JP Prag & James Thomlison
Hidden Highlights 07.30.06: Issue #48 [REPOST]
By JP Prag and James “JT” Thomlison
Hello everyone who has been walking on sunshine, and welcome back to Hidden Highlights!!
Hidden Highlight (n) – a small, hardly noticeable point that makes a big, positive difference. This could be anything from a wrestler putting extra emphasis into his moves to make it believable to a person in the background reacting while not the focus to the cameraman shaking the picture to create an effect. There are just so many unsung heroes of wrestling that it is impossible to cover them all.
Every week we take the top 3 Hidden Highlights from the biggest shows on television (RAW, ECW of SciFi, iMPACT, SmackDown!, and a PPV or television special if there is one). Plus we turn to you, the readers, to let us know all the Hidden Highlights you saw this, last, or any week in history. On top of all that, we explore the other issues that prove why this is the most positive article in the IWC.
And who is this mysterious we, you ask?
First, there is JP Prag who posted In Defense of… Jeff Jarrett (Part 3 of 3). Choke on that, slapnutz!
JT: Well I wa—
JP: I already said slapnutz!!
And then there is James “JT” Thomlison who talked turkey... okay not really turkey, more like movies, with Bryan Kristopowitz in this week's Fact or Fiction.
We bring you Hidden Highlights with one goal in mind: to appreciate all those little things that make a huge difference. JT?
JT: Hello all, and consider yourself lucky if you don’t live in Michigan. It’s been like 173 degrees here all week…
JP: 173 eh? Don’t think that stretching it a bit?
JT: You could be right. It’s been more like 154.
JP: You should see the skeptical look on my face right now. I think the heat you speak of is affecting your judgment. We should get started because this is a packed issue. On with the Hidden Highlights!
Hidden Highlights for WWE SmackDown! Presents The Great American Bash: Sunday, July 23, 2006 by JT
JT: Well, considering we had thirty seven members of the card missing, I think it was a pretty good show. It was definitely good that we at least saw Lashley and Khali. So, we had a great tag match to start (you guys know how I feel about the opening match’s importance), a Diva match that actually gets some love, the first ever Punjabi Prison Match, a very good World Heavyweight Title match, and much, much more!
(BONUS!) Well, it’s the Big Showwwww….’s wife?:
Now, Big Show definitely dominated a big part of the match… and that’s if you only take into account that Taker ALSO dominated a big part of the match. But that’s neither here nor there. What is important is that it was difficult to see with all that cage going on, so it was hard to catch the little things; however: For a quick second there you finally see the Big Show’s left hand in all it’s glory. He is wearing black tape over his wedding ring finger! Now, I don’t know that it’s on purpose, but I do know that he is married. So either:
A. He wears it to show respect to the wife, or:
B. He actually wears the ring and has to cover it up with the black tape.
Either way… Show is looking out for the wifey. Good for him.
JP: Ummm… JT, we talked about this in Issue #3, I believe. And yes, he wears the black tape over his wedding ring. Do you think it’s easy for a guy with a ring that big to take it off?
JT: No interruptions, especially with things that make me look bad!
(3) Check this one out, Prag:
As we all heard week in and week out, Tazz always called Michael Cole "Cole". Yet JBL calls him "Michael". Which got me thinking about JBL's tenure as a wrestler. He never called his opponent's by their last name either (when speaking directly to them). It never Mysterio, Cena, Batista, or Guerrero (unless he was cutting a promo). It was always Rey, John, Dave, and Eddie. Nice little subtlety in his character that he kept consistent in his transition from wrestler to color commentator. You'll also notice that now when he talks about faces, he calls them by their first name (Rey, Bobby, Matt) and the heels by their last (Finlay, Regal, Khali), and of course, gives the official title for his favorite, King Booker. What can you say? JBL rocks on the mic.
(2) MMMIISTAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH K-WHACK!:
As Kennedy came down for his match against Batista, he did his usual shuffling of the Tony Chimmel out of the ring, and called for his mic. Problem was, Batista was already in the ring, and immediately attacked. However, if you glanced at the top of your screen, you can see for a split second that the microphone was indeed coming down. I thought this was a nice touch by whoever is in charge of that thing to help sell that Batista's immediate attack was completely random and unscripted.
(1) The Diva match takes over HH, only no Divas involved! (but they were necessary outlets for the following!):
Honestly, I loved this one. During the four-way Bra and Panties match between the ladies, they found themselves on the outside for practically half the match. During one of those times, referee Chris Cade walks up to them (two girls going at it), and says something to them. Considering the rules of this match, I’m just wondering, what in the HELL exactly is the ref saying to them? He just randomly walks up and starts to bark… what could he POSSIBLY be saying? “Ladies, you both look nice”, or “Ladies, no low blows”, or something...? I don’t know. Michael Cole even said (almost stole it Cole!) “You can see referee Chris Cade floating around the ring… what exactly is his job?”. But I found it hilarious than during all of the diva mayhem, you could just spot the ref come into the picture out of nowhere and start saying random shit to the ladies. Just a little side note on that match, I thought it was great that when Michael Cole called the divas "great athletes", neither men could contain their laughter. Nice job ref, nice job announcers! Nice job all around!
JP:And nice job by JBL on SmackDown! to continue on Michael Cole’s comment about “great athletes”. And then tying it back to Cole handing out with Vito in a dress. But that’s for several sections from now!
Hidden Highlights for WWE RAW: Monday, July 24, 2006 by JP
JP: With a baby being born in Connecticut… wait, do you hear that? What’s that song?
Package stores all close at eight
Malls are full of optometrists
Swimming across Lake Quassapaug
Stealing makeup, catching frogs
Cutting our feet on broken bottles
It’s true for horses, cows and dogs…
I love to listen to classic rock
There’s nothing else to do at all.
