Hidden Highlights 08.27.06: Issue #52 (Part 1 of 2) [REPOST]
By JP Prag and James “JT” Thomlison
Hello everyone who doesn’t plan to be home for more than a day in the next three weeks, 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, defender of truth and currently on In Defense Of… hiatus.
And then there is James “JT” Thomlison, who may have some other articles to write with football and network television seasons starting.
We bring you Hidden Highlights with one goal in mind: to appreciate all those little things that make a huge difference. JT?
JT: I have two fantasy football drafts in two days (you’re all going down staff!), football is two weeks away, and I can legally buy beer. I am a happy, happy man.
JP: JT, aren’t you like 26?
JT: Yup, I was just throwing that in there.
JP: As much as I’d love to let you know you can rent a car without penalty, I must instead say—
JT: Wait, you forgot to say something else first!
JP: What’s that?
JT: HAPPY BIRTHDAY HIDDEN HIGHLIGHTS! One year old today!
JP: And per usual, we have nothing special planned, right?
JT: Ummmmm…. on with the Hidden Highlights!
JT: Too late, I already said it!
Hidden Highlights for WWE RAW, SmackDown!, and ECW present SummerSlam, August 20, 2006 by JP… LIVE!!!
JP: I wonder if the WWWF, NWA, and AWA had a show together if it would be booked like this one? Probably not. Well, I was in the arena LIVE (which I didn’t know I was actually going until the night before) and got a good view of the action. You can read my live notes first, but here are ALL of the Hidden Highlights you missed…
JT: Wait, when you say “all” do you mean…
JP: That’s right! It’s the TRIPLE HIDDEN HIGHLIGHTS OF SUMMERSLAM! Now with picture filled goodness.
(9) Where’s my city?:
First off, you have to know that I just moved back to Boston after two and half years, and I haven’t been to the <del>Fleet Center</del> TD Banknorth Garden since Royal Rumble 2003 (or perhaps it was the Bruins home opener against the New Jersey Devils in November 2003). That said, there are certain things I expect to see that I didn’t. In order to make room for the set and to get the best possible camera shots/lighting, the WWE removed several key items from the roof. This list included all of the banners for the Celtics and the Bruins (none recent) and the giant central-tron and scoreboard (the Dunkin’ Donuts Tron, if you will). I was quite disappointed to see these things missing, but they did replace it with their own banner:
Well, it just goes to show how much extra work goes to setting up an arena before the show even starts.
(8) Who’s line is it anyway?:
With the DQ ended of the King Booker and Batista title match, I looked down at Tony Chimmel to see what he was going to announce. But he didn’t announce anything! I watched him jawing away with Lillian Garcia, but not quite sure what to do next. It looked like no one from the back told him to announce anything, and there was a lot of confusion with passing the mic back and forth, so instead he shrugged his shoulders and just told Lillian to take the mic and prepare for the next match. Being an announcer is hard.
(7) A different type of shower:
Speaking of the King Booker and Batista title match, you probably noticed that as Booker made his way out that he got a royal shower of golden confetti. What you probably didn’t see is what I saw live. All during the match, the confetti continued to float around the arena. Now I was about as far away from where the confetti fell, but even a few pieces managed to float their way just a few rows ahead of me. It was just interesting to watch all the confetti continue to float for the entire time.
(6) You should listen to him:
After the SmackDown! and ECW roster came out and beat down DX, the team all started to return to the back. Now, most people walked by the McMahons without comment, or really just a quick nod. But not cult favorite Mr. Kennedy… Kennedy (you can do the voice in your head, I’m not writing it out). He stopped Shane and Vince and started telling them how good a job he did, asking if they were watching him, etc…. Absolutely perfect little touch by Mr. Kennedy to show that he is always in the moment and in character, even when others are throwing him away.
(5) I serve you in subtle ways:
Back to the King Booker Batista match (what can I say, it was Hidden Highlight gold!). I’m not sure what the cameras picked up, but from reading the reviews it looks like they missed this. We all know that King Booker smashed Batista in the head with the scepter (although you probably didn’t see the head of the scepter flying all the way to the fifth row and some guy catching it). Before that, though, I was watching Sharmelle. She was carrying the scepter around, but when it came time to use it, she crouched down low, hid the scepter behind her back, and quickly tip toed around the ring until she gently PLACED the scepter in the spot that King Booker grabbed it from. Excellent job by Sharmelle with being sneaky even when the cameras were not following her.
