Raw Underground is a thing now, so as you can imagine Ryback has an opinion on it. The WWE alumnus discussed the MMA-style segments on a recent episode of his Conversations with the Big Guy podcast, explaining why he thinks its a bad idea and specifically “the worst thing you could do on your programming for pro wrestling.” You can check out highlights and the clip below:
On the Raw Underground segment: “Yeah, the ratings were up but still in the neighborhood of being the worst of all-time, so. I did see it, and I’ll never knock anything for trying anything, and I don’t know where it’s gonna go. I think, and just knowing how things are from being there? My belief is that when you’re going to debut something brand new and this may be the case but knowing how they operate, it usually isn’t is that you’re going to debut this Raw Underground and there’s going to be a sole goal, a mission with this. Obviously you’re not debuting Raw Underground to get over Raw Underground, I would think. I would think that if you’re gonna do this, then you have a special talent you wanna get over to build Raw Underground as a way to display this new bad-ass person. And then eventually this bad ass person comes onto the roster, and here we go and Raw Underground is done. That would be what, in my opinion, if you’re gonna do something. I have a feeling they just threw that all together and they’re gonna see what happens with it.”
On the inherent problem with the concept: “The other issue with it is, you’re doing this Raw Underground which is a worked shoot situation on a show that’s a worked show. And so you’re reminding people that they’re watching fake, phony wrestling. And even that — and I think that’s a horrible thing to do. Because it’s like, when you’re watching a movie and you stop the movie and tell people you’re watching a movie.
“Even if Raw Underground was a shoot, I think it’s the worst thing you could do on your programming for pro wrestling. Because it’s — especially kids and people, you’re telling them, they’re out there [going], ‘Why are those punches hurting and they’re stopping it, but then they’re throwing these punches out in the ring?’ You’re just simply reminding people, I don’t think it’s a good thing.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Conversations With the Big Guy with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.