Welcome to week 28 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 staggered pay-per-view schedule has 2009 two weeks away from Night of Champions and 2019 coming off a strong Extreme Rules PPV. This means 2009 is still focused on Night of Champions, while 2019 can focus on SummerSlam — arguably WWE’s second-biggest show of the year.
July 13, 2009 Raw in Orlando, FL
- WWE Champion: Randy Orton; No. 1 contenders: John Cena, Triple H
- United States Champion: Kofi Kingston; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Divas Champion: Maryse; No. 1 contender: Mickie James
- Unified Tag Team Champions: Chris Jericho and TBD; No. 1 contenders: Legacy
- NOTE: Edge tore his Achilles at a live show in between the two Raw’s. He’s out indefinitely.
Detailed “play by play” of the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:
- Seth Green hosts … and wrestles! — Seth Green was the celebrity guest host this week, which provided for a lot of fun backstage moments. He also wrestled, teaming with John Cena and HHH in the main event against all three members of Legacy. Green landed a punch on Cody Rhodes and broke up a pin attempt from Orton on HHH before the match ended in a disqualification. Multiple backstage segments were with Green as well, including Big Show doing a Mr. Evil (Austin Powers movies) impersonation and Santino Marella showing Green how to wrestle by using action figures. Overall, it was a lot of fun and designed to not be taken seriously in the slightest.
- Chris Jericho is allowed to find a tag team partner — With Edge’s injury, Jericho is the sole tag team champion currently. Instead of relinquishing the titles, though, Jericho will be allowed to pick his own tag team partner to face Rhodes and Ted DiBiase at Night of Champions. This is fine with me as Jericho is a great heel. Its unfortunate Edge is injured, but it should be fun to see who Jericho “picks” as his replacement.
- Carlito hates his brother now — Something I didn’t mention last week (somehow) was Carlito turning on his brother, Primo. Well, the feud continued this week when Carlito cost Primo his match against The Miz. Afterwards, Carlito spit an apple in Primo’s face. It’s weird seeing a team that was such a cohesive unit three weeks ago be feuding, but that’s where we’re at. Carlito is a good heel and this feud has a chance to elevate both men if done right.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW:
- There was a six-Diva summer swimsuit spectacular match — essentially a six-woman tag match, but in their swimsuits — and it was better than it should’ve been. Maryse pinned Mickie James for the first time, though, which is important leading up to their title match in two weeks.
- Jack Swagger and MVP had a nice match, with Swagger picking up the victory. Feel like this feud isn’t over.
- Big Show absolutely murdered Evan Bourne and it was almost hilarious to watch. He delivered one of the best spears I’ve ever seen him deliver. Kudos to Bourne to selling that to perfection.
SCORE: 7/10. Was this the most important Raw ever? No. However, it was a lot of fun. The crowd was white hot, as Cena and HHH got huge pops when they first came out. The in-ring work was fine, but most of the joy came from the interactions with Seth Green. He played the nerdy stereotype well, making it a fun and memorable episode of Raw.
July 15, 2019 Raw in Long Island, NY
- Universal Champion: Brock Lesnar (NEW); No. 1 contender: TBD
- United States Champion: AJ Styles (NEW); No. 1 contender: TBD
- Raw Tag Team Champions: The Revival; No. 1 contender: TBD
- 24/7 Champion: Drake Maverick; No. 1 contender: everyone
- Raw Women’s Champion: Becky Lynch; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Women’s Tag Team Champions: The IIconics; No. 1 contenders: Asuka and Kairi Sane (on SmackDown Live)
Detailed “play-by-play” of the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:
- Seth Rollins gets his shot at Brock Lesnar — Since we don’t do automatic title rematches anymore, Rollins had to earn his No. 1 contender status by winning a 10-man battle royal in the main event. Rollins eliminated Randy Orton to win and get his shot at Lesnar for the Universal Championship at SummerSlam. Lesnar cashed-in his Money in the Bank briefcase at Extreme Rules to re-gain the title. The two Rollins vs. Lesnar matches this year have gone a combined four minutes, so lets hope this third and (probably) final battle goes a little longer than that.
- Natalya will challenge Becky Lynch at SummerSlam — In a somewhat surprising result, Natalya outlasted Alexa Bliss, Naomi and Carmella in a fatal-four-way match to become No. 1 contender for the Raw Women’s Championship. After the match, Lynch cut a strong promo on her friend, with Natalya countering with a good promo of her own. These two could have a fun match together and I’m intrigued to see how they build this match up over the next four weeks.
- Bray Wyatt sets his eyes on Finn Balor — FINALLY!!! After months of Firefly Fun House segments and build up, Bray Wyatt made his return to the main roster. His target? Finn Balor. After Balor lost to Samoa Joe, Balor chased off a post-match attack from Joe. As Balor was celebrating in the ring, the lights slowly went out. Noises were heard in the ring, and when the lights came back on, there was Bray Wyatt — fiend mask and all — holding Balor in position for a Sister Abigail. Wyatt hit the move, then stood there. What. A. Return. A perfect way to bring back Wyatt. Maybe we get Wyatt vs. demon Balor at SummerSlam?!?!?! This build with Wyatt has been perfect and I hope it’s not wasted.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW:
- Once again, Drake Maverick steals the show. He was funny once again, losing the 24/7 Championship to R-Truth just moments before he was set to consummate his marriage to his wife. This entire 24/7 title has been dumb and fun and brilliant all at the same time. I can’t get enough of it.
- Cedric Alexander beat Drew McIntyre!! It was a pleasant surprise! Poor Alexander will probably get murdered next week, but hey, at least he had this nice moment on Raw. Gives you hope that one day they’ll figure out how to use him.
- The Ricochet-AJ Styles feud continues after Styles beat Ricochet for the U.S. Championship at Extreme Rules. I’m not complaining.
- Next week’s Raw will be a “Raw Reunion.” WWE is advertising it as the biggest reunion in Raw history. Numerous past legends and superstars will be there for it. What that means for storyline development, I’m not sure. Next week will probably be filled with a lot of nostalgia, though, which is usually a recipe for a good and fun show.
SCORE: 6.5/10. It’s weird. A lot more important things happened in 2019 Raw than 2009, but 2009 was just a lot more fun to watch. That doesn’t mean 2019 was bad; it’s just 2009 was more enjoyable. A lot of SummerSlam-worthy moments and storyline development happened in 2019, but the low points were lower than the 2009 ones. Therefore, 2009 gets the edge this week.
OVERALL SCORE: 2019 — 15; 2009 — 13