necessarily weak ones - and that could well be the case for Kevin Owens and Natalya.

Despite their differences, the pair also have a lot in common. Both are Canadian, with great technical ability and years of experience.

Sure, they might not be as flashy as some of their opponents, but I'm excited to see Owens and Natalya as a team of efficient professionals, eager to grind down and pummel their opponents.

If this tournament was taking place somewhere like Ring of Honor or New Japan, I'd be tempted to have this duo as my favourites to win the whole thing. However, neither are top dogs when it comes to WWE booking, and I think they'll be undone in about as many matches as they'll win.

5. Bayley & Finn Balor


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It's the team we've all been waiting for! Last season's team of Finn Balor and Sasha Banks was an exciting one, but that couldn't hide the disappointment of many fans that the Irishman wasn't being paired with Bayley.

The pair developed a heartwarming friendship while champions down in NXT, and many saw the Mixed Match Challenge as the perfect opportunity to see this realised onscreen. Unfortunately, WWE saw things another way, and Bayley was eliminated in the first round alongside Elias.

This year, in a team that just feels right, she should fare a lot better. However, let's not get carried away. It's no secret that Bayley has fallen a long way since her glory days as NXT Women's Champion, and this tournament is full of women who could realistically score a pinfall victory over her. Balor is perennially over, but picks up his fair share of losses too.

Depending on the schedule, I think we could see this team get off to a lightning-fast start, only to fizzle and fall short in the latter half of the competition.

4. Sasha Banks & Bobby Lashley


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If Bayley and Balor are the team everybody wanted to see, this pairing could probably be seen as the opposite. We all love to love Sasha Banks, from her attitude to her fearless in-ring style - but the same sadly cannot be said of Bobby Lashley.

The brutish behemoth just hasn't been able to win over the consistent support of the fans, despite WWE's frantic efforts to portray him as a wonderful family man, a proud ex-serviceman, and a traditional wisecracking babyface.

In fact, it's hard not to suspect that Sasha may just be the latest attempt to get Lashley over - and if so, that at least means she'll probably enjoy a good run in the tournament.

I could see Banks and Bobby going on a quiet run of form throughout the Mixed Match Challenge, picking up consistent wins and getting close to the top. Ultimately, though, I think they'll fall short.


3. The Miz & Asuka


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The Miz and Asuka won the inaugural Mixed Match Challenge, which naturally puts them at a disadvantage here.

Last year, once it became clear that Asuka's undefeated streak would be broken if she lost alongside Miz, it became quite obvious that the pair were going to win.

Now, with Asuka just as mortal as anybody else on the roster (apart from Ronda Rousey), it's hard to see this team replicating their previous success.

However, the tournament may have come along at just the right time for both Superstars. Asuka has just returned to SmackDown Live, taking apart The IIconics like her old self. Miz is currently one of the most important people in WWE, the star of a new reality show, one half of a major feud alongside Daniel Bryan, and a reliable company ambassador.

Despite not being quite as infallible as last season, I think Miz and Asuka will go far. Not all the way, but far.

2. Alexa Bliss & Braun Strowman


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One of the best parts of the first season of Mixed Match Challenge was the in-ring interaction between Braun Strowman and Alexa Bliss.

I wasn't personally a big fan of their teased love angle as the tournament wore on, but in terms of unique offence and an entertaining tag team dynamic, Bliss and Braun were an unquestionable highlight.

Crucially, Strowman has just turned, and with both teammates now on the same villainous page, I can see them becoming the dominant heel force of the competition.

I'd almost have Braun and Bliss down as winners, were it not for the presence of one other team - a duo that I think are practically unbeatable...

1. AJ Styles & Charlotte Flair


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Realistically, can anybody see AJ Styles and Charlotte Flair not winning this tournament?

The two top champions of SmackDown Live would stand a good chance of winning the competition even if they weren't paired with each other, such is their consistency and dominance. Together? They're practically unstoppable.

Under a single-elimination format, I could maybe see the pair screwed by a countout or DQ finish. But with a round-robin structure, it's a struggle to predict Styles and Charlotte losing enough matches to not win the whole thing.

They might even go undefeated. Would you be surprised?

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Jack G. King

Written by Jack G. King

Head of News at Cultaholic.com | [email protected]