Welcome to week 12 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’re two weeks away from WrestleMania! Time to see how this week’s Raw’s fared against each other.
March 23, 2009 Raw in Kansas City, MO
- World Heavyweight Champion: Edge; No. 1 contenders: Big Show and John Cena
- Intercontinental Champion: JBL; No. 1 contender: Rey Mysterio
- Women’s Champion: Melina; No. 1 contender: TBD
- World Tag Team Champions: The Miz and John Morrison; No. 1 contender: The Colons
- Primarily on ECW
- WWE Champion: Triple H; No. 1 contender: Randy Orton
- NOTE: Triple H, Edge and Big Show are all primarily SmackDown superstars but have been appearing on Raw regularly recently.
Detailed “play by play” of the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS
- Randy Orton DDT’s Stephanie McMahon, then kisses her — Wow. In one of the top heel moments of all time, Orton hit the middle rope DDT on Triple H’s wife, Stephanie, then kissed her on the lips while she lay on the mat unconscious. Orton — with the help of Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes — had handcuffed HHH to the top rope before this, so Triple H saw the whole thing happen right in front of his eyes. Randy Orton is a bad, bad man folks. He then hit HHH with a sledgehammer for good measure. A chilling way to end Raw.
- Chris Jericho bloodies up Ric Flair — The start of the show was also awesome, as this segment ended with Jericho hitting Flair in the head with a camera. I can’t say enough how much I’ve enjoyed watching this feud play out every week. It shouldn’t be a surprise given the players involved, but for being a mid-card feud, they’re acting like it’s the main event. Solid promo work again between Y2J and Flair, and seeing a bloodied Flair by the end of it was almost surreal.
- Edge keeps on spearing the wrong people — Okay, this feud is really, really dumb. Let’s just get that off our chests now. Edge and Big Show are battling for Vickie Guerrero’s love, while John Cena is just chilling essentially. That being said, I couldn’t stop laughing when they showed a highlight package from last week’s SmackDown, which saw Guerrero get speared and then fall seven feet out of the Big Show’s hands. It’s so unbelievably cheesy that you can’t help but laugh. It was like watching an old Laurel and Hardy sketch. Anyway, this week’s Raw saw Show and Edge in a match, only for it to be stopped when Chavo Guerrero tried to prevent Show from knocking out Edge. It ended with Edge spearing Chavo on accident and Show still knocking out Edge anyway. All as a way to “profess his love” to Vickie. Whatever.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW
- Jeff Hardy just randomly showed up and beat Dolph Ziggler in an extreme rules match. I mean, I’m not complaining, I guess!
- Santino Marella is still incredible. Watching him flop around the ring with his hands tied behind his back was absolutely hilarious. I guess he isn’t “man enough” to be Miss WrestleMania after all.
- Glad to see we included all eight men in the “Money in the Bank match” in the tag match this week instead of leaving Christian and Finlay chilling on the sidelines.
SCORE: 8/10. The start and the end of the show were really strong, and that was good enough to give this show an eight. Santino was hilarious as well, giving the middle of the show a highlight to remember. I’ve accepted the fact that the in-ring wrestling from 2009 will not as consistently good as 2019’s, so 2009 is doing a good job at winning me over with the storylines. All in all, a very solid edition of Raw.
March 25, 2019 Raw in Boston, MA
- Universal Champion: Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman); No. 1 contender: Seth Rollins
- Intercontinental Champion: Bobby Lashley; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Raw Tag Team Champions: The Revival; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Raw Women’s Champion: Ronda Rousey; No. 1 contenders: Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch
- Women’s Tag Team Champions: Bayley and Sasha Banks; No. 1 contender: TBD
Detailed “play-by-play” of the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:
- Drew McIntyre vs. Roman Reigns set for WrestleMania — Reigns accepted McIntyre’s challenge to a fight at WrestleMania, and then the two decided to brawl. It was good stuff from both, with McIntyre standing strong again over Reigns. McIntyre then beat Dean Ambrose in a Last Man Standing match to end Raw, making McIntyre look like an unstoppable force heading into ‘Mania. I’m excited for a Reigns-McIntyre match, and it’s refreshing to see Reigns not in the main event of WrestleMania. After four-straight years of him closing the show, it’ll be nice for something else to close the show. Speaking of closing the show…
- Rousey/Charlotte/Lynch announced as main event of WrestleMania — It was announced earlier in the day Monday, but WWE pulled the trigger and confirmed what everybody already knew: The Raw Women’s Championship match will main event WrestleMania 35. This was a long time coming for WWE and this match is sure to deliver. The buildup for this match has been wonky at times — they did a “beat the clock” challenge this week that really proved nothing — but the match itself should be great. It’ll be fun to see the women go on last at WrestleMania this year, something 2009 couldn’t even dream about saying.
- Finn Balor to challenge Bobby Lashley at WrestleMania — Balor pinned Jinder Mahal in a handicap match to get an opportunity to face Lashley at WrestleMania. Okay, fine. Hopefully Balor comes out as the Demon at ‘Mania and wins back the IC title.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW:
- Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe had a decent match, outside of a botched suplex Joe on Angle (I think it was Angle’s fault). It’s cool to see Angle facing the likes of Joe, AJ Styles (on SmackDown) and Rey Mysterio (next week on Raw) as he’s on his way out. I just PRAY they don’t actually have Corbin as his last match. This feels like it’s setting up for a swerve on Corbin and Angle’s opponent actually be John Cena. Let’s hope that’s the plan for ‘Mania in two weeks.
- BETH PHOENIX HIT THE GLAM SLAM!!! All signs point toward a triple threat match between Bayley/Banks, Tamina/Nia Jax and Phoenix/Natalya for the Women’s Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania, and I’m excited for it. I was even more excited when Phoenix lifted Tamina up and hit her with the Glam Slam. That was sick and it still looked just as devastating as it does in 2009. Maybe we’ll get to see it again on the grandest stage of them all?
- Seth Rollins and Paul Heyman had a really good promo exchange. Wash, rinse, repeat.
- Poor Revival. They win the tag titles finally and have essentially been nowhere to be found since. Hopefully they can get on the preshow for ‘Mania at this point, probably against Ricochet and Aleister Black.
SCORE: 7.5/10. This was a solid Raw, but it was really hard to figure out the three biggest takeaways this week. It was also difficult to do so for the 2009 Raw, as we’re pretty much set in our storylines here being so close to WrestleMania. WWE almost goes into “prevent defense” mode these final two weeks of buildup, as they don’t want to kill a feud completely. Still, we had really good in-ring work —minus one botch from Angle and Joe — and no storylines were hurt from this show. I give 2009 the nod, though, because of Randy Orton’s DDT and kiss of Stephanie McMahon.
OVERALL SCORE: 2019 — 6; 2009 — 6.