WWE Mixed Match Challenge and 205 Live Winners, Grades and Reaction for Feb. 13

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2018

WWE Mixed Match Challenge and 205 Live Winners, Grades and Reaction for Feb. 13

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    Bayley and Elias faced Lana and Rusev this week.
    Bayley and Elias faced Lana and Rusev this week.Credit: WWE.com

    WWE's Mixed Match Challenge has given us some interesting combinations of male and female Superstars, but this week's show might feature the oddest pairing yet.

    One of the biggest babyfaces in the company teamed with a villain when Bayley joined forces with Elias to battle the real-life couple of Lana and Rusev.

    WWE has been building toward this match with some humorous video packages over the past few weeks, but only one team could advance to the next round of the tournament.

    The cruiserweight division continued its own tourney with two more first-round matches in the Cruiserweight Championship tournament. 

    The United Kingdom division's Mark Andrews made his main roster debut this week against Akira Tozawa, and friends Tony Nese and Drew Gulak battled in the second bout.

    Let's take a look at everything that happened on this week's Mixed Match Challenge and 205 Live. 

Lana and Rusev vs. Elias and Bayley

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    The MMC is an oddity in the current landscape of WWE. Some of the combinations have been perfectly matched, but the amount of effort behind the actual show seems low.

    It's almost like management leaves the arena before these bouts take place and the Superstars just do whatever they want.

    Lana has clearly been working on her ring game, but she is still too green to look like she belongs in the ring with someone as talented as Bayley.

    Thankfully, Rusev did most of the work in the ring. He and Lana tried to break Elias' guitar at one point, but they didn't actually do any damage.

    Elias took out Rusev toward the end of the match to open the door for Bayley to get the win, but Lana ended up pulling her off the top rope the hard way to score the surprise victory.

    While the match had some fun moments like most of the MMC bouts, it did little to show off the talents of Rusev, Elias and Bayley. Lana benefited more than anyone because this was technically her first win by pinfall. 


    Grade: C-


    Notes and Highlights

    • Bayley had a guitar and was ready to sing a duet with Elias, but they were interrupted by Rusev and Lana's entrance. 
    • Rusev sported some new gear to match Lana's attire. The singlet look suits him.
    • Elias is a singer and Rusev has Aiden English sing his intros, but for some reason WWE chose not to have the two compete in a sing-off. 
    • Elias was wearing a bandage around his ribs to sell the attack from Braun Strowman on Raw. 
    • Michael Cole tried to make a joke about Lana looking like she was in Battlestar Galactica gear, but it fell flat since she didn't actually look like anything from the show.

Mark Andrews vs. Akira Tozawa

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    The first match of the night featured Tozawa taking on someone who is still unknown to the majority of the WWE Universe in Mark Andrews.

    The British competitor has put on some impressive performances during the United Kingdom Championship tournament and NXT, but this was his first chance to show the entire WWE Universe what he is capable of since he worked a random tag team match with Cedric Alexander last November.

    Tozawa is a former cruiserweight champion with great ability and limitless potential. He was the perfect opponent for Mandrews to work with during his first big singles match on the main roster.

    They wrestled at a decent pace early on, but the crowd didn't wake up until they started to speed up and use more high-flying maneuvers.

    After both men took each other to the limit in a fun contest, Andrews scored the win to advance to the next round of the Cruiserweight Championship tournament.


    Grade: B


    Notes and Highlights

    • Mandrews didn't get much of a reaction during his entrance, but that's to be expected when WWE does nothing to advertise a new Superstar.
    • According to Vic Joseph, the song Andrews came out to is from his own band. It sounded a little like Blink-182 from their early days.
    • Andrews' standing corkscrew moonsault was as impressive as anything you will see in the ring this week. 
    • Tozawa dumped Andrews right on his head with a scary side suplex, but Andrews got right back on his feet and hit his trademark Slumdog Millionaire stunner.

Drew Gulak vs. Tony Nese

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    WWE has been doing more heel vs. heel matches lately, and we got another one when Gulak and Nese battled in a first-round matchup.

    These two competitors have maintained a friendly alliance ever since 205 Live first launched, but they put all of that aside for a shot at the title.

    The Prince of PowerPoint showed more aggression than we are used to seeing from him while dialing back the comedic aspects of his character to make this a more technical encounter.

    However, Nese showed some impressive speed and agility. The longer the match went, the more entertaining it became. They used everything in their repertoires to make this one of the best matches we have seen on 205 Live in months.

    After several near-falls from both men, Gulak defeated his friend with a dragon sleeper. If Gulak can continue to perform like this he will be cruiserweight champion in no time.


    Grade: A


    Notes and Highlights

    • Drake Maverick was shown yelling at Jack Gallagher backstage about not wearing proper wrestling attire. He told Gentleman Jack he better show up with real ring gear next week. The striped trunks might make a comeback.
    • A video was shown hyping the upcoming 205 Live debut of Buddy Murphy with him barely making the 205-pound weight limit.
    • Gulak offered his hand to Nese and it was slapped away. What happened to good sportsmanship? 
    • It's amazing how a little bit of stubble can make Gulak look more intimidating.