The Mixed Match Challenge is one of the most fun experiences the WWE has produced in recent memory. The Facebook Live exclusive gives superstars a chance to let loose a little and develop their characters beyond the usual programming. Fans love it, but this season has been subject to some unfortunate circumstances. No fewer than three teams had to reorganize — including one of the fan favorites in Team Little Big. Hopefully, WWE won’t scrap the idea altogether, as it still has a lot of potential. There are so many pairs we haven’t gotten to see yet, but maybe we could get them in the next season... Here are 10 we’re hoping will partake in the MMC sometime in the future.
10. Andrade Cien Almas And Zelina Vega
Zelina Vega: a great manager or the greatest manager in history? Vega is on fire and has been since she debuted to save Andrade "Cien" Almas from himself in NXT. Don’t sell Vega short though, because she is so much more than a manager. She’s been wrestling since the age of 17 and was discovered by Tony Dreamer. Vega is the real deal. Her chemistry with Almas certainly is a massive asset, so it’s not a disappointment to see her in her current role. They’ve had mixed tag matches in the past and would be a serious threat to the rest of the field.
9. Xavier Woods And Ruby Riott
"UpUpDownDown" might be one of the most charming things to come out of the world wrestling. Xavier Woods’ YouTube channel often features his friends from WWE kicking back and playing video games. Woods is a proud nerd and one guest who managed to rival him was Ruby Riott. They have a great bond based on their mutual love of all things nerdy. That friendship would shine through in the MMC. Plus, they both are on teams of three, meaning we could see the Riott Squad and The New Day interacting. Last year, we got to see what happened when The New Day was paired with Carmella. It was easily some of the best stuff of the year. The Riott Squad will fit in nicely with them.
8. Seth Rollins And Bayley Or Sasha Banks
Perhaps Seth Rollins is too busy for the MMC, but it seems like a missed opportunity. Rollins is easily one of the most entertaining wrestlers in WWE. He also has a strong friendship with two of the women on the roster: Sasha Banks and Bayley. Last year, the three had a bit going where Banks and Bayley were fighting over Rollins on Twitter. It was a fun time, even if it was just them trolling the fans. They could easily roll that into an MMC story. A team of Banks and Rollins facing Bayley and Finn Bálor would be an awesome match-up. Their friendships would only help their performance in the ring as well as giving them some time to tell interesting stories. The MMC is about fun, let’s lean into it!
7. Nikki Cross And Kyle O’Reilly
Indulge a couple long shots here, because that’s the point of the MMC. It’s outside the realm of our normal expectations. This one may seem out of nowhere, but Nikki Cross and Kyle O’Reilly have one very important thing in common: their facial expressions. Both love to play up dramatic emotions — whether it’s in the ring or during their entrances. They’re also both really committed to their characters. It makes them both an absolute delight to watch. Pairing them together and letting them interact would unlock so many possibilities. Just imagine O’Reilly’s look of pure fear as Cross freaks out, or Cross stealing his NXT Tag Team title belt to play air guitar on it herself. It would be so much fun.
6. Mustafa Ali And Nikki Bella
This is another one that might not make sense off the bat but stay with us. Nikki Bella may have made most of her career on the "mean girl" gimmick, but that’s an unfair box to put her in. A quick look through BirdieBee Brand, the underwear and lounge-wear brand she owns with Brie Bella, tells a different story. Bella has come into this female empowerment identity that’s really beautiful to see. Meanwhile, Mustafa Ali is huge on using his platform to inspire and encourage people to chase their dreams. The two actually have very similar messages of self-love and acceptance. Together, they could be a really powerful team.
5. Pete Dunne And Rhea Ripley
Has Rhea Ripley been watching some Pete Dunne tape? The two NXT UK superstars have a similar mean streak. Ripley was a standout in the Mae Young Classic and Dunne is the current NXT UK Champion. They’ve softened his edges a bit so that he can fill a babyface role, but in the ring, he is just as vicious as ever. It wouldn’t be hard to provoke him back to an unpleasant heel to match Ripley’s new attitude. Her smirks and shrugs seem to be shades of Dunne himself, which isn't surprising as they're both part of the upstart NXT UK brand and because Dunne is one of the best heels in NXT history. By pairing them together, that meanness will be amplified, and they’ll get the chance to really dig into it. Honestly, they’d be unstoppable.
4. The Danielsons
After all the hype around the Bellas’ return to in-ring action and Daniel Bryan’s un-retirement, it was actually surprising not to see these two in the MMC. They’ve been tagging relatively regularly, taking on the Miz and Maryse, Almas and Vega, and Lana and Rusev. It just makes sense to put them into the tournament.
Brie Bella has gotten a lot of flak for her level of ring rust (mostly, we assume, from people who have never given birth) and is certainly not making a play for the Women’s title anytime soon. Still, she’s a fine wrestler and working with Bryan must be a blast for the two of them. You can see it on their faces whenever they get to interact; it’s fun for them. Throw in a cheeky team name as an homage to their real-life last name, Danielson, and it’s a great match.
3. Alexa Bliss And Buddy Murphy
This real-life WWE couple has largely kept their relationship under the radar but has massive power-couple potential. Back in NXT, they actually were on a dream team with Buddy Murphy’s tag team partner, Wesley Blake. Alexa Bliss gives her fiancé Buddy Murphy a lot of credit for helping her come into her own as a heel. Now that Murphy has come into his own as well, and is absolutely dominating on 205 Live, it feels like the two should team up again. We’ve already seen their matching outfits and it was incredible, so that’s reason enough as far as we’re concerned. Beyond that, Murphy may be a cruiserweight but he’s no lightweight. His power game will balance Bliss’ size and their choreographed finishers will be gorgeous.
2. Candice And Johnny
Another real-life couple for this list, Candice LeRae and Johnny Gargano are no stranger to standing in the ring together. Back when they were both on the indie circuit, they faced each other in multiple matches. They could easily put that to good use by teaming up as a husband/wife team in the MMC. Let’s face it, WWE loves their married couple teams. Fans enjoy peeking behind the curtain and taking a look at their real, personal lives. For LeRae and Gargano, that comes in the form of that intense chemistry between the two. There’s something potent there, almost sparkly, and we see it when they smile at each other. We want to see it more!
1. Becky Lynch And Finn Balor
These days, WWE largely ignores Becky Lynch and Finn Balor’s history. Balor trained Lynch when she first started at the age of 15. They rarely interact nowadays, but not too long ago they interviewed Lynch for Balor’s promotional vignettes. She was tearful talking about how much his mentorship meant to her, and he refused to take credit for any of it. It was precious. Beyond their admiration for each other and the fact that they clearly enjoyed being in the same match last year, their move sets are complimentary. Lynch clearly learned a lot under his instruction and made some of his style into her own. They would be one of the smoothest tag teams in the tournament.