Days after his potential move was first rumored, Dolph Ziggler made the jump from Friday Night SmackDown to Monday Night Raw on this week’s episode of the latter show. However, he wasn’t alone, as the currently inactive Robert Roode was also moved to the red brand on an official basis.
As noted by Wrestling Inc., it was confirmed on this week’s Raw that Ziggler and Roode were traded from SmackDown as part of the deal that had previously sent AJ Styles to the blue brand. The transaction was announced during a segment featuring reigning WWE Champion Drew McIntyre, as Ziggler interrupted his promo and asked for a title shot at next month’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view — a request that was granted at the end of the segment, per Cageside Seats.
At the moment, the above match has yet to be made official, but Wrestling Inc. wrote that this should change as the feud builds up in the weeks leading to Extreme Rules on July 19.
— WWE (@WWE) June 23, 2020
As for Roode, who was included in the trade as Ziggler’s tag team partner from their time on SmackDown, the Canadian wrestler has not been featured on television in recent months due to travel restrictions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. This, as previously reported by The Inquisitr, puts him in a similar situation as two of his countrymen — The Singh Brothers, who have also been off television since WWE started taping its shows at its Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, in March.
At the time of writing, it’s still unclear when Roode will be able to return to the ring.
The new rivalry between Ziggler and McIntyre dates back to their time together two years ago as a tag team, as the 15-year WWE veteran mentioned in his promo that he played a key role in the current WWE Champion’s “comeback story” in 2018. Both men would later fall out with each other onscreen, with Ziggler eliminating McIntyre during the men’s battle royal at the following year’s Royal Rumble, but with McIntyre now playing a babyface role and Ziggler retaining his heel alignment, it is only now that they are having a proper feud with each other.
In the months preceding Ziggler’s trade to Raw, the 39-year-old primarily feuded with Otis on Friday Night SmackDown. He would, however, lose that rivalry, with the erstwhile Heavy Machinery member defeating him in a singles match at WrestleMania 36 in April, as pointed out by Bleacher Report.