When WWE announced that they were introducing the Mixed Match Challenge tournament, it was not a surprise to their fans. With the continuous talk about the women’s revolution, it is good to see them team up with the men to show that they can keep pace with the men, and in some cases, raise the bar on the men. The main question now is, whatever happened to intergender matches? Will the WWE take a page from their history books and allow intergender matches to once again happen instead of mixed tag team matches? There is a solid difference between intergender matches and mixed tag team matches. An intergender match allows the men and the women to wrestler each other, whereas a mixed gender match is a match that needs the men to tag in the men and the women to tag in the women.
Having a man compete against a woman is something that in most sports we are consistently not seeing. The genders are being kept segregated. Some may say the reason for this could be that men should not square off against women and vice versa. In the WWE, the lack of these matches could be due to the PG era. Taking a step back in history, the Attitude Era allowed some of these intergender matches to take place. Pioneers such as Chyna, Lita, Jacqueline, and Victoria, just to name a few, have squared off against the men during their time with the company.
Chyna undeniably was one of the most influential women of the Attitude Era. She would take on the biggest names of the company such as The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H, and Kurt Angle. She is also the first and only woman to hold the prestigious Intercontinental Championship that has only been previously held by men. She gave hope to a lot of women and men alike who felt like they were different, or that they were unable to achieve success. Defeating Jeff Jarrett at No Mercy in 1999, was a moment that wrestling fans still haven’t forgotten. She continued the Intercontinental Championship storyline with Chris Jericho. Jericho and Chyna each exchange a reign with the title for it to end up with a controversial double pin outcome (to which WWE recognizes it as a vacant title as opposed to a co-champion). Chyna lastly faces Jericho and Hardcore Holly in a triple threat match to which Jericho came out the victor.
During this same era, Lita teamed up with Trish Stratus to face Christian and Jericho. In a storyline where Christian and Jericho were trying to date Lita and Stratus, the ladies were willing to tango with them in the ring. Lita also teamed up with the Hardy Boyz to face off against Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, and Austin. Although the majority of the match was the men against the men, Lita did end up pinning McMahon. Lita then took several chair shots from Austin and Triple H.
Stepping away from the WWE for a moment, intergender matches are prevalent on the independent scene. On January 19th, Sabotage Wrestling had their War of the Genders 2 event. The event itself had a match card that was completely men versus women. A few of the matches that happened were:
Lucha Underground has been consistently having intergender matches for years. Ivelisse has been a big component of Lucha Underground matches. She has gone against men such as Angelico, and Mil Muertes. Current Impact wrestler Taya Valkyrie who is also in Lucha Underground has had matches against the men such as Brian Cage. Ivelisse is a two time Lucha Underground Trios Champion, to which she was champion with two men, Son of Havoc and Angelico.
Joey Ryan is a big contribution of intergender matches. He has worked in several promotions with NXT’s newest female talent Candice LeRae. Their tag team was known as the World’s Cutest Tag Team. LeRae is widely known for her intergender matches including having matches against her own husband, Johnny Gargano. The fact that she has been recently signed to NXT may show that the WWE may be heading in the direction of the women having matches with the men again. Abbey Laith is also an NXT talent who has had a lot of experience in the indies with matches against the men.
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) February 4, 2018
LeRae recently had a tag team match with Gargano and face Zelina Vega and the NXT champion Andrade Cien Almas at a house show in Nashville.
Would you like to see intergender matches back in the WWE? Do you think that they will finally allow these matches to come back? Which current intergender matches would you like to see happen with the current roster? Sound off in the comments!