Welcome to week 25 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 leading up to a pay-per-view, while 2019 is coming off one. Which show will have a better week? Let’s find out.
June 22, 2009 Raw in Green Bay, WI
- WWE Champion: Randy Orton (NEW); No. 1 contender: Triple H
- United States Champion: Kofi Kingston; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Divas Champion: Maryse; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Unified Tag Team Champions: Primo and Carlito; No. 1 contenders: Legacy (Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase)
Detailed “play by play” of the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:
- Donald Trump re-sells Raw back to Vince McMahon — Donald Trump owning Monday Night Raw dominated the night, as the whole show was commercial-free because of him. He then opened the show and told the fans they were getting a full refund at the end of the night. Meanwhile, Vince McMahon was having a tough day, as his limo broke down on the way to the arena. Once he got there, though, he bargained with Trump to buy Raw back. Once Vince offered double what Trump paid, Trump accepted and sold Raw back to Vince. At 1 hour, 32 minutes and 50 seconds, the Donald Trump era of Raw over. It was fun while it lasted.
- Orton retains against Triple H, but the feud isn’t over — Orton and HHH were having a Last Man Standing match for the WWE Championship after Trump made the match a week prior. This was a fine match, with both men being unable to get up from a count of 10. There was no winner, but Orton retained the title. About 30 minutes later, after Vince bought back Raw, he announced Orton and Triple H will face in a Three Stages of Hell match at the upcoming pay-per-view, The Bash. The first stage will be a regular match, the second a falls count anywhere match, and the final a stretcher match. This feels like it’ll be the end of this feud, which is good since its been going for the majority of the year.
- The Miz gets the last laugh on John Cena … for now — After Trump opened the show, Cena came out to call The Miz. A match between the two was made at The Bash. Miz threw a sucker punch at Cena before running away. Later, during the Cena-Big Show match, Miz shoved Big Show on to Cena — Cena had Show on his shoulders for the Attitude Adjustment — which allowed Show to win the match. So, the Miz stands tall heading into Sunday’s PPV. We’ll see how that fares against SuperCena.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW:
- The commercial-free format was different. You’re so used to the show going to a commercial, so when it didn’t, it was odd. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, though, and the show was paced well given there were no commercials.
- Trump announced there’ll be no GM and a celebrity guest host will run Raw every week. Wonder if that’ll stick under Vince’s regained leadership…
- Donald Trump Jr. and Michael Cohen were sitting next to each other ringside. Regardless of your political opinion, that’s hilarious with the benefit of hindsight.
- Trump “fired” Santina Marella. As she ran away, Santino tried to save her. Santino then said, ‘She had a good run.’ It’s the end of an era on Raw. There’s no more Miss WrestleMania. It was fun while it lasted.
- They announced Kofi Kingston was defending his U.S. Championship on Superstars on Thursday. Wish we would’ve gotten that on a commercial-free Raw, but oh well.
SCORE: 6.5/10. This is an amazing show to watch 10 years later, given where *President* Donald Trump is at nowadays. Overall, it was a solid show. None of the matches were bad, but they weren’t great either. The Trump era ends after a week, though, which makes you think: What was the point?
June 24, 2019 Raw in Everett, WA
- Universal Champion: Seth Rollins; No. 1 contender: TBD
- United States Champion: Ricochet (NEW); No. 1 contender: TBD
- Raw Tag Team Champions: The Revival; No. 1 contenders: TBD
- 24/7 Champion: R-Truth; No. 1 contender: Everyone
- Raw Women’s Champion: Becky Lynch; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Women’s Tag Team Champions: The IIconics; No. 1 contender: TBD
Detailed “play-by-play” of the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:
- “Winner take all” tag match made for Extreme Rules — Following a surprisingly good Stomping Grounds, Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans challenged Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch to a “winner take all” tag team title match at Extreme Rules. This makes storyline sense, as Evans was the referee for the Corbin-Rollins match at Stomping Grounds. While I don’t want to see Corbin and Evans getting yet another title shot, at least this has a chance to be interesting in a tag team format.
- The Undertaker returns! — By far the biggest shock of the week, The Undertaker came to save Roman Reigns from a 2-on-1 beatdown from Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre. Undertaker chokeslammed Shane, then beat up McIntyre with a flurry of punches. It was announced later in the evening that Undertaker and Reigns would team up to take on McIntyre and Shane at Extreme Rules on July 14. I mean, it’s cool to see Undertaker back and all. With the way he looked at Super Showdown, though, I’m nervous. This is another storyline that I wish ended at Stomping Grounds, but I guess we’re not done with it. I don’t know why Undertaker would want to get involved, but I guess we’re going to find out!
- Samoa Joe attacks Kofi Kingston — After Kingston beat Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens in consecutive matches, Joe came from behind and attacked the WWE Champion. He ultimately choked out the champ, staking his claim for the WWE Championship. It was later announced these two will face off for the title at Extreme Rules. This is awesome. Joe is fantastic and I can’t wait to see these two go at it for the title. This was a pleasant surprise to see Joe in the main title scene just 24 hours after losing the U.S. title.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW:
- The main event of Raw was fantastic, as AJ Styles and Ricochet put on a show. Styles ultimately won, but he then raised the hand of Ricochet after the match in a show of respect. These are two of the best wrestlers in the world and they showed it in this match.
- Styles is becoming a disappointed dad with Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows. I’m excited to see The Club back together, though. Hopefully this leads to something big for them.
- There was no Firefly Fun House, but the creepy doll and the buzzard popped up behind The Miz and Kofi Kingston, respectively, during the show. I’m hyped. Let’s get Bray Wyatt on the show ASAP.
- The 24/7 title crowned five champions in four minutes, including three new champs in Heath Slater, EC3 and Cedric Alexander. R-Truth is now a 9-time 24/7 champion. God bless this stupid belt.
SCORE: 7/10. The surprises of Undertaker returning and Joe attacking Kingston were done well. The 24/7 title keeps on being a pleasant surprise, and Bray Wyatt appears to be heading to Raw. All in all, a strong week for the 2019 brand as they try and rebound from a sluggish few weeks. More of this, please.
OVERALL SCORE: 2019 — 14; 2009 — 11