Ok, I’m still trying to make sense of the fan reaction during the Cena/Edge match. Any time that Edge had Cena down, 90-95% of the arena would break into a “Let’s go Cena” chant. Then, whenever Cena actually hit a move, 65-75% of the arena would boo. You probably heard that, right? So what’s the Hidden Highlight? The Hidden Highlight is me! I got so caught up in the action and the crowd that even I started booing! And anyone who reads me knows that I’m a Cena mark through and through. Don’t get me wrong, I did want Edge to retain, but I wasn’t about to boo Cena. But I did! The ambient crowd noise around me got me to boo, and I was shocked to hear the sound coming out of my mouth. Crowd/Mob mentality is simply amazing. Peter Kent should do a study on it.
(3) Now that’s a hard head:
Earlier in the evening (the third match, in fact), Hulk Hogan was taking on Randy Orton in a Legend vs. Legend Killer match. As imagined, late into the match Hogan was getting his patented punches on young Mr. Orton. But about the second or third one in a row, Hogan started shaking his hand. I could just read his lips (not literally) as he said, “Man, that kid is hard headed”. Excellent job by Hogan putting that little touch in there to get one more rib on Orton but send his point straight home.
(2) Yes, chant his name!:
The opening match of the night saw Rey Mysterio take on Chavo Guerrero for… uh… honor… or something. Anyway, as with any match involving Rey in the past year, the crowd broke out into a loud “Eddie” chant. Normally, this works quite well to motivate Rey and frustrate his opponents. But it doesn’t work when the man he is facing is Eddie’s nephew. Chavo started motioning for the crowd to continue the chants, and then he brought them into himself. Hilarious moment by Chavo for taking over the chant that was supposed to be for Rey and making himself the receiver of the crowd’s admiration (By the way, Rey was getting some light booing even from his entrance, and Chavo being funny added to those boos. People just don’t like being told who is good and who is bad, especially Bostonians).
(1) Production Notes:
All right, this Hidden Highlight is being given to the whole production team.
There are so many things that you do not see on television, but they happen to keep the show going each and every week. Here are a few examples of what I saw:
(1) The stage area below was actually opaque so you could see the shadows of people inside, running around setting up fireworks and sets, keeping things flowing the whole night.
(2) After the Big Show/Sabu match, a guy came in the ring with a regular broom and started sweeping up the odd bits of tables so nobody would cut themselves on it later.
(3) When Hogan came out and dropped his boa, a lot of little pieces of it fell in the ring. A production guy came in on his belly and picked up all the little pieces in less than thirty seconds, while Hogan continued to pose to stall for time.
(4) There was actually a second ring mat under the first, and the production crew came out after the King Booker/Batista match and removed the whole bloody mat without any lights on them. They snuck it to the back with most none-the-wiser that it even happened.
(5) Speaking of blood, after the “I Quit” match (which from our section it was hard to guess that Foley was protected Melina, but we thought so), a guy came out with a bottle of stain remover and went around the ring to clean up as much as he could in five minutes. That’s crazy work!
This all happened off camera and is something you can only see live. So if you are close enough, give a big kudos to the production crew, because they are on the road all year long, too, doing all the hard work that nobody sees.
JT: First I go to Survivor Series, then you hit up SummerSlam, and next year WrestleMania!? We are an unstoppable force. It’s a good thing Larry’s going to WM as well, because I sure as hell won’t be in any sort of sobriative situation to be submitting a live report! Actually, he probably won’t either. Heck, maybe the three drunk ones with a little help from you can manage to squeeze out a four-man live report!
Hidden Highlights for WWE RAW: Monday, August 21, 2006 by JP
JP: It was the night after SummerSlam and the WWE had to start up a whole new set of storylines. Or continue some of the same ones that have been going on since 1998. Or re-start storylines that finished in 1998. Either way, stuff was happening, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t new Hidden Highlights to see.
(3) It’s like a 1930’s movie around here:
At the end of the Vince and Shane segment at the beginning of the show (you know, when Mr. McMahon was feeling “gnarly”), the camera was waving around a lot. Not sure why it happened, but because it was the boom mic on top of the McMahons actually became visible! I’m always amused by seeing production in action (as you noted above), and I like when little slipups like that become visible.