Waitin’ to turn into the people
If we can’t afford to buy antiques
I want to climb up the sleepy giant
We’re just fucking all the time.
I wanna listen to classic rock and have sex with you.
We all love to fuck in Connecticut.
We’re all getting fucked in Connecticut.
JT: What the hell? Did you just say fuck and fucking like nineteen times? Do we have a HH holy shit moment!?
JP: No, I did not. I quoted it, there’s a difference. Not actually my words.
JT: Damn. I was going to print and frame this.
JP: Apparently you haven’t heard of Jesus H Christ and the Four Hornsmen of the Apocalypse. Having lived in CT before this, I can tell you no truer words have been sung.
JT: I though we were talking about RAW?
JP: Oh, geez, right!
(3) Where do babies come from?:
Keeping up with our theme of babies in Connecticut, our opening Hidden Highlight for RAW goes to the announce team. Lawler set JR up for doozy when Shawn Michaels entered the ring. The King echoed all of our (non-internet reading) thoughts by saying, “JR, do you know where Triple H is?” JR, of course, is not going to break kayfabe for anything. Instead, he just said, “I can’t say.” That’s right, not that he didn’t know, but that he can’t say. Good choice of words by JR there that held that line between kayfabe and reality.
(2) Hear me roar:
It’s been a while since we gave Mickie James some props, and that just doesn’t feel right. This week on RAW she set me up with a real easy one. After winning the match and bailing the ring, the ref tried to go over and raise her hand. She just started screaming, “Give me my belt!!! Go get my belt!!!” over over again until someone finally got for her and she instantly calmed down and started smiling. Oh that Mickie, always keeping the psycho up!
(1) Fighting for Hidden Highlight dominance:
JT, I’ll actually let you vote on who gets the top Hidden Highlight for RAW this week. The match is between Carlito and Shelton Benjamin, just like on the show. At the beginning of the match, Carlito got Shelton in a quick rollup. But he did not just do that lazy scoop that most wrestlers do nowadays, he actually took the time to get his hands to clench together so that Shelton would have to work harder to kick out. Shelton, not to be outdone, late in the match went for mule kick to take Carlito out. But did you notice what he did? He used THE SAME foot that was already out for mule kick and wrapped it around Carlito’s ankle to trip him up. If that wasn’t enough, he kept his foot wrapped up when he spun for the pin so that Carlito could not go anywhere in an excellent display of amateur style.
So JT, who gets the top kudos?
JT: Well, I’m going to say that’s a damn tough call. Those are both excellent. So, I think we have a Hidden Highlight first. I’m going to give my boy Shelton some love (well deserved), and still let you show your boy Carlito some love. TIE!
Hidden Highlights for ECW on SciFi: Tuesday, July 25, 2006 by JP
JP: Over in ECW land, Kane made his return with zero mention of the man who beat him to rule over May 19th. Or that he is the Undertaker’s brother. So I made up my own storyline in my head about what has gone on over the past few weeks. It was pretty good, so I was entertained.
(3) Rub a dub dub:
During the opening segment, Mike Knox and Kelly Kelly were in the ring giving a promo. First off, I was impressed that Mike Knox thought to hold Kelly’s hand the entire time, even during the video package. So many of these on screen couples don’t do the little touches, they just make out or have live sex shows. Knox was in it for looking like a couple’s couple. But beyond holding hands, he one uped it real quick. Before the Sandman came out, I was watching the two’s hands and I noticed that Knox was using his thumb to rub Kelly’s hand!! Now THAT is putting a little extra detail in your work. That totally made me buy them as a couple more than him, Styles, or anyone saying it a million times. Good work Knox.
Wow, that sounded weird.
In our blooper real Hidden Highlight of the week, we turn to the Balls Mahoney vs. Justin Credible match (poor Justin Credible, doesn’t even get a ring entrance). About halfway through the match, all of a sudden I noticed that the turnbuckle just fell off! And it never got fixed, it just stood in the corner the whole match. Very odd for a turnbuckle to just fall off, but I guess these things happen. By the way, did anyone else hear a faint “T-N-A” chant during this match? And if there was one, what an odd match to start that chant in.
(1) Psychology 101:
Our top ECW Hidden Highlight actually goes to the aforementioned match, but not in the way you think. No, the match may have been between Justin Credible and Balls Mahoney, but the real story was between the ref and Balls Mahoney. The whole match was one little thing after another that built up to the conclusion. First the ref took the chair away and he and Balls started arguing (Balls was confused by lack of chair). Then, every time Balls through a punch the ref was right in his face. At one point I even heard Balls say, “What the hell are you talking about?” And then when Balls was chocking Justin in the corner, the ref started counting and Balls said, “What are you counting for?” I loved it the entire time, Balls completely confused by the rules and the ref being completely straight laced. And once they collided, the ref was done. He say Balls hit Justin with the chair and that was the last straw. You see, it was a brawling match that had perfect psychology. It can be done, especially with a ton of Hidden Highlights!
JT: I’m glad that I didn’t go with my other HH from GAB, because it was the exact same thing, only I was giving love to Finlay and Regal. There were Hidden Highlights all over that match; little thing after little thing that showed you why these guys are A. still around, and B. over as hell. Sometimes, you really do have to give an entire match its own HH, and I’m glad in me not doing so, you kind of made up for it.
Hidden Highlights for TNA iMPACT: Thursday, July 27, 2006 by JT
JT: JP told me that his Tivo cut off the end of the Samoa Joe vs. Rhino match, but that YouTube was a big help to catch the ending. So you can thank TNA again for that one.
