WWE’s introduction of “Raw Underground” — a fight club segment on Monday Night Raw — has divided wrestling fans. John Cena, however, thinks that it’s an exciting opportunity for the roster members involved.
In an interview with Newsweek, the 16-time world champion had some advice for the superstars about what they need to do to make the most of it. According to Cena, it’s up to them to shape the future direction of the new concept.
“[Raw Underground] is an opportunity. I think any paradigm shift, any big announcement, anything in that world that is ever-changing, constantly-pivoting, there is always a search for growth. It’s an opportunity, that’s exactly what it is. So, I think it needs a little bit of time to find itself. And in all things, if it lacks creative definition from the top, I really hope performers embrace the unknown and they define it.”
Cena went on to cite “Stone Cold” Steve Austin as an example of a superstar who discovered his character by himself, noting that WWE made full use of that. He hopes that the red brand stars can have a similar effect on WWE’s new experiment, especially if there isn’t any direction coming from management.
The wrestler-turned-actor also thinks that now is the perfect time to take full advantage of the platform they’ve been given. The concept is still new and not many people understand it, but Cena believes that will work in their favor. None of the best ideas in wrestling took off overnight, as they all required some work along the way.
Several underutilized talents and NXT stars appeared on the inaugural edition of the fight club segment. In addition to defining the storyline, this could provide a stepping stone for them to go and become mainstays on the red brand’s weekly show.
Cena’s words suggest that officials aren’t too involved, which might not be the case. As The Inquisitr reported earlier this week, the new segment was reportedly introduced to bring more eyes to the show. Ratings have been in decline throughout the pandemic, and officials are experimenting with new ideas in the hope that something will stick.
The idea might not be an original creation either. As Ringside News noted, it was very reminiscent of an independent promotion called Sanctuary Fight Club. There are some differences between each product, but some pundits have speculated that Vince McMahon’s promotion stole the idea from the lesser-known entity.