(2) Arm’s length away:
Melina and Foley were out back talking, so Johnny Nitro had to come out by himself, looking rather distressed. Melina then came running out to catch up to Nitro. But she kept pushing him away, like a girl with a guilty conscious. That would make you think that Melina was falling in love with Foley (something we would learn later in the evening was the furthest from the truth). Melina played that part perfectly, so much so that she reminded me of an ex-girlfriend. She could not have played it better (even if the ending was obvious because of typical WWE-style writing. Like this article says, it’s the Hidden Highlights that make she show enjoyable, not the big stories).
(1) Emulation… dats cool:
After the referee had reversed the decision in the Ric Flair / Randy Orton match, Randy continued to beat down Flair in frustration. And then our hero (or at least mine) Carlito came in to make the save. But did you notice how he made the save? He didn’t do the typical flying clothesline or a punch. Oh no, he hit Orton with a patented Ric Flair elbow! Excellent job by Carlito to show respect and emulation for the legend Ric Flair he was trying to save.
JT: It’s like you find a Carlito highlight every week and then just pick two more.
Hidden Highlights for ECW on SciFi: Tuesday, August 22, 2006 by JP
JP: So are Extreme Bikini Contests fought under Extreme Rules? I guess not since the run-in caused a No Contest ruling.
(3) Run for it!:
During the opening challenge match, Mike Knox, Test, and Kelly Kelly took on Tommy Dreamer, the Sandman, and Torrie Wilson. Torrie started the match by dragging Kelly Kelly into the ring. But Test was able to drag Kelly Kelly to their corner and tag himself in. But Torrie Wilson did not wait a second to run to the corner and tag in one of her guys. Why? Because this was not a mixed tag match, it was a 3-on-3 intergender match! Torrie could easily have had to take on Test if she stayed in the ring. Quick thinking by Torrie.
I thought I noticed this on RAW, but I confirmed it during ECW. In the trailer for the Marine staring John Cena, there was a part right at the beginning where the gas station blew up. I was looking at the price of gas on the sign. Do you know what it was? $1.34!!!!!! That shows you just how long ago this movie was actually filmed, and how long it takes to get a movie from filming to distribution. Very interesting.
(1) You can’t call me that way!:
When Sabu was going on his rampage in the main event, referee Micky Henson came out to take control of the match. Immediately, Sabu went off to the production area by ringside to grab a new weapon. But he was very specific in his choice. He did not pick a chair, the belt, or any such thing. He took the ring bell! And why? So that nobody could “ring the bell” on him! While an outsider may look at Sabu’s actions as generally wild and uncoordinated, a smarter watcher will see that Sabu does everything with reason.
(And yes, I know Joey Styles mentioned it as well, but it was worth bringing up again from a Hidden Highlights perspective. Thanks for reading, Joey!)
JT: Man. $1.34. I think that was deliberately put in there to tease us. Oh, those were the days.
Hidden Highlights for TNA iMPACT: Thursday, August 24, 2006 by JT
JT:</b> The road to No Surrender continues! Shane Douglas has a coronary, Eric Young has the week off (BOOOOOOOOOO!), Raven and Runt continue to challenge Abyss – who subsequently destroyed Riley, Jarrett and Sting make it official, Christian Cage and Rhino can’t make nice-nice, and oh yeah, we have new tag team champs!
(3) Foreshadowing, anyone?:
During the opening segment that always runs, for a NANO-second the LAX logo flashes on the screen. You could literally miss it if blinking. So I went back and checked, and sure enough, it was NOT in there last week. As we all know, LAX ended the show by winning the Tag Team Championships; excellent little subliminal editing by the production staff.
(2) Let’s take a shot at our own:
During the main event (I’m not sure where exactly during the match or what transpired to make him say it. Forgive me, I’m at work.) something occurred which prompted Mike Tenay to say: (of Lax) “[they’re ] more interested in their own agenda as opposed to getting over the product”. Nothing particularly spectacular about this, just thought it was a nice little break in kayfabe to put over the storyline. TNA does this from time to time, and this was one of the better calls I can remember of late (considering most of the time their breaks of kayfabe are to knock the rivals!)
