The best-of-seven series between Cesaro and Sheamus ended in a no contest at Clash of Champions. That was the big payoff — a no contest where nobody wins. Surely WWE fixed this on Raw, right?
Well, sort of.
Instead of booking an extra match, General Manager Mick Foley notified both Superstars that they’d receive the title shot promised to the winner. However, they would do so as a team against the Raw Tag Team Champions.
So that answers why WWE never revealed which title shot Cesaro and Sheamus were competing for. The swerve was that all seven of their matches led to their pairing as an odd-couple tag team.
Foley claimed that the two Superstars were too valuable to lose to SmackDown and were capable of reaching their full potential as a team. So after bickering a pleading, the European wrestlers decided to get on the same page.
Later on, Cesaro and Shemaus competed in a squash match against a jobber team, which saw the two attempt to out-do each other. Pretty much what you’d expect from a forced tag team coming off a brutal feud.
Sure, this seems like an utter waste of time of dragging this feud through seven matches. But who knows? Perhaps Cesaro and Sheamus could form an entertaining tag team through all of their past friction.
Odd-couple teams have worked in the past. Just take SmackDown’s current tag champs, Heath Slater and Rhyno, for example. The duo formed after Rhyno made his SmackDown debut by attacking and later defeating Slater.
What makes the “Manbeast” such a perfect compliment to Slater’s character is he’s a silent badass. That lets Slater do the talking in segments while allowing Rhyno to be the hot-tag option during a match.
But that example is more of a difference in personalities, rather than a long feud resulting in an unlikely pairing. Historically, there are better examples of rival Superstars becoming successful tag teams.
Daniel Bryan and Kane battled for months before being forced to join together as “Team Hell No.” The pairing not only resulted in a WWE Tag Team Championship, but arguably got Bryan over as the most popular name in WWE for his hilarious interactions with his partner.
Having Bryan and Kane argue was comedy gold early in their championship run. But aside from humor, the two had excellent in-ring chemistry and made a believable alliance.
But perhaps the most successful former rival pairing involved Foley himself. The Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection formed several months after Mankind, played by the current GM, and The Rock battled for the WWE Championship.
At the time, both were top babyfaces and hadn’t interacted much since Rock was kicked out of the Corporation faction. But it was still a clash of conflicting personalities. The uber cool Rock matched with the lovable weirdo Mankind provided many of WWE’s most memorable segments of the Attitude Era, as well as winning the tag team titles.
Of course, that’s sort of different from Cesaro and Sheamus as well. The biggest thing WWE wants to do is get both guys over to the audience. Rock ‘n’ Sock were already extremely popular before their alliance, whereas Cesaro has fan support, but has been questioned for his promo skills.
Sheamus has received “you look stupid” chants since cutting his hair, but really doesn’t garner enough heat to be considered a top heel anymore. Perhaps the duo can repeat history and make an odd couple gimmick work. If so, they’ll likely become even more popular singles superstars long-term, which could boost their respective stocks on the Raw brand.