Welcome to the first 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 last Sunday in January, which can only mean one thing: Royal Rumble time! Here’s how the two shows stacked up.
2009 Royal Rumble: Jan. 25 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, MI
- Jack Swagger (c) defeats Matt Hardy to retain the ECW Championship
- Melina defeats Beth Phoenix (c) to become the new Women’s Champion (TITLE CHANGE)
- John Cena (c) defeats JBL (w/Shawn Michaels) to retain the World Heavyweight Championship
- Edge defeats Jeff Hardy (c) to become the new WWE Champion (TITLE CHANGE)
- Randy Orton wins the 30-man royal rumble match after entering at No. 8
Detailed results from the matches here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:
- Randy Orton wins the rumble — It’s rare you see a heel win the royal rumble, but Orton did just that. He also did it from the No. 8 spot, giving him one of the earliest numbers to ever win in rumble match history. The win comes just six days after Orton punted Vince McMahon in the head, one of the more shocking heel moments of the modern era. How will Orton’s win effect what’ll happen on the following night’s Raw???
- Matt Hardy turns on Jeff Hardy — In a truly shocking turn, Matt hit his brother, Jeff, in the head with a chair, allowing Edge to win the WWE Championship. The Hardy’s have faced each other in the past, but there was never a moment of this magnitude with it. This all-but confirms that Matt has been Jeff’s secret attacker in the past two months, not Edge. It’s a moment you never thought you’d see and still holds up as a true “OMG” moment 10 years later.
- Shawn Michaels hits Sweet Chin Music on JBL … and then Cena — the world title match between JBL and Cena was okay until the referee went down. This led to Shawn Michaels coming into the ring and hitting Sweet Chin Music on JBL. It seemed as if Michaels had had enough of his employer … until he hit Cena with Sweet Chin Music as well. Michaels then pulled JBL on top of Cena for a pin attempt. The entire moment was amazing. The crowd went crazy when Michaels kicked JBL, and since JBL did not win the title, this sets up a Michaels-JBL feud for the next few weeks. Awesome all around.
ANALYSIS FROM THE REST OF THE SHOW:
- There was a moment in the Phoenix-Melina match where Phoenix bent Melina’s leg backwards and was kicking Melina with her own leg. It defies physics and the crowd popped big time for it.
- Before the JBL-Cena match, Shawn Michaels was confronted backstage by The Undertaker. Taker said “it’s hell getting to heaven.” Setting the stage for a WrestleMania match, eh?
- SANTINO MAKES HISTORY! Coming in at No. 28, Marella was eliminated in one second by Kane, breaking the 20-year old record of shortest royal rumble match appearance held by the Warlord. Marella exclaiming “I WASN’T READY!” after being eliminated was pure gold. Kane was even laughing in the ring after eliminating Marella. We didn’t appreciate Santino enough in the moment.
- RVD coming back as the “surprise entrant” in the rumble was dope. He’s still got it!
- I don’t miss Vickie Guerrero yelling “EXCUSE ME!” That is all.
- Crazy seeing how young Jack Swagger looks. Wonder how big he would’ve made it if he didn’t have a lisp. He had the look, the wrestling ability. If he could talk properly, he could still be a champion in WWE and not pursuing an MMA career.
SCORE: 7/10. This was a solid show. Matt Hardy’s heel turn was a shocking moment, and the rumble match was fun as always. It’s also very cool to see WWE going all-in on the heel run with Orton. He’s always been a better bad guy than good one.
2019 Royal Rumble: Jan. 27 at Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ
- Asuka (c) defeats Becky Lynch via submission to retain the SmackDown Women’s Championship
- The Miz and Shane McMahon defeat The Bar (Sheamus and Cesaro) (c) to become the new SmackDown Tag Team Champions (TITLE CHANGE)
- Ronda Rousey (c) defeats Sasha Banks to retain the Raw Women’s Championship
- Becky Lynch wins the 30-woman royal rumble match after entering at No. 28
- Daniel Bryan (c) defeats AJ Styles to retain the WWE Championship
- Brock Lesnar (c) defeats Finn Balor to retain the Universal Championship
- Seth Rollins wins the 30-man royal rumble match after entering at No. 10
Detailed results from the matches here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:
- Seth Rollins wins the men’s rumble: One of the favorites to win, this was a really cool moment to see as a wrestling fan. Rollins was no-doubt the MVP of WWE in 2018, so it’s nice to see him get rewarded with a championship match at WrestleMania. He’ll most likely face Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship, but don’t rule out a dream match scenario against Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship.
- Becky Lynch wins the women’s rumble: The biggest reaction of the night by far came when Lynch entered the rumble, replacing an injured Lana. There’s no denying Lynch is the top female in WWE currently, and her showdown with Charlotte to end the match proved that point even more. This now sets the table for Lynch to jump ship and challenge Ronda Rousey for the Raw Women’s Championship, a match that could legitimately main event WrestleMania this year.
- Erick Rowan helps Bryan retain the WWE Championship: Probably the only match that lacked any energy, the Daniel Bryan-AJ Styles match ended when Erick Rowan came out, choke slamming Styles and allowing Bryan to get the pin. This match followed the shocking ending to the women’s rumble match, so the crowd was a little dead. Bryan and Styles then wrestled a technical-based match, which nearly lulled the crowd to sleep. There wasn’t even a huge reaction when Rowan came out at first. If anything, people are curious as to why Rowan is now with Bryan. Rowan had been out since August after tearing his right bicep.
ANALYSIS FOR THE REST OF THE SHOW:
- Lynch and Asuka had a really solid opening match. I think people were a little surprised Asuka won, but it obviously set up what was to come later in the evening.
- Shane McMahon actually hit the shooting star press! Feel like he’s never actually connected with that move. It’ll be interesting to see where this Miz/McMahon partnership goes from here, but at least the two put on a good match with The Bar.
- Ronda Rousey and Sasha Banks had the type of match I’d expect from the two. It was physical, but also had a lot of technical wrestling involved. It was awesome to see Banks channel her inner heel, as she’s a much better bad guy than a good one. Banks throwing up the four fingers after the match was also a nice tease for a potential four WWE horsewomen vs. four MMA horsewomen match. WrestleMania, maybe?
- The women’s rumble match, as a whole, was fine. There were some nice spots, but we had no legends return. Seeing a bunch of fresh faces was cool, but overall the match didn’t pick up until the end.
- I think Brock Lesnar really got hurt against Finn Balor, hence a more sudden finish to the match. Balor looked like a million bucks, though, up against Lesnar. That was a nice counter by Lesnar at the end to win the match as well. He hasn’t won with the kimura lately, so it was refreshing to see him win with it again.
- Jeff Jarrett looked bad. Wish he would’ve sang, though. That is all
- The NXT guys all looked good in the rumble match. They each recorded an elimination, too, which was awesome to see.
- Nia Jax taking out R-Truth and entering the men’s rumble match was awesome. It got a huge reaction from the crowd and was definitely a shocking moment. Seeing her get RKO’d by Randy Orton probably made some people happy.
SCORE: 8/10. The only negative for me was the Bryan-Styles match. It was tough following Lynch winning, but they also did themselves no favors by wrestling a technical-based match. Other than that, I thought every match delivered in their own ways. You have two rumble winners in Lynch and Rollins that people want to cheer, which hasn’t been the case in recent years. There were no “all-time great” rumble matches on the card, but nothing was bad either. The show was waaaayyyy too long, though. Didn’t end till nearly midnight on the east coast, which is brutal. Regardless, the show was enjoyable and gets the nod slightly over the 2009 Royal Rumble.