Monday Night RAW: Underground

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Monday is without a doubt the worst day of the week however the one thing that should bring me joy and escapism is Monday Night RAW.

At present however I find myself complaining and been critical of a show that is not meeting the expectations set by both Smackdown and NXT.

So rather than sitting here complaining and tweeting my displeasure I have decided to attempt to book my own version of tonight's Monday Night RAW.

With the exception of a few major changes I have tried to implement my improvements in a logical way and in keeping with existing storylines. I will also explain some of my ideas in more detail in upcoming fantasy booking articles which relate to specific superstars.

*BEGINNING OF LIVE COVERAGE*

(8:00pm): Wrestling fans, it's time for MONDAY NIGHT RAW and it's time to usher in 'The Underground Era' with a video package reliving the history of WWE's flagship show. This much needed rebrand has introduced a new theme song, logo and entrance stage which all pay homage to eras of the past. It's edgy, it's raw and I LOVE IT! More importantly, the red brand may have just brought an end to its long standing identity crisis? 

(8:05pm): We begin the show in the parking lot as a limousine pulls up, is it the McMahon's? Is it Triple H? No, its PAT MCAFEE and he is on his way to the ring.

(08:07pm): BREAKING NEWS: McAfee announces himself as the new General Manager of Monday Night RAW: Underground.

In typical Pat McAfee fashion he cuts a confident, some might say cocky promo on why Vince McMahon chose him to lead RAW into a new era and why he was the only credible candidate for the job. He ends the promo in trademark fashion with "IT'S GREAT TO BE GREAT...IT MUST SUCK, TO SUCK!"

(8:10pm): Cue the arrival of The Hurt Business, all draped in gold and they have to wonder if their new General Manager will dilute their dominance on Monday nights?

MVP approaches Pat McAfee and reminds him that he and his associates have played a starring role in leading WWE through unchartered waters. He also warns that his appointment changes absolutely nothing as Bobby Lashley, Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander will continue to destroy ANYONE who stands in their way.

MVP ends his promo with "And this ain't personal...it's BUSINESS!"

McAfee makes it clear that he respects the four superstars standing before him as he responds "Speaking of business, I'm sure we can come to an arrangement which benefits all five of us? And if I want to put Smackdown back in their box, I need The Hurt Business front and centre!"

This alliance could spell danger for the rest of the RAW roster and McAfee will join The Hurt Business later on tonight for their championship celebration. 

(8:24pm): During the commercial break a mystery person is seen entering the office of Pat McAfee, now who could this person be? Something to keep an eye on throughout the night.

(8:25pm): The New Day Vs. Retribution

To continue their personal feud, Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston once again lock horns with T-Bar and Mace as both teams battle to become the number one contenders for the RAW tag team championships. The Hurt Business have ringside seats as they scout their next challengers, but will they have a say in the outcome of this match?

The New Day come out all guns blazing as they gain the upper hand early on in the match. With Ali's frustration growing he screams at T-Bar and Mace and warns them there will be consequences if they don't get the job done.

This seems to bring out the best in Retribution who flip the match on its head with their power and aggression proving too much for Kofi and Woods.

With Retribution on the brink of victory, Riddle comes down the ramp on his scooter as he looks to assist his bro's, The New Day. Ali orders Slapjack to chase Riddle to the back stage area and is overcome with rage on the outside. The outside distraction allows Kofi the opportunity to roll up T-Bar from behind to steal a victory which earns them a shot at the tag team championships.

Winners: The New Day

(8:35pm): After the match Ali conducts a beat down on The New Day who look anything but winners in the aftermath.

As Retribution retreat, MVP stands over the barely conscious, number one contenders to reveal he has a message from RAW's new General Manager. "So, congratulations, you have earned the opportunity to regain these W, W, E, world, tag, team, championships, and that match is TONIGHT!"

(8:44pm): Drew McIntyre is back stage and is demanding to speak with Pat McAfee only to be told be security that McAfee is currently engaged and to come back later. 

Charly Caruso is on hand to interview the former WWE champion who tells the backstage correspondent that McAfee will give him his title shot, or else.

(8:49pm): Braun Strowman is on a rampage backstage as he seeks answers from Shane McMahon. 

A backstage employee approaches Braun with a message from Shane "He said he'll give you the answers you want, but you need to meet him, UNDERGROUND!"

(8:54pm): As we return from the commercial break it looks like RAW Underground is back as Strowman and Shane come face to face.

