WWE surprised viewers on this week’s Monday Night Raw by introducing a segment called “Raw Underground.” While it might have seemed random, Dave Meltzer revealed on Wrestling Observer Radio why the company introduced the new concept.
As quoted by Sportskeeda, the recent ratings decline motivated Vince McMahon to try something different. The journalist stated that the show was on track to do its “lowest numbers ever,” which prompted the executives to get creative.
Meltzer went on to say that “Raw Underground” stemmed from the decision to bring Shane McMahon back for the show. This reportedly came after last week’s investors call, in which his father was grilled about the state of the product.
He promised fresh storylines during the call, and “Raw Underground” looks set to be one of several that will be implemented into the product moving forward.
However, the new segment might not have been planned out, as officials were reportedly tossing several ideas out there in the hope that something resonated with the fans.
“Okay, so the whole thing is that they were just going to throw a whole bunch of stuff against the wall and hope something sticks. That’s really where we’re at right now, and that’s what tonight’s show was, throw a whole bunch of stuff on the wall and maybe find something that’s a hit.”
“Raw Underground” is essentially WWE’s version of a fight club. Shane is a well-documented MMA fan, and he may have been behind the concept as it’s very reminiscent of that style of fighting.
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) August 4, 2020
As documented by Essentially Sports, the creative decision has polarized fans. Some have criticized it due to the randomness of the angle, while others have enjoyed how WWE made an effort to be entertaining.
A few underutilized main roster superstars and several developmental talents also received some airtime on the episode because of the storyline. NXT’s Dabba-Kato was dominant for a while, and his performance suggests that he could be getting a main roster push in the near future.
The segments also suggested that the company plans in moving in an edgier direction to bring back absent fans. While the pandemic may have contributed toward the plummeting ratings, officials are also looking ahead to the long-term. This means building new superstars and creating compelling television, according to the chairman.
As The Inquisitr reported earlier, the latest episode of the red brand’s weekly programming featured the introduction of an anarchistic faction as well, as the promotion is reportedly planning a return to Attitude Era-style storylines.