Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode teamed up for the first time on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw and won a Tag Team Gauntlet match to set up a chance for championship glory.
The duo will now go up against Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman for the Raw Tag Team titles at the Sept. 15 Clash of Champions pay-per-view. Ziggler and Roode completely dominated the gauntlet, eliminating four different tag teams: The Revival, Lucha House Party, Heavy Machinery and Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder.
Roode has only appeared on television sporadically ever sine he debuted the new "Robert Roode" character, while Ziggler has bounced around multiple feuds over the past couple of months. Finally, the WWE creative team was finally able to find something that worked for both Ziggler and Roode.
So how and why did WWE decide to pair up the two veterans? According to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Ringside News), it's because Roode and Ziggler "know how to work around" Strowman in the ring and thus put on a strong match.
Meltzer suggested a match Rollins & Strowman going up against Heavy Machinery wouldn't be good enough "for a pay-per-view." Both Roode and Ziggler display strong in-ring skills, so they should be able to piece together a fine match against The Monster Among Men and the Universal Champion.
Finally, Meltzer explained how likely it is that Strowman and Rollins will drop their Raw Tag Team titles, since the former is challenging The Architect for his Universal Championship on the same night. WWE obviously needs a new tag team to build around, so they'll see what Ziggler and Roode can do together. There's plenty of time to build the new duo up as they prepare for Clash of Champions.
What This Means
The tag team division on Raw has been stale for quite a while, with the championships changing hands far too frequently. Roode and Ziggler did well together their first time, and if they can keep that up, the creative team will finally have a suitable tag team to build around on its flagship program.