Shane tells Braun "You'll get your answers, but while you're underground, you have to fight!"

(8:58pm): Braun Strowman Vs. Tucker

First to step up and face the 'Monster Among Men' is Tucker. After a short exchange of punches Braun makes light work of his opponent and ends it with a ground and pound.

Winner: Braun Strowman

But he wants more, will anyone else have the guts to challenge the enraged monster?

(9:03pm): Braun Strowman Vs. Jaxson Ryker

Shane orders Jaxson Ryker to step up to the plate. With Braun on top Elias attempts to strike him with his guitar however inadvertently strikes Ryker. Strowman shoulder charges Elias to the floor before finishing his opponent with a running power slam and ground and pound.

Winner: Braun Strowman

(9:11pm): After dominating RAW Underground Braun sends a stern warning to Shane McMahon "You are dangerously close to awakening a dark side that even I can't control. So, you either give me the answers I want, or you'll live to face the consequences!" 

(9:17pm): RAW Talk with Ricochet

The RAW Talk host is joined by the 'One And Only' Ricochet. In recent weeks we have seen more confidence, emotion and personality from a superstar struggling to find his place in WWE. Ricochet has just followed this up with arguably his best promo to date.

"Listen, it's all well and good for veterans within the industry to try and criticise my style but with all due respect to those people there is more than one style. I'm not afraid to mix it up and throw some fists but the fact is I can do things in the ring that some professional wrestlers can only dream of doing. I'm Ricochet, I'm the 'One And Only' and I ain't changing for nobody.

So, if there's any dinosaurs out there who want to prove that headlocks reign over high risk manoeuvres, I guess you can meet me in the ring!"

(9:24pm): OPEN CHALLENGE: Ricochet Vs. Randy Orton

It's RANDY ORTON! The Viper obviously took Ricochet's comments to heart having being pretty vocal himself on the use of dives and flips within professional wrestling.

As expected, Orton stifles his opponent early on with a slow paced, traditional and technical approach to wrestling.

A Pele Kick out of nowhere stuns The Viper and opens up an opportunity for Ricochet to showcase his skill and athleticism. The high flyer hits a barrage of high risk manoeuvres as he looks to back up his promo on RAW Talk with an impressive in ring performance.

He has the veteran on the ropes however one high risk move too many sees Ricochet knocked to the outside. With Randy inside the ring it looks like the Alexa and The Fiend are making their presence known.

Randy appears to be possessed and has a crazy look in his eyes, RANDY ATTEMPTS A TOPÉ SUICIDA ON RICOCHET! Yes you heard me right however Ricochet avoided the dive and Orton crashed head first into the announce table.

Ricochet crawls back into the ring and seals victory via count out. It seems the spirit of The Fiend made Randy go against all his fundamentals to attempt a dive which ultimately cost him the match.

(9:40pm): Enter the Queen, Charlotte Flair. She cuts a promo on how she lost her focus. She goes on to say that the time she spent squabbling with Lacey Evans and her father should have been spent trying to regain the RAW women's championship from Asuka.

"I believe I am the ONLY woman in the WWE who can defeat Asuka, I've done it before at Wrestlemania and can do it again!"

(9:42pm): Peyton Royce, Dana Brooke, Mandy Rose, Naomi and Lana all take it in turns to crash the party and stake the own claims for a shot at the RAW women's championship.

(9:47pm): The new RAW General Manager intervenes from backstage "LADIES, LADIES, LADIES, what's with all the squabbling?

Quite frankly Charlotte, I agree with you and that's why I'm going to give you the chance to prove it, this Sunday at Fastlane!

So, it will be the best, versus the rest as you will run the gauntlet against the RAW women's division. The winner of that match will earn themselves a ticket to Wrestlemania to face Asuka for the RAW women’s championship.

Now if you will excuse me ladies, I have a guest to attend to."

(9:49pm): A brawl breaks out on the ramp as Peyton Royce takes down Naomi from behind however The Queen stays clear of the drama to stand tall at the end of the segment.

(9:55pm): RAW Talk with Damien Priest & Bad Bunny

The RAW Talk host is joined by Damien Priest and Bad Bunny to discuss their relationship and their aspirations for the future in WWE.

(9:57pm): A dejected Miz arrives unannounced and claims that unlike he and John Morrison neither will stand the test of time and are an embarrassment to the business. He goes onto say that he'd offer them an opportunity however their A list status doesn't allow for them to mix with superstars from catering. The segment ends with a face off between all four men.

