It was the penultimate First Round match of the Mixed Match Challenge this week, as RAW's Bayley & Elias took on SmackDown's Rusev & Lana for a spot in the Quarter Finals. But how did it all go down in Bakersfield, CA? Lets take a look!
Mixed Match Challenge First Round Match // Rusev & Lana def. Bayley & Elias // Pinfall
Rusev & Lana advanced to the Quarter Finals past Bayley & Elias, when Lana picked up her first win in WWE by tripping Bayley off the middle rope for the pin. Apart from the lame finish, this week's match continued the theme of relatively entertaining, relatively light-weight wrestling action, having some nice story elements, but never really producing any action to get excited about. Rusev firing Lana up on the apron, carrying on the theme that we'd seen in a vignette earlier in the show was really nice and provided reasoning for how she was able to hold her own against the much more accomplished Bayley. I also enjoyed Bayley's confusion at Lana's in-ring competence, as well as the fact that Elias was heavily taped and selling a rib injury after being assaulted by Braun Strowman on RAW the night earlier. The finish ended up really letting down the match and making Bayley look a bit silly as Lana escaped a mid-rope Bayley to Belly and then just pulled her off the middle and got the pin, clean as you like. Obviously they didn't want Bayley taping to Lana's Accolade submission finish, yet they wanted Lana to get the win, so why WWE didn't opt for a heely foot on the ropes or something similar I'm not entirely sure. It couldn't have been much worse than what they actually went for. Rusev & Lana will return to the show in four weeks time to face the winner of next week's match between Charlotte Flair & Bobby Roode and Apollo Crews & Nia Jax.
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ATPW Scale Rating // 2.75 out of 10
Written by James Marston // @IAmNotAlanDale