(3) The enemy of my enemy is m… ah screw it, Don’t Fire Eric!:
During the three on three match between James Gang/Eric Young and AMW/A1, Kip urged Eric to come in, and despite the screen showing predominantly Kip and A1, you could see Eric hesitantly mouth “he’s my friend”. So, even though they all gave him the cold shoulder last week and even blamed him for the dismantling of Team Canada, he remains loyal because that’s exactly what his character would do. Eric F'N Young.
(2) Ladies and Gentleman, Hailing from some beach in California, Samoa Joe:
During Monty Brown's promo with JB, as he was talking about Samoa Joe, he went to mimic Joe's face. However in the bottom right part of the screen, you could only see about half of his hand but he was in fact doing the "three-fingers-down-pinky-and-thumb-out-shake-the-hand-a-little-that-rocks-awesome-dude-cowabunga" wiggle (hey, I don't know what it's called!) one might equate with a surfer/beach type. Well, this would only make sense, considering that Samoa Joe was raised in Orange County, California; went to high school at Ocean View High, got a degree from Orange Coach College, and now makes his residence in Huntington Beach California. So Joe is certainly no stranger to beaches, and Samoan's are typically thought of as islanders, so this was a great job of Monty showing that he knows his opponent both in and out of the ring.
(1) Remember kids, it’s really a show:
During the X-Division match, Sonjay Dutt hit a back flip off the second rope (after a spinebuster), got the two count on Petey, and Williams kicked out. Williams was then immediately up to take the Enziguri Kick. How? Because as his legs were up (following the kickout), Sonjay slid his hand underneath Petey's knee and rolled him over, giving him momentum to spring up. Nice job by these two of - despite being "opponents" - working well together to ensure a fast paced, entertaining match for the fans.
JP: I like that we have been looking a lot more at in-ring action, and TNA should be getting one every week if they really are the “wrestling alternative”. That’s right, TNA, I just challenged you to always have a great Hidden Highlight moment in a match every week. Do you dare accept?
Hidden Highlights for WWE SmackDown!: Friday, July 28, 2006 by JT
JT: Once again, JBL is awesome.
Cole: Speaking of which JBL, the 2006 Diva search continues later, guess what they’ll be doing tonight?
Cole: Music Chairs.
JBL: Good lord; next it’ll be a spelling bee and they’ll all be gone.
GOLD. He then proceeds to say to Cole – whose talking about athleticism – “MY GOD.. YOU FRUIT BOOTY!”. JBL needs to never EVER leave the announce table. But enough about him. Did anyone else notice the very large Michael Jackson’s face sign that kept popping up? What was that about? Kennedy snuck out another victory, the debut of Sylvester –
*** Program Alert – Program Alert***
Did you just hear that? His amateur record his last two years, 71 – 1… his ONE loss: Kurt Angle in the 1992 NCAA Championships. Lost the match by one point with fourteen seconds left in the match. That’s right bitches. Kurt F’N Angle will fuck you up for real.
***Program Alert – Return to regular reading***
Finlay and Regal got it on once again, Rey Rey got another shot, and maybe most importantly, we got to see Booker TV cut one of the greatest promos I have ever seen! My goodness, I have been a Booker fan for eight years – and I mean a BIG fan – and he just continues to make me mark harder and harder every time I see him!
Perhaps I should stop ranting about JBL and Booker and just get to it.
Oh, and if anyone makes a joke about JT winning the damn musical chairs segment of the Diva Search, I’m quitting.
JP: So, how’d you like winning that musical chairs segment of the Di-
JT: Hey! …her real name is Hannah Lyle… she’s just a really big fan of mine.
JP: Oh I’m sure that’s what it is. Remember that skeptical face I made earlier? Yeah. Now get on with it!
(3) Personal Hidden Highlight!!!:
Well, as I was standing outside in the 390 degree heat three hours before the doors opened for the SmackDown taping at Joe Louis (and on the phone with Csonka telling him how bored and hot I am), out comes Tommy Dreamer to talk with the fans (there’s maybe 150 of us at this point because like I said, it’s ass early). So I walk over, stand about fifteen feet away, and take a picture of him:
So, after I take it, I mosey over to him because the crowd is being very considerate to not hound him or anyth-
JP: JT, are you spending a HH on yourself to tell us about meeting Tommy Dreamer which has absolutely nothing to do with the show itself?
JT: What? …48 issues and *I* can’t get a Hidden Highlight?
JP: Well, I mean you can, but …did it have to be one of the thr-
JT: YES! Believe it or not, it is going somewhere. Sheesh. I’m not completely selfish.
JP: I really hope you have a point to this.
JT: …like the readers mind! They probably feel that we both deserve a personal HH!
Readers: We sure do, JT!
JP: Oh now that was just cheap.
JT: Yes, yes it was. Sorry guys. May I?
JP: As if I have any say in the matter.
JT: Good, now as I was saying:
So everyone is being very short with him as to not pester, so I merely walk up, stick out my hand, he sees me, shakes it, I tell him it’s nice to meet him, and that we appreciate what he does. He thanks me, proceeds to tell everyone to enjoy the show, and leaves.
Now, to the point so that JP doesn’t revoke my storytelling privileges. We saw quite a few wrestlers in the fenced off parking lot, and Tommy Dreamer was the only one who came over and spent some time with us. Now, that doesn’t mean the other guys are bad guys, Lord knows with their schedule, but the point is you never know what is going to happen. We write this column so that people will enjoy watching the show better, but we’ve said it before; if you ever get the chance to go to a show, go. There is nothing like the live experience of a wrestling show that you love. You will ALWAYS get more than you see on television, and it will make you appreciate that show even more the next time that you watch it, because you’ll know that while you’re seeing it on TV, something great happened that you’ll never know about because you weren’t there. It truly is an “experience”.
