By Will Pruett
Will Pruett watches the 90 minute Hulu edit of Raw because it’s better.
I felt some feels during the Raw Women’s Championship match between Charlotte Flair and Bayley. Here is a semi-comprehensive chronicle of them:
- Excitement: Whoa. This is the Raw main event. I’m super glad the women get to main event Raw on a regular basis. WWE is really doing well to position them as main eventers, especially on the Raw side.
- Confusion: Remember that whole Emmalina/Emma thing earlier? What the cuss was that? What did we all do to deserve that awkward two minutes?
- Joy: Seeing Bayley hug young fans during her entrance is the greatest thing.
- Concern: Charlotte has lost the title on Raw three times. They wouldn’t do this again, right?
- Anger: I strongly dislike commercial breaks during important matches. It takes away the “anything can happen” feel of professional wrestling. During commercial breaks, only headlocks can happen.
- Amazement: How did Charlotte get the height and rotation to do a Moonsault off the barricade and onto Bayley? That was amazing (thus the amazement).
- Questioning: This is going long and getting really good. They might actually pull the trigger on this Bayley win. What happens if they do (at this point I quickly wiped away a tear and tried not to think about it too much)?
- More Amazement: The near fall after the top rope huracanrana was quite good.
- Befuddlement: Dana Brooke hasn’t been around for months. Why did she just pop back up here? I’m confused.
- Delight: We don’t see wrestlers rush to save their friends when interference is happening. This is especially true in the main event scene. Sasha Banks rushing to Bayley’s aid was necessary.
- Elation: What the heck? They’re going to do it! The crowd is going insane for it! Screw it! It’s Bayley’s time! (This is around the point Bayley hit the Belly-To-Bayley and I decided to enjoy the experience.)
- Heartfelt Happiness: Bayley is one of the best characters WWE has created in the last decade. Seeing her get this moment at the end of Raw is truly awesome. She deserves this title win. She deserves to be WWE Raw Women’s Champion.
- Worry: Is Bayley just going to drop the title in a rematch at Fastlane? Something about that doesn’t feel right at all. I know they love the “Charlotte: Queen of Pay-Per-View” monicker, but how often will the sacrifice big babyface moments to a desire to further it? How many times will Charlotte lose, then immediately win, the championship?
- Introspective Unease: Will there ever be a point where major moments for the Bayley character don’t make me cry? Will this mean I’m numb to all feelings? Is this even a place I want to be?
- Slight Disappointment: Seeing Bayley win the title here was awesome. The match was good. The moments leading to the end worked. This was a good main event match and a good moment, but it could have been so much more. I had hoped to see Bayley’s first title win happen like her NXT Women’s Championship win. I wanted the big build up and the journey. I loved this moment, but it wasn’t everything I wanted it to be.
- Acceptance: Much like going through the stages of grief, I understand that wrestling will not always use or have the specific storytelling beats and elements I want to see. I was really lucky to get to experience Bayley’s journey on NXT. We all were. The main roster is a different beast altogether. Bayley has so much more story to tell and more evolutions to undergo. This is a chapter in the story and a true accomplishment for the character. I could sit around being the worst form of critical, or I could acknowledge the flaws and move on. I’m going with acknowledge and move.
- Confusion: Seriously though, what the frick was that Emmalina thing?
And now for some random thoughts:
– Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho broke up. Unlike the main event match, this left me feeling an awful lot of nothing. Count me among those who hasn’t found Chris Jericho’s 2016 evolution all that fun. The list didn’t do it for me. The “drink it in man” moments weren’t enjoyable for me. I can see and, occasionally, appreciate the humor, but it didn’t actually make me laugh.
– I’m honestly surprised the break up of Owens and Jericho happened here. I expected this on one of the Raw episodes following Fastlane. Jericho and Owens as a team seemed like the only threat big enough to give Goldberg any sort of challenge at Fastlane. Now, with this break up already happening, WWE has to get to WrestleMania for this actual match. It felt a little too soon.
– I hope this is the end of silly list-holding Chris Jericho. I’m more than over it.
– Kevin Owens looking like a remorseless monster after a chat with Triple H is interesting. Samoa Joe is Triple H’s other star on this roster. Could we see an alliance of some kind between Owens and Joe in the future? I’d be cool with this sort of team.
– Speaking of Samoa Joe, how great was his sit down interview with Michael Cole? Joe seemed poised, confident, and remorseless. It was a great portrait of Joe as a character. Slipping a line in there about Sami Zayn was another nice touch. WWE fabricated a feud between Joe and Zayn completely logically in two segments. This is why I get so upset about poor storytelling. This wasn’t a challenging thing to do and WWE knocked it out of the park. Please do more good storytelling like this.
– Let the record show that I predicted Gillberg on Dot Net Live yesterday afternoon.
– As good as most of Raw was, the opening segment and match with Roman Reigns against Gallows and Anderson was pretty bad. Reigns still feels like a very limited talker. Stephanie McMahon wasn’t at her best here. Seeing one main event star beat up the Tag Team Champions, even if he isn’t pinning one of them, is disappointing. WWE showed a true lack of forethought here.
– Braun Strowman is still a monster. I like this.
– Mark Henry probably shouldn’t wrestle anymore. I don’t want to be mean, but it’s hard to watch him in the ring and enjoy it. His body doesn’t seem up to it.
– What in tarnation was the whole Emmalina thing though?
Got thoughts on this show or my review of it? Hit me up with them! Check the Twitter @wilpruett, leave a comment, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.