(1) I feel old!:
*cue ‘Circle of Life’ song*
Now, if you already know all of this, please forgive me. I figured some of our younger readers may not remember that far back, and I caught a little something tonight which made me take notice. During the promo clip for the upcoming Sting vs. Jarrett match, all images of Sting were as the current ‘crow’ Stinger... all but one. For a brief second, it showed a picture of ‘surfer’ Sting. Now, I initially thought “how could get that? Doesn’t WWE own all of the WCW archiv-“, and then I remembered. Sting actually started in NWA all the way back in 1987; so while the E might have most of Sting’s career under lock and key, NWA/TNA still owns all the rights to any photos and video footage from the start of his career. On an interesting note, Sting’s first title belt came in NWA in the form of the tag titles with Rick Steiner, brother of Scotty, who Sting is now currently in battle with (via Jarrett). Also, 21 years ago almost to the month, Sting suffered a defeat at the “Superdome Extravaganza” to none other than Chavo Guerrero. So odd to think of where all these man are now in their career.
JP: Ummm… twenty-one years ago Chavo Guerrero was 15 years old. I assume you (and OWW) meant Chavo Classic, right? Especially since Chavo Jr. didn’t make his pro debut until 1994. Just saying. Oh, and I noticed A LOT of “insider” and smark terminology this week on iMPACT, most of it from Don West. He couldn’t stop talking about heat!
Hidden Highlights for WWE SmackDown!: Friday, August 25, 2006 by JT
JT:> I tell you one thing, the E reads me! Kennedy had the fan thingee again, although it was different. Which means the E read me, went out and bought one, and it now travels with them on the road!
JP: JT, I really don’t think th-
JT: Nonsense! It was me I say! Now that I’m done marking, let me get back on track. Terkay continues to dominate, Booker and co. were all over the show, a Vicki Guerrero heel turn, and much much more! (...like JBL!)
(3) The Non Hidden Highlight Hidden Highlight:
Okay, seriously. Hear me out. I just felt that was no way you could overlook the performance by MVP tonight. I mean, here is this young, relatively green guy out there in front of thousands of people, and looking like he’s better than each and every one. The interaction with Vito, the interaction with the ladies, the talking on the cell phone, the laughing, the enjoying himself, all of it. He really was DAMN entertaining. And while nothing he did was particularly hidden, he definitely added to the overall enjoyment of the show. Kudos to the young rookie. I have a feeling we’ll be mentioning him a lot more in the future.
(2) Keeping the talent over:
As we all know, Matt Hardy as of late has been used quite heavily to help get the younger talent over by losing to them (Terkay, Kennedy, etc). Well, last night during their match, Gregory Helms was at the announce booth, joining JBL and Cole.
Gregory Helms: (on the Hardy Boyz) “Jeff Hardy was the sizzle... but Matt Hardy was the steak.”
Put him over as being the better wrestler of the two.
Michael Cole: (during a pin by Kennedy) “Kennedy’s going to <i>steal</i> one here!”
ndicating that Matt Hardy - as the veteran - should win this match and thus is better than Kennedy... and finally:
JBL: “The man has the heart of a champion.”
JBL - who RARELY says anything overly nice about a face - agreed with both men that Hardy was a great talent.
Three nice little comments throughout the match to keep Matt Hardy over knowing he was going to take the loss.
(1) We get along... sort of:
Keep in mind, Finlay and Regal have had to deal with not only joining forces, but with fighting each other as well. During the opening segment with Booker T, yes, they did join him. But they didn’t walk down there together; nor did they get in the ring together. In fact, they got in on opposite sides of the ring. They then stayed on opposite sides of the ring; didn’t acknowledge each other. Didn’t speak. Not even sure they looked at each other. They didn’t even get in the other’s bubble until Lashley attacked and they were forced to take him out. I thought this was a great job by these guys of - despite the fact they can be civil when it comes to being in Booker’s court - showing that there is at the very least some small tension there between the two.
JP:All hail King Booker!!! What? That Hidden Highlight wasn’t about him? We’ll have to make up for that…
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: This week, readers sent in a very different mix of Hidden Highlights, making this a very interesting batch. So, *GENERAL WARNING*:: 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 Theo Fraser with one that definitely only a few people saw:
After attending my first ever ROH show last week (the second leg of the UK tour in Broxbourne) I felt compelled to send in a hidden highlight that made one particular match so much more enjoyable for me.