(2) Finally, we see behind the scenes!:
Now, this is again from being there live, but certainly worthy of some HH appreciation. JP and I are always trying to give some love to the people that you don’t see. The ring crew, the production staff, the cameramen, the prop guy, anyone who makes the show what it is while the wrestlers (and commentators) get all the credit. Well, no more my friends. They finally get their moment to shine! It just so happened that the seats I bought were exactly aligned with the SmackDown! Titantron, allowing me to do two things.
1. Learn that in fact the part of the arena they curtain up is NOT exact with the entrance ramp, and:
2. See both sides of the wrestling world! Not only did I have an excellent view of the ring, and the Titantron, I could actually see what was going on behind it! Production staff, television sets, people walking around, ring crew, folks getting things ready (like King Booker’s carriage), etc etc. You could see it all. Sabu even dropped in a time or two. It was great.
But we’re not here for me; we’re here for them. So, for all the people you never get to see (and really can’t in this picture but that isn’t the point, but trust me, they were there), and all the people working backstage to make the show happen, we finally get to salute you with an ACTUAL VISUAL!
I know it’s not the best picture, but just figured I’d try to do those people some justice and show some of their world, because without them, there’d be no show.
(1) Advertise! Advertise! Advertise!:
As the Miz was interviewing Rey Mysterio in the back, you briefly saw something you do not see very often: something reference the home team of the arena that they are in. I suspect this is done mainly because Vince doesn’t want reminders floating all over his television that his sport is not real. However, for once, they had a small picture of a Detroit Red Wing player behind the Miz with the word “Champions” on it. Remember, they are in Detroit, home of WrestleMania. To me this is a complete subliminal message to remind people that Detroit is a “city of Champions” if you will (at least with the ‘Wings and Pistons, and also crowned the Steelers champs), and why wouldn’t you want to visit a city like that – especially for the biggest show of the year that is a night all about champions. Call it a stretch if you want, but it seems like plain, simple, and barely noticeable marketing on Vince’s part (and yes, he WAS there).
JP: Will you stop putting over your hometown, cheap pop boy? Kidding aside, I especially loved the props for the production crew because those guys work crazy hard and need some serious recognition. So thanks to everyone in production, we do appreciate you!
Reader Write-in Hidden Highlights
Hidden Highlights aren’t just for us to find and tell you about, but for you to spot and share with us. Don’t just sit there and stare, but be a more active, attentive, and engaged viewer. Appreciate all the hard work that goes into making the wrestling we have the privilege to watch and then let us know what you caught this and every week.
This week JP gets to pick our Reader Write-in Hidden Highlights of the week.
JP: I’m thinking of changing the tag line from “The most positive article in the IWC” to “The most reader feedback in the IWC”.
Larry: aha-aha-AHa-AHAHA-HAHAHAHAHA-HAHAHA-AHa-Aha-ahaha-ah… oh man that was funny.
JP: Does NOTHING get past you? Anway, <B>*GENERAL WARNING*:</B>: some parts of the following Reader Write-in Hidden Highlights may be edited for grammar, spelling, and English translation…
Starting us off this week is Zack Rizza who wants to go back a few weeks of his own:
My HH is a little passed and I didn't get to see if you guys talked about this or not. It happened during the Umaga-Cena impromtu match.
When John Cena went for the 5 Knuckle Shuffle, he only went off of one set of ropes (If I'm correct, he usually bounces off two sets of ropes). Why? Armando Alejandro Estrada moved over to the other side of the ring waiting for him. Great awareness on Cena to stop.
JP: No, we didn’t talk about it, so that makes it a great catch. It’s never too late to get these things in! Speaking of Cena, Dave T. found one from a place we’ve never featured:
An unusual Hidden Highlight for sure, but as I was wasting my time watching 5 Questions with John Cena from 7/21/06 (and as with EVERYTHING nowadays I watched carefully for highlights...you bastards) I realized that when Cena was mentioning his favorite action figures/toys and such he said something to the effect of "I loved wrestling action figures and I was a huge mark for G.I. Joe..." I just found it interesting that they occasionally slip up on these things and use IWC language...even if Big Show recently pulled the same stuff with Khali ("I'm here to put you over...")...a ploy maybe? I don't know, just figured I'd point that one out.
JP: Cena always does the slips of IWC language in these special bits. I remember on Excess he used to do stuff like that as well. Cena is truly a student of the game, which makes me feel sad that so many IWC smarks hate him. The truth is, Cena was a smark, too, and then did something about it. So while 99% of smarks will not leave their computer chair (present company included), this man went out there and lived his dream. Major props. Speaking of props, up next is the return of The Whole F’n Hidden Highlights Reader:
Found something quite amusing about the Great American Bash. As many of us know the Bash is a former WCW PPV. A lot of thing had to do with WCW during the Bash.
All of the members of the king's court used to be in WCW and are involved in the PPV.
The US title is a former WCW belt and is being defended at the show.
The cruiserweight title is being defended at the show which is a former WCW belt
Gregory Helms is a former WCW star and defending the former WCW belt at the show.
Big Show is a former WCW star and was involved with the show.
Undertaker was in WCW before coming to WWF.
The world title looks exactly like the WCW world championship.
King Booker won the world title (a replica of the WCW WT)
Rey Mysterio is another former WCW star.
The show ended up having a bit of a WCW feel. I don't know if this stuff was on purpose or by coincidence-dink or both. Tell me what you guys think.
JP: I’ve actually been getting that feeling in a lot of SmackDown! segments. Not all of them, but a lot of them, especially those involving King Booker. As a huge WCW mark, that type of stuff makes me smile. Also, think of who the road agents are, and who is the head of talent relations. There is a lot of WCW in the WWE now. Just not usually where it counts (in the ring). Speaking of King Booker, Allthetime46 wants to chastise us:
On the Smackdown before the GAB, when Booker "ahem" King Booker was coming down the entrance way he held his hand out to a female fan and she touched her face on both sides with his hand. I can't believe you didn't have that one. It was funny and fit the King Booker persona perfectly! Lol!
