Welcome to week six 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 enter week six with the 2009 holding a 3-2 lead. Here’s how week six shook out.
Feb. 9, 2009 Raw in Oakland, CA.
- World Heavyweight Champion: John Cena; No. 1 contenders: Kofi Kingston, Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio, Mike Knox, Kane (elimination chamber).
- Intercontinental Champion: CM Punk; No. 1 contender: William Regal
- World Tag Team Champions: John Morrison and The Miz, No. 1 contenders: TBD
- Primarily on ECW
- Women’s Champion: Melina; No. 1 contender: Beth Phoenix
The “play-by-play” of this week’s show here.
- Shane McMahon will do ANYTHING to get retribution on Randy Orton — The show’s biggest storyline continues to be Orton vs. the McMahon’s, and it ended the show once again this week. After Legacy got involved in the Orton vs. Undertaker match, Shane came out and cleared house. It ended with Shane doing the coast-to-coast dropkick into the garbage can in front of Ted DiBiase’s face. It was a nice way to end the show and get people excited for the No Holds Barred match between Orton and Shane at No Way Out Sunday.
- Chris Jericho despises Ric Flair — Jericho has been attacking the likes of Flair over the past few weeks, and Flair was here this week to respond. This was a good exchange to start the show, but here’s where some “the nostalgia factor” comes in to play, sort of. Jericho said Flair doesn’t want to retire, for which Flair responded by saying he’ll never wrestle again and that he has too much respect for Shawn Michaels and WWE. Jericho countered by saying Flair hasn’t returned … yet, but he will because he craves the spotlight. Within 13 months of this exchange, Flair was wrestling in TNA. Unfortunately, Jericho was right.
- CM Punk is still the Intercontinental Champion — If you blinked, you might have missed this match. Punk retained his title over William Regal in less than five minutes. The match had no hype during the show except the “UP NEXT” ad right before the match. One of the longer-running feuds on Raw had a sudden ending, which was strange to me. Punk is still the champ, though, and that’s a good thing.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW
- Beth Phoenix pinned Melina in a tag match. They have a Women’s Championship match next week on Raw. Should be a good match between two solid workers.
- Shawn Michaels and Mark Henry had a match, but it ended quickly after Michaels took a chair to Henry. The match was a “tune up” match set up by JBL ahead of the JBL-Michaels “all or nothing” match at No Way Out. JBL’s promo following the match was solid, as he told Michaels to bring his wife to the match to see him disappoint her one more time. This has been an interesting storyline and seems as if it’s coming to an end at the pay-per-view.
- The three bad guys in the elimination chamber match (Jericho, Knox, Kane) beat the three good guys (Cena, Mysterio, Kingston) in a six-man tag match. Jericho pinned Kington with a codebreaker for the win. Fine match, kind of what you’d expect from a six-man match like that.
SCORE: 6/10. This was a fine show, but nothing spectacular happened. Nothing bad happened, either, giving it a 6 out of 10. A nice go-home show before the PPV on Sunday.
Feb. 11, 2019 Raw in Grand Rapids, MI.
- Universal Champion: Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman); No. 1 contender: Seth Rollins (rumble winner)
- Intercontinental Champion: Bobby Lashley; No. 1 contender: Finn Balor
- Raw Tag Team Champions: Bobby Roode and Chad Gable; No. 1 contender: The Revival
- Raw Women’s Champion: Ronda Rousey; No. 1 contender: Ruby Riott
- Becky Lynch is the royal rumble winner and is expected to challenge Rousey at WrestleMania 35
The “play-by-play” of this week’s show here.
- Becky Lynch is suspended 60 days by Vince McMahon, Charlotte is in the title match at WrestleMania against Ronda Rousey — The big storyline throughout the night was whether Lynch would apologize to HHH and Stephanie McMahon for attacking them last week. After not doing it at the start of the show, she did at the end to get her title match with Rousey back. This didn’t sit well with Mr. McMahon, though, as he suspended Lynch 60 days and replaced her with Charlotte Flair for the match against Rousey. Initially, I understood a lot of fan’s anger and frustration. After sleeping on it, though, I loved the move. Lynch is being presented as the modern-day Stone Cold Steve Austin, and taking her out of the match against Rousey furthers the storyline against the authority. Having Charlotte be inserted into the match also adds to that, as she’s perceived as Vince’s “handpicked favorite.” This inevitably will set up a triple threat match between Lynch, Charlotte and Rousey and will main event WrestleMania.
- Seth Rollins is a madman — Rollins had the promo of the week, going full madman when responding to Paul Heyman. After Heyman delivered his typical “it’s not a prediction, it’s a spoiler” promo, Rollins replied with a fiery promo of his own. He said he’s willing to become the martyr of WWE if that means Brock Lesnar is no longer Universal Champion. “I will sacrifice my heart. I will sell my soul to the devil. I will burn in hell.” Rollins killed it with this rant, and Heyman’s facial reactions were equally as good. Rollins and Lesnar might not close WrestleMania, but it easily could be the match of the night in seven weeks.
- The Revival are new Raw Tag Team Champions —Across the five hours of Monday Night Raw I watched this week, this was by far the best match. It went longer than I expected and had some really awesome spots in the second half of the match. And in the end, The Revival are tag team champions! They won it cleanly too, which was refreshing. Let’s hope they can ride this momentum for a little bit. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable were fine tag champs, but their title reign was very bland. I wouldn’t mind seeing them split up here soon and have a 1v1 match at WrestleMania.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF THE SHOW
- Bayley and Sasha Banks will be one of the first two teams to start the women’s tag team title match after losing a triple threat tag match to the Riott Squad and Nia Jax/Tamina. Banks is still real-life injured, which they covered up again with another ambush mid-match from The Riott Squad. It’s likely Bayley and Banks will win the match Sunday, so starting from the first spot helps buildup that “underdog” story.
- Finn Balor will face BOTH Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush at Elimination Chamber for the IC title. Balor can pin either guy to win the championship. This should be a fun match Sunday, as I could see Balor pinning Rush to win the title.
- Kurt Angle looks old. Him running down the ramp was almost hard to watch. I think he’s still got one great match in him, but everything else he does looks old.
- Elias being constantly interrupted was hilarious. He’s a much better villain than good guy, and I’m intrigued to see what he winds up doing at WrestleMania.
- Kevin Owens had a video promo saying he’ll be back within the next month. Dope.
- Both EC3 and Nikki Cross lost matches this week. How am I supposed to believe they’ll be top superstars of the future when they keep losing on a weekly basis?
SCORE: 6.1/10. Just like the 2009 show, this episode was fine. I give it an extra .1 point because of the tag title match. That was the best match on either show and gave us tag champs people want to see. There was a lot of controversy about Lynch being replaced by Charlotte, some of which is justified. As explained above, though, this is all a work. Everything else on this week’s show was serviceable.
OVERALL SCORE: 2009 — 3; 2019 — 3