Welcome to week 37 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.
September 14, 2009 Raw in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- WWE Champion: John Cena (NEW): No. 1 contender: TBD
- United States Champion: Kofi Kingston; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Divas Champion: Mickie James; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Unified Tag Team Champions: Chris Jericho and The Big Show; No. 1 contenders: TBD
Detailed “play by play” of the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:
- Batista is back — Batista appeared to be retiring due to injury when he shocked the world, taking his arm cast off and attacking Randy Orton in the ring. The two then had a no holds barred match later in the night, which Batista won in pretty quick fashion (with some help from John Cena, of course). Batista also announced he’s going to SmackDown, so this will be the last time we see him on Raw in 2009. It’s always good to see wrestlers come back, and the fake injury swerve is always good for a pop.
- Alicia Fox becomes No. 1 contender for the Divas Championship — She defeated Gail Kim in a solid match. We didn’t appreciate Kim enough during her time in WWE. She’s a fantastic athlete and a solid in-ring worker. I wish we could take her and Beth Phoenix and put them with the 2019 roster. Alas, her and Fox had a fun match that featured some good spots from both.
- Matches announced for Hell in a Cell – The inaugural Hell in a Cell pay-per-view is coming up, and two HIAC matches were announced on the show: Cena vs. Orton for the WWE Championship and DX vs. Legacy. Both of these matches make storyline sense, as they’ve both picked up wins against each other in the last two PPVs. Their corresponding Cell matches should be fun.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW:
- Trish Stratus was a good guest host. She even wrestled, pinning Phoenix in a six-person mixed tag match. Always good when former wrestlers can come back and perform in front of the fans.
- Chavo Guerrero quits trying to beat Hornswoggle after losing to him again. So finally, this feud is over.
SCORE: 7/10. This was another strong performance from 2009. Most episodes recently have been enjoyable, and the guest host thing has worked more times than not. Batista coming back was nice to see and it’s a bummer to see he’s going to SmackDown now.
September 16, 2019 Raw in Knoxville, TN
- Universal Champion: Seth Rollins; No. 1 contender: Bray Wyatt
- United States Champion: AJ Styles; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Raw Tag Team Champions: Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode (NEW); No. 1 contenders: TBD
- 24/7 Champion: R-Truth; No. 1 contender: everyone
- Raw Women’s Champion: Becky Lynch; No. 1 contender: TBD
- Women’s Tag Team Champions: Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross; No. 1 contenders: TBD
Detailed “play-by-play” of the show here.
THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:
- The Fiend strikes — We are less than three weeks away from Bray Wyatt being the Universal Champion, and it is glorious. Raw ended perfectly this week, with Wyatt attacking a returning Kane (more on that later) before staring down Seth Rollins in the ring. The lights, the music and the presentation of Wyatt was fantastic in the closing moments. The series of Firefly Fun House segments throughout the night were also fantastic, building to the end of the show. Wyatt vs. Rollins was officially announced for Hell in a Cell, and I cannot wait for this matchup.
- Baron Corbin is the King of the Ring — If you had told me before the KOTR tournament started that Corbin would emerge victorious, I would’ve slapped you into the middle of next week. When his match against Chad Gable in the finals ended Monday, though, I could do nothing but applaud. Gable and Corbin put on a heck of a match, telling the ‘David vs. Goliath’ story to perfection. Corbin winning is a definite shock, but KOTR winners usually work better as heels than babyfaces. Where this will go with Corbin is still to be determined, but at least he put on a barnburner of a match to win the crown.
- WWE Draft coming Oct. 11 and 14 — Finally, the wild card rule will be abolished. WWE announced they will be holding a two-night draft on Friday, Oct. 11 and Monday, Oct. 14. This is in conjunction with SmackDown moving to Fox on Oct. 4. This will make the rosters brand exclusive again, and thank god because the “wild card rule” has been pretty dumb and not followed at all. I’m excited to only have to follow a certain number of superstars instead of all of them now.
ANALYSIS FROM REST OF SHOW:
- Glenn Jacobs, a.k.a. Kane, won the 24/7 title from R-Truth at Neyland Stadium. R-Truth then proceeded to win the title later from Jacobs at the arena. Then Jacobs, dressed as Kane, came down to the ring and took out the OC, Ziggler and Roode, who were assaulting Rollins in the ring. Then, of course, the fiend attacked Kane. Not a bad night for the Knox County mayor!
- Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks was confirmed for Hell in a Cell. It’ll be the second women’s HIAC match of all time. This makes sense given how Clash of Champions ended. This feud has been strong so far, so I’m not complaining about it going a little longer.
- RUSEV IS BACK! It’s just a shame he’s being thrown in a really dumb storyline apparently. Maria Kanellis had a “gender reveal” party for her new baby, but that wasn’t the only thing revealed. She also said the father was Ricochet — which angered Mike Kanellis. After Ricochet beat Mike in a match, Maria came out and said Ricochet isn’t the father, but actually it’s Rusev. We haven’t seen Rusev since WrestleMania, so this was a pleasant surprise. He attacked Mike and then beat him in a match. So yay, Rusev’s back! This story appears to be dumb, though, so we’ll see where it goes.
- A vignette for the Authors of Pain aired. Remember them? Let’s hope this is the start of something new for the former NXT and Raw Tag Team Champions.
SCORE: 8/10. This was a really strong episode of Raw, with the KOTR finals and Wyatt stealing the show. Numerous storylines were advanced and it was just an enjoyable show start to finish. All in all, one of the better Raw’s of 2019.
OVERALL SCORE: 2019 — 22; 2009 — 15