Rewind-A-Raw 8/3/20: Raw Underground, Rock-XFL, TNT-Dynamite

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John Pollock and Wai Ting discuss WWE Raw featuring the return of Shane McMahon with Raw Underground, Montez Ford is poisoned, and we chat all the latest news including the sale of the XFL.


  • XFL sold for $15 million to a group that includes Dwayne Johnson
  • TNT’s NBA programming leads to programming adjustments for AEW Dynamite
  • WWE set to hold another draft in the fall
  • MJF to challenge for the AEW title at All Out on Sept. 5
  • Episode 1 of AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup Tournament
  • NJPW adds a tournament for the vacant NEVER Openweight Six-Man tag titles this week
  • AEW Dynamite and NXT line-ups for this Wednesday
  • The Bellas give birth over the weekend

Monday’s Raw saw the return of Shane McMahon with the latest concept of Raw Underground featuring FIGHTS. Plus, a mysterious group lights stuff on fire, Montez Ford is poisoned, Dominik Mysterio makes a SummerSlam challenge, Apollo Crews returns, the 24/7 title is lost & found, Drew McIntyre is pissed! Asuka is pissed! Samoa Joe is pissed! And, who is screwing around with the lighting & audio equipment????

And your Café feedback, comments, and questions from the POST Wrestling Forum.

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Photos Courtesy: WWE

Rewind-A-Raw Theme by Colby John:

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Thank you John for not retiring the puns

Essentially the writer’s room for WWE after last night…

I really enjoyed Raw. I love the Underground stuff and I think there is big potential to come up with an interesting story. Unfortunately, I think 1 of 2 things will happen instead…

  1. WWE will fuck it up and make it terrible

  2. The fans will bitch and whine about it and it will be dropped.

I’d like to see them bring in a group like Riddle, Gulak, Bryan, Gable and fuck some shit up.

This was the first Raw I actively followed in years. Albeit through Twitter while I was on-call, but I fell into the hype - hook, line and sinker. And to be fair, the constant hotshotting gave the show an unpredictable vibe. I’ll take that any week over the boring and soulless presentation they usually go with.

The problem? Firstly, false advertising. That new faction thing was an incredible insult to the viewer. Up until the final minute, I was just curious to know who or what this was, and they didn’t follow through. And please don’t hit me with the “card subject to change” or the technicality that they did show five bozos in ninja outfits throwing a Molotov cocktail at a power generator. What they pulled is Grade A carny bullshit. And if it was just a result of disconnect between the production and social media teams, it shows how truly in shambles the operation is. I felt insulted that I even bothered to care. Imagine if any major TV program promised to feature a new or returning character to bring in viewers, and all they got was a five second cutaway at the end? Come on. Do better.

As for Raw Underground - I think John and Wai said it best, this is what a group of old white men think is cool. Scantly dressed women dancing in the corner of a room while we watch a faux MMA presentation that is hosted by someone who’s suddenly returned and turned babyface without any explanation. I’ll give them this, they’re aware the ratings are in the toilet and they need a third hour hook. Congrats. However, what was this? These were disconnected two minute segments dispersed between a dreadful boring pair of dull matches between Street Profits and Andrade/Garza. Why does this exist? What are the rules? What are the implications to beating these random guys up in some secluded room in the PC? Is this the new catering?

And here’s the kicker, I didn’t hate it fully. They finally did something I was asking for - they promoted their talent as badasses! Dolph Ziggler wasn’t the screechy, whiny, pathetic loser with a horrible theme song - he was the kickass winningest wrestler in Kent State. The way he manhandled that guy was cooler than anything he’s done in nearly a decade. The Viking Raider who was just singing carpool karaoke and in a horrible cinematic match with the Street Profits kicked the everliving shit out of a guy. He looked like a beast. Why are these wrestlers not presented like this weekly? In two short clips you began a strong rehabilitation of two acts. It doesn’t need to be MMA-lite or Brawl for All, they just simply presented their wrestlers as elite athletes who should be taken seriously.

That’s all I’ve asked for. WWE can create new stars if they lean into these things. Give me a few Zigger squashes like this and revamp his presentation through a new look and some vignettes, and he could be salvageable. Same with the Raiders. You can still have your characters and storylines, but this would make your stacked roster so much more interesting. Let them do what they do and highlight why each guy is unique. It really feels like back to basics and I wish they’d do a revamp in a scalable way with this ideology.

Okay, I’ve gone on long enough. But the bottom line to me is the false advertising really felt insulting. And Raw Underground feels like faulty hot shorting, but underneath the surface of it all, I saw a glimpse of character presentation I’d like to see be more widespread.

Regarding whether Joe had previously stood up to Seth before.

I believe that he has, if I remember correctly, it was the infancy of Seth’s group and they were wanting to put someone through the announcers desk and instructed Joe to move but he wouldn’t.

However they blindsided him and I believe that AOP then put Joe through the desk and I think it gave him a concussion.

Who said he’s a babyface? I didnt get any babyface vibes from this. The guy was putting absolute losers in there with big, tough guys, to get their asses kicked. He did nothing to stop this big heel group, that came in and destroyed all these guys.

Could be interesting but I got bad B movie vibes from it. Obvious way to go with it is one guy dominates the underground scene and Shane then shows up with him on Raw as his manager.

If they want it to be the super edgy, seedy and brutal hour then they’re gonna have to go further with things which they won’t be able to do. Maybe they could do fake blood and some bone crunching sound effects but I doubt they’d be able to drop a lot of cursing or introduce nudity with the dancers. It will be a very safe version of what they need to do to make it work which is why it will come across as a bit meh.

He’s clearly a different iteration than the heel authority “Best in the World” character.

Clearly, that still doesn’t mean it’s a baby face character. Like I said, there were way more heel vibes, than baby face.

There has been so much negativity for the 3rd hour that I can’t wait for it to do a bigger number and we get a week’s worth of debate

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If it appeases you, I’ll rephrase and say it was stupid that he was brought back, completely different from how we last saw him without explanation. The point wasn’t the technicality of heel vs babyface - although again, I think it’s clear what they were going for with Shane being an over-the-top Joe Rogan-type host.

However, it’s an inconsistency in his presentation regardless. No hype or explanation. He just dreamed it up one day and there it is. All the while, he’s not who he was just last October