WWE: Will Intergender Matches Make a Return?


The rumor of a match between Becky Lynch and James Ellsworth raises an interesting question about how far the WWE will push the PG boundary.

Brian “Road Dogg” James likes to cause controversy. The former member of the New Age Outlaws and D-Generation X and the current producer and creative head for Smackdown Live! is not only quite active on social media but vocal towards fans and critics of his product. In 2016, James scolded Scott Dawson after The Revival dropped the NXT tag titles and Dawson later sent out a tweet poking fun at the tag teams competing on Smackdown Live! that week. In 2014, James got into a heated online argument with a fan who criticized the WWE in the wake of CM Punk’s departure from the company.

More recently, James has been involved in a social media love/hate triangle involving Becky Lynch and James Ellsworth. The three have traded barbs back and forth with shots being fired in all directions. On the one hand, a match against Ellsworth kind of makes sense since Becky’s primary antagonists (Alexa Bliss and Mickie James) have gone to RAW. Lynch has also collided with Carmella before and even laid her hands on Ellsworth so there is a precedent of confrontation between them.

For her part, Lynch is all for it, but that doesn’t mean WWE will be as well. The WWE abandoned intergender matches several years ago when the company swam from the raunchy (yet highly enjoyable), PG-13 oceans of the Attitude Era to the more family friendly and profitable waters of the PG Era. You can still watch amazing female athletes compete against their male counterparts on programs like Lucha Underground but these matches can be downright violent and it’s hard to imagine WWE promoting an intergender match while simultaneously advocating for awareness against bullying. Then again, JBL still has a pretty comfortable job in the company so perhaps hypocrisy is lost on them after all.

For my money, I wouldn’t mind seeing the women’s revolution take an interesting turn and giving us full equality in the ring. The WWE has done a poor job of fairly representing their women even after dropping the “Divas” name. Fans have been subjected to confusing storylines, sub-par matches, and boring feuds that went on far too long. (I’m looking at you, Sasha and Charlotte). I would even be on board for intergender tag teams as a way to ease the fan base into the idea of seeing men and women regularly compete in the same ring again. Put Nia Jax and Braun Strowman together as a tag team and let them run roughshod over the RAW landscape while fans lose their minds.

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The best scenario we could have hoped for (which is also the most infuriating) would have seen either Daniel Bryan or Shane McMahon book a match between Lynch and Ellsworth only to have Carmella or Natalya interfere and thus begin a formal feud between those women. But as we saw on the Apr. 25 edition of Smackdown, the online spat between Lynch and Ellsworth seems to have taken a backseat to the “Lynch vs. Everyone” storyline. Meanwhile, James Ellsworth will quietly slink into the background and continue his transformation into a walking Ed Hardy t-shirt while the rest of us wonder what might have been.