JP: I did notice that one, too, and how King Booker in general has been interacting with the fans. The man is coming into his own, and I hope they don’t job him out for the title until at least the Rumble. There is so much for him to do as champ. He was just getting rolling as a top champ when WCW died that he never got that long awesome reign. Please, just let him keep the title! And since we can’t get off King Booker, how about the lovely Queen Sharmell? Oh, that came out wrong. Please Isaac T. Yarrell, help me out here:
A quickie, Sharmell’s dress had a chess piece KING design, maybe everyone saw it because I immediately saw it, and laughed my butt off. Clever dressing in supporting her man.
JP: She’s been so good too! And don’t forget that Sharmell was a former WCW Nitro Girl (Storm) and then became the wrestler Paisley. More evidence! All right, enough Sullivan family love, where is Cath with some love for me?
I just saw something cool on Raw this past week. As Nitro was attacking Flair on the outside, Edge was distracting the ref. While he was wailing away on Naitch, Nitro stopped and looked over his shoulder, making sure the ref was still distracted. By checking on the referee, Nitro was able to get a few more shots in before tossing Naitch back into the ring. It was just a great display of old school heelery.
JP: That is way cool stuff, and I think I caught it, too. I’ve been liking a lot of Nitro stuff recently, and have a feeling I’ll become a full-fledged mark for him in very short order. Up next i—
JT: Wait a minute, something’s not right.
JP: What are you talking about?
JT: You didn’t hit on her! You ALWAYS hit on her.
JP: Well, I guess I should return the favor.
JT: What favor?
JP: You see, her letter actually began with, “Real life has had the audacity to keep me too busy to show you guys some love.”
JT: You know what, I can see where this is going, and you should just move on.
JP: Oh, why thank you! Cath, we’ll chat later… over breakfast.
JT: FOR PETE’S SAKE! YOU LO—
JP: Whoops, time to move on. Up next is our regular Mike LaFave with a few jewels I took from his e-mail(s):
Did you guys notice on the Titantron the big apple that shows up when Carlito makes his entrance? No big deal right. Well, did you notice it winks!!! Dat's cool!!!
The match it's self is prob the best match those two have had together, and they've had a ton. There is a point in the match where Carlito is still selling the arm injury. He tries to make his way to the top rope. Shelton does his usual single leap to the top rope. But he is about to lose his balance when he grabs Carlito's hair. This works in both real world and kayfabe. In the real world, Benjamin was about to mes sup one of his signature moves and possibly hurt himself, so grabbing a hold of anything to avoid that and in the process NOT make it look bad is amazing. In kayfabe terms, Carlito is known for his hair, it's one of the many things that make him so cool. Shelton grabbing the hair while making his trademark leap killed two birds w/ one stone...plus it was just a cool sight, I watched it several times in a row!!! Now dat, dat's cool!!!
I have a Hidden Highlight for Randy Orton. He interrupts Hogan and does his normal stuff. Then Hogan starts to give the young Orton a verbal lashing, camera cuts to Orton and he's looking at his watch!!! What an arrogant disrespectful move from an arrogant disrespectful character, Orton might be the best in the WWE w/ playing his character.
JT: The apple winks? Now dat… dats cool.
JP: LaFave also picked up on the Shelton with the leg thing that I mentioned earlier, among other Carlito, Flair, Edge, and Cena ones, but dude, I have to give some other some space. Also, I too love when a show flows together and everything interconnects, which is exactly what happened on RAW. That John Cena summation was good stuff. Speaking of regulars, here’s someone we’ve been seeing a lot of, Pokemasterkatie:
JP, an advanced 'you're welcome' for the two Carlito related HH!
-During the week of the 4th of July, there was an ad for a wrestling house show coming to the Cape. One of the big names advertised was Aaron 'Jesus' Aguleria! Remember him? It instantly made me smile because it reminded us of who he was in the WWE. I did not go to the show, BTW.
-Wondering what Triple C was saying in Spanish to Trish? I didn't (and a damn shame on me for not understanding it, because I took Spanish in Freshman year), but one of my internet friends happily replied that--though flustered at first--Carlito was asking Trish out on a date! That's very cool!
[In a later e-mail Katie added:
A bit more translation for Carlito's Spanish reveals that he must really be in love with Trish(then again, isn't everyone?): "You are my whole world."; "If you were mine, the things I would do for you..." Make sure not to lose this one just like you did the last two wrestlers, Trish! (That'd be Chris Jericho and Christian, of course)]
-Christian clutched his cross necklace to his heart as he was apologizing to Sting. CONTINUITY!
-You probably caught the 'undisclosed location' for Eric, but I'll mention it anyway. Poor guy just doesn't want to lose his job, and needs a hug for trying so damn hard and succeeding in getting a big fanbase.
JP: Actually, I was more interested in proving to JT that more than one lady writes in on my week to answer mail. Plus, I do remember Jesus. Imagine if Jesus and B2 fought? That would be great! Also, Carlito was talking way too fast for me to do the Spanish translation in my head. Continuity to my HH? Nice! I did catch the Undisclosed location, but so did Mike Tenay. Damn announcers doing my job (more on this later).
So you are out on the Cape, eh? I’ll be in Massachusetts for a while starting August 14th. More details in In Defense Of… this week!
JT: Did you just flirt with her and plug your own column in three sentences?
JP: Yes, yes I did.
JT: You’re incredible.
JP: Why thank you!
JT: That wasn’t a compliment.
