Welcome to week 23 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.
The 2009 Raw is coming off a strong Extreme Rules pay-per-view, while 2019 Raw follows a subpar Super Showdown show. The scheduling now works out where 2019 has the next PPV, Stomping Grounds, in less than two weeks. Meanwhile, 2009 is going three weeks between PPVs. Will a compact timeline hurt 2019? Time to find out in another edition of “RAW is WAR: 2009 vs. 2019.”
June 8, 2009 Raw in Lafayette, LA
- WWE Champion: Batista (NEW); No. 1 contender: Randy Orton (due automatic rematch)
- United States Champion: Kofi Kingston (NEW); 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:
- Legacy takes out Batista — This won’t make much sense, but this is the second biggest point of the show. Since it happened first and effects the actual biggest takeaway, though, we have to talk about it first. Batista came out to celebrate his title win, only for Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase to come out and attack the new champ. They focused the attack on Batista’s left arm, ultimately trapping it in a chair and breaking The Animal’s arm. It even made me a little squeamish seeing Batista’s arm twist like that. Batista was then taken to the hospital in an ambulance. Raw general manager Vickie Guerrero then set up Orton’s automatic rematch for the WWE Championship against Batista for the main event of the show.
- Triple H is back — Well, Batista didn’t make it to the main event. Triple H did, though. This was the biggest takeaway from the show and capped off a wild evening surrounding the WWE Championship. As the ref was “counting out” Batista, who was at the hospital, an ambulance pulled up to the building. Everyone assumed it was going to be The Animal, but emerged HHH instead with a sledgehammer. He marched to the ring, took out Legacy and destroyed Orton. So, Orton never officially won the match since the count didn’t make it to 10, but Batista also never returned. So, who’s the WWE Champion technically? I’m not really sure, but it appears Triple H and Orton are on a collision course for another match for the title in the near future.
- Vickie Guerrero quits as Raw GM; Edge then quits the marriage — Another huge development from the show was Vickie resigning from her role as GM of Raw. This comes 24 hours after losing her Miss WrestleMania crown to Santina Marella. Guerrero is a perfect heel authority figure, and the way she handled this was amazing. And then, Edge came out and asked her for a divorce! He admitted he only married her for her power. Poor Vickie couldn’t buy a break! The crowd erupted seeing her cry in the middle of the ring.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW:
- Rhodes and DiBiase beat Primo and Carlito in a non-title match, making them the No. 1 contenders. It’s nice to see them doing things beyond being Orton’s henchmen.
- Maryse defeated Kelly Kelly to retain the Divas Championship. It was a fine match. Better than their first encounter.
- Next week’s Raw is themed “Three for All.” All three major champions from Raw, Smackdown and ECW will defend their championships, one each hour of a special three-hour show. MVP threw his name in the hat to challenge for the WWE Championship, but the question remains: who’s actually the WWE Champion right now?
SCORE: 7.5/10. This was a really strong Monday Night Raw. It was probably the best Raw of 2009, featuring major developments in the WWE title scene and the resignation of Vickie Guerrero. Pretty much everything on this show felt important, the in-ring work was solid and the promos were well-done. A hot crowd aided this show to one of the best of the year.
June 10, 2019 Raw in San Jose, CA
- Universal Champion: Seth Rollins; No. 1 contender: Baron Corbin
- United States Champion: Samoa Joe (NEW); No. 1 contender: TBD
- Raw Tag Team Champions: Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder; No. 1 contenders: TBD
- 24/7 Champion: R-Truth; No. 1 contender: everyone
- Raw Women’s Champion: Becky Lynch; No. 1 contender: Lacey Evans
- Women’s Tag Team Champions: The IIconics; No. 1 contenders: TBD
Detailed “play-by-play” of the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:
- The Revival win the tag team titles — This becomes the biggest takeaway by default because it was a title change. Hawkins and Ryder hadn’t been on television for a month, so The Revival winning here hopefully will put the titles back on TV every week. I don’t have any hope they’ll actually make the titles relevant, but we’ll see!
- Baron Corbin flexes his persuasive powers — Corbin gets to pick the referee for his Universal Championship match against Seth Rollins at Stomping Grounds. Cool! This feud that nobody asked for keeps going. Sami Zayn petitioned all night to be the referee for the match. Although Corbin never officially picked him, it appears Zayn will be the ref for the match in two weeks.
- The Firefly Fun House is still the best thing on Raw — These are fantastic. They’re scary and funny and weird and just incredible. By far the best thing I get to consistently watch on television every week. RIP Rambling Rabbit … again.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW:
- There were six matches on this three-hour wrestling show and only one was a 1-on-1 match … and it ended in a disqualification. How does that happen?
- Shane McMahon has become the most annoying person I watch on a weekly basis. He’s not annoying because he’s a good heel, though. He just makes me roll my eyes every time I have to see him on my television.
- The six-man tag between Ricochet/Braun Strowman/Miz vs. Samoa Joe/Cesaro/Bobby Lashley was a lot of fun. I’m not sure what direction the U.S. Championship is going in, but either of those guys challenging Joe would be fine with me. Cesaro also did the big swing on Miz for like 90 seconds. That man isn’t human.
- Five months ago, I loved Becky Lynch. Now, I barely care about here. What the heck happened here!?!?!
SCORE: 5/10. Blah. That’s how I felt about this show. The 24/7 title shenanigans are still fun and Firefly Fun House is fantastic. Other than that, Raw doesn’t have much going for it right now. I get it’s the summer and storylines tend to drag this time of the year, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for poor writing.
OVERALL SCORE: 2019 — 13; 2009 — 10.