All day long I’ve had people asking me, “When is the Best and Worst of Raw going up today?” They can’t wait to hear what I have to say about last night’s show, because it featured one of the most unexpected, revolutionary moments in recent memory. If you like wrestling, it’s all you’ve been able to talk about since 11:15 last night. It took me from then until now to put it into words.
But I’m going to try.
So without further adieu, I present to you the coolest thing I’ve seen on Raw in years.
Kelly Kelly won a submission match!
Best: Kelly Kelly Edited Her Submissions Before This Match
Kelly gets a double best (one for each Kelly) for making the ugliest acceptance face ever when she found out she was having a submission match against Nikki Bella. This seemed like the only legitimate Raw Roulette wheel spin of the night, with “Pillow Fight” or some sort of old people food in a children’s swimming pool affair as the obvious Diva choices. I was hoping we’d get “first blood” or like a Coal Miner’s Glove match (that could end with Nikki Bella being bitten by a snake), but submission was good. That’s a good match stipulation, because it adds a layer of storytelling without seeming stupid (something on a pole match) or unnecessary (Evan Bourne and Sin Cara having no count-outs, because those guys are always getting counted out).
Kelly has been stepping up her game recently, even replacing her “anybody female can seemingly do it” cartwheel back elbow with a “very few people can do it” Pleasing Stink Face, so I had visions of Joshi sugarplums dancing in my head. I worked through it in my brain, watching Nikki trying to apply a Spider Twist near the 15 minute mark, only to have Kelly valiantly fight to the ropes and come back to win at just over 22 minutes with a Sol Naciente Kai. We’d usher in a new status quo for mainstream women’s wrestling, Portia Perez would sign a WWE contract and we’d have arm-trap kneelifts and guillotine chokes on every episode of Raw.
Instead, we got a Bella working a Fujiwara armbar for 76 seconds of a 78 second match before tapping out wildly to the first Boston Crab in the history of Kelly Kelly. That graphic is the only way to explain it. Nikki, if you can’t take more punishment than that, you may have epidermolysis bullosa.
Worst: Whatever, I Do What I Want!
Women on WWE television are only allowed to speak as though they are on stage at the Jerry Springer Show, responding to insults from the holier-than-thou studio audience. Watching the Bellas walk up the ramp making “loser” gestures on their foreheads and screaming “IT AIN’T OVER! IT AIN’T OVER!” was sad, and the only things sadder than Kelly holding the belt over her head and responding with five or six “WHAT’RE YOU GONNA DO HUHs” were Eve Torres’ elbow strikes. All it needed was somebody to yell “you don’t know me”.
And while we’re on the subject of Eve and her elbows, holy sh**, here, let me teach you how to throw a Diva elbow strike over the Internet. Punch forward. That would hurt somebody, right? Now punch downward. If somebody was below you, sure, that would hurt them. Now try punching downward, but move your upper arm like you’re trying to punch forward. Congratulations, you are Eve Torres, and you didn’t need OVW and four years of experience to learn her one f**king move.
Fall off of something backwards and you’ve learned the other one.