WWE Raw Underground, which debuted with much fanfare and anticipation, has reportedly already been dropped by the company. The segment debuted on the August 3rd edition of Raw with a "Fight Club" feel, hosted by Shane McMahon and some scantily clad dancers. Though the segment seemed fresh at the time, it also had the feeling of a short term idea that would be ditched before too long. In the end, Raw Underground lasted just under two months.
It was noted in this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter that one of the reasons for scrapping the segment a couple of weeks ago had to do with the recent outbreak of COVID-19 among some of the WWE Performance Center extras who were used in the Underground segments. That outbreak caused WWE to separate NXT performers from main roster performers out of caution of more infection. Of course, that presented a problem for Underground due to many of the extras in the segments being Performance Center trainees and NXT performers.
As of this week, everyone had been cleared that had been exposed or infected. Dabba-Kato and Arturo Ruas, whom had been featured on Underground, were drafted to Raw. The Observer report noted that there was concern about bringing in more extras from the Performance Center to continue the segment moving forward, as another outbreak from that sector of the roster could lead to a larger infection among the Raw or SmackDown rosters.
The cancellation of the segment is in contrast to Shane McMahon's recent comments that Underground was being tweaked but would be continuing moving forward. In reality, there was a lot of concern among many of a possible COVID infection just due to the way the segment was shot. The initial Raw Underground segment featured people maskless and not wearing masks properly, in a small area, which presented some red flags right off the bat.
Even so, the segment was different and caused some interest among fans and it is too bad that they couldn't figure out a way to make it work. Timing is everything, though, and COVID-19 will continue to make many aspects of the business near impossible if not incredibly risky.