Welcome to week 20 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 years are coming off strong pay-per-view showings. Which show will keep its momentum going? Find out below!
May 18, 2009 Raw in Louisville, KY
- WWE Champion: Randy Orton; No. 1 contender: TBD
- United States Champion: MVP; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Divas Champion: Maryse; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Unified Tag Team Champions: Primo and Carlito; No. 1 contenders: TBD
Detailed “play by play” of the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:
- Two matches made for Extreme Rules — With another PPV, Extreme Rules, coming up in three weeks, WWE has to quickly announce matches to hype the show. Two were announced in this week’s show — John Cena vs. The Big Show in a submission match and Batista vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship in a steel cage match. So, we get two rematches from Judgement Day with new stipulations to suit the PPV. The feud around Batista and Orton is still strong, so I’m okay with another match between the two. John Cena went SuperCena against Big Show at Judgement Day, so I’m not looking forward to that probably happening again.
- Kelly Kelly becomes No. 1 contender — She won a battle royal after the current Divas champ, Maryse, sprayed hairspray in Mickie James’ eyes. This allowed Kelly to eliminate James and win the match. Women’s battle royals are not good in 2009, and this was the case here too. We’ll get Kelly vs. Maryse down the line, though, which could be a fine match.
- Vickie Guerrero becomes Miss WrestleMania — It turned into a no disqualification match, allowing Chavo Guerrero — and William Regal, of all people — to attack “Santina Marella,” knocking her unconscious and allowing Vickie to get the pin. She now gets to wear the sash and crown of “Miss WrestleMania.” I don’t get this storyline, but Santino is hilarious and I’m loving it because of him.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW:
- It’s ironic that Ric Flair is involved in this Batista/Orton story less than two months after Chris Jericho called him out for not being able to escape the spotlight.
- The Miz cut an awesome “nerd life” promo, a spin-off of Cena’s “word life.” It’s also kind of funny that Miz is doing all of this and basically getting no reaction from Cena.
- MVP retained his U.S. title against Matt Hardy. It was a fine match, nothing overly special.
- The final sequence of the main event match was shot so weirdly. You couldn’t tell what actually happened until they showed the replay. That really took away from the moment for the TV audience.
SCORE: 6.5/10. The matches were solid and the crowd was hot. This was a nice Raw with nothing that was great, but also nothing that was bad. A Raw you’d expect for a post-PPV show.
May 20, 2019 Raw in Albany, NY
- Universal Champion: Seth Rollins; No. 1 contender: TBD
- United States Champion: Rey Mysterio (NEW); No. 1 contender: TBD
- Raw Tag Team Champions: Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder; No. 1 contenders: TBD
- Raw Women’s Champion: Becky Lynch; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Women’s Tag Team Champions: The IIconics; No. 1 contenders: TBD
- Money In The Bank: Brock Lesnar
Detailed “play-by-play” of the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:
- The 24/7 Championship is introduced — Although the belt looks dumb, I love this belt as a concept. Essentially a PG version of the Hardcore Championship, it led to some hilarious moments in the final hour of the show. Titus O’Neil was the inaugural champ, only to lose it to Robert Roode 60 seconds later. Roode held it for about a half hour before R-Truth out-smarted Roode and beat him for the title. So, three different men were 24/7 champ in 30 minutes. Amazing stuff.
- Roman Reigns vs. Shane McMahon announced for Super Show Down — WWE is really trying to make this Show Down show important. They keep hyping it up as “just as big as WrestleMania” or whatever, and I guess a Reigns vs. McMahon match is a WrestleMania-level match. This feud has been building for months, so I’m not surprised by this match happening.
- Brock Lesnar will announce his MITB intentions next week — This show was dominated by Lesnar being the MITB briefcase holder. Both Seth Rollins and WWE Champion Kofi Kingston were on Raw and Lesnar teased cashing in on either of them. After Kingston and Rollins won a tag match in the main event, Lesnar came out and said he’ll be announcing who he’ll cash-in on next week. All signs point it to being Rollins at the Super Show Down show, but we’ll find out for sure next week.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW:
- While introducing the 24/7 championship, Mick Foley said Raw needs to be “raw” again. For the third hour now, the graphics will all be black and white. I’m not really sure what this means and how the show will change, but I guess we’ll have to see where it goes.
- Cesaro and Ricochet had a fantastic match. We’re not worthy of either of those men.
- Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross are still working together. I’m really intrigued where this storyline goes.
- The Uso’s and Revival, as expected, had a good match. It’s too bad they’ve had an utterly worthless feud up to this point.
- Lars Sullivan beat up the Lucha House Party again. Hopefully he enters a serious feud with someone soon.
SCORE: 7/10. The 24/7 belt looks dumb, but I love the concept of a TV-PG Hardcore title. What allowed 2019 edge 2009 was the in-ring quality. The 2019 Raw had the two best matches of the shows, which was good enough to get another victory in the head-to-head competition.
OVERALL SCORE: 2019 — 12; 2009 — 8.