JP: You know what… stop interrupting!!! Besides, Josh Lankton is ready to move us on to ECW:
Short, sweet, and to the point this week. During the Big Show vs. Kane 'Stats Display' where it shows height, weight, and whatnot I noticed that they had Kane as hailing from Death Valley. That's exactly where The Undetaker used to be billed from during some of his earlier years and since Taker and Kane are 'brothers' storylinewise, I thought this was a good way of continuity (I know you love me, JP) in the long past previous storyline between Kane/Taker.
JP: This was part of my imaginary story I mentioned earlier. Thanks for bringing in the proof! Finishing us off this week is Riston Simon with my other favorite subject… RETAIL:
I was browsing WWE.com and happened to come across their poll for Randy Orton Merchandise. Now the designs are fine, and I'm a fan of Orton, however, I noticed something about one of the designs that made me chuckle a bit.
Now, a mulit-million dollar company like WWE should not have this issue, and yes, we're all human and we make mistakes, but hell, they got people I'm sure they pay to make sure mistakes don't happen. Atop that, II hear they also have people who are hired to make sure the people that make sure that mistakes don't happen are doing their jobs.
Somehow however, this particular APPROVED design somehow managed to slip through the cracks. Notice where the slogan says "Born Better THEN You" rather than "Born Better THAN You" like its supposed to.
JP: OUCH! Well, it’s not like anyone cares about correctly using the English language anymore. Actually, people want to spel wurdz the wae thae sound. Gross, but true!
Before we go, Adam McCain you do not get into the article just by offering up your sister to me. Or did that just work? Damn it! What I meant to say was yes, I like that they are announcing the Highlanders as 34 stone, but I haven’t mentioned it because JR actually pointed out the Hidden Highlight in their first week, and I hate when JR steals my lines.
JT: Good stuff as always you loyal subjects, but Dude, where the hell is bed sheet guy!?
JP: If you’d stop interrupting me every three seconds maybe you’d see!!!
JT: …carry on… for now.
Do you have a Hidden Highlight from this or any week in history that you would like to share? Please e-mail JP..erT…er…us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts! Send them by Friday afternoon to be considered! And remember, they can be from any show, live or taped, or any house show, or anything you saw… we just like to know!
Ask <del>411</del> Hidden Highlights
JP: Since JT started turning this place into the Ask411 B-team, I figured we’d open up the forum. We got the question last week what did the “CM” in CM Punk stand for. To answer that first was Cyrus Krapf-Altomare who said:
Hey there. Love the column, and I can help with the CM Punk. I don't have the details, but it stands for Chick Magnet. It's an old gimmick of his back in the Chicago area. He kept the CM when he lost the gimmick, because it sounds good. He has been known to avoid the question, and come up with answers when people ask him like "championship material".
JP: On the same note is Edward Broadhurst with:
Just to help clarify something here. I just recently found out that the C.M. in CM Punk stands for "Chick Magnet". And considering the girls he's dated in pro wrestling (Maria, Tracy, Daffney), you can see why. But it traces back to it being one of CM's nicknames when he was younger. Keep up the great work, and BRING BACK JERICHO! (Not you guys, but Vince. Well, Jericho HH's would be fine as well)
JT: More on that very thing later Ed.
JP: Chad Smith throws in a few more thoughts on this:
C.M. = Chick Magnet.
The most widely-believed theory is that Brooks was in a tag team early in his backyard wrestling years called the Chick Magnets, although Dave Prazak has once said it stood for Chuck Mosley. Another common belief is that the C.M stands for "Clean Made" due to his straight-edge gimmick and actual lifestyle mixed with the typical stereotype of a "punk".
Wiki is your friend. Oh, and the Pepsi Plunge? SICK.
JP: Slightly more confused is Martin Kjeldbjerg (who’s name confuses me):
Just some quick info on the C.M. Punk thing, I just read it somewhere recently. He changes his answer all the time in interviews, sometimes stating that it stands for Charles Montgomery (Burns) , but originally its Chick Magnet, which is also verified by one af his previous promoters, I think he was in a tag team, with the other guy also being called C.M. something...
JP: Ian Colwell adds:
Just finished reading this week's column, and I thought I'd chime in on LaFave's question about CM Punk. It was actually covered in Ask 411 about a month ago, but lucky for you guys, my memory is that good.
The link to the article is here:
If you search the page for the word "Punk," you'll find it. Basically, this guy says that he was one of a few who came up with the name, and the "CM" stands for "Chick Magnet."
Well, that's all I got for now, just filling you guys in.
JP: That makes me feel even worse for answering it because it was in the real Ask411. Then again, I’m still pissed at Chris Clarke for his comment on Mike Awesome. In short, it wasn’t that Mike Awesome couldn’t just leave for Japan, he had a family that he wanted to be with and other American commitments. The money was about his family, and Heyman was wrong for lying to people and hiring them when he couldn’t pay them. Also, the jump was a once in a lifetime opportunity to kick off Russo’s new reign. If he missed it, there would not be another chance, bottom line. Also, Awesome did offer to the job at a house show before Nitro, but ECW would not air the match until after Nitro, so the WCW brass put the kibosh on that. They did not want one of their superstars showing up on another show later in the week losing. So I guess it is totally selfish that he wanted to get paid for his work, not screwed over and lied to, and support his family with a once in a lifetime opportunity. Most selfish thing I’ve ever heard.
JT: Woah… calm down big guy. We’re positive here, remember? Do you want to do Ask411?
JP: Hell no! That’s the hardest job on the planet. But I just want WHOEVER does it to just state facts and stop putting questions about their personal preferences. Write Truth-B-Told if you want to rant forever on something, not Ask411.
JT: Ouch. You didn’t even link him.
JP: Fine, fine, I’m in good spirits. I actually really enjoyed Bayani’s column this week, so he deserves props. It was my favorite issue he’s written, seriously! Go check it out.
Operation: Hidden Highlights UPDATE
JP: In our continued efforts to get a “This Sign is a Hidden Highlight” sign on TV, we have got this submissions:
Beware beware........ I am going to make sure HIDDEN HILIGHTS goes INTERNATIONAL. I'm not talking on RAW, ECW or SMACKDOWN......... I'm talking about Unforgiven here in Toronto this fall! I plan on bringing a bed sheet spraypainted to the 300 level which I'm in the 1st row. The sheet shall say:
THIS SHEET IS A HIDDEN HILIGHT!
Cross your fingers! — Colin
JP: Awesome! Keep trying folks! Hidden Highlights are everywhere, just not on a sign caught on camera!
JT: Awesome? Keep trying folks? That’s all we give this man. He is breaking out a BED SHEET and attaching it to the RAFTERS of an ARENA! Shit, my email response to him was longer than that!
JP: Don’t be silly JT, everyone knows we don’t answer our emails.
JT: ……..well, still! Can Colin get no more love for this!?
JP: FINE! Colin, you are absolutely amazing. Your idea is beyond wonderful and you will forever go down in history as the man who broke the “we can’t get on TV” barrier. Good luck brother. In fact, if you get it on TV, I’ll name my first child aft-
The Real JP: Woah! Let’s not get carried away here.
JT: You’re right. That was a bit much. Point is we’ve now spent two minutes talking about Colin, so that’s some love! Good luck Colin, despite our constant – and pointless – babble, we really do appreciate the effort man.
JP: Just one thing, though, please spell HIGHLIGHT correctly. Just like Chris Jericho, we use the full word.
JT: See, I told you there would be more Jericho later!
That Other Section
That Other Section is an idea, a free forum where we get to explore the other bits of positivity in the universe. Sometimes, though, it might not exist at all. Hey, if we don’t have anything to talk about, why force it?
This week, JP has something for That Other Section.
JP: JT you know I’ve been covering for you not having those One Night Stand I Hidden Highlights that you promised weeks ago.
JT: What about those Chris Benoit DVD Hidden Highlights that you promised?
JP: ……………… touché.
JP: But that still doesn’t get you out of the doghouse with the readers.
JT: It doesn’t get you out of the doghouse either.
JP: Hmmmmmm… I guess you’re right…
JT: Of course I’m right, I’m JT!
JP: That’s an argument for a different day. What we need is something to buy us some time.
JT: How much time?
JP: I’m thinking like… seven weeks.
JT: Seven? Why seven? That’s kind of a rando… oh! Oh! I see where you are going with this!
JP: Good, then shut your mouth, because this is now a teaser!
JT: A teaser for what?
JP: Good JT.
JT: No, seriously, what?
JT: What is it?!!!
JP: Errrr… next week, the secret seven week project revealed!!!
JT: Well, you may think you one upped me, but I actually have something for the Other Section to fill the people’s time until next week!
JP: You do?
JT: YES! Which means the joke is on you, BROTHER!
JP: Hmmm… this isn’t really how I saw this going down when I pictured it in my head.
JT: Exactly! Now, readers, disregard JP’s shameless attempt to get out of this section, and enjoy a little TOS goodness:
That Other Section… For Real
This week, JT (apparently) has something for That Other Section.
Hidden Highlights Hall of Fame Remembrance: A year later: Chris Jericho:
As SummerSlam draws near, there has been some Jericho talk of late. As we all know, last year at SummerSlam, we saw Chris Jericho's last match - a match for the WWE Title against John Cena - which was easily my favorite match on the card. And with SummerSlam on the mind, and Jericho on the mind, the Hidden Highlights Hall of Fame popped into mind. I wondered, "why him?". What about Chris Jericho made him pop into my mind when I thought about our first inductee? What was so special about him that I barely even considered anyone else after his name was in the running? Had I jumped the gun on our inaugural inductee?
So, in the spirit of SummerSlam, and the spirit of Chris Jericho, I decided to use that very match to attempt to find what exactly it was that makes people love Jericho so much. I mean, sure, we have the obvious. The man was an exceptional wrestler who could go a-thousand-and-four holds with you, or brawl it out with the best of them. He was great as a heel, he was great as a face, he was great as a tweener. Put a microphone in his hand, and that man could capture an audience into the palm of his hands - be it to make you love or hate him - like few men have ever been able to do in the history of the sport.
But like I said, these are all the obvious things about why he's great. That isn't what I was looking for. I was looking for something extra, something undeniably unique, something - dare I say - <i>hidden</i> about this man's mystique that made us hold him in such regard. It was with that mindset that I went back (as I had already watched it for a related 411 project) and watched the match again.
**Please bare with me as this is choppy and in spurts. Please keep in mind that it is that way because I'm trying to convey what I was feeling the first time I saw it, not watching the replay.**
So, the entrance. Jericho came down, while he always gets a little love, he was getting serious boos from the crowd. I want to be bummed at this point, but I convinced myself that there was no way I wasn’t going to enjoy possibly the last time I ever see Jericho on my television. He gets to the ring, and gives a look to the crowd that I swear read “I’m taking this all in because I’m GONE”.
Enter Cena. Most of the crowd is hype. You have the first hints at the crowd turning on him, but nowhere near the levels it eventually grew. At this point, he was the face everyone loved (which is an accomplishment considering he was coming off burying Christian which a lot of people didn’t like and thrown right into a feud with a fan favorite in Jericho).
The usual face to face, meh. Who cares. We know who’s winning… right?
I notice that JR keeps mentioning that Jericho has the advantage if he can keep it a wrestling match, which they are doing to this point. I also notice that Jericho is still receiving boos for offense. JR even mentions him beating both the Rock and Stone Cold in one night, something that plants the seed of doubt in my mind, only I wasn’t aware of it at the time.
Outside brawling action, which can be considered nothing other than typical to try and get the crowd into it, but as we learned later, that was help the crowd didn’t need. Still back and forth between the two, and there are no cheers and boos at this point, only mutual cheers for both men trying to put on a great match – and we’re only five minutes in.
For most of the next three minutes or so, we’re getting typical reaction, but there seem to be a few fans seem to be turning towards Jericho’s side, because despite being the heel, he’s putting on a damn fine show offensively. He’s doing the little things to sell a smart, strategic beat down. He finishes that off with a Suplex off the top ropes, which ends in both men on the mat, essentially wiping the slate clean and making the score nil – nil again.
Cena takes the offensive, which is getting cheered, but you can hear some boos in the background. Why? We know he’s winning. Why boo Cena when he’s doing what he has to do what he has to do? Jericho is leaving…
…and from here, something happens. Cena goes for an FU, and Jericho reverses it into an <i>attempt</i> of the Walls of Jericho. Crowd pops. Much more than before. Cena escapes it. Crowd boos. A bit more than before.
Is this crowd turning? Am I turning? What’s happening here?
Cena chants… immediately following are Let’s Go Jericho chants. Jericho with a major reversal to hit a DDT, and now, …are we starting to reconsider the outcome of this match? I know I am. Some more offense by Jericho, and DUELING CHANTS have broken out. As King put it:
“I think there’s 9,000 Chain-Gangers and 9,000 Jerichoholics! Listen to this crowd!”… I know which side I was on.
The crowd is going nuts at this point. Jericho has the advantage, and I’m almost starting to forget that he’s leaving wrestling. He does a little showboating, and Cena again takes advantage to get the upper hand (a note that Coach said maybe Jericho took a little too much time to appreciate that half the crowd was his, and he WAS… good call by Coach).
We’re again at square one because both men are down and out.
Cena gets the upper hand and the crowd is NOT liking it, nor am I.
I am doing everything in my power to will Chris Jericho on, despite the odds, despite what I know, despite everything. And then it happens.
John Cena is going for the “You Can’t See Me” pre-celebration where he bounces off the ropes, and Jericho pops up and puts him in the Walls.
At this exact moment, I have forgotten everything. I have forgotten Chris Jericho is leaving. I have forgotten John Cena is not losing the title. I have forgotten it all. At this very moment I am sucked in and ready to see Cena tap.
“YOU CAN DO IT JERICHO YOU GOT THIS ONE MAN HE’S GONNA TAP MAKE IT HAPPEN HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!!”
The crowd is going BANANAS. Cena attempts to get to the ropes, and Jericho (a la himself, Angle, Bret, and some others) pulls him right back into the middle of the ring.
At this point, I’m thinking “THE E HAS PULLED A FAST ONE ON ME, HE’S ABOUT TO DO IT!”
Cena eventually/finally makes it to the ropes, and LITERALLY half this arena is for Cena, half for Jericho… and most importantly, ALL of this arena is ON THEIR FEET.
Cena gets the FU a minute later (after a Sulex from the second rope and two count from Jericho), and pins him for the victory.
I’m sitting there (hell, standing) heartbroken. I can’t believe what I just saw. I have just witnessed such a great match between two great competitors, and the man I rooted for didn’t win it.
Wait, the man I rooted for? How could I root for a guy who I knew was leaving the E?
(Back to reality of me watching this match a year later)
...and then it hit me. I thought he was going to win. No, I believed he was going to win. Despite knowing - KNOWING - the outcome of the match, I still believed it. Despite everything I had read, despite knowing he was leaving wrestling, despite knowing there was no possible way he was going to win the title, I believed. In the mere fifteen minutes before John Cena finally got the victory, Jericho had convinced me that the IWC was full of shit, he wasn't going anywhere, he was about to be champion, and my Roundtable percentage had just dropped a little. And it wasn't just me; it was twenty thousand people in that arena and hundreds of thousands watching at home. In today's death of kayfabe era, the ability to play on the emotions of the fans so extensively that we will flat ignore things we knew to be a certainty is one of the most unique, entertaining, and enjoyable talents to be found in a wrestler. With the exception of a few, I'd even say this is a talent impossible to capture in today's wrestling, especially under the circumstances that this match had (Cena being Superman AND Jericho leaving the company).
I had found it. This is what it was. This is what he could do. This is what I was looking for. This is what we loved. Chris Jericho could make your heart believe exactly what he wanted it to believe, no matter what your brain may have already known... ...perhaps that's the biggest Hidden Highlight of all.
We miss you Y2J.
JP: Awwwww. Do you need a hug JT? Are you..? Are you about to c-
JT: NO! Must we ruin the seriousness of each other’s segments so frequently!? I was trying to connect with the people man!
JP: It’s our niche.
JT: I know …but still.
JP: Kidding aside, I’m going to end this with a few words (many fewer than yours): Marking out is fun.
Exit, stage left!
JT: Twenty-two pages AND early? I better get out of here before I get distracted. Have a good week my little Superman Returns fanatics.
JP: Gee, THAT was unique and fit the gimmick.
JT: A man has got to do what a man has to do! Fine, until next time my little chocolate raisins.
JP: Much better. It’s been a great week for me, and it looks to be getting better. Hope you all are doing as well as me!
Thank you for joining us for the forty-eighth issue of Hidden Highlights. Be sure to drop us a line and let us know what you think and all the other Hidden Highlights we missed. Plus, we want to hear your Reader Write-ins for all the moments you see this and every week.
We’ll catch you again next time in the reader approved most positive article in all of the IWC: Hidden Highlights! Until then!