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#MustWatchMonday (5/14/18): Democracy In Action


This is cheating just a little bit, because I used to write the corresponding review series for this site, but since today's barangay election day in the Philippines I thought I'd serve you guys something democracy-themed. Since the Taboo Tuesday/Cyber Sunday series of PPVs were so last decade and that qualifies under Throwback Thursday, let's go with the most recent example of vote-based wrestling: the Mixed Match Challenge.

Overall, the Mixed Match Challenge was slightly underwhelming, because well, it's just a side thing for charity and it's not really some groundbreaking move for equality in wrestling. (People had to tag out automatically. Come on.) But that didn't stop some of the competitors from making the most of it, especially in the final rounds—like in today's example, the Boss Club vs. the Robe Warriors, except with Becky Lynch instead of Charlotte.

I forgot why Becky had to sub for Charlotte this week (don't know if this is the ruptured implant), but all I know is that she and Bobby had way more chemistry as a forced pairing than Bobby and Charlotte.


Why do I like this match so much? First, it's on-theme because the Boss Club got to this part of the tournament because they were voted back in as a second chance team. And mostly because the wrestling is consistently solid across all four competitors, and it's also the first match in the whole tournament where a woman (Sasha Banks) gets to do much more to a man (Bobby Roode) than just slap him or break up a pin.

If you haven't seen this match or anything from the Mixed Match Challenge yet, this is a good place to start if you just want to catch the actual wrestling. If you've got the WWE Network, all the episodes are there. The MMC isn't the breakthrough we were all hoping it would be, but it's not a bad start given the standards. The WWE has a lot of catching up to do with the rest of the world, though. In the meantime we'll always have Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks (and Asuka and Charlotte), and how they've helped advance their cause.

*****

Romeo Moran (@roiswaris the Editor in Chief of Smark Henry, one of the three hosts of the Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast, and is associated with Philippine Wrestling Revolution. He gets by in this hard knock life through working in publishing. Smark Henry was his and Stan Sy's original vision of a watering hole for local wrestling fans. He roots for the undersized guys who hit hard, but really hates Davey Richards with his entire soul. He likes taking your wrestling questions over on his Curiouscat account.

Comments

  1. I understand that the men-can't-fight-women-and-vice-versa dynamic of WWE's mixed tag matches in this decade is a legitimate gripe. Especially when we see the likes of Robynn and Crystal face competition of a different gender for reasons and when a lifetime ago, Chyna and Karma entered in the men's royal rumble match.

    But when I started seeing The Miz use Maryse as a human shield during their run as the "it couple" and that the same tag partners had the (annoying) stipulation mentioned in the previous paragraph in their WrestleMania match against a former real-life couple (to which I believe this certain 'WrestleMania moment' would be henceforth written off from the annals of history similar to WrestleMania 2 due to recent events, but I digress), I kind of expected that odd rule would come into play at the MMC.

    Just like wrestling in Saudi Arabia catching up to the times (the hottest match at the GRR was the throwback match between John Cena and Triple H... as if this is the first time they saw Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles, but can we blame the Saudis for this?), mixed tag at the WWE needs to play along with the current social PC climate before things revert to Attitude Era/Ruthless Aggression settings when the Dudley Boyz can slam a female geriatric to a table and it'd be considered good TV rather than a triggering segment.

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