Round one of WWE’s Mixed Match Challenge continues with a match up that will pit the team of RAW’s Bayley and Elias against Smackdown Live’s ultimate power couple — Lana and Rusev.
Bayley and Elias will be wrestling for Americares, while the team of Lana and Rusev will be wrestling for Global Citizen. We kick things off with what likely would’ve been a lovely duet between Elias and Bayley. Bayley has obviously been taking some lessons from the ‘The Drifter’. Just as the duo introduces themselves — Michael Cole (who does some great work on tonight’s show) dubs them Bob Dylan and Joan Baez of WWE – we get an interruption from their opponents.
Everything about Lana and Rusev is amazing, from the entrance to the outfits and the training montage is impressive. The crowd begins to chant ‘Rusev Day’ for their hero before the match begins.
“You look so jacked, look at you,” Rusev says to his wife and tag partner. He then proceeds to lead the crowd in a “Lana is the best, Lana number one” chant. For whatever reason, they don’t seem as into it as last week. They must not have gotten the memo, or, all they want to do is chant Rusev Day. We’ll let it slide. Week 2 losers, Big E and Carmella, are shown in the back doing their thing on social media.
Finally, Lana and Bayley start the match. Bayley dominates Lana but the Ravishing Russian is able to get going after some tutelage from Rusev in the corner. Elias informs Lana that her lipstick is smeared. After some work inside, Lana escapes and grabs Elias’ guitar. Rusev cools her down before she does irreparable damage to Elias’ baby. Elias tells Rusev to get a hold of her and Lana just continues to scream “I want to win!” over and over. She drops the guitar. Elias is visibly upset; he checks the guitar — it still sounds good.
Elias tags himself in. He locks horns with Rusev. This would be an incredible feud. Both of these guys are just enjoying themselves in there. Rusev wants to do a test of strength but Elias uses his heel tactics to gain the advantage. Rusev takes control with a brutal kick to the face. We are informed that Big E has said that Elias shops at Dress Barn on social media. That’s actually hilariously spot on.
Lana and Bayley are now legal and it’s all about Lana. Bayley finally regains control and unloads some nasty forearms on her opponent. Elias offers to tag himself in but Bayley is feeling it; she says she’s got it. Bad move. Rusev looks to intefere but Elias comes in to counter. That’s enough to take the referee out of the equation for a moment and Lana takes full advantage. Just as Bayley puts Lana on the top rope and goes for a Bayley-to-Belly, Lana is able to sneak out the back door. She pulls Bayley down by the boot and her face is smashed by the top turnbuckle. Lana gets the pinfall.
We get to hear Lana’s incredible theme music – it feels like it’s been far too long
“Today is the official Ravishing Rusev Day,” Rusev informs the crowd after their big victory. Cole confirms that this is the first victory of Lana’s WWE career. Somebody go check on that.
Next Week: We finally get a look at the ‘Robe Warriors’ Charlotte Flair and Bobby Roode as they take on Nia Jax and Apollo Crews.
Reno’s Thoughts: I have no problem saying that along with 205 Live (since Drake Maverick (on-screen) and Triple H (behind the scenes) took over, that Mixed Match Challenge is the best thing going as far as the main roster weekly programming is concerned. This week was no different. Elias and Rusev continue to prove that they are gems whenever called upon and Lana looked fantastic here in what was a big moment for here. As far as Bayley goes, I really hope they do continue to use her as a babyface moving forward since I still don’t believe she’s reached her full potential there as far as the main roster goes but I do like seeing heel mannerisms from her every once in a while. Elias certainly helps with that. If you’re interested in a good bit of fun and have less than 20 minutes to spare I say keep checking out these episodes until further notice. They still air live on Tuesday night on Facebook Watch after SmackDown goes off the air but you can also wait until Thursday night when they upload them on the WWE Network.
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