The Greatest Punch
July 15, 2008
I often get asked who I think the best worker in the business is or who is the best promo in our industry and I’m never able to offer a straight clear answer. Classifying the absolute #1 best in the business is damn near impossible to do, there are just too many factors and elements to consider. That being said there are a few elements of this industry where certain people do stand head and shoulders above the rest and I thought it might be fun to look at some of those individuals and offer my thoughts.
As you’ve no doubt figured out from the topic of this article I’m going to take a look, this week, at the best punch in the business, or at least the greatest punch I was ever hit with during my career. In my opinion the greatest working punch I’ve ever taken or witnessed was thrown by Dr. Death Steve Williams. I worked with Dr. Death on 2 WWE house show sometime around 2002 and it was here that I was introduced to his amazing punch.
I was between WWE angles and Dr. Death wasn’t even with the company at the time and I was paired up with him on a house show loop through Louisiana or somewhere. One of the two towns was Steve Williams’ hometown and I think he got booked by Johnny Ace who he worked with for years in All Japan. There was actually a bit of back stage heat over the matches as I was booked to put him over the first night, and had to cheat to beat him the next. A lot of guys thought it was wrong to push a non-contracted guy over a contracted guy, and felt Johnny Ace was putting a friend’s interests ahead of the companies. I pretty much felt the same way, but there was no way I was going to complain about putting over a veteran wrestler like Dr. Death Steve Williams.
To his credit Steve could not have been more professional or easy to deal with and he was actually a lot of fun to put a match together with. I’m not even sure he knew who I was or my work but he extended me a lot of respect and was more than willing to do anything I asked of him. He just seemed happy to be on the show and interested in having the best match we could. He was a total pro, and a really nice guy.
I was first introduced to Dr. Death’s amazing punch before the match even started and I’ve never forgotten it. We were in the locker room going over the match and what we might do and while talking through it Steve got to a point where he said he might throw a punch during this one spot and while he said it, he threw the punch. I wasn’t expecting him to physically throw the punch and it came at me so hard and so fast and made such a loud crack when it hit that it scared the hell out of me. What amazed me even more than the speed and crispness of this punch was that it landed on my jaw with about the same impact as my daughter flicking me with her finger. I was frozen in my tracks dumb founded at what was without a doubt the greatest worked punch I’ve ever witnessed.
During the match we battled on the floor and it was at this point that Dr. Death unleashed his vicious punch. I sold it huge knowing the perceived force behind it and the crowd response was amazing. The punch and the sell was so good that I had several of the boys come up to me after the match to make sure I was okay and prepared to get hot on my behave over Steve Williams working so stiff with me. His punch was so good he didn’t just fool the crowd he fooled 10 and 20-year veterans of this business, who though he was punching me so hard they were getting hot. Now that’s talent and without a doubt the greatest punch I’ve ever had the pleasure of getting hit with.
I never had the pleasure of working with Dr. Death again, but I will never forget that first night and how great his punch was. I likely had over 500 WWE house show matches during my career and of those that match with Steve Williams is one of the most memorable because his punch was that good. If you read this Steve, thank you for the matches and thank you for being such a pro. It’s workers like you sir that gave this business credibility, and believability, and for that I thank you.