WWE is constantly bragging about its social media presence. Just listening to the announcers talk about hashtags and trends is enough to make a fan never want to go on Twitter again. But despite a huge flock of followers around the world, WWE’s television ratings continue to drop. Finally, it seems, WWE is looking to innovative ways to capitalize on that social media reach just as Facebook is looking to break into the streaming TV market. The result of this unholy union is a new WWE show on Facebook Live, Mixed/Match Challenge.
Beginning January 16th and running for 12 20-minute episodes, Mixed/Match Challenge will stream live on Facebook Live after SmackDown Live airs on television. The show will feature matchups between two mixed tag teams featuring men and women from the Raw and SmackDown Live brands, which means that next November when the announcers start hyping Survivor Series as the one time of year that Raw faces Smackdown Live, they’ll have to add “except for 12 other times earlier this year.” The matches will be part of a single elimination tournament, with fans able to vote live on certain aspects of the match.
In a press release on WWE.com, executives from WWE and Facebook exchanged buzzword-laced pleasantries:
“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,” said Michelle Wilson, WWE Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer. “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.”
“As a leader in entertainment innovation, WWE is an ideal partner to demonstrate how the live sports viewing experience can be reimagined on Facebook Watch,” said Dan Reed, Facebook Head of Global Sports Partnerships. “Mixed Match Challenge is a new competition produced specifically to take advantage of the reach, interaction and ongoing engagement enabled by our platform. Fans will be able to directly influence and interact with the in-ring action, follow the rivalries and storylines in between events, and connect with one another as the drama unfolds. We’re excited for the WWE community to come together on our platform to watch some of the biggest Raw and SmackDown Live Superstars and engage with WWE like never before.”
“Mixed Match Challenge demonstrates WWE’s flexibility in creating and producing compelling content across platforms in a media landscape that is evolving each day,” said Jayar Donlan, WWE Executive Vice President, Digital & Social Content. “The social interaction leading up to and during each show will connect WWE Superstars with our massive fan base on Facebook in more ways than ever before.”
At that point, Donlan attacked Reed from behind with a steel chair. The press release doesn’t say that happened, but that’s how every WWE contract signing ends, so we’re just assuming it did.
WWE listed the rosters for the show:
Mixed Match Challenge Participants
Mixed Match Challenge is a Raw vs. SmackDown LIVE tournament where male and female Superstars team up to determine which combination of strength, skill, athleticism and experience reigns supreme.
Fans will have the opportunity to vote on Facebook for the final competitor from the Raw roster, as well as which tag team member of The New Day will be added to the SmackDown LIVE roster. Teams will be announced beginning Thursday, Jan. 4.
Monday Night Raw SmackDown LIVE
|Alexa Bliss||Becky Lynch|
|Alicia Fox||Bobby Roode|
|Braun Strowman||Jimmy Uso|
|Sasha Banks||Sami Zayn|
|The Miz||Shinsuke Nakamura|
|Final Fan Vote|| Final Fan Vote
(A member of The New Day)
Check out a trailer below: