Welcome to week four 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.
This week, we’re changing the format of the story. Simply put, the recaps were too long and didn’t feature enough analysis. That’s going to change starting this week. Detailed recaps will be linked on the page, but the posts will now on be more analysis-driven.
With that being said, here’s week four between 2009 and 2019. Currently, 2009 has a 2-1 lead on 2019. Time to see if 2009 can extend its lead, or if 2019 will draw even.
Jan. 26, 2019 Raw in Cleveland, OH
- World Heavyweight Champion: John Cena; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Intercontinental Champion: CM Punk (NEW); No. 1 contender: TBD
- Tag Team Champions: John Morrison and The Miz, No. 1 contenders: Cryme Tyme
- Women’s Champion: Melina (NEW); No. 1 contender: TBD
Detailed results from the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:
- Shane McMahon is back and has his eyes set on Randy Orton — A week after punting Vince McMahon in the head, Randy Orton opened the show saying he has a conditioned called IED, or Intermittent Explosive Disorder. He threatened to sue WWE if Stephanie McMahon fired him. She didn’t, instead letting her brother, Shane, come out and take out Orton, Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes. This was a well-done attack, as Shane looked enraged while beating down Legacy. A good way to end the show and leave the viewer wanting more
- Jericho, Kingston and Mysterio qualify for the elimination chamber match — It was announced that there will be two elimination chamber matches this year: one for the WWE Championship and one for the World Heavyweight Championship. In the qualifying matches for the WHC one during this episode, Kofi Kingston beat Kane, Chris Jericho defeated CM Punk and Rey Mysterio took out William Regal. All fine matches, but nothing spectacular.
- JBL costs Shawn Michaels, which then costs JBL — Michaels faced John Cena, where if Michaels won the match, JBL would qualify for the WHC elimination chamber match. Michaels was going for the elbow drop from the top rope, but JBL was insisting Michaels go for Sweet Chin Music instead. With JBL standing on the apron, Cena shoved JBL into Michaels, causing HBK to fall off the top rope. Cena then hit the Attitude Adjustment for the win. Afterwards, JBL stood over Michaels in the ring. This appears to be setting up the ending of the “business relationship” between JBL and Michaels. It also keeps JBL out of the WHC elimination chamber match.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW:
- The announcers referenced during the Jericho-Punk match how Jericho calling out actor Mickey Rourke earlier in the show, yet we didn’t see this segment during the episode. The part with Jericho showed a scene from Rourke’s movie “The Wrestler,” which would lead me to assume that WWE doesn’t have permission to use it on the WWE Network. It was just strange to hear the announcers talking about this without us actually seeing it.
- Jillian may be a worse wrestler than a singer, and that’s saying something
- Miz and Morrison beat Cryme Tyme in less than five minutes to retain their titles. If a title match went that quickly on Raw in 2019, there’d be rioting in the streets.
SCORE: 6.5/10. A decent show with six total matches, which is a lot for a two-hour show. The main selling point of the show was Orton, though, as they showed the clip of him punting Vince McMahon in the head four different times during the telecast. Shane attacking Legacy at the end gave the show a hot finish, but a lot of the middle parts just felt like filler. None of the matches were overly exciting, minus the Cena-Michaels match.
Jan. 28, 2019 Raw in Phoenix, AZ
- Universal Champion: Brock Lesnar; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Intercontinental Champion: Bobby Lashley; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Raw Tag Team Champions: Bobby Roode and Chad Gable; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Raw Women’s Champion: Ronda Rousey; No. 1 contender: TBD
Detailed results from the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:
- Becky Lynch chooses Ronda Rousey — In one of the best promo exchanges in years, women’s royal rumble winner Becky Lynch chose Ronda Rousey as her opponent for WrestleMania. The crowd went nuts when Lynch’s music hit, as the bad blood has been simmering between these two for months. Lynch cut an excellent promo on the champ, with Rousey’s rebuttal being just as strong. Rousey finally came off like the badass she should be, not some happy-go lucky champion. This sets the stage for what should be the main event of WrestleMania this year. It’s the two biggest female stars in the company, the storyline is great and the crowd will be emotionally invested in it. It needs to be the true main event this year.
- Seth Rollins chooses Brock Lesnar — the show ended Monday with the winner of the men’s royal rumble match, Seth Rollins, declaring his intentions to face Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania … kind of. It was more of Lesnar throwing Rollins around the ring, hitting him with five F-5’s. Rollins never officially did say he was facing Lesnar either, but it was implied by the beatdown the champ gave to Rollins. This should be a fun match between the two at Mania and I’m intrigued to see the buildup to this match.
- Two teams qualify for women’s elimination chamber — In three weeks at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, we’ll have an elimination chamber match featuring six teams: three from Raw and three from SmackDown Live. The winning team of this match will be crowned the inaugural WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions. This episode of Raw gave us our first two teams: Nia Jax and Tamina, and Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan from the Riott Squad. Next week, it’ll be Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Alicia Fox and Nikki Cross to determine the final team from Raw.
ANALYSIS FROM THE REST OF THE SHOW:
- Dean Ambrose had an awesome heel promo on HHH and Seth Rollins to start the show. His match with Rollins afterwards was also solid. Where was that three months ago?
- Looks like we’re getting a Finn Balor vs. Bobby Lashley match in the future. That’ll be a nice rebound feud for Balor. Hopefully he can win the Intercontinental Championship, which would be his first title in WWE in two and a half years.
- It was fun to see the Edgeheads (Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins) team together again. No idea what this leads to, but I’m enjoying the nostalgia of it.
- Mojo Rawley cut a promo at a mirror … looks like we’re getting another Mojo push? Because the first two worked so well…
- This Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin/Drew McIntyre feud is never going to end, I’m assuming.
SCORE: 8.5/10. The two main events of WrestleMania were set tonight. The Becky-Ronda exchange was maybe the best by anyone since the Roman Reigns/John Cena exchange in 2017. This show got me excited for WrestleMania in 10 weeks, which is what it’s supposed to do given we’re on the “Road to WrestleMania.” Good show overall.
WINNER: 2019. This week’s win is dedicated to Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey. It was too good to not win this week.
OVERALL SCORE: 2019: 2; 2009: 2