(10:02pm): Riddle (c) Vs. Mustafa Ali - WWE United States Championship

What a match to kick off the final hour and the United States championship is on the line. Unsurprisingly this match has been all action from the get go with both superstars bringing the intensity.

Aided by distraction from the outside Ali takes control however after a series of near falls in quick succession the challengers patience begins to wear thin.

This sees Ali take one risk too many and after missing with the 450 splash, Riddle hits the Floating Bro to escape with his United States championship in tact.

What an intense but enjoyable match. Something tells me this won't be the last time these two battle each other as Riddle continues to be a thorn in the side of Retribution.

Winner: Riddle

(10:20pm): Peyton Royce Vs. Naomi

After an emotional plea for an opportunity on RAW Talk last week Peyton Royce gets a chance to shine against Naomi.

Naomi's experience shines through early in the match as Peyton struggles to gain any momentum. The tide begins to turn however when that emotion we saw on RAW Talk comes pouring out of Royce which takes Naomi by surprise.

Naomi attempts the Rear View however Peyton Royce side steps the move before hitting her opponent with a Spinning Brain Buster. One, two, three, WHAT A WIN FOR ROYCE!

Winner: Peyton Royce

(10:30pm): The Hurt Business (c) Vs. The New Day - WWE Raw Tag Team Championships

As The New Day enter the Thunderdome they seem to be running extremely low on positivity following their beat down at the hands of Retribution.

The champions on the other hand enter with a swagger and will look to make short work of their opponents so they can enjoy their championship celebration in style.

As expected Kofi and Woods are in no fit state to take on Benjamin and Alexander as The Hurt Business take control immediately after the bell sounds. Despite a glimmer of fight, the former champions are dispatched quickly by the current champions who were handed this victory on a plate.

Winners: The Hurt Business

(10:38pm): The Hurt Business Championship Celebration

We are back from the commercial break and it looks like Pat McAfee's mystery guest is leaving the building. This gives Drew McIntyre a chance to catch up with the new General Manager however McAfee has no time to talk as he has a championship celebration to attend.

With security at ringside it seems they are prepared for any uninvited guests.

MVP starts the celebration by heaping praise on his associates who put faith in him to transform their fortune on their way to becoming the MVP's of Monday Night RAW.

Bobby Lashley offers gratitude to MVP and thanks the veteran for awakening the beast inside the Almighty. He credits his manager for not letting him accept anything less than he deserves and for delivering his dream of becoming WWE champion.

Lashley warns the roster that he's not just content with becoming champion and that he wants to dominate as WWE champion. He vows to be a fighting champion but also makes it clear that challengers will need to earn their opportunity to fight the Almighty Bobby Lashley.

With champagne in hand, Pat McAfee, MVP, Bobby Lashley, Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin raise a toast "TO THE HURT BUSINESS!"

(10:48pm): The first uninvited guests of the night arrive in the form of 'The Phenomenal' AJ Styles and Omos.

Following an impressive singles match record in recent months, Styles puts forward his case for an opportunity at the WWE championship at Fastlane.

While McAfee and MVP seem reluctant to even consider the proposal it is Lashley himself who cuts both men short to respond to the challenge with an emphatic, "I ACCEPT! You may deserve your opportunity, but this Sunday I'm going to make the phenomenal look ordinary on my way to the main event of Wrestlemania."

(10:53pm): The second uninvited guest of the night arrives and to no surprise its the former WWE champion, Drew McIntyre.

He demands a championship opportunity of his own as he seeks revenge on Lashley who gifted the WWE championship to The Miz at the Elimination Chamber.

After avoiding McIntyre all night the new RAW General Manager directs security to deal with the situation. This triggers Drew to lose his cool and one by one he takes out security on his way to the ring.

In a bid to calm the situation McAfee offers Drew an opportunity to regain the WWE Championship.

"OKAY, OKAY! You can have your opportunity, IF, you can beat this man?"

As Drew turns around Sheamus appears out of nowhere to land a huge Brogue Kick! He stands over his former best friend and says "See you at Fastlane, FELLA!"

*END OF LIVE COVERAGE*

I hope you enjoyed my version of tonight's Monday Night RAW and would love to hear your thoughts, both positive and negative?

You can reach out on Twitter @CresswellDJ. 

Also look out for my upcoming fantasy booking articles @wnwnews. 

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