Lucha Underground, Josh Barnett/Matt Riddle's Bloodspot, EC3's Impact Wrestling return vignettes, Fight Club: speculation on where WWE may have swiped the idea for RAW Underground from is endless. Dave Meltzer has now thrown another potential source of inspiration out there.
This week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter features a writeup on RAW Underground, with Meltzer pointing out the similarities between Shane McMahon's new gimmick and the Michigan-based Sanctuary Fight Club. With Sanctuary's dancers, grimy aesthetic, and lack of separation between the fans and the squared circle, the similarities are obvious, though SFC uses ring ropes where Underground does not.
Meltzer writes that Sanctuary's idea was to "do events in a punk rock bar with no chairs or barricades and the catchphrase, 'join the underground,' so WWE not only took the look but also the name."
The likes of Impact Wrestling's Cousin Jake and Rohit Raju featured in Sanctuary before the group was put on ice at the onset of the global health crisis.
RAW Underground brought a tonal shift to WWE's product in many ways, though it was still rife with quickfire camera cuts and retained a glossy, overproduced look, preventing it from feeling alien.
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WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A fan since 1992, still geeking out for everything from WeeLC to mid '80s Jim Crockett Promotions. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.