Welcome to week 10 of “RAW is WAR: 2009 vs. 2019.” This is a 52-week project to determine which year of Monday Night Raw was better: 2009 or 2019. Each week, we’ll have the three biggest takeaways from the shows, extra analysis and thoughts on the rest of the show, and then a final score for each show. Whichever score is higher wins, and whichever year wins the most week wins bragging rights for life … kind of.
We’ve reached double digits this week, with 2019 holding a 5-4 lead over 2009. Time to see what happened on the Raw’s just four weeks away from WrestleMania.
March 9, 2009 Raw in Jacksonville, FL
- World Heavyweight Champion: Edge; No. 1 contender: Big Show
- Intercontinental Champion: CM Punk; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Women’s Champion: Melina; No. 1 contender: TBD
- World Tag Team Champions: The Miz and John Morrison; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Primarily on ECW
Detailed “play by play” of the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:
- Triple H invades Randy Orton’s home — It was supposed to be HHH vs. Legacy in the main event, but The Game had other plans. With Orton at his home in St. Louis, HHH surprised Orton and attacked him in his own home. It culminated with Triple H throwing Orton through the window and out into the front lawn. The cops arrived and HHH was “arrested” for home invasion. This was well done in building the animosity between HHH and Orton. This feels like the main event of WrestleMania, and it’s been presented as so.
- JBL is the new Intercontinental Champion — So, yeah. This happened. It was explained on commentary that JBL has been lobbying Vickie Guerrero for “weeks” to get this match, even though we’ve never seen it on TV. But randomly, we get JBL vs. Punk for the IC title. And JBL wins! It was a fine match, nothing too fancy. Just feels very … random, that’s all. I get Punk is in the Money in the Bank ladder match, but still. Guys have walked into that match as a champion before. This just felt out of nowhere since we had no feud before this whatsoever.
- John Cena airs Vickie Guerrero’s “Big” secret, gets added to title match — Oh, the World Heavyweight Championship scene. Long story short: Vickie Guerrero is cheating on Edge with Big Show, John Cen found the footage showing this, and Cena used it as leverage to get into the title match at WrestleMania 25. It isn’t the prettiest of feuds by any means
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW:
- A quick Rey Mysterio appreciation paragraph. This man is way over here in 2009, and he’s fantastic in the ring. He’s still going strong in 2019 as well and looks like he’s even in better shape. I have found myself enjoying watching Mysterio in the ring a lot lately, and I don’t know if we’ve appreciated him enough. Yeah, he’s one of the best luchadores of all time. But he’s more than that. He’s one of the best wrestlers of all time, period. He’s proving that to me more and more every week watching 2009 Raw’s.
- Kofi Kingston qualified for the Money in the Bank ladder match by beating Chris Jericho. Y2J was on the verge of winning, but Ric Flair came out, distracting Jericho and allowing Kingston to get the win. This is a great platform for Kingston while also furthering the storyline between Jericho and the legends. Jericho challenged Flair to a match on next week’s Raw. This has been one of the better-executed feuds on Raw during this time and is one I look forward to every week.
- Shawn Michaels and Undertaker opened with a really solid back-and-forth promo exchange. These two are incredible and don’t need to do much to sell people on this match. Can’t wait to see these two do battle on the grandest stage of them all.
SCORE: 7/10. A solid show from start to finish. Didn’t really lag and featured a memorable moment with the HHH/Orton home invasion angle. It feels like every week is building more and more to WrestleMania, which is how it should be. No feud has felt like it’s “peaked,” per se, which is a good feeling. That isn’t the case with some of the 2019 feuds.
March 11, 2019 Raw in Pittsburgh, PA
- Universal Champion: Brock Lesnar; No. 1 contender: Seth Rollins
- Intercontinental Champion: Finn Balor; No. 1 contender: Bobby Lashley
- Raw Tag Team Champions: The Revival: No. 1 contender: TBD
- Raw Women’s Champion: Ronda Rousey; No. 1 contenders: Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch
Detailed “play-by-play” of the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:
- Batista and Triple H set for WrestleMania in a No Holds Barred match — This promo was very choppy and featured a lot of them talking over each other. But, the end result is something we’ve all been anticipating for weeks now: a match between the two at WrestleMania 35. Batista all-but confirmed this will be his final match in WWE, so it should be a barnburner to say the least. Both of these guys work well together, so I’m not completely nervous about this match. The No Holds Barred stipulation allows them to cover up any ring rust there is as well. The exchange wasn’t clean, but the end result was. That’s all that matters usually.
- Kurt Angle announces his farewell match will be at WrestleMania — Right after the Batista/HHH announcement was the announcement from Angle that WrestleMania will be his last match. There hasn’t been an opponent announced yet, but preferred options would be Samoa Joe or John Cena at this point. With all of his other potential opponents (AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Drew McIntyre) in other feuds on Raw or SmackDown, either Joe or Angle makes for a perfect final opponent for the Hall of Famer.
- Bobby Lashley wins the Intercontinental Championship — Lashley is the champ after Lio Rush helped him win the title. This is fine, although it stinks Balor had such a short run with the championship. They could feasibly have a rematch at WrestleMania, but I hope Balor moves on to bigger and better things. Balor vs. Angle, anyone?
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW
- After a “farewell address” from The Shield, we got a fiery exchange from Paul Heyman and Seth Rollins. This ended with a surprise attack from Shelton Benjamin, who is Brock Lesnar’s training partner. Rollins and Benjamin then had an awesome match. Why can’t we use Benjamin more often? This was a fantastic match between the two. Let Heyman cut Benjamin’s promos and go from there. Who says no after watching that match Monday?
- Ronda Rousey cut a beautifully efficient promo, eviscerating Charlotte and Lynch in the process. Dana Brooke then came out and cut a very passionate promo as well about having a chance. She then challenged Rousey to a match. Rousey instead kicked her in the stomach and beat her down. This new Ronda Rousey has been awesome to watch and is probably how she should’ve been presented from the start. She’s a legit badass and now gets to be one on TV. She’s helped spark the feud that had started to drag a little bit in recent weeks. It’s hard spending 10 weeks building to one match, and this reincarnation of Rousey has helped keep the feud fresh between the three.
- No Way Jose has green dreads! He also got ambushed by Elias, but still. GREEN DREADS!!!
- Alexa Bliss will be the host of WrestleMania 35. I’m okay with this! Bliss will do great in her role.
- Braun Strowman destroyed a Corvette that was gifted from Saturday Night Live’s Collin Jost. Love it
SCORE: 7.5/10. These shows were close in ranking, but I give the nod to 2019 because of the Rollins-Benjamin match. Some of the feuds aren’t as strong as they were a few weeks ago, but this was a good week of re-introducing and reinvigorating the top feuds on Raw. With three Raw’s left before ‘Mania, there’s still time for these feuds to reach their peak.
OVERALL SCORE: 2019 — 6; 2009 — 4