Welcome to week seven 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.
We’re tied at three heading into week seven. Here’s how this week shook out.
Feb. 16, 2009 Raw in Tacoma, WA
- World Heavyweight Champion: Edge (NEW CHAMP); No. 1 contender: TBD
- Intercontinental Champion: CM Punk; No. 1 contender: William Regal
- Women’s Champion: Melina; No. 1 contender: Beth Phoenix
- World Tag Team Champions: John Morrison and The Miz, No. 1 contenders: TBD
- Primarily on ECW
Detailed “play by play” of the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS
- Orton punts Shane McMahon, RKO’s Stephanie McMahon — After Orton beat Shane at No Way Out, Shane challenged Orton to an unsanctioned fight where it wouldn’t end until someone isn’t moving. Orton accepted, and the brawl ended the show. Shane dominated the start, but Rhodes and DiBiase then attacked Shane. Rhodes hit the Cross Rhodes, setting up Orton to punt Shane in the skull. Stephanie came down to check on Shane, then started yelling at Orton. The Viper hit her with an RKO, prompting a huge reaction from the crowd. Triple H, the new WWE Champion and Stephanie’s husband, ran down to the ring and chased off Legacy. It was another vintage Randy Orton heel moment, and it appears to set the stage for Orton vs. HHH at WrestleMania. An electric way to end the show.
- Shawn Michaels vs. JBL set for next week — After JBL came out to announce his intentions to end The Undertaker’s streak at WrestleMania, he was interrupted by Michaels, who also wants to challenge Undertaker. The two agreed to a match next week on Raw, where the winner will challenge Undertaker at WrestleMania 25. This is another moment for me where it’s hard not to get excited about what’s to come because, well, I already know who wins this match next week. Still, it’ll be interesting to see how much of a fight JBL puts up against Michaels.
- Edge is the world champion, officially — The show opened with the official announcement of Edge being the new World Heavyweight Champion. There was confusion if he was legally in the chamber match the night before, but his “wife” and SmackDown general manger Vickie Guerrero said she legally put Edge in the match since she was the highest ranking official at the show. John Cena, the former champ, came out and confronted Edge. It appears the two will have a match for the title in the future, but it’s uncertain when at this point.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW
- Roddy Piper came out and cut an awesome promo on Chris Jericho. He talked about wanting to be in the spotlight and how guys like Jericho try to ruin his legacy. Jericho then attacked Piper before leaving the ring. It was a good exchange between the two and it showed a serious side to Piper. More and more legends keep coming out to confront Jericho, so it’ll be interesting to see where this storyline goes.
- Melina defeated Beth Phoenix to retain her Women’s Championship in an okay match. Nothing special, lots of outside interference of course.
- Rey Mysterio beat Mike Knox. It’s still amazing to see how over Mysterio is still in 2009.
- The Funks are going into the hall of fame, joining Stone Cold Steve Austin. A well-deserved honor for one of the legendary families in wrestling.
SCORE: 7.5/10. A fun show with a shocking ending. The rise of Orton has been incredible to watch, and he’s getting major reactions to the things he’s doing.
Feb. 18, 2019 Raw in Lafayette, LA
- Universal Champion: Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman); No. 1 contender: Seth Rollins (rumble winner)
- Intercontinental Champion: Finn Balor (NEW CHAMP); No. 1 contender: TBD
- Raw Tag Team Champions: The Revival (NEW CHAMP); No. 1 contender: TBD
- Raw Women’s Champion: Ronda Rousey; No. 1 contender: Charlotte Flair
- Becky Lynch is the royal rumble winner and was expected to challenge Rousey at WrestleMania 35, but has been suspended for 60 days by Vince McMahon
Detailed “play-by-play” of the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS
- Ricochet makes main roster debut, helps Finn Balor defeat Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush — The show was dominated by the debut of four NXT superstars (more on that below). Triple H announced at the beginning of the show that Ricochet, Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa and Aleister Black will be making their main roster debuts on Raw. The first of those four to debut was Ricochet, who saved Finn Balor from an ambush from Lashley and Rush. The duo then won a tag match over the bad guys, with Ricochet hitting the 700-splash on Rush for the win. Ricochet looked like he belonged on the main roster and has a bright future in WWE.
- DIY makes main roster debut, defeat The Revival — The next debuts came from Ciampa and Gargano, who reformed DIY to defeat The Revival. This match brought back great memories of their NXT matches, and this match didn’t disappoint either. It was awesome to see DIY win. Maybe they can reunite as a team for good on the main roster and have a run as a heel tag team. That would be a refreshing addition to a stale Raw tag team division.
- Aleister Black makes main roster debut, defeats Elias — Can you sense a theme for this show? Black interrupted Elias, then beat him with a Black Mass spinning kick. Black is another guy who looked comfortable on the main roster and would be a great Intercontinental Champion by the end of the year. Only time will tell if these four callups will find success on the main roster or not.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW
- Braun Strowman beat Baron Corbin in a tables match. This feud will never. Freaking. End.
- Ronda Rousey beat Ruby Riott to retain the title in an actual match. No Charlotte or Becky Lynch post-match shenanigans as well, which was refreshing to see. Riott looked strong as well, which was nice.
- The hype videos for Brock Lesnar were well done, as always. Seth Rollins’ return promo was also good. Can’t wait to see Lesnar back on Raw … someday.
- I want someone to echo everything I say the way Otis does with Tucker. Heavy Machinery is so much fun.
- The losing streak for Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder continued. Sad!
SCORE: 8/10. The word of the night was “refreshing.” It was refreshing to see four new talents appear on Raw and do really well. It also has me excited that these four NXT guys will have a bright future on the main roster. Everything on the show went pretty smoothly and it has me excited for the rest of the road to WrestleMania.
OVERALL SCORE: 2019 — 4; 2009 — 3.