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Raw Underground is unlike anything WWE has done before. Instead of the usual matches with rules in a standard ring, this concept is all about quick, bare-knuckle fights in the back of the company’s warehouse.
The idea was met with skepticism after its debut on Aug. 3, but many people have grown to enjoy these segments every Monday because they are a change of pace from the rest of the show.
The first couple of weeks featured a number of unknown stars getting their first few minutes of screen time on Raw, but recent episodes have focused more on established stars.
A handful of names stand out as having the best chance of using this gimmick to improve their careers moving forward. Let’s look at who will benefit most from Raw Underground during the rest of 2020.
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For those who are unaware, Arturo Ruas is a legitimate badass. The NXT Superstar spent 17 years as an undefeated freestyle wrestler in Brazil while also practicing various forms of martial arts.
He has only had a few televised matches on the black-and-gold brand, but his most impressive performances have come out of Raw Underground.
His first week saw him rip through a few nameless competitors before he took on Riddick Moss the following week in a fight that ended without a clear winner.
Ruas is built for this kind of gimmick. Whether WWE wants to make him the top dog of Raw Underground or use him to get other people over, he can be a huge asset.
If he continues to appear regularly and racks up some wins, it will be no time before we see him making appearances on the main roster.
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Raw Underground is all about fights with no rules. If anyone on the roster would thrive in this kind of environment, it’s WWE’s three resident women’s MMA experts.
Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir have already dominated everyone who has tried to step up to them during these backstage fights, but the trio have only appeared together once.
They need to become regulars who are willing to fight anyone, including male competitors. This is how WWE can get these three Superstars over as a group since it failed to do so in NXT.
Shafir and Duke have been sorely underused since Baszler joined the main roster in February. This is their chance to shine as long as WWE keeps giving them opportunities.
If Ronda Rousey ever decides to return to WWE, The Four Horsewomen could be the ones running Raw Underground before you know it.
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Dabba-Kato was completely unknown to the WWE Universe before he started decimating his opponents on Raw Underground.
Now, the giant is somebody who is feared due to his dominant style and intimidating presence. Had WWE just booked him in a few squash matches, he wouldn’t be nearly as imposing.
In order for the Pole to benefit from the Raw Underground concept, the company needs to keep using him. We haven’t seen him in a couple of weeks although that could be by design.
Whenever somebody comes backstage and runs through a few guys in the makeshift arena, they need to look dominant. If somebody like Dabba-Kato is always there, he is either going to look weak being beaten down or stupid for just standing on the sidelines.
He could be a huge star if WWE uses him the right way. His size and power put him in a special class in the company. He just needs to show us he has the personality and charisma to be successful.
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Whenever The Hurt Business has a bad night, Bobby Lashley, Shelton Benjamin and MVP go to Raw Underground to let off some steam.
Of the three, Lashley has been the most impressive. His MMA background makes him a natural fit in these fights, and his power and speed make him nearly unbeatable by most Superstars.
WWE has come close to giving The All Mighty a big push on several occasions, but for some reason, it never follows through with having him win a major title.
Raw Underground could be Lashley’s chance to establish himself as one of the toughest men in WWE. If he can do that, a match with Brock Lesnar would be a no-brainer.
Then again, this is WWE we are talking about. It has dropped the ball with a number of talented stars over the years. But Lashley shouldn’t be one of them.
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Dolph Ziggler has had more ups and downs in his WWE career than a roller coaster. He has been at the top of the mountain as a world champion and been used to put other people over countless times.
The reason The Showoff has been around as long as he has is his ability to have a good match with any kind of wrestler. He can work with anyone from a cruiserweight to a giant and make the match exciting.
However, it has been years since he has been taken seriously as a world title contender. Sure, he has had a few championship shots, but he always seems to come up short.
The amateur wrestling champion is somebody who has thrived in his appearances on Raw Underground, and it would be wise for management to keep using him this way.
If WWE ever creates a belt for Raw Underground, Ziggler should be the first person to hold it.
Which Superstars do you think would thrive on Raw Underground?
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