On July 19, at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules, MVP defeated Apollo Crews by forfeit, while not taking the title, but he nevertheless proclaimed himself the new United States champion, sporting a new belt. In Raw's July 20 MVP episode, Bobby Lashley and Shelton Benjamin were defeated by Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali and Ricochet.
In the episode of Raw on August 3, MVP faced Apollo Crews for the United States Championship but was defeated. MVP spoke with Newsweek for a new interview discussing the advent of Raw Underground.
MVP on Raw Underground
“It was a shock for us, too.
Shane McMahon explained to us the concept of what they wanted to do and I thought, ‘Wow, that’s pretty cool,’ and you know, we’re all competitive athletes in combat sports so it was like, ‘Yeah, OK, that’s right up our alley.’ Creatively it was just go in there and beat people up and that’s what we do.
We did and it worked out wonderfully and we’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback. Overall, the reaction to RAW Underground has been favorable and, of course, the Hurt Business going in there and wrecking shop, that’s also been pretty favorable.
I’m stoked. I’m excited to see what happens with RAW Underground going forward because it’s just a different sight with a different flavor, different vibe and it seems pretty cool. I think people who weren’t initially sold on it, I think anything that is new sometimes takes a little getting used to.
I liked it right away" - MVP said. On working with Bobby Lashley and Shelton Benjamin, MVP added: “I’m really at a loss for words, but it’s just one of those things [where] we have been friends for a long, long time.
We are genuine friends. I remember being in the Staple Center years ago, when Bobby Lashely and Shelton Benjamin were having a competition. They had a piece of paper that they were trying to shoot across the room into a trash can and they were betting 20 bucks each time who could hit it, who couldn’t and I think they were different shows at the time.
It was just weird, and then I entered the room and I got in on it, before I know it we’re all sitting and saying, ‘I got this, no let’s up it to 50.’ We’re just having a blast. It was a very natural camaraderie that fell into place.
So, over the years I’ve developed close friendships with both guys, so to come back here and at this point of our careers and be united in this position, man, it’s so rewarding. Also, just look at us. Bobby Lashley is a multi-time All-American so is Shelton Benjamin.
If I’m not mistaken, [Bobby] is undefeated in MMA. And I’m a competitive grappler in jiu jitsu, a silver medalist at the world championships. You’ve got one formidable crew between us, so it’s going to be interesting to see where we go from here.
But more than anything, I’ve said many times, what’s better than just making money with your friends?”