It's from the 6 man tag match featuring Colt Cabana, Nigel McGuinness and Robbie Brookside against Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli and Chad Collyer. Unless you've been living under a rock since January, everyone knows that ROH and CZW has had a huge feud, and the CZW guys always garner HUGE amounts of heat from the live crowds. The crowd's response to Hero and Claudio at the Broxbourne show was no different, with lots of chants directed at the two guys concerning their sexuality. This included a "Hero's Bitch" chant directed at Claudio, "Hero sucks balls," "Batty Boy...that means you're gay!" and "Hero takes it up the ass!" The Hidden Highlight goes to Hero and Claudio for playing this up at one point during the match. And they had their backs turned to the cameras, so only my section of the crowd saw the little interaction.
Claudio's arm had been worked on for the past few minutes by Nigel, but he was able to tag out to Collyer. Claudio stepped out to the ring apron next to his tag partner, Hero, and Claudio was shaking his arm, selling the effects of Nigel's attack. In a brilliant moment, Hero grabbed hold of Claudio's arm and started rubbing it up and down, helping to alleviate the pain. Hero's expression could be described as being "motherly," and it was just a fantastic way of playing up the crowd's chants about them being homosexual.
JP: Well, I must be living under a rock because I really didn’t know that much about an ROH/CZW feud. I’m just much more of a television guy. But that is a great one, most definitely, and kudos definitely go to Claudio and Hero for playing it up to the live crowd with such a little action. Next up JT JA from el isle de Puerto Rico comes up for an explanation of why King Booker no longer has a court:
Now, last week while calling out Batista, he [King Booker] was talking with an English accent. When he won he KotR tournament he still kept talking like always, but since he took
William Regal as a “royal counselor”, he has modified (…) his speech to sound more… royalish… Now that King Booker I has apparently perfected his speech. Regal no longer needs to help him. HHs: King Booker I now talks like a King, Regal was something more than a lackey and now you have the possible explanation why King Booker I no longer needs his Court, other than for muscle.
JP: Makes sense to me! I’m glad SOMEBODY came up with a kayfabe explanation. Keeping us way off anything on topic is Jamel Wright with a Classic Hidden Highlight:
Summerslam 90 - Hart Foundation vs Demolition 2 out of 3 falls. Your announcers are Vinnie Mac and Roddy Piper. Demolition had beaten up Bret Hart for a big portion of fall 2(after pinning him in fall 1). So, Bret finally makes the hot tag, and the Anvil overpowers both Demolition. The highlight comes after Anvil hits a powerslam on Smash, the ref counts to 2.9, and immediately you hear Piper say "OH SHIT! That was a bad call!" Vince(who must have been red as an apple) quickly covered and said it was close but Smash did kick out. Things like this are what helped me get over the lost of Monsoon/Ventura, Piper was hilarious, and didn't care.
JP: Oh Piper! How many times has that guy got fired? Shi brings us back a few and takes a long term look at Carlito/Trish:
One thing I don't think you've picked up on during your Carlito love-in is during the weeks just before Trish and Carlito first kissed. Carlito, as you would if you were a lovesick teenager who happened to be around their number one crush, kept trying to touch Trish and hoping she wouldn't notice! He was doing it during their tag match against Edge and Lita (supposedly, I think, to get Trish out of the ring so the match could begin) and just before Trish kissed him (with the excuse of trying to calm Trish down mid-rant). I thought this was kinda cool, and it seemed to have gone unnoticed.
JP: Oh no, I definitely noticed Carlito was always finding little ways to touch Trish, but I think almost any heterosexual male (or homosexual female) would be trying to do the same thing! Still in the near past, Gaz chimes in with:
Did anyone else notice the HH on last weeks Raw involving the queen in the HH Victoria? It occurred during the entrances for the Diva water fight. She and Candice were already in the ring as Torrie Wilson joined them, and proceeded to lick the newly-turned-face Candice's mouth in a kind of pseudo lesbian kiss. The still-heel Victoria looked on in horror and mouthed something like "I used to do that!"
This is a great nod to Victoria and Candice's old entrance when they were both heels when they would kiss as they leaned over the ropes, and shows how Victoria misses her old running buddy.
Victoria always amazes me with her attention to detail in the limited story lines she gets (anyone remember when she 1st lost the women's belt, but carried on pretending to take it off and hold it above her head during her entrance, selling her crazy psycho character?), and why the WWE doesn't give her the ball and let her run with it in the women's division astounds me.
JP: I can’t believe I missed that one. Victories truly is awesome at the Hidden Highlights, and I couldn’t agree with your argument more. We get closer to the present as Jan Buxton talks to us about SmackDown!:
Some more JBL love. Hated him as a wrestler, love him as an announcer. Anyway on Smackdown (18.08.06), he and Cole were shilling Summerslam. For each match Cole would say something and then JBL would add something, except for the ECW title match where JBL stayed silent. Nice touch by the anti-ECW JBL, acting as if he doesn't even acknowledge its existence.
JP: See, you can always find something you like in a wrestler, and JBL has found his niche as a Hidden Highlights announcer! Sometimes saying nothing is saying it all! Josh has some more SmackDown! love, but this time from SummerSlam:
All Hail King Booker! This is my first time sending to HH and, fittingly, it is King Booker who deserves the attention. In his match with Batista at Summerslam he connects with the Royal Scepter to DAVEs big head while the ref was distracted by her Royal Highness, Queen Sharmell. But before sending him back in the ring, our beloved King remembered to wipe off any remaining scepter pieces from Batista's head so the referee wouldn't get any ideas of how they got there. Just another example of why Booker is the King and he needs hailing!
JP: What is this, like the fifth King Booker one this column? That guy is gold! jmc4534 (where are the real names, people?) also wants to talk about gold:
During the WWE Championship graphic that appeared before the match I noticed the word Raw on the title. I don't know if the actual title has that or just the graphic, just thought that was interesting since that version of the WWE title was created by Cena on Smackdown.
JP: I’m not sure either. I’ll have to take a closer look at Edge’s belt next week. But that would be interesting if they modified the belts to also reflect the brand. I was upset enough when they added the WWE scratch logo to the World Heavyweight Championship belt. Staying at SummerSlam, Brian Blaze has quite a few:
I've got some Todd Grisham love for you. During the Summerslam pre-show Todd Grisham made quite the double-entendre. While talking about the DX/ McMahon match Todd Grisham said something along the lines of (can't remember exactly and watched in a movie theater so I didn't have the chance to write it down) Mr. McMahon may have unlimited resources but Triple H and HBK have always seemed to (brief pause) click. The way he said it seemed to almost jump out about the infamous backstage clique.
Also during Summerslam after Edge hit Cena with the brass knuckles I noticed that Edge took several seconds to turn over Cena for the cover. Then during the replay of this it became obvious that Edge was talking to Cena. This would indicate that Edge was asking if Cena was ok due to where Edge hit Cena (back of the neck) with the knucks and also due to vicious sound of the knucks.
And I've got a Batista HH. After King Booker retained his title via DQ thanks to Sharmell they showed Batista who distinctly mouthed "Fuck her" selling that he was pissed at Sharmell in a situation where he might or might not be on camera.
JP: Certainly an interesting batch. It would not surprise me if Todd Grisham were trying to liven up his job, Edge cared about Cena, or Batista swore, so I’ll believe them all! Bring us to RAW is Kamodo with a bit of da businessssss, if you will:
This is my first one but as a former wrestler myself I thought the professionalism in the Kane vs. Nitro match was very impressive. My feelings that Nitro is still very green. Although JR and King didn't point it out this was the first time they have ever met to my knowledge. Before, the match you could see Kane telling Nitro to get out of the ring before the flames came out of the ring posts. I like the way Kane as a vet of the ring, helped the new one even before the match.
JP: Absolutely, let us not forget that Nitro is from Tough Enough so he only has a few years of training. Although I am impressed with him, he still needs a lot of seasoning. Hopefully he won’t end up with the Tough Enough Curse (Maven – fired and on BET Jazz, Nidia – fired and pregnant, Nowinski – permanent post-concussion syndrome, Jackie Gayda – fired and pregnant, Matt Morgan – stuttered and fired, etc…). J.S. Trudel keeps us on RAW with:
This one goes back to the Flair-Orton match. Notice when they come back from commercial, we see a close-up of Orton's face. As soon as the "Woooo!" from Flair's music hits, Orton's eyes briefly squeeze into a hateful squint. You had to be quick to catch it, but I thought it nicely depicted both Orton's hatred for legends and a nod to the bad blood between the two former Evolution members.
JP: Randy does a lot of the little things. I like when he keeps