Shane McMahon returned to Monday Night Raw this week to introduce a new concept, Raw Underground. Throughout the night the show cut to segments where McMahon hosted shoot-style fights in a ring with no ropes, turnbuckles or posts inside a dimly-lit part of the Performance Center complete with cheering wrestlers and (for some reason) exotic dancers. Fans panned the segments at first, saying that it felt like McMahon was going through some sort of midlife crisis. But as the show went on some of the viewers were won over by the idea, especially when The Hurt Business arrived and claimed the league was under new management.
But certain fans and wrestlers couldn't help but notice how many ideas WWE was taking from other places in order to make these segments happen. Former WWE Superstar EC3 pointed out that all of the segments looked like one of his videos.
My past will also be stolen, plagiarized, unauthenticaly imitated, over produced or poorly redone devoid of emotion.August 4, 2020
Many fans also pointed out how much of the idea was taken from Josh Barnett's Bloodsport events. The shoot-fight shows were originally introduced by Matt Riddle back in 2018 for Game Changer Wrestling and have since been picked up by the former UFC Heavyweight Champion. Josh Barnett's Bloodsport 3 was originally booked for WrestleMania 36 weekend back in April but was postponed due to the pandemic.
Barnett posted a series of tweets on Monday night responding to Raw Underground.
"Eye opening"? Not to anyone who has already watched Josh Barnett's: Bloodsport.
Still, I'm flattered and glad they see the desire that exists for what we do.
Only thing they can't recreate is the most important element - ME. https://t.co/6jJmkYXxVP— 𝕿𝖍𝖊 𝖂𝖆𝖗𝖒𝖆𝖘𝖙𝖊𝖗 (@JoshLBarnett) August 4, 2020
Correction - TRY. https://t.co/tuXN4LY25y— 𝕿𝖍𝖊 𝖂𝖆𝖗𝖒𝖆𝖘𝖙𝖊𝖗 (@JoshLBarnett) August 4, 2020
Everyone has a first step.August 4, 2020
Exactly. You don't have the right keys, you can't open the door and I am the locksmith here. https://t.co/TxI7s9HQeL— 𝕿𝖍𝖊 𝖂𝖆𝖗𝖒𝖆𝖘𝖙𝖊𝖗 (@JoshLBarnett) August 4, 2020
Of course we did!
But glad they see the value and that some of the wrestlers got a chance to shine. https://t.co/3WhLPgaeR6— 𝕿𝖍𝖊 𝖂𝖆𝖗𝖒𝖆𝖘𝖙𝖊𝖗 (@JoshLBarnett) August 4, 2020
Riddle also chimed in, though he wasn't nearly as critical.
The Underground feels so familiar bro pic.twitter.com/vlxds3DJle— matthew riddle (@SuperKingofBros) August 4, 2020