Festival of Friendship – A Raw Recap for February 13th, 2017

Tonight’s Raw came to us from the T-Mobile Arena Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s one of my favorite arenas and where they held last years Money in the Bank.

Overall, it was a great Raw with a few really good wrestling matches.  Zayn Vs Rusev was a particular highlight of the evening for me.  Unfortunately it’s eclipsed by one very big event in the history of wrestling.

The Debut of Emmalina

Ok. That’s not the event I’m talking about. I tricked you.

But this actually happened, Emmalina did actually appear and cut a promo…where she announced that she’s going to re-debut as Emma.

She basically showed up to acknowledge that the gimmick was stupid and that she wasn’t going to do it.  I think a writer came up with a terrible idea, Vince forgot it wasn’t the attitude era anymore, and was generally surprised by the backlash from the video packages.

Good for them for not going all in on this.

The Hugger Era

In a hard fought match, Bayley comes out on top and is your new WWE Raw Women’s Champion!  It’s a great match and it will probably be on the Top 10 or Top 20 lists for WWE when we get to the end of the year.  It’s probably best to watch the clip.

Nevermind that the booking trend is to give the title back at Fast Lane.  We needed Bayley to win the Championship after watching what came two segments prior.

What came two segments prior?

Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you the…

The Festival of Friendship

As promised, Jericho brings us the Festival of Friendship.  It’s a star-studded affair including:

  • Show Girls
  • Jericho dancing to the ring in a shiny jacket and fedora
  • Friendship, the magician.  He’s a terrible magician that I actually think is someone that works for the WWE and is into magic.
  • A weird statue that’s basically two people kissing.
  • A painting of “The Creation of Kevin Owens”
  • And a returning GILBERG!!!!!!!!

Sure, he can’t display the art in his home.  It’s a little inappropriate for young kids.  And the magician sucked.  And the Gilberg surprise wasn’t as funny as Jericho hoped.  But Kevin did get him something as a thank you.  A new list.  From here, you just need to watch the clip.

Devastation.  Sure, we knew this was coming.  Many expected the betrayal to come in an actual match probably on a PPV.  It was the right call to happen here and it makes the match with Goldberg more interesting.

And now Kevin Owens is getting solidly booed.  He’s a super heel now.  And Jericho is the weird face we didn’t know we wanted.  It’s the Wrestlemania match that I’m most interested in watching in April.

If I was booking Wrestlemania, this would be the main event.

Who’s The Boss?

But back to the main event.  It’s no secret that they’ve been teasing a heel turn for Sasha.  After the Festival of Friendship and with Sasha showing up to hug Bayley in the middle of the ring, people on Twitter were freaking out.  Is this the moment where Sasha turns heel?  Please fade to black.  No one could handle another betrayal tonight.

WWE thankfully put the pause button on that.  I still expect The Boss to be a villain by Wrestlemania but tonight she was truly happy for her friend, both in Kayfabe and shoot.

Everything Else

  • Roman reigns vs the Club – Roman Reigns interrupted Stephanie’s show-opening promo.  What does he get as punishment?  A handicap match Vs. The Club.  It’s an alright match that ends in DQ when one of the guys won’t go back to the apron.
  • Kofi vs Bo Dallas – It’s great that Bo is getting TV time.  It’s got to sting a little to get jobbed out the day after your brother wins the WWE Championship.  In a weird match with the Kofi, he delivers a sweet rope-draped Neckbrecker to Kofi.  And he gets some great heel heat ripping up The New Day’s ice cream blueprints.  But he ultimately loses to a SOS out of nowhere.  And Big E pours Booty O’s in his mouth.
  • Jack Gallagher defeats Noam Dar – A fine match.  This is less likely to be cut as it involves Jack Gallagher, the #1 contender for the Cruiserweight Championship.
  • Strowman Vs. Mark Henry – This is a match that should be cut from the Hulu version but probably won’t.  Strowman eventually takes down Henry for the win.  Roman shows up after the match to try to get at his opponent before Fast Lane. He goes for a Spear but Braun catches him and delivers a running Power Slam, leaving Roman defeated in the middle of the ring.
  • Big Hoss matches continue next week with Big Show Vs. Strowman.
  • Zayn vs Rusev – After Bayley Vs. Charlotte, it was my favorite match of the night.  It was a PPV level match.  After a Helluva kick outta nowhere, Zayn gets the win.  WWE Human Microphone Stand interviews him on the ramp, asking him what he thinks about insults Samoa Joe hurled his way in a sitdown interview with Michael Cole.  After Zayn’s response, Joe’s music hits and Zayn gets attacked from behind and choked out.  Looks like with have Joe Vs. Zayn for Fast Lane.
  • Teddy Long is going in the hall of fame, Playa!
  • Tosawa defeats Daivari while Brian Kendrick is on commentary.  It’s a great match but it will probably be cut from Hulu.  That’s the problem when none of your storylines have any bearing on Raw as a whole.  They are easily cut from the show.  Perhaps that’s one reason they brought in the Cruiserweights?   I love Tosawa though.  He was my favorite from the CWC.
  • Enzo and Cass Vs. Cesaro and Sheamus had the unenviable position of following the Festival of Friendship.  Cesaro gets the pin after a pop-up uppercut to Enzo.