Welcome to week 11 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.
2019 holds a 6-4 advantage as we head into the final weeks of WrestleMania season!
March 16, 2009 Raw in San Antonio, TX
- World Heavyweight Champion: Edge; No. 1 contenders: John Cena, Big Show
- Intercontinental Champion: JBL (NEW); No. 1 contender: TBD
- Women’s Champion: Melina; No. 1 contender: TBD
- World Tag Team Champions: John Morrison and The Miz; No. 1 contenders: TBD
- Primarily on ECW
Detailed “play by play” of the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS
- Shawn Michaels gets the upper-hand on The Undertaker — Having opponents tag team with each other before a big match isn’t uncommon, but it was still cool to see Michaels and Undertaker team together here. Michaels got the better of Undertaker twice, the first time when he tagged himself in to get the pin over JBL. Then, after it appeared Michaels had escaped the wrath of Taker, HBK came out of nowhere and hit a Sweet Chin Music on the Deadman. A pretty awesome way to open up the show, with them building up Michaels as a legit contender to dethrone the Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak.
- HHH is one step ahead of Randy Orton — Triple H was set to face Cody Rhodes, but Orton and Ted DiBiase immediately came to ringside. The Game out-maneuvered The Viper, however, lowering a steel cage around the ring and keeping him and Rhodes trapped inside of it. HHH quickly dispatched of Rhodes in the match. Later in the night, HHH was shown getting into a car with his wife — and Raw general manager — Stephanie McMahon. She had been out for a few weeks since Orton RKO’d her, so it appears that Stephanie is back to run Raw. No more Vickie Guerrero, yay!
- The legends fight back against Chris Jericho — After weeks of calling out and beating up the legends, Jericho finally got what was coming to him. Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Roddy Piper and Jimmy Snuka surrounded Y2J in the ring and beat him down for a little, only for Jericho to escape. Afterwards, Jericho challenged Steamboat, Piper and Snuka to a match at WrestleMania 25. This was another solid segment from these five. This build-up has been beautifully done and is one of the better feuds on Raw currently.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW
- Santino Marella was on commentary for the six-diva tag match and it went as well as you’d expect.
- Hornswoggle was on commentary for a six-man tag match involving some Money in the Bank competitors and it went as well as you’d expect.
- The show ended with Big Show and Edge assaulting John Cena, then Edge turning around and spearing Big Show. This all-but confirms that Edge and Vickie Guerrero are still together as a couple, which really was never in doubt to begin with. This storyline is fine, but it really doesn’t need Cena. His only involvement is that he’s the former champion (even though he already had his automatic rematch) and had the tape of Big Show and Vickie’s affair. It’s definitely the weaker of the two main title feuds as of now.
- Rey Mysterio. Still very popular.
SCORE: 8/10. This was a really solid show. It didn’t lag at all (minus the divas tag match) and featured some really strong storyline development. The match quality wasn’t spectacular, but the storylines were strong. All the right guys wound up looking strong on this show, and it’s keeping the build to WrestleMania fresh.
March 18, 2019 Raw in Chicago, IL
- Universal Champion: Brock Lesnar; No. 1 contender: Seth Rollins
- Intercontinental Champion: Bobby Lashley (NEW); No. 1 contender: TBD
- Raw Tag Team Champions: The Revival; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Women’s Tag Team Champions: Bayley and Sasha Banks; No. 1 contenders: TBD
- Raw Women’s Champion: Ronda Rousey; No. 1 contender: Dana Brooke (for one week)
- Rousey is still expected to defend her championship against Charlotte and Becky Lynch at WrestleMania 35, but it was announced during the week that she’d be facing Brooke on Raw for the title this week.
Detailed “play-by-play” of the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS
- Seth Rollins is ready for Brock Lesnar — Arguably the best part of the show was the first segment, which featured another good promo from Paul Heyman hyping up the Lesnar-Rollins WrestleMania match. It was more of a hype-up for Drew McIntyre, but then Rollins came out and dismantled McIntyre with a chair. He then charged toward the ring and scared off Lesnar and Heyman. The crowd was HOT for this segment, as they’ve been for every Rollins segment in the past year-plus.
- Drew McIntyre challenges Roman Reigns to a fight at WrestleMania — Later in the night — before McIntyre and Rollins put on a fantastic main event match — McIntyre challenged Roman Reigns to a “fight” at WrestleMania. This was a fiery promo from McIntyre and it sets the table for Reigns to potentially get a big victory at WrestleMania in his first singles match back from his leukemia diagnosis.
- Kurt Angle announces his opponent in his farewell match at WrestleMania will be … Baron Corbin? Really? — This was a letdown of massive proportions. Name any other wrestler on the roster and they’re probably a better option for this match. Yes, I get it makes sense in the storyline. But when has that ever stopped WWE from making a really good match? John Cena and Samoa Joe are two options that are better off the top of my head. Angle vs. Corbin, as of now, is sooooo disappointing. Let’s hope WWE swerves us sometime in the next three weeks.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW
- Otis Dozovic leading the No Way Jose conga line validates my thought that he is my spirit animal.
- Ronda Rousey beat Dana Brooke in 30 seconds, then her and her husband, UFC fighter Travis Browne, beat up some security guards. Heel Rousey has been fantastic these past few weeks and I can’t wait to see the triple threat match at WrestleMania. Letting Rousey, Charlotte and Lynch get away from each other these past two weeks has been smart of WWE to do.
- Braun Strowman vs. the SNL cast is a WrestleMania match I need all of a sudden.
- Braun Strowman also throwing around Lio Rush was hilarious and I want more of that.
- Beth Phoenix and Natalya challenged Bayley and Sasha for the Women’s Tag Team Championships, but then were ambushed by Nia Jax and Tamina. Not sure what the end goal of this is, but I think we’ll get some clarification on next week’s Raw.
SCORE: 6.5/10. Outside of the first 15 minutes and the last 15 minutes, this show was very “meh.” The Angle announcement was incredibly disappointing, so much so that the announcers had to reference the fan’s reaction during the Corbin-Apollo Crews match. It just seemed not much happened outside of the Universal Championship stuff, which isn’t good for a show that’s three weeks from WrestleMania. Also, disappointing that a mediocre show happened in a good wrestling city like Chicago.
OVERALL SCORE: 2019 — 6; 2009 — 5