Welcome to week 36 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.
Both Raw’s are in their “go-home” shows as 2009 heads into Breaking Point, while 2019 is ready for Clash of Champions.
September 7, 2009 Raw in Chicago, IL
- 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: MVP and Mark Henry
Detailed “play by play” of the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:
- Bob Barker was the best guest host so far — Simply put, Bob Barker was the best. He may not have done anything overly serious, but the things he did were hilarious. He hosted a Price is Right spin-off called “The Price is Raw.” His interaction with Chris Jericho during this was iconic, and Santino Marella, Jillian Hall and IRS all played their roles well. Jericho won a DVD! Santino a trip to WrestleMania 26! Barker also punched Chavo Guerrero in the cut and karate chopped him in the back. Iconic stuff from Barker.
- Randy Orton stands strong heading to Breaking Point — The ending of this show was wild, with DX beating Orton and Chris Masters in a tag team match. Legacy, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase, then ran out to start attacking DX. This went all the way to the parking lot, with it appearing the show was over. However, back in the ring, Orton started cutting a promo on John Cena when the No. 1 contender ran to the ring. After Cena got the upper hand to begin the brawl, Orton hit a vicious DDT and then an RKO on to a steel chair to head into the pay-per-view strong.
- Mark Henry and MVP both defeat their opponents for Sunday — After Jericho won the DVD, he and MVP had a fun rematch from last week’s show. The crowd was white hot for this, and the MVP victory was well done. Later in the night, Henry beat Big Show in a body slam match. Anytime someone body slams Big Show, it’s impressive. So, both challengers for the tag titles won their matches against the champs this week. Surely that means they’re winning at Breaking Point, right!?!
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW:
- Hornswoggle/Chavo Guerrero/Evan Bourne was funny again. I used to roll my eyes with the Hornswoggle/Chavo stuff, but now I’ve just accepted it for what it’s worth: a cheap laugh.
- No divas match tonight. Even for this era, that’s rare. Don’t recall that happened so far.
- A commercial ran for next week teasing Batista returning to announce a “career altering decision.” Hmmmmmmmm.
- Trish Stratus will be the guest host next week. Awesome.
SCORE: 7.5/10. This might be where some nostalgia comes in, but I absolutely had a blast watching this episode back. The Barker/Jericho interaction is legendary and the show was just fun overall. More guest hosts need to be like Bob Barker. The in-ring content was also strong and the end of the show was well done. All in all, a strong output from 2009 this week.
September 9, 2019 Raw in New York, NY
- Universal Champion: Seth Rollins; No. 1 contender: Braun Strowman
- United States Champion: AJ Styles; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Raw Tag Team Champions: Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman; No. 1 contenders: Bobby Roode and Dolph Ziggler
- 24/7 Champion: R-Truth; No. 1 contender: everyone
- Raw Women’s Champion: Becky Lynch; No. 1 contender: Sasha Banks
- Women’s Tag Team Champions: Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross; No. 1 contenders: Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville
Detailed “play-by-play” of the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:
- Stone Cold stomps a mud hole, raises some hell —For the second time in six weeks, Stone Cold Steve Austin made his presence felt on Raw. He moderated a contract signing between Rollins and Strowman before hitting a stone cold stunner on an interrupting AJ Styles. He then came out after the main event 10-man tag team match — more on that later — to drink beers with the winning team. This was a perfect use of Stone Cold, as he gave all the fans the “greatest hits,” so to say.
- Baron Corbin advances to the King of the Ring finals — The biggest in-ring development came with Corbin defeated Ricochet and Samoa Joe in a triple threat match to advance to the finals of the KOTR tournament Sunday. Most assumed either Ricochet or Joe would advance after how their match ended last week, but it was not to be as Corbin pinned Joe following Ricochet hitting a 630 splash onto the Samoan Submission Machine. There’s a general feeling of apathy towards Corbin, but he’s a very good heel that people hate to see have any sort of success. He has a chance to become “King Corbin” Sunday.
- Cedric Alexander pins AJ Styles — As mentioned, the main event will come back up. That’s because Alexander pinned Styles to cap off a 10-man tag match to end the show. The only current champion without an announced match for Clash of Champions is Styles. One would assume he’ll face Alexander on Sunday for the U.S. Championship.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW:
- The four horsewomen — Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks and Bayley — had a tag team match that was a lot of fun. It was almost surreal to see it happen after wanting it for years, especially with Bayley as a heel and Charlotte a babyface. Charlotte beat Bayley, giving her momentum heading into Clash of Champions.
- NBA player Enes Kanter won the 24/7 championship, only to lose it 22 seconds later to R-Truth. This makes Truth a 15-time 24/7 champ. He’s closing in on Ric Flair and John Cena!
- Another good Firefly Fun House episode aired. It’s crazy how these have remained fresh and exciting over the past four months. I remember being so confused when the first one aired. Now? It’s something I look forward to every week.
SCORE: 7/10. This was a good show, don’t get me wrong. The return to Madison Square Garden was long overdue. The matches were solid and the interactions with Stone Cold were good. I have to give the slight edge to 2009, though, because it was a lot of fun overall. Everything on the 2009 show was enjoyable, where there was a segment or two in 2019 that were just time wasters. That’s why I give 2009 the slight advantage this week.
OVERALL SCORE: 2019 — 21; 2009 — 15