As if 2018 couldn’t get any weirder, WWE has announced Curt Hawkins will replace Braun Strowman as Ember Moon’s tag team partner in the Mixed Match Challenge.
Okay, everybody, take out your Pro Wrestling in 2018 BINGO Cards. We’ve already called “WALTER signs with WWE,” “Chris Jericho Goes Sailing,” and “Dean Ambrose Cuts Promo While Getting a Shot in the Keyster.” So what’s one more crazy thing to add to the list: Curt Hawkins is taking the place of Braun Strowman.
Sure, it’s in the Mixed Match Challenge, where Hawkins will now team with Ember Moon to conclude the tournament. Strowman and Moon had reached the playoffs, which begin tonight after SmackDown Live goes off the air. But instead of a Monster Among Men, the Shenom will have to try and go the distance with a guy carrying a 236 match losing streak on his back.
Folks, there’s only one way this can play out — Hawkins takes the pin against Jinder Mahal, as the Maharajah and Alicia Fox move on in the tournament. If WWE wastes this gimmick of a lengthy losing streak just to end it in a Facebook Live-exclusive show with terrible viewership numbers, it’s utterly stupid, not to put too fine a point on things.
But enough about all that: Let’s talk about how amazing such a team is in theory. Ember Moon is one of the hottest talents in the WWE right now, with a ceiling that can’t even be seen by the naked eye. Having her as Strowman’s partner when Alexa Bliss went down with an injury is a sign that WWE sees her as a major player in the not too distant future.
Hawkins, meanwhile, came back to WWE in 2016 to help bolster the roster in the aftermath of the brand split. Prior to that, he had been a part of the company from 2007-2014. The most notable thing Hawkins did was win the Tag Team Championships alongside Zack Ryder. Hawkins also teamed with Tyler Reks prior to being released.
I think we can all agree that Ember Moon is a major upgrade as a tag partner.
I’m looking forward to Ember being a house of fire during the playoff match, with Hawkins cheering her on from the corner. But just when it looks like Moon has Fox on the ropes and is about to put her away, something will happen that forces Jinder into the match. And as soon as Hawkins joins him, we’ll get the all too familiar L next to Curt’s name in the record books.
There’s a better conclusion for the Hawkins storyline than having Moon be responsible for ending his losing streak. Remember how anticlimactic the first season of the MMC ended up being when Asuka’s winning streak was considered to be on the line in the tournament? It’ll be more of the same with Hawkins and Moon.
Still, it’s a great move, a huge spot for Hawkins, and it should be the beginning of an actual professional relationship between him and Ember. Let her spend some time after the MMC ends “coaching” Curt to get back on the winning side. And even though he won’t be number 30 in the Royal Rumble, imagine the pop if he wins the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal in his sort-of hometown of “New York City” at WrestleMania.
Are you excited about the team of Curt Hawkins and Ember Moon?