Every time I've seen Rock live he misses pretty bad with his "punches". If the camera is in the wrong place you notice it, otherwise they cover it up by the angle its shot from. Angle's, on the other hand, look good even from a few feet away.
Everything Kurt Angle does in the ring, much like Bret Hart, seems real. It's even better the the other sells like hell, like yesterday on RAW when Angle hit the Olympic Slam on HHH and H had conlvusions and everything.
I don't remember the date, but Jericho and Angle beat RVD down with extreme prejudice in a tag match a while ago. What a great match. They kept trapping him in the corner and shoulder blocking him. It almost looked like a "punishment" match, but of course who knows. Maybe Angle's stuff looks real because it is. Unlike Rock, he's not "playfighting". He's taken something legitimate that he was great at and added some stylistic flourishes, and that legitimacy shows through even in new things he's had to learn like pulling punches.
The problem is Rock gets into this quick fourpunch, spitfist, superpunch routine. Well, he just kind of does it, and expects the other guy to sell it no matter how close to each other they are. Rocky just needs to work on his positioning. Maybe acutally try doing that punch combo on a punching bag or something.
I like Rock's punches because he at least makes a sound (granted, it's his other hand slapping his thigh) other than a foot stomping.
Speaking of punches though, it's funny as hell that Benoit is my favorite wrestler and offhand, I can't remember how good his punches were. It's probably because I missed them while cringing at his chops and kicks.
Anyway, my vote for best punch is Kurt Angle.
I'd vote for Bossman as the worst, but I've actually seen him throw one or two that didn't suck. I'd also guess you want to decide the male who throws the worst punches, so that eliminates Lita, Jeff Hardy, and arguably Chyna. So I'll just cop out and say Matt Hardy.
No matter how bad things may get, just imagine what would happen if Vince Russo was booking again, and you will feel better.
Actually, Raptor, I've always been pleased by the Matt Hardy punch. In my view, he throws a better right hand than most of the roster. But getting back to Angle, one of the things that impresses me the most is his strength. I mean, I understand that lifting and throwing opponents in pro wrestling requires the partnership of the lifted with the lifter. But he makes it look so natural. Particularly when he stops an opponent's momentum off the ropes and turns it into one of his over his head, belly to belly plexes. The opponent is rarely in a position to keep his movement forward with the stop, so it must be mostly Angle. I mean, most of the guys who impress you with strength have accompanying mass or size (ie, Kane or Big Show). But Angle is legit at or about the traditional cruiserweight cut-off of 225, and he can just chuck people. Not just those within about 50 lbs of his weight (HHH, Austin) but much bigger opponents like the aforementioned Kane and Big Show. Am I off-base in this? I know very little about freestyle wrestling, but I'm guessing that training to throw opponents who are fighting your movements, instead of the pro's "following" the move has a lot to do with him developing the necessary strength, plus the accompanying technique and timing... it's probably instinctual in Angle to a degree it's not in most other pros, which may be win part why he rose so darn quickly. Just a theory, though...
"Come to the Dark Side... You Know You Want To!" The Evil Buddha, spreading Alcoholism, Bad Humor and Chaos since 1971
I agree with what Excaliber was saying. Most of the (a) list for RAW are involved with the wrestlers and getting them over. In fact, if it wasn't for Bischoff, do you think Sean Morely would be over if it wasn't for his role as Bischoff's lackey?