Marina Shafir Says Raw Underground Was Fun But They Were Never Told Of A WWE Follow Up

It didn't last long, but Marina Shafir loved being on Raw Underground.

In August 2020, WWE and, more specifically, Shane McMahon introduced a new segment on Monday nights, Raw Underground. The new venue allowed performers to showcase themselves in more true-to-life, MMA-style fights as opposed to what you'd see in the ring. The fight club concept, however, only lasted two months before it disappeared from Monday nights entirely.

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Speaking with Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp, Marina Shafir admits that, coming out of lockdown, doing Raw Underground was the most fun she had in a while. Sadly, she also doesn't know what happened to it.

"It was really interesting ‘cause I feel like it was one of those things where you didn't know where it was going to go, you just came in and you showed out the way you thought you could and then you walked away to see if the seedlings rooted at all with all of it. We thought it did," she stated. "That was the most fucking fun I’d had in a while. Especially coming out of COVID. I got to be a chick with pockets on and a fucking bucket hat. It looks like I came from a midnight farmer’s market and was like, ‘Ooh, let me slide up into this fight club and just support my homie.’ It was really fun because we got to put our own spin on it. I don’t know what happened."

Shafir appeared on Raw Underground along with her friends and fellow WWE Superstars Jessamyn Duke and Shayna Baszler. Marina won her first fight but was attacked by Nia Jax immediately afterwards, who was building a program with Baszler.

According to Shafir, there was no follow-up with the performers following the segment's cancellation. Furthermore, she shared that she and Jessamyn has plenty of ideas that they wanted to propose, but the disorganization of everything made it so that they "got left in the chamber."

"No. There was really nothing. There was nothing. It was hard for me and Jessamyn to not start having all these ideas we could propose. But they just got left in the chamber because we didn’t know what was going on. We didn’t want to waste people’s time with these ideas. She had a handful of ideas and I had a handful of ideas. We were just like, ‘When would be a good opportunity to bring those in?’ Unfortunately, that didn’t happen," she said.

Before Raw Underground ever debuted, it was reported that Shafir and Duke were at the initial taping, but when it went to air, they were nowhere to be found. Marina told Fightful that they filmed content explaining why they were there, but nothing came of it.

"It was the stuff leading into us being there," Shafir said. "The why. Then there was just nothing that came out of it."

Commenting on Jessamyn Duke's dominant performance on Raw Underground, Shafir recalls her working with Avery Taylor, who can now be seen on NXT 2.0 as Jacy Jayne.

"She did them [liver kicks] to the girl who is also now hired with NXT. She got hired."

Since being hired in 2018, Shafir had worked primarily at Live Events, and whenever she would get on TV her programs were always of a start and stop nature, making it difficult to get into a rhythm and establish yourself. Her final appearance for the company came (before being released in June 2021) in round one of the 2021 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.

Marina admits that she wasn't sure if this was the beginning of a sustained run or not, saying that the pandemic made the situation harder to figure out because everything was more chaotic than normal. That said, she had nothing but praise for Zoey Stark, who teamed up with, and says it was a fun experience.

"I was thinking all those questions," Shafir began by saying. "I was trying to make sense of all of it. I think I was trying to make sense of all of it more so than being present and just enjoying that. Because it's been the first couple of times that I came back to TV and I just wanted to know. But I also feel like they were trying to get a feel for what was going on. ‘Cause they were also in a weird... Nobody knew what was going on. It was chaos. I got a little lost in that chaos. That was my experience wrestling with Zoey ‘cause she literally flew into Vegas that day and I got to meet her. We said, ‘Hi. What’s your favorite color?’ Then we talked about the match. She was and still is super respectful and down to earth. It’s nice to chat with someone who seems to be five steps ahead in that. She’s always just a pleasure to be around. It was a fun experience. I wish I could redo it. But it was a lesson. I needed to be out there."

Zoey Stark is currently one-half of the NXT Women's Tag Team Champions along with Io Shirai.

Up next for Shafir is an appearance at Josh Barnett's Bloodsport 7 on October 22, where she'll be taking on Masha Slamovich. You can order it on FITE

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