Back in 2020, WWE introduced the concept of ‘RAW Underground,’ which was a hybrid between pro wrestling and MMA and was led by Shane McMahon. It didn’t last long and was subsequently scrapped. NXT brought it back after three years for this week’s show and it appears the match got blasted for being ‘fake Bloodsport.’

The “shoot-style” fights featured one referee in the ring while two competitors went at it in MMA or street-style fights. The concept didn’t prove to be a major hit with fans for a good reason.

During this week’s episode of NXT, Eddy Thorpe and Damon Kemp went squared off against each other in the first-ever NXT Underground match. It even featured Gable Steveson going wild in big way.

Josh Barnett, who is the innovator of this concept, took to Twitter and blasted the NXT Underground match for being ‘fake Bloodsport.’ Unsurprisingly, he was not impressed with what he saw.


“Oh look, fake Bloodsport is back.

Thank you for showing the world that this kind of thing has legs (we knew that already) and that even with 10x the money and production there is still only one Josh Barnett’s: Bloodsport. #NXTUnderground #Bloodsport #NXT.”

Despite Josh Barnett’s criticism, fans liked what they saw on NXT and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. We’ll have to wait and see whether WWE will bring back the concept again soon.

What’s your view on what Josh Barnett said? Do you agree with him? Let us know in the comments!

Subhojeet Mukherjee

Subhojeet is a professional wrestling fan for over 22 years. He got captivated by the sport during the Monday Night Wars and has a passion for it ever since. He also enjoys TV shows, movies, anime, novels and music, which broadens his perspective and appreciation for wrestling. He is a knowledgeable and respected voice in the industry.

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