1/16/18 WWE Mixed Match Challenge Coverage: Balor/Banks vs. Nakamura/Natalya
Renee Young and Byron Saxton welcome us to the first night of the WWE Mixed Match Challenge, and then Finn Balor and Sasha Banks make their way to the ring, followed by Shinsuke Nakamura and Natalya. We see Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Beth Phoenix at ringside, and they will call the action. They run down the other Mixed Match teams who will be in action in the coming weeks.
Mixed Match Challenge Tournament First Round Match: Finn Balor and Sasha Banks vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and Natalya
Banks and Natalya start the match. They lock up and then Natalya shoves Banks away and then backs into the ropes. She tags Nakamura in, and Balor enters as well. Nakamura and Balor exchange waist-locks and then Balor takes Nakamura down to the mat. Nakamura quickly gets back up and we are at a stalemate. Balor applies a wrist-lock and then a side headlock. Nakamura backs Balor into the ropes and Balor shoves him away. Nakamura delivers a knee to the midsection. Balor trips Nakamura up and they both miss kicks and stare down. Natalya tags in, and Banks enters.
They tie up after Natalya mocks Banks and then they pie face each other. Banks takes Natalya down with a double-knee and then delivers right hands. Banks charges, but Natalya moves and then drops Banks with an atomic drop. Natalya delivers a low dropkick and goes for the cover, but Banks kicks out at two. Natalya beats down Banks on the mat and sends her to the corner. Banks counters with a boot to the face and then slams Natalya into the turnbuckle. Banks drops Natalya with double knees and goes for the cover, but Natalya kicks out at two and rolls to the outside.
Banks goes for a suicide dive, but Natalya moves and Nakamura catches her. Nakamura puts her down and Banks ends up taking Natalya out on the floor. Banks tosses Natalya back into the ring and mocks Nakamura, but Natalya comes back and drops her with a spinning clothesline. We see Sami Zayn and Becky Lynch watching from backstage as they are chatting with fans in the Mixed Match Challenge chat room. Natalya applies a headlock, but Banks gets free and goes to tag Balor. Natalya stops her and slams her down to the mat. Natalya goes for the cover, but Banks kicks out at two.
Natalya applies a modified surfboard submission in the middle of the ring, but Banks comes back with an enzuiguri. Banks tags Balor, and Nakamura enters as well. Balor sends Nakamura to the corner and delivers a chop. Nakamura goes back with a knee strike, but Balor connects with an enzuiguri. Balor drops an elbow and goes for the cover, but Nakamura kicks out at two. Balor delivers another chop, but Nakamura comes back with a kick to the neck. Nakamura delivers a knee strike in the corner and takes him up top. Nakamura delivers another knee strike and goes for the cover, but Balor kicks out at two. Nakamura goes for a suplex, but Balor fights him off.
Nakamura slams Balor face first to the mat and sets up for the Kinshasa, but Balor counters into a Slingblade. Balor dropkicks Nakamura into the corner and goes up top. Natalya knocks Balor down and Nakamura connects with a knee strike. Nakamura goes for the cover, but Banks breaks it up. Banks and Natalya fight to the floor and Nakamura sets up for the Kinshasa in the ring. Balor sends him into the ring post and tags in Banks. Banks takes Natalya down on the floor and tosses her back into the ring. Banks kicks Natalya down to the mat and she and Balor double dropkick Natalya and Nakamura. Banks hits the back-stabber and locks in the Bank Statement and Natalya taps out.
Winners: Sasha Banks and Finn Balor.
After the match, we rejoin Renee Young and Byron Saxton. We see that The Miz and Asuka vs. Big E and Carmella will take place on next week’s edition of the Mixed Match Challenge.