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Please click through for the vintage Best and Worst of WWE NXT season 2, episode 10, originally aired on August 10, 2010.
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.
Last Night On Raw: Summerslam 2010 Is Going To Be Important
The first month or two of The Nexus was special. They were a group of young wrestlers making a true impact on Raw and Smackdown. Veterans and announcers are always talking about how you’ve got to make an “impact,” but if you make an ACTUAL impact, everybody turns on you and tries to kick you out for not respecting tradition. You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. It’s never been fair, and it’s ultimately reliant on the whims of one probably-senile old man.
But yeah, the match was supposed to be 7-on-7: the Nexus vs. John Cena’s Secretly Formed Super Team. The Nexus was smart, though, and took a two-pronged preemptive attack on Cena’s team by worsening the personal and trust issues the team already had with one another and sneak attacking whenever they could. By the middle of this episode Edge and Chris Jericho have quit Cena’s team and The Great Khali has been jumped and injured, making it 4-on-7.
The main event of the show was a lumberjack match between Edge/Jericho and Cena/Old Man Cena Found At The Comic Book Shop. When Cena gets tossed out, the Nexus attacks him. When Jericho gets tossed out, they leave him alone. They’re smart, and they only need to start shit with the guy they’re wrestling at the pay-per-view. LOGIC, Y’ALL. The problem is that Wade Barrett’s ego occasionally overtakes logic, so when Jericho accidentally hits him, he orders the Nexus to attack EVERYBODY. That leads to a big 4-on-7 brawl, with Edge and Jericho realizing they’re ALSO boned if they don’t stop the Nexus and rejoining to make it 6-on-7. It’s exciting.
The other story is how Cena and Bret want the hottest guy on the show at that point — The Miz — to join Team WWE. The problem THERE is that The Miz is a total piece of shit and wants them to beg him, and even then won’t make his decision until the day of Summerslam. That becomes a story on NXT, with Miz telling his old tag team partner John Morrison that he’ll join if Morrison kisses his ass about it. That leads to a match between the two, and wow, wrestling stories are pretty good when they layer themselves and make sense.
I won’t spoil the SummerSlam main-event for you here, but I’ll give you two preview points:
1. John Cena is the worst
2. The 7th member of Team WWE is a lot better than The Great Khali
Worst: John Morrison Is Real Bad
Everything bad I say about Kofi Kingston is just residual rage from how bad John Morrison was.
He’s one of those guys WWE fans will tell you was great, because he was athletic and could do parkour. He WAS athletic. He COULD do parkour. What he couldn’t do was believably wrestle, EVER, and he had probably the worst offense in the history of the company. Consider: the C4 (aka “front flip and I’ll try to hold onto you), the breakdancing leg drop that took away the gravity and force that makes even bad leg drops believable, the springboard kick that was 1% kick and 99% leg slap, the Starship Pain that always missed by a minimum of a foot or that standing shoot star press (pictured) that connected with his hand and part of his forearm. I think “Moonlight Drive” was the only decent move in his arsenal, and that was just an upside down McGillicutter. That was his BEST MOVE.
He also had no idea how to sell anything. Watch him in this match, holding his arm to his side and cradling it, then popping back to life and harmlessly throwing clotheslines with it. Watch him hold his back like he’s about to die, then do a springboard kick followed by a bunch of sweatless taunts. The problem was some combination of bad acting and being in too good of shape to believably express “pain.” I don’t know. I’ve never known.
Miz beats him here because The Miz was great in 2010, and about half a year from his momentum ending brain wobbling.
Best: Lucky Cannon Gets Eliminated And Loses His Goddamn Mind
Jump to the 4:10 mark.
I never realized until now that the Bo Dallas gimmick isn’t “motivational speaker,” it’s “Lucky Cannon being eliminated on NXT season 2.” It’s eerie. Cannon gets eliminated and Striker asks him about his thoughts, so he does this great Nic Cage-style “I’m not gonna FREAK OUT” freakout. First, it’s a speech about how he hopes everyone’s been enjoying NXT season 2, with Husky Harris running through walls and a giant talking about mustaches. Then he starts insulting people to their faces, calling Percy Watson a poor imitation of Charlie Murphy and Kaval a “9-year old boy who sounds like Barry White.” Then he goes BUT LIKE I SAID THANKS FOR THE OPPORTUNITY THANKS EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU.
It’s such a sincere moment of mental illness I can’t even explain it properly. Just another part of the enigma that is Lucky Cannon, a man with amnesia who might’ve lied about everything he’s ever done and got two almost shots at WWE stardom.