Welcome to the second pay-per-view edition of “RAW is WAR: 2009 vs. 2019.” This 52-week look at which Raw is better, 2009 vs. 2019, will also include the PPV’s from each year. There obviously are storylines and matches on these shows that aren’t featured on Raw, but they will be covered as well.
It’s the road to WrestleMania, which can only mean one thing: Elimination Chamber time! Here’s how the two shows stacked up.
Feb. 15, 2009 — No Way Out in Seattle, WA
- Triple H wins the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match, pins Undertaker to win title (TITLE CHANGE).
- Other participants: Edge (c), Jeff Hardy, Big Show, Vladimir Kozlov
- Randy Orton defeats Shane McMahon in a No Holds Barred match
- Jack Swagger (c) defeats Finlay to retain the ECW Championship
- Shawn Michaels defeats JBL in an “All or Nothing” match
- Edge wins the World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber match, pins Rey Mysterio to win title (TITLE CHANGE).
- Other participants: John Cena (c), Mike Knox, Chris Jericho, Kane
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS
- Edge takes out Kofi Kingston, wins World Title — The Ultimate Opportunist strikes again. As Kingston was making his way to the ring, he was attacked from behind by Edge. The Rated-R Superstar took out Kingston, then took his place in the chamber match. He wound up eliminating the champion, John Cena, before defeating Mysterio to capture the world title. A truly shocking finish to the show that leaves you wondering what the heck just happened.
- Triple H is WWE Champion — The reason why Edge took out Kingston is because of the first match of the night, which saw HHH become WWE Champion. Edge entered as champion, but was eliminated just three minutes into the match by Jeff Hardy. This set the stage for a new champion to be crowned, and that would become The Game. The final two were HHH and the Undertaker, who had an awesome final exchange filled with multiple near-falls. Ultimately, a second pedigree from Triple H to Undertaker proved to be the difference. This was a fun start to the show and an awesome final five minutes to the match.
- Shawn Michaels no longer works for JBL — Finally, after three long months, HBK no longer has to work for JBL. Michaels defeated JBL after JBL starting taunting Michaels’ wife sitting ringside, which enraged Shawn. He hit a picture-perfect Sweet Chin Music for the victory, freeing him from the wrath of JBL. Michaels will be paid a “severance package” from JBL and is allowed to be a free man again. It’s the end of one of the more bizarre storylines in WWE history.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW
- Orton vs. McMahon was a solid No Holds Barred match. Shane dominated most of the beginning until Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase got involved. Orton had a huge gash on his head after McMahon hit him with a TV monitor, causing Orton to bleed everywhere. The ending was poetic, as McMahon went to go punt Orton in the head — only for The Viper to catch him with an RKO for the pin and the win. It furthers the storyline of Orton taking out the McMahon family, slowly building him to the main event title match at WrestleMania.
- Jack Swagger vs. Finlay was boring and predictable. WWECW was brutal, man.
- No women wrestled on this show. When comparing that to the 14 who’ll wrestle on the 2019 show (not including Charlotte and Becky Lynch), it’s amazing to see how far women’s wrestling has come.
SCORE: 8/10. This was a very solid show. Two new champions were crowned inside the elimination chamber, Michaels gets his revenge on JBL, and Orton continues taking out McMahon’s. The shock finish of Edge winning the world championship leaves a lot of intrigue heading into this week’s Raw. Is there now no champion on Raw? What does this mean for the title matches at WrestleMania? All in all, it was a good show that intensifies “the road to WrestleMania.”
Feb. 17, 2019 — Elimination Chamber in Houston, TX
- Bayley and Sasha Banks win the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber match, pin Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose to become the inaugural champions.
- Other participants: Nia Jax/Tamina, The Riott Squad (Sarah Logan/Liv Morgan), Carmella/Naomi, The IIconics (Peyton Royce/Billie Kay)
- The Usos (Jimmy and Jey) defeat The Miz and Shane McMahon (c) to become the new SmackDown Tag Team Champions (TITLE CHANGE)
- Finn Balor defeats Bobby Lashley (c) and Lio Rush to win the Intercontinental Championship; Balor pins Rush for title (TITLE CHANGE)
- Ronda Rousey (c) defeats Ruby Riott to retain the Raw Women’s Championship
- Baron Corbin defeats Braun Strowman in a No Disqualification Match
- Daniel Bryan (c) retains the WWE Championship in an elimination chamber match, pins Kofi Kingston to retain championship.
- Other participants: Randy Orton, AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy, Samoa Joe
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS
- Daniel Bryan retains, but Kofi Kingston steals the show — For about 10 minutes Sunday night, I got lost in pro wrestling. The final two in the WWE championship elimination chamber match were Bryan and Kingston, and it was a magical display of storytelling. The crowd was solidly behind Kingston, as everyone wanted to see him become WWE Champion for the first time in his 11-year career. Kingston kicked out of Bryan’s top two finishers, which gave the crowd even more hope. Kingston missed a frog splash from the top of the chamber, though, allowing Bryan to hit the running knee and retain his championship. It was 10 beautiful minutes of professional wrestling at its best. It was easily the highlight of the night and hopefully plants the seeds for Kingston to win the championship at WrestleMania.
- Bayley and Sasha Banks are the inaugural women’s tag team champions — The show started with history as the Boss and Hug Connection won the inaugural WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship titles. It was a solid elimination chamber match that really started cooking once all six teams were involved. Some cool double team work led to some cool spots and pinfalls. In the end, Bayley and Banks walk away with the gold. A smart, predictable move to make them the first women’s tag champs. Does this mean they can defend the titles on both shows now? That’s the question that’ll be answered in the coming weeks
- Becky Lynch destroys Charlotte, Rousey with a crutch — After Rousey beat Riott in 30 seconds (more on that later), Charlotte came into the ring to trash talk Rousey. Lynch emerged from the crowd on crutches and entered the ring, despite being “suspended” for 60 days. After staring down both Charlotte and Rousey, Lynch hit Charlotte with a crutch about 20 times. She gave the crutch then to Rousey for her to hit Charlotte with, but then Lynch wailed on Rousey with the other crutch. It was reminiscent of something Stone Cold Steve Austin would do and continues to set the stage for a triple threat main event match between the three at WrestleMania.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW
- The pre-show match between Buddy Murphy and Akira Tozawa for the Cruiserweight Championship was awesome. Murphy has been a fantastic champ and deserves better than the preshow.
- Rousey beating Ruby Riott in under a minute was sad. Riott is one of the better workers on the roster and could’ve easily gotten a good match out of Rousey. Instead, she was treated like a second-rate worker. I get they’re building the Rousey/Charlotte/Lynch story, but you didn’t have to make Riott look bad in the process.
- Balor is champ! He pinned Rush and not Lashley to do it, but a win is a win nonetheless. Lashley took out Rush after the match, planting the seeds for their inevitable breakup. We’ll get probably one more Balor vs. Lashley match before both guys go their separate ways. It’s still nice to see Balor as a champion on the main roster. It’s his first title since being Universal Champion for one day in 2016.
- The Usos beating Miz and McMahon was a mini shocker. It seemed like WWE was full-steam ahead with Miz and McMahon being the “best tag team in the world,” but the Usos ended up taking the titles off them after a three-week reign. A lot of people assume we’re going to get a Miz vs. McMahon match at WrestleMania, but there’s been no direct indicators to say this match will happen. Anyway, the Usos are now six-time champs. Expect a rematch in three weeks at the Fastlane PPV.
- Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre and Lashley reunited to defeat Braun Strowman in the No DQ match. This match was pretty blah minus the final spot, where the trio power bombed Strowman through two tables. Where was Kurt Angle to help Strowman? Or any babyface, for that matter. I don’t know what the point of this was and I hope this feud is now officially over.
SCORE: 8.5/10. Both shows were well-done, but 2019 gets an edge over 2009 because of the Bryan-Kingston ending. It’s rare a wrestler can capture the imagination of a crowd the way Kingston did Sunday night. It was truly a sight to see and trumps anything the 2009 show produced. For that, Elimination Chamber 2019 beats 2009, giving it a 2-0 lead in the pay-per-view battle. The next ones to go head to head? WrestleMania (there was no Fastlane, nor March PPV period, in 2009).