Best/Worst: The Power Of The Punch Competition
Sadly this competition does not involve William Regal hitting people in the face with brass knuckles. It’s a punching contest built around one of those novelty boxing games you see nobody playing at Dave & Buster’s, where you punch a punching bag as hard as you can and it gives you a three-digit “power rating.” It’s a fun concept, I guess, but there are three major problems:
1. These machines don’t accurately read how powerful your punch is. It’s all about how you hit it. That’s the rub of the game. You can go nuts and hit it with a truck and get a 200 if you don’t hit it square. At the same time, you can put your hand on it and shove it and get 700. It’s measuring the speed of the bag going backwards up into the machine, not the impact of the strike.
2. If you have your announce team test out the machine beforehand and film them getting relatively high scores, it’s gonna make your wrestlers look like the weakest people in history. Like I said, you can hit it super hard in the wrong spot and get a low score. That’s fine if you’re hanging out with your brother-in-law and drinking rum runners at the arcade restaurant, but if you do it on a WWE show you’ve now got Michael Cole screaming I PUNCHED HARDER THAN HIM. Spoiler alert: this happens. A lot.
3. Wrestlers aren’t really trained to punch the shit out of things. I don’t know if you’ve seen Secrets Of Pro Wrestling Revealed or what, but it’s not totally on the level. A guy like Husky Harris has been throwing worked punches since birth. Of COURSE he’s going to instinctively hold back a little throwing a big haymaker on the wrestling show.
So! All of those things are true and happen and ruin the Power Of The Punch. Sorry, everybody.
Best: Michael Cole, Though
He basically ruins the entire competition by not being an incompetent puncher, but I’ve got to give a Best to Cole for his Power of the Punch Competition gear. Cole, Josh Mathews and Matt Striker show up to demonstrate this thing on video in an empty arena. Josh is in basic dress clothes and Striker’s in a t-shirt and jeans. Cole is wearing a Miz t-shirt, a John Cena headband and armband set, John Morrison sunglasses and a toy WWE title. To throw a punch. Before he throws his ONE PUNCH he does the LeBron James pre-game powder toss, pumps his fist up and down and makes choo-choo noises. After all of that, he scores a respectable 728.
Josh throws a punch and gets 806, so Cole storms away, and you’re thinking, “the announcers got between 7-800. I bet Husky Harris gets 1000!” You think that.
Worst: Jamie Keyes Is Ring Announcing In A Video Game
Jump to the 2:50 mark on the video at the top of the page. Listen to how Jamie introduces the NXT Pros and Rookies. She sounds like she’s prerecorded all of her dialogue and they’re splicing it together like they do when you make tag teams in video games. It’s THE WORST.
“THE SELF-PROCLAIMED CO-WOMEN’S CHAMPIONS, LAYCOOL! … AND! … KAVAL!”
The good news is that her ring announcing career lasted about three more episodes.
Worst: Let’s Expose The Business!
Aside from Cole’s constant “I did better than THAT” taunts, there are two moments that really stand out in terms of things you shouldn’t say on a wrestling show:
1. Lucky Cannon throws a big goofy overhand punch and almost falls over. The announce team: “Has he ever punched anyone in his life?”
2. Husky Harris throws a worked punch, complete with a big yell of BAOOM! “Oh my God, he almost whiffed, by the way.”
I wanted Cole to start yelling “DID YOU SEE THAT?? HE STOMPED WHEN HE PUNCHED! HE DID THAT SO IT’D MAKE A LOT OF NOISE!” It reminds me of that wonderful WCW hardcore match where Tony Schiavone throws everybody under the bus with a well-placed comment about how aluminum trash can lids “don’t hurt, they just make a lot of noise.”
Best: Trios Action
The only rookies-related match on the show is a six-man tag between the remaining crew, teaming up Kaval, Percy Watson and Lucky Cannon against Husky Harris, Michael McGillicutty and Alex Riley. In theory, the Riley/New Nexus team should’ve rolled, but Kaval dodges a McGillicutter, crunches McGillicutty in the corner with a John Woo dropkick and doublestomps him for the pin. It’s a strong win for Kaval on a show without any and a rare loss for McGillicutty, who I guess did not impress anybody with that match I liked against The Miz.
A supplemental Best goes to the announce team for explaining that this was a rematch from the previous night’s Raw, and explaining that it ended with Sheamus showing up and burying Kaval as hard as possible. I’m giving that a Best because of the clear exchange of information, and because I erased that from my brain and plan to never revisit it.
A supplemental Worst goes to people who don’t want to take Kaval’s doublestomp. I mean, I get it. If you don’t want to take it, that’s cool. It probably sucks and hurts. But if you’re not going to take it, don’t still try to work it into the match … here, McGillicutty is CLEARLY not game to eat the move, so Kaval just jumps as high as he can and lands with his feet on either side of McGillicutty’s shoulders. A big, wide-legged stance. The announce team’s all DRIVEN THROUGH THE CHEST OF MCGILLICUTTY but no, he just Earthquake Taunted him from the top rope.