Raw Underground is still a new concept and evolves each week. Let’s book a fantasy tournament to see who comes out on top.
Raw Underground has become an interesting part of MNR since its August debut. On the Sept. 17th episode of After the Bell podcast with Corey Graves, Shane McMahon explained how Raw Underground is a great way to get wrestlers more exposure and add more to the third hour or MNR. He also explained that similar events like the Underground have taken place in Japan. “I’ve been traveling to Japan since the late 80s…when I was a teenager I saw some of this so it’s always resonated with me.” He added, “…It’s a work in progress.”
Progress has definitely been seen, from removing the dancing girls from earlier episodes to adding more notable names like Braun Strowman, The Hurt Business, and Dolph Ziggler. The randomness of stars in the weekly lineup has made Raw Underground a welcomed Monday night surprise. If there was one wish, that would be able to hold a Raw Underground tournament with the WWE Hardcore Title up for grabs. That’s the Raw Underground championship this segment needs.
- Riddick Moss over Titus O’Neil
- Arturo Ruas over Erik of the Viking Raiders
- Braun Strowman over Bobby Lashley
- Dabba-Kato over Aleister Black
- Dolph Ziggler over Kevin Owens
As much as Titus O’Neil looked decent, I don’t think he has the mobility that Moss has in the Underground. Mobility would also be the advantage against Erik of the Viking Raiders, but I would expect Ruas to come off with one of those roundhouse kicks and keep Erik at a distance. He would go for a power strike for the win. Strowman vs. Lashley is a good pop early in the tournament considering the history these two guys have. However, Strowman gets the win and moves on.
A loss here would just bury Strowman, considering The Hurt Business is on top of their game right now and getting major play on MNR. Kato over Black is obvious considering size and power, and Ziggler gets the win over Owens because Ziggler is quicker and a more experienced grappler than Owens.
- Riddick Moss beats MVP (Upset)
- Braun Strowman beats Arturo Ruas
- Dabba-Kato beats Cedric Alexander
- Dolph Ziggler beats Shelton Benjamin
Moss beating MVP in my opinion gives him the rub he needs to stay relevant in the Underground. I considered this my “Upset Match” because of MVP’s major push right now. MVP is already on top of the world with The Hurt Business so the least he could do is take this L with pride. Strowman beating Ruas is obvious considering Ruas has no response to the power of Strowman. Booking Kato against Alexander was almost ethically wrong, but Alexander can make Kato look like the monster the Underground expects him to be. Ziggler beating Benjamin keeps him not only relevant in Raw Underground, but keeps Benjamin on the hunt to etch his own story out in the faction.
- Braun Strowman over Riddick Moss
- Dabba-Kato over Ziggler
As much as I like Moss, I don’t see him taking down Strowman at this point. Even though Moss is a little faster than Strowman, Strowman gets the win here because of the storyline he has attached to him. The “Monster Among Men” needs to keep his momentum in his feud against Bray Wyatt, so a loss here just wouldn’t make sense. In addition, facing off against Dabba-Kato on the 9/21 episode of MNR could see this as a great rematch of two giants. I think that would be a good card to book, considering both men are all power.
Dabba-Kato getting the win over Strowman only makes sense. Strowman is a passing visitor in the Underground while Kato has the chance to get some major airtime and a possible push in this segment. Crowing him the WWE Hardcore Champion would be a great springboard to the main roster and onto MNR.