Welcome to week 19 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.
Both shows are entering pay-per-views this week. 2009 has Judgement Day, while 2019 has Money In The Bank. Which year will have the better “go-home” Raw? Time to find out!
May 11, 2009 Raw in Columbus, OH
- WWE Champion: Randy Orton; No. 1 contender: Batista
- United States Champion: MVP; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Divas Champion: Maryse; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Unified Tag Team Champions: Primo in Carlito; No. 1 contender: TBD
Detailed “play by play” of the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:
- Batista gets to Legacy — After Orton invited Batista to join the group at the start of the show, The Animal slowly took out each member throughout the night. He took out DiBiase and Rhodes backstage, leaving Orton to face Batista in the main event. The match went maybe 60 seconds, but it was designed for Batista to attack Orton with the chair. He then fought off a returning Rhodes and DiBiase to stand strong heading into Judgement Day. This dominated the show, taking up five segments, but it served its purpose — Batista looks unstoppable heading into Judgement Day.
- John Cena is battered, but not broken — Cena was left knocked out from a DDT after being put in an “exhibition match” against The Miz. In a backstage interview later in the show, Cena said he’s going to Judgement Day “to win!” against the Big Show. The “super Cena” storyline is overdone, but this was a good interview from Cena. He’s also still very popular here, so the crowd is 100 percent behind him entering the PPV Sunday.
- Santina Marella is a lesbian — Really because there weren’t any other major takeaways from this week, this gets the third spot because it was hilarious. Santina was forced to kiss Rosa Mendes, and she did by giving her a juicy smooch on the lips. She then came out as lesbian, just adding another hilarious layer to the Santina/Santino storyline they’re developing. This has been funny more times than not, bringing some levity to the show.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW:
- This was just another run-of-the-mill Raw. The Brian Kendrick said he’s going to find a tag team partner to challenge Primo and Carlito, which is at least some sort of feud for the tag champs. Mickie James pinned Maryse again, putting James in place for a title match. And the U.S. championship had a few challengers emerge in William Regal and Matt Hardy. It’s a start, but nothing really major came from those three mid-card feud starters. This led to a solid, not great episode of Raw.
May 13, 2019 Raw in London, England, U.K.
- Universal Champion: Seth Rollins; No. 1 contender: AJ Styles
- United States Champion: Samoa Joe; No. 1 contender: Rey Mysterio
- Raw Tag Team Champions: Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Raw Women’s Champion: Becky Lynch; No. 1 contender: Lacey Evans
- Lynch is also the SmackDown Women’s Champion. Charlotte is the No. 1 contender for that title
- Women’s Tag Team Champions: The IIconics; No. 1 contenders: TBD
Detailed “play-by-play” of the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:
- Braun Strowman out, Sami Zayn in for MITB — The main event featured Strowman facing Zayn in a Falls Count Anywhere match. This makes it a no DQ match, allowing Drew McIntyre and Baron Corbin to take out Strowman. They then pulled Zayn on top of Strowman for the pin and win. Zayn is now in the men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match Sunday and Strowman is out. I’m fine with this move, but it’s also sad to see Strowman get so close — only for his opportunities to get taken away. Will we ever get the satisfaction of Strowman becoming champion? Does this also mean Zayn is winning MITB?
- Lynch is vulnerable heading into MITB — “Becky 2 Belts” got taken out by both of her challengers at the same time, culminating with Charlotte and Lacey Evans powerbombing her through a table. This makes the most sense heading into a PPV, as you want the title challengers to look as strong as possible. I think Charlotte has the better chance of winning Sunday, but I still believe Lynch will walk out with both belts.
- Bray Wyatt’s Firefly Fun House takes a dark turn — The fourth installment of the Firefly Fun House took a dark, sadistic turn. Wyatt unveiled his alter ego, a mask-wearing, creepy-sounding demon man. It’s setting up to make Wyatt look like he has a split personality — the children’s show host and the deranged maniac one. I think I love this and it has me genuinely excited about Wyatt for the first time in nearly five years.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW:
- A really good video package for the Rollins-Styles match aired, followed by solid backstage promos from the two. Really looking forward to their match at MITB.
- Rey Mysterio and Cesaro had an awesome match. Two incredible athletes making magic together in the ring. Good stuff.
- Ricochet vs. Baron Corbin was surprisingly good. The duo worked a fast-paced match, and Corbin stayed step-for-step with the high flyer. Corbin also picked up the win, but then Ricochet got the upper-hand post-match. A nice surprise on a really solid show.
- I like this new Mojo Rawley. He was a psycho, but a good psycho. The face paint was different and he seemed a lot more aggressive in the ring. Hopefully he can parlay this into a serious mid-card run. I could see him being U.S. Champion someday.
- Dana Brooke actually did something cool! Had a sick-looking cross body from the top of the ladder on to Naomi, Natalya and Nikki Cross. And then Cross won! She was in there instead of Alexa Bliss. Could this be the start of a friendship — or a feud — between Cross and Bliss?
SCORE: 8/10. This shattered my expectations given it was a taped Raw in London. All the matches were good, the backstage promos were strong and the storyline development was solid. This is how a go-home Raw should look. Really solid show top-to-bottom.
OVERALL SCORE: 2019 — 11; 2009 — 8