An interesting concept was brought to us on RAW last week in RAW Underground.
Hosted and seemingly run by Shane McMahon. It’s effectively Fight Club meets WWE, a wrestling ring in a dingy warehouse without the ropes where wrestlers compete in ‘shoot’ fighting. You can see why WWE came up with this concept, something different and a little bit edgy as it doesn’t just feature the fighting but it has scantily dressed dancers, something we would we see in 1999.
The first edition saw the re-introduction of Babatunde, now billed as Dabba-Kato, as well as Dolph Ziggler doing his best Tyler Durden and then The Hurt Business taking over the warehouse. It seems this is going to be the superstars who aren’t just wrestlers but have backgrounds in MMA, American Football or college level wrestling and would open up some great airtime for the lesser-used wrestlers or ways to redirect a wrestler’s career.
With the rumour of Vince being ‘cold’ on Shayna, NO idea why, and her return to TV putting the roster on notice, whilst also destroying Akira Tozawa’a ninjas coincides. Baszler turning up on RAW Underground and making fools of the multitude of men in that building and scaring away the dancing women is content I am here for.
Shayna does need a reintroduction to a women’s division that has been Sasha Banks, Bayley, Asuka and Kairi Sane for the last three or four months. We all know that Shayna is a phenomenal wrestler but they need to reintroduce her like the way they did at Elimination Chamber, being the only woman to compete in RAW Underground would be a way to put everyone on notice.
Sasha is yet to have an opponent at SummerSlam but you can expect it to be either Asuka, who needs to defeat Bayley on RAW, or Shayna. Bring in Shayna to the title picture, have her decimate RAW Underground and use that momentum to lead her to her first RAW Women’s Championship at SummerSlam.
This would be the end of RAW Underground and an angle just for fun. To visual of the wrestlers at ringside and in the ring completely in the moment before Lesnar comes in and storms the ring taking out every single person in his way, and that would include one Shane McMahon. Yes, people complain about Shane constantly being in the spotlight and taking ring and TV time away from actual wrestlers but to see he and Lesnar do battle somewhere down the road would be brilliant viewing.
We don’t know how long RAW Underground will be a thing, nor do we know how long Lesnar will be away from our TVs but I can imagine he’ll be returning once crowds start to come back, possibly the same time as RAW Underground would end. It would suit in the storyline as well with Lesnar believing the wrestlers aren’t as tough as they think they are and Shane McMahon is deluded for this idea and Shane defending himself against Lesnar. I can picture it now, Shane doing his version of MMA and Lesnar just laughing at him before putting him in the ground, beautiful.
With rumours that Vince McMahon is super-hot on the large Australian, no surprise that Vince loves him considering he is 6’5” and 253lbs. From what we say on the first episode of RAW Underground, the wrestlers who did the best were either proficient in other backgrounds, like Erik of the Viking Raiders, or very large men, like Dabba-Kato. Vink is a large man and could use this newly introduced platform to come onto the scene as a singles star following his tag run alongside Shane Thorne.
With someone like him, let’s face it that he doesn’t have that much of a character, he needs to just be dominant in the ring and destroy any single wrestler in his way. He can appear on RAW Underground, batter everyone in his way and either reunite or face off against The Hurt Business, who raided the Underground area last week. It would lead him into his first storyline feud of a storyline faction and if Vince is as behind him as people say, then I can’t see his momentum dropping the second we see him.
Another wrestler who could use RAW Underground to reintroduce himself to wrestling fans. Riddick disappeared off our screens at the beginning of the pandemic with absolutely no explanation until we found out he was self-isolating due to his brother being high risk, someone he lived with. Before he had to do this, he was becoming weirdly prominent in the 24/7 title picture as Mojo Rawley’s ‘offensive lineman’ before turning on him to win the green strap. He is a man who fits the mould of Vince McMahon’s ideal wrestler, tall and muscular, as well as being a former American footballer.
He has a lot of potential but was always hampered on both NXT and RAW, he could easily use the RAW Underground concept to reappear in the wrestling eye and instantly be talked about once again. It could bring Mojo back onto our screens as well but I believe Moss could go in alone and be a very solid mid-card wrestler going forward.
With his impending meeting with Adam Cole at NXT Takeover: XXX on August 22, it gives WWE just 12 days to bolster it even more. Seeing Pat on RAW Underground to make Adam Cole get nervous about their meeting is a brilliant way to show off his abilities. No one knows what he is like in the ring as this will be his in-ring debut but if he goes into the warehouse and embarrasses a few enhancement talents, it gives the fans a bit of an eye-opener of what to expect.
Most wrestlers who convert from another career usually have a move set based on that previous career and with McAfee’s former career as an American Footballer, he can use his frame and power against Cole but also use some wrestling moves. This appearance would show him in a ring setting and give a little extra hype around this match as it seems like there has been very little build, except for their confrontation on the Pat McAfee show and their scrap on last week’s NXT.
Let’s see how long it lasts, how long Shane will be running this Fight Club rip off and how long will it take for him to be in the ring himself because we all know he loves the limelight. It’s still a shaky concept because it is so new and so left field for WWE, it could either succeed and be something very alternate from the usual product. Or, it could absolutely flop because WWE ruins it, but only time will tell.