WWE will add a new series on Facebook dedicated to mixed tag matches.
The company announced that it will start airing the "Mixed Match Challenge," a new in-ring show that will premiere on Facebook's new Facebook Watch feature, starting on January 16 at 10 p.m. ET. The new show will be a tournament featuring RAW and SmackDown superstars competing in mixed-tag matches with the winning tag team receiving $100,000 to donate to a charity of their choice.
The tournament will be a 12-episode series and each episode will go for about 20 minutes. In the official announcement, the show will also give fans the chance to select matchups and match stipulations on Facebook.
A report from Pro Wrestling Sheet says that Vince McMahon is "pulling out all the stops" on Mixed Match Challenge in an attempt to win over Facebook executives. With WWE's television contract with NBC Universal ending in 2019, they are looking to impress anyone that might make them a good money offer. Variety reported that Facebook is paying for distribution rights, and WWE is looking to see if it might be worth making the pivot to Facebook in a few years.
As for who will be a part of this new series, below are the wrestlers from both RAW and SmackDown announced. There will also be a fan vote for both brands as to who will also be competing in the tournament with the SmackDown fan vote being which member of The New Day will compete.
- Alexa Bliss
- Alicia Fox
- Braun Strowman
- Enzo Amore
- Finn Balor
- Nia Jax
- Sasha Banks
- The Miz
- Final Fan Vote
- Becky Lynch
- Bobby Roode
- Charlotte Flair
- Jimmy Uso
- Sami Zayn
- Shinsuke Nakamura
- One member of The New Day (Final Fan Vote)
Michelle Wilson, WWE's Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer, said the partnership with Facebook will give the company another avenue to engage with fans and give them the opportunity to choose the type of matches that they wish to see.
“As we continue to expand our strategic partnership with Facebook, this new series, Mixed Match Challenge, jointly reflects our innovative approach to content distribution and fan engagement. This show will deliver the action and excitement our passionate fan base is accustomed to while offering new production elements and social experiences that only Facebook can provide,” Wilson said.
According to the announcement, WWE won't just air the matches on Facebook, but also post "short-form videos and social content." Teams for the tournament will be announced starting on January 4. The tournament will be the first time since Survivor Series that RAW and SmackDown superstars will compete against each other in a series of matches.
WWE recently experimented with intergender matches, having Becky Lynch defeat James Ellsworth on SmackDown and has occasionally done mixed tag matches over the years.