Braun Strowman from a 2017 WWE Live event. Strowman will be competing for the WWE Universal Championship at Royal Rumble and teaming with Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss in the Mixed Match Challenge tournament.

Braun Strowman from a 2017 WWE Live event. Strowman will be competing for the WWE Universal Championship at Royal Rumble and teaming with Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss in the Mixed Match Challenge tournament.

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is debuting a new program called WWE Mixed Match Challenge that is viewable on the Facebook Watch platform. Premiering on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 12 male and 12 female Superstars will team up in mixed tag team tournament action over the course of 12 weeks. The winning team will be awarded $100,000 to donate to a charity of their choice. The following teams have been announced so far: Alexa Bliss and Braun Strowman, Charlotte Flair and Bobby Roode, Sasha Banks and Finn Bálor, Lana and Rusev, Naomi and Jimmy Uso, and the team of Nia Jax and Apollo Crews. Mixed Match Challenge will air live on Facebook on Tuesday nights at 10 PM following WWE SmackDown Live’s broadcast on the USA Network. 205 Live, typically aired at the 10 PM Tuesday night slot on WWE Network, will be moved to air at 10:30 PM on Tuesdays over the course of the Mixed Match Challenge tournament.

On Sunday, Jan. 28, the thirty-first Royal Rumble event will be presented on the WWE Network. For the first time ever, the event will feature separate Royal Rumble matches for both the men and women WWE Superstars. In the Royal Rumble, 30 Superstars will battle to be awarded a title match against their respective World Champion at WrestleMania 34. For the men’s Royal Rumble, such Superstars as John Cena, Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Finn Bálor have been announced as competitors. In the women’s Royal Rumble, Superstars such as Asuka, Sasha Banks, Bailey, and Paige have declared themselves as entrants.

Also at Royal Rumble, the final match in the United States Championship tournament will take place. Dolph Ziggler had won the title in a triple threat match against Baron Corbin and Bobby Roode at Clash of Champions, but vacated the title just two days later. In other title action, Brock Lesnar will defend his Universal Championship against both Kane and Braun Strowman. For SmackDown Live, AJ Styles will defend the WWE Championship against Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens in a 2-on-1 handicap match. For more information and to subscribe to the WWE Network, visit WWE.com.

Jonathan McLarty is a contributing writer for The Flagship, as well as a local sports and event photographer. Connect with him on Twitter (@JonathanMcLarty) and view his photography at McLartyPhoto.Zenfolio.com

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