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The brilliance of the Festival of Friendship segment from Raw

The Festival of Friendship was, arguably, the greatest segment in the history of Monday Night Raw. Above is a playlist of three videos spanning the entire segment. Make sure you watch the first two for the proper backstory and set up, but we're going to do a more detailed breakdown of the third video to show just how brilliant this actually was.

0:01: After all the funny gags, Jericho tugs on our heartstrings when he gets serious to tell Owens he's had a great time teaming with him and working alongside him, going so far as to say it's made the past year one of his favorites over his entire WWE career. One of the reasons this worked so brilliantly was that you bought it within the context of the story but if you looked deeper it paid you off even more because it sure felt like Chris Irvine telling Kevin Steen the same thing. That right there emotionally connected every single one of us to this moment.

0:11: The camera cuts to show Owens reacting to Jericho's words and he looks like he feels bad -- he had just questioned what Jericho was trying to accomplish with this Festival of Friendship. Hindsight improves this moment. Did Owens feel bad for questioning him? Or did he, knowing what was to come, feel a pang of guilt for what he was about to do, especially seeing how earnest Jericho was?

0:24: While Jericho is explaining how much chemistry they have and how Owens has made his job here easier and given him so much joy, the Universal champion adopts a stoic expression. It's impossible to read him here. All we can see is that he doesn't look outwardly happy to be hearing this. He maintains this expression throughout Jericho promising he would make sure Owens stays the champion. Knowing what we know now, it feels cold.

0:55: Owens sighs heavily. Is he reconsidering? Or is he just fed up with all of this, eager to get where he’s ultimately going?

1:13: Jericho outright says "you're my brother, and I love you." The camera cuts to Owens and it's as though Jericho didn't say anything at all.

1:20: Owens finally speaks. He apologizes but it's almost like it pains him to do so. He halfheartedly tells Jericho what he's done with this Festival of Friendship is great.

1:36: "I love you too, buddy." Owens hugs Jericho. He doesn't smile. Nothing in his body language suggests his words are genuine.

1:39: The camera moves around to show Jericho within Owens' embrace. He is smiling. He is happy.

1:45: Owens reveals he got a gift for Jericho as well but "it's nothing compared to this." Jericho responds with glee as Owens walks over to retrieve the gift.

1:53: This is a great shot. Owens can be heard sighing into the microphone as someone off screen is handing him the gift he is about to give Jericho, who can be seen in the background breaking into a grin.

2:00: "It's really not much, especially compared to this, but it comes from the heart, man," Owens says as he hands the gift over. Again, hindsight makes that line a real gut punch.

2:05: Jericho starts to thank him for the gift and Owens cuts him off to say "go ahead and open it." This answers are earlier question. His patience is absolutely gone. It's almost time.

2:10: Jericho removes the lid from the box and there is so much joy in his face looking down at what he sees. "It's perfect," he says. "A new list!"

2:19: Owens nods his head and laughs. This is sick. It feels sick.

2:25: As Jericho is explaining why it's so great that Owens got him a new list, he pulls it out and discards the box. As he's doing so, he notices something strange.

2:30: I cannot overstate how great Jericho was here. He appears genuinely confused, like he's trying to piece things together but he doesn't suspect a thing. He wouldn't question Owens. That’s his best friend. He believes this so deeply it never occurs to him that the obvious answer is the correct one.

2:33: He picks the list up to get a closer look and we, the viewer, get the big reveal that on the back it reads "The List of KO." This is an especially amazing moment because we are now aware of what's happening but Jericho is still in the dark, still heartbreakingly ignorant to the mistake of his assumption that he was sharing the ring with someone who loves him.

2:36: The camera cuts to Owens and it's at this point the charade is finally over. Just moments before, he told Jericho he loved him and now his face shows nothing but disdain. He doesn't love him at all. He hates him.

2:37: You can hear the microphone hit the mat just after Owens dropped it. You see him let the Universal title slide off his shoulder. He's a predator, about to pounce on his prey.

2:38: The camera cuts back just in time to see Jericho turn the clipboard over to reveal what we saw just seconds before, the words "The List of KO." He looks over and there's just a second that you see some curiosity mixed with a slight sadness, like even then he's still not sure but that’s only because he doesn't want to believe. But what is true is true.

2:40: Owens attacks.

3:06: The apron powerbomb.

3:15: Jericho rolls on the floor in anguish. He's been decimated, physically, mentally, emotionally.

3:18: The camera moves to show Owens just after all this. His eyes are closed, his mouth open, his breathing slow but deep. He leans against the ring and tilts his head back, briefly opening his eyes to the sky. This is a powerful moment because he expertly conveys just how much relief he got from executing his plan. It's downright orgasmic. He doesn't have to pretend anymore. While he's soaking in the moment, the camera pans to show Jericho still devastated on the floor.

3:31: Referees have hit the scene and Owens slowly looks around. It's almost like he's in a trance.

3:37: He looks down at the referees attending to Jericho and that's what brings him back. His entire face contorts in anger as he rushes over to roll Jericho into the ring.

3:48: Owens stalks Jericho with a look of utter contempt.

3:54: Michael Cole nails the call as Owens picks Jericho up off the floor with, as Cole called it "a look of DISGUST," while shaking his head.

4:01: If there was any doubt left, Owens removed it when, while holding Jericho up by his hair, he looked him right in the eyes and said "I hate you" before throwing his head into the Festival of Friendship sign in the ring.

4:07: Owens holds the Universal title up while looking down at Jericho. The implication is clear -- that title is his only friend.


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