Welcome to week 32 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.
Here we go with another fun week of SummerSlam-related shows!
August 10, 2009 Raw in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
- WWE Champion: Randy Orton; No. 1 contender: John Cena
- United States Champion: Kofi Kingston; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Divas Champion: Mickie James; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Unified Tag Team Champions: Chris Jericho and Big Show; No. 1 contenders: Cryme Tyme
Detailed “play by play” of the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:
- Gail Kim becomes No. 1 contender for Divas Championship — In a surprisingly good match, Kim defeated Alicia Fox, Kelly Kelly and Beth Phoenix to become the top contender to Mickie James’ title. The match only went five minutes, but it was jam-packed with action and some cool spots. The crowd was also into it as well, creating (maybe) the best Divas match I’ve watched in all of 2009.
- DX is back — A series of videos ran throughout Raw of Triple H trying to get Shawn Michaels to come out of retirement and re-form DX to take on Legacy, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. HHH found Michaels working as a “chef” in a cafeteria of a corporate building. After much convincing — and being treated horribly by a little girl — Michaels decided to un-retire and reunite DX. All three of these videos that ran during Raw were hilarious and the type of humor you expect from DX. They will face Legacy at SummerSlam in Michaels’ first match since WrestleMania 25 against The Undertaker.
- “Calgary Kid” wins contract-on-a-pole match — The “Calgary Kid’ defeated Eugene — yes, that Eugene — to earn a contract for Raw. After the match, though, the Kid took off his mask and revealed himself to be The Miz. After being “banned” from Raw last week, Miz is back on the show. This was expected, but it was still funny to see it play out. Also Eugene came back!
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW:
- The two main matches of the night — Randy Orton vs. Big Show and John Cena vs. Chris Jericho — were fine. Both had non-clean finishes, which you expect given all four are either champions or No. 1 contenders. A tag match of Cena and Orton vs. Show and Jericho was made for next week’s go-home Raw before SummerSlam, which could be a lot of fun. Cena and Orton hit this combo RKO move on Jericho to end the show, though, which was fantastic.
- Slaughter was the guest host and took a dump on Canada. It was funny both times he did it. The second was especially cruel, as he teased Bret Hart coming out — only for Jim Duggan to walk out instead with an American flag. Slaughter didn’t do much else other than these segments, which was probably good given how much of Jeremy Piven we saw last week.
SCORE: 7/10. This was a really fun show. Canadian crowds always deliver, and this was no exception. The in-ring work solid, especially the women’s match. Slaughter was fun and storyline development wasn’t hindered because of the guest host. All in all, a strong showing from 2009 Raw.
August 12, 2019 Raw in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- Universal Champion: Seth Rollins (NEW); No. 1 contender: TBD
- United States Champion: AJ Styles; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Raw Tag Team Champions: Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows; No. 1 contender: TBD
- 24/7 Champion: R-Truth; No. 1 contenders: everyone
- Raw Women’s Champion: Becky Lynch; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Women’s Tag Team Champions: Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross (NEW); No. 1 contenders: TBD
Detailed “play-by-play” of the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:
- Sasha Banks is back … and makes a statement — Talk about a return. Banks interrupted Natalya’s promo about her father’s, Jim Neidhart, one-year anniversary since his passing. After Banks hugged Natalya, she threw a forearm into her face and starting attacking Natalya’s injured arm. Becky Lynch ran out for the save, but Banks destroyed her as well. “The Boss” walloped Lynch with a chair multiple times, making it clear that she wants a shot at the champ. This was executed to perfection and the crowd was white hot for it. Heel Banks is the best Banks, and it looks like we’re getting it again. Awesome, awesome stuff.
- King of the Ring is returning next week — YEEESSSSS. King of the Ring, one of WWE’s best tournaments, returns starting next week for the first time since 2015. A total of 16 competitors — eight from Raw, eight from SmackDown — will compete in the tournament. While the most recent KOTR winners (Wade Barrett, Sheamus, William Regal) didn’t do much after winning the tournament, KOTR has served as a platform to launch superstar’s careers (SEE: Stone Cold Steve Austin). The eight superstars from Raw competing are The Miz, Ricochet, Cedric Alexander, Samoa Joe, Dre McIntyre, Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn and Cesaro. I’m excited.
- Braun Strowman saves the Universal Champion — The main event was Rollins vs. Styles. Naturally the match ended in a disqualification with the rest of the OC, Gallows and Anderson, interfered. Ricochet came out to help, but he also was taken out by the OC. That’s when Strowman came out and cleaned house, taking out all three OC members. Afterwards, Strowman handed the Universal title belt to Rollins. Could Strowman be next in line for the top prize on Raw? Is he going to face Styles for the U.S. Championship? There’s a few avenues WWE could take with this. I’m looking forward to it.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW:
- After weeks of brawling, Alexander and McIntyre had a fantastic match. McIntyre damn-near killed Alexander with the claymore to win a highly-competitive, back-and-forth contest.
- Rey Mysterio and Andrade once again had a fantastic match, with Andrade winning two-straight falls in a 2/3 falls match. Afterwards, Mysterio cut a semi-cryptic promo about his family. Is this the end of the line for Rey Mysterio in WWE?
- R-Truth entered the night 24/7 champ. He then lost it to The Revival, who became the first co-champs. Truth then re-gained it to become a 12-time 24/7 champ. He then lost it to Elias, who’s now a 3-time 24/7 champ. The PG Hardcore Championship never fails to disappoint.
- Cross and Bliss have already defended the women’s tag titles twice, including defeating the Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) on Raw. I’m intrigued to see how long this title reign lasts.
SCORE: 7.5/10. There were some lows on this show, but the highs were so good. The Banks return was perfect, the crowd was hot for Strowman and the in-ring matches were really solid. For those reasons, 2019 gets another victory over 2009.
OVERALL SCORE: 2019 — 19; 2009 — 13