Reaction Zone - WWE Bracketology: Trying to make sense of the Mixed Match Challenge

WWE released the pairings for the Mixed Match Challenge earlier today. The lineup is as follows:

Week 1: Finn Balor & Sasha Banks vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Natalya.
Week 2: The Miz & Asuka vs. Big E & Carmella.

The winners meet in Week 7 (February 27).

Week 3: Braun Strowman & Alexa Bliss vs. Sami Zayn & Becky Lynch.
Week 4: Goldust & Alicia Fox vs. Jimmy Uso & Naomi.

The winners meet in Week 8 (March 6).

Week 5: Elias & Bayley vs. Rusev & Lana.
Week 6: Apollo Crews & Nia Jax vs. Charlotte Flair & Bobby Roode.

The winners meet in Week 9 (March 13).

The idea is likely to ensure they can retain the Raw vs. Smackdown format up until the semi-final round. In Week 11 (March 27), a fan poll will allow a previously eliminated team a 2nd chance to advance. For now, however, let's project the first two rounds. Suffice it to say, it's not going to look good for the WWE's 4 Horsewomen.

1st round picks:

Natalya/Nakamura over Balor/Banks.
Asuka/Miz over Big E/Carmella.
Strowman/Bliss over Zayn/Lynch.
Naomi/Jimmy Uso over Goldust/Fox.
Elias/Bayley over Rusev/Lana.
Flair/Roode over Crews/Jax.

2nd round:

A storyline here would be Nakamura finally getting in the ring with Miz, who, if you'll recall, ran from Smackdown to Raw 9 months ago to avoid a singles match with Nakamura. Miz eats a Kinshasa, and Asuka is eliminated from the tournament. Nattie & Nak advance to the semi-finals.

Bliss & Strowman over Uso & Naomi.
Roode & Flair over Elias & Bayley, leaving Flair as the lone Horsewoman left in the tournament. She & Roode would get the fan poll winner, while the Brat & the Monster (Bliss & Strowman) would get Nattie & Nakamura. That said, Asuka & Miz would likely win the fan poll if they fall in the 2nd round.

We'll see how this plays out. Of course, I could be wrong.

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