Welcome to week 27 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 2019 Raw is heading into the Extreme Rules pay-per-view this Sunday, while 2009 is still two weeks away from Night of Champions (NOC). With both shows being in different “build-up” modes, it’ll be interesting to see which show performs better.
July 6, 2009 Raw in *Parts Unknown*
- WWE Champion: Randy Orton; No. 1 contender: TBD
- United States Champion: Kofi Kingston; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Divas Champion: Maryse; No. 1 contender: Mickie James
- Unified Tag Team Champions: Edge and Chris Jericho; No. 1 contenders: TBD
Detailed “play by play” of the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:
- Both John Cena and Triple H named No. 1 contender to the WWE Championship — Surprisingly, this was only the third 1-on-1 match between these two at this time, and they delivered big time. It was hyped throughout the show as one of the “biggest main events in Raw history,” and, shockingly, it lived up to the hype. It was a fantastic battle between the two — only for Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes to run in, attack both and cause a double disqualification. Ted DiBiase Sr., who was Raw’s special guest host this week, didn’t like this decision. Instead of calling them both losers, he said they both won and made a triple threat match of Cena, HHH and Orton for Night of Champions. This completed a story arc that was built throughout the show — more on that below.
- Ted DiBiase Sr. makes moves as the special guest host/GM — After giving Rhodes and Dibiase Jr. a tag team title match at Night of Champions, DiBiase Sr. went from heel to face when booking his son to face Orton and Rhodes to face Mark Henry in 1-on-1 matches later in the night. Ultimately, DiBiase Jr. slapped his dad in the face, which then led to Sr. making the WWE Championship match at NOC. Overall, I like DiBiase Sr. on this show. He didn’t feel like a “throw away” guest host and actually made some impact. So far, WWE is 2/2 with their guest host picks.
- The show was pre-taped, and you could tell — From the fake crowd reactions to the announcers’ voices not lining up with their mouths (if you pay attention to them whenever they’re in the background, you can tell), this show was definitely pre-taped. They also never said what their city they were in, which makes me think they pre-taped this show in San Jose the Tuesday after last week’s Raw was live there. Pre-taped shows are fine — it usually means WWE gave their roster a vacation for the holiday. That doesn’t mean the show quality was good, though. It was just an overall different feeling watching it this week as opposed to prior weeks because of the pre-taped format.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW:
- Ted DiBiase Jr. and Randy Orton had a really good match. Both guys were showcased well and it makes DiBiase look like a legit threat that much more.
- The final two parts to come to Raw in the Donald Trump 15-person trade were Gail Kim and Alicia Fox. Kim pinned Maryse in a tag match on her first night on Raw. Fun!
SCORE: 6/10. The Cena-HHH match is the highlight of this show by a mile. They built all night to it, and it delivered. Unfortunately, everything else was just ok, and it being pre-taped left a lot to be desired.
July 8, 2019 Raw in Newark, NJ
- Universal Champion: Seth Rollins; No. 1 contender: Baron Corbin
- United States Champion: Ricochet; No. 1 contender: AJ Styles
- Raw Tag Team Champions: The Revival; No. 1 contender: The Usos
- 24/7 Champion: Drake Maverick (NEW); 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:
- Nikki Cross adds some intrigue to the SmackDown Women’s Championship match — Cross won the “beat the clock challenge” against Bayley, meaning she could pick the stipulation for the Alexa Bliss vs. Bayley match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Cross made it a 2-on-1 handicap match, meaning Cross and Bliss will be together against Bayley. Does this mean if Cross gets the pin, she’s the champ? I have no idea. I guess we’ll find out Sunday.
- Seth Rollins and Andrade are good at wrestling — It was a mixed tag elimination match, with Rollins and Becky Lynch facing Andrade and Zelina Vega. After Lynch eliminated Vega, it was down to Rollins and Andrade. These two had a beautiful match, weaving in interference from Lynch and Vega as well. It was refreshing to open Raw with wrestling for a second straight week! Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans attacked the two champs after the match, though, getting the last laugh before Sunday.
- The Club leaves its mark again — After Ricochet beat Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson in back-to-back matches, AJ Styles led an attack of the United States Champion. The beat down went a little too long, though, and featured multiple points where it felt like the beating was going to end. Styles stood tall heading into the PPV Sunday, though, which was the point. Could’ve been a better executed segment, however.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW:
- The main event was Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre vs. Roman Reigns and Gary “the GOAT” Garbutt, a janitor McMahon picked to be his partner. Well, this janitor — wearing a mask — wrestled really well before McIntyre kicked him into oblivion. After the match, Garbutt was revealed to actually be Cedric Alexander. Will this lead to anything for Alexander? I doubt it. But for a few minutes, it was nice to see him shine on Raw.
- Rey Mysterio is back! He came back fairly quickly from injury. He issued an open challenge, which Bobby Lashley accepted. It was a 90-second match, but it was awesome. Lashley ultimately won with a spear, making him look strong ahead of his Last Man Standing match against Braun Strowman on Sunday.
- The 24/7 Championship continues to be fun. Drake Maverick and his wife have been fantastic. R-Truth and Carmella are still hilarious. Kudos to everyone involved with this.
- No Bray Wyatt appearance this week in any way, shape or form. Maybe a debut is still imminent?
- Where are the women’s tag team champions? It’d be nice if we could see them anywhere (they’re barely even on SmackDown at this point).
- The Street Profits are amazing. They had two backstage segments hyping Extreme Rules and both were well done. Again, I don’t know what their long-term plan is. That doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying seeing them on my TV every week.
- Poor Mike Kanellis. He’s not even sure if he’s the father of Maria’s baby. This is another storyline that I’m intrigued to follow throughout the upcoming weeks.
SCORE: 5.5/10. Everything on the show was fine, but the best wrestling-related segment I watched this week was the Cena-HHH match. For that reason, I have to give the nod to 2009 this week. Rollins vs. Andrade was fun, but I really had a hard time writing a “three biggest takeaways” from this week because everything was just ok. That’s not good heading into a PPV Sunday.
OVERALL SCORE: 2009 — 15; 2009 — 12