Many people have drawn very clear similarities between the new Raw Underground concept and Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport shows, and Barnett has now commented.
Speaking with talkSPORT, Barnett said he’d be willing to let Shane McMahon attend one of the events to get a feel for how they should be presented.
“I haven’t seen Shane McMahon there, but I do know WWE people are very familiar with Bloodsport and they have been at our shows before – and welcomed, actually! We’re glad to have them there.
“William Regal was at the first show we did. I was proud to be able to host him and I’d be happy to have Shane, or anybody from the WWE to one of our shows.
“It takes a special kind of understanding and knowledge to put such a thing together and to find the right athletes. In this day and age of wrestling, there just aren’t that many guys, even on the wrestler side of things, that have the right training or know the strong style and street style elements as well as I do. I was training under the likes of Billy Robinson and Karl Gotch as a shooter.
“I don’t blame them for not putting something together at the level we do, but I like it that it exists at least.”
He also suggested what improvements he’d make to Raw Underground, adding:
“They need to get rid of all the strippers and Attitude Era stuff – that needs to go.
“For it to seem more legitimate in my eyes, they really just need guys who need to go out there and know how to make it look like a legitimate, straight-up, sincerely intent wrestling match.
“Most people are trained in how to do a paint-by-numbers, choreographed wrestling match. You need people beyond that and allow them to go at it.
“MMA has been infused into wrestling for a while, but mostly it’s just the moves. 90 percent of MMA in wrestling is just the moves and it’s trying to look like the product on the outside of the box but not actually be the thing. You need to be the thing to get people to believe it.
“What we have going at GCW, in my opinion, is the hardest-hitting product in professional wrestling. There’s nobody out there who can reproduce what we do, they can’t recreate it and they don’t have the essential elements to make what we do. It just isn’t fair.”
When asked who he thinks would thrive in Raw Underground, he said:
“I think Jonah [Bronson Reed] from NXT is definitely one. Erik from Viking Raiders – he’s already done one [but he’s got the potential] – Bobby [Lashley], Shelton [Benjamin] obviously.
“Dolph Ziggler is a guy I would take, Daniel Bryan as well but, honestly, I don’t think it would take much training to get him ready! He’s been doing this for a very long time.
“Another one would be Chad Gable. Even Eric Bugenhagen. WALTER for sure, and Alexander Wolfe. Both guys that have spent time training with me.”