Welcome to week 29 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.
This is a weird week for “RAW is WAR.” The 2019 show is doing a “Raw Reunion” theme, featuring numerous past superstars coming back. Meanwhile, 2009 is entering a pay-per-view — Night of Champions — and has a celebrity guest host in rock band ZZ Top. So, while 2009 should feature more storyline development, 2019 will have a lot of nostalgia pops. Should be interesting to see which show does better!
July 20, 2009 Raw in Raleigh, NC
- WWE Champion: Randy Orton; No. 1 contenders: Triple H, John Cena
- United States Champion: Kofi Kingston; No. 1 contenders: Big Show, MVP, Carlito, The Miz, Jack Swagger
- Divas Champion: Maryse; No. 1 contender: Mickie James
- Unified Tag Team Champions: Chris Jericho and ???; No. 1 contenders: Legacy (Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes)
- NOTE: Jericho’s tag team partner, Edge, tore his Achilles. Jericho is allowed to select a replacement for the title match at Night of Champions this coming Sunday (in 2009).
Detailed “play by play” of the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:
- Big Show takes out everybody — Following a six-man tag team match — won when Primo pinned Carlito – The Big Show took out all five people that were involved. This included four people involved in the six-pack challenge match for the United States Championship: MVP, Carlito, Jack Swagger and the current champ, Kofi Kingston. This was probably the biggest storyline development on the show, so it gets the “top takeaway” honor.
- Maryse attacks Mickie James — After an interview with James was interrupted by The Miz, Maryse came out and sprayed hairspray in James’ eyes. This has been a well-booked feud, all things considered. This is the first real women’s feud on Raw since Beth Phoenix and Melina in January, so its nice to see the title actually being used.
- John Cena pins Randy Orton in the main event — In what was essentially the same main event as last week, Cena and HHH faced all three members of Legacy — DiBiase, Rhodes and Orton. The final sequence saw Orton go for a punt on Cena, only for Cena to move out of the way and then roll-up the WWE Champion for the three-count. After the match, Cena and HHH shook hands. It’ll be Cena, HHH and Orton at Night of Champions for the title. It’s weird seeing Cena and HHH be allies, but I’m sure that will go away in the title match at NOC.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW:
- Naturally, there were a lot of ZZ Top-themed matches happening on this show … none of them were good. Hornswoggle beat Chavo Guerrero in a “sharp dressed man” match, while Alicia Fox and Rosa Mendes defeated Kelly Kelly and Gail Kim in a “legs” match. Both matches were incredibly tacky and a waste of time.
- Chris Jericho is still good at his job. Mark Henry is also very strong.
- Jerry Lawler beat Brian Kendrick in a match. So, that’s how this show went.
SCORE: 5/10. This was the first week the “celebrity guest host” thing was a little dumb for me. Nothing overly important happened, which shouldn’t be the case when you’re trying to sell a pay-per-view for Sunday. This was the first time since May where I felt 2009 put out a real clunker of a show.
July 22, 2019 Raw in Tampa, FL
- Universal Champion: Brock Lesnar; No. 1 contender: Seth Rollins
- United States Champion: AJ Styles; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Raw Tag Team Champions: The Revival; No. 1 contender: TBD
- 24/7 Champion: R-Truth (NEW); No. 1 contender: everyone
- Raw Women’s Champion: Becky Lynch; No. 1 contender: Natalya
- Women’s Tag Team Champions: The IIconics; No. 1 contenders: Asuka and Kairi Sane (SmackDown)
Detailed “play-by-play” of the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:
- Nine 24/7 Champions crowned in one night — Drake Maverick pinned R-Truth, who then got pinned by Pat Patterson, who then got pinned by Gerald Brisco, who then got pinned by Kelly Kelly, who then got pinned by Candice Michelle, who then got tapped out to by Alundra Blayze, who then sold the title to Ted DiBiase, who then got pinned by Drake Maverick, who then got pinned by R-Truth. All within three hours. Did you follow all of that? With so many legends back, you knew some 24/7 shenanigans were bound to happen. That’s what we had tonight, and it was fantastic. The 24/7 title continues to be a highlight of Raw.
- Bray Wyatt attacks Mick Foley — The best use of a former legend happened when Bray Wyatt surprise attacked Mick Foley in the ring, making him pass out to Foley’s own submission, the mandible claw. Two-straight weeks of Wyatt attacks being perfect, in my opinion. With Finn Balor’s immediate future in WWE uncertain, it’ll be interesting to see what Wyatt does as we close in on SummerSlam.
- Becky Lynch and Natalya brawl — I’m still not thrilled with this feud, but at least they’re trying to build some animosity up between the two. They ended up brawling on a “Moment of Bliss,” selling their hatred even more. I’m confident these two can put on a solid match at SummerSlam, but I wish Lynch had a bigger opponent for one of the “Big Four” PPVs.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW:
- Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns had a solid match. These two usually put on good matches, and this was another example of that. These two can essentially feud whenever they want to, which is a good thing.
- Seth Rollins had a good promo after it started off with child-like humor. The intense Seth Rollins is better than the toilet-humor Rollins, in my opinion. He did a good job of selling the upcoming match against Lesnar at SummerSlam.
- Stone Cold Steve Austin may have been legitimately drunk for the final segment. It was a weird way to end Raw, but pretty much the only way it could end too given the “Raw Reunion” theme.
- Rey Mysterio did the Rob Van Dam hand gesture before hitting a frog splash — RVD was ringside — and my heart was full in that moment.
SCORE: 6/10. Doing this type of show leading up to one of the “Big Four” pay-per-views was strange. The legend cameos were fun, don’t get me wrong. But this episode should’ve been a month ago. All in all, it was better than the 2009 Raw, so it gets the win this week.
OVERALL SCORE: 2019 — 16; 2009 — 13