The photochemical generation of highly rotationally excited diatomics affords us an intriguing way to study energy relaxation processes in solution. Because excited products involve only a single intramolecular degree of freedom and because their relaxations can lie well outside of the linear-response regime, it may be possible to infer detailed molecular mechanisms for these processes just from transient absorption measurements. In this paper we describe a theoretical study of the rotational relaxation of a new candidate for such measurements, OH radicals. Much as we saw in our previous studies of rotationally hot CN radicals, molecular dynamics simulations of OH relaxation predict that the rotational motion should trigger a structural change in the surrounding solvent, decreasing the rotational friction and allowing the OH to rotate coherently for a dozen rotational periods. The mass distribution in OH, however, gives it a much faster rotational period and significantly different kinematics. These differences end up making it possible to identify the separate molecular events taking place at the onset of the relaxation (an unusual occurrence for a liquid-state process) and to weigh in on what collisions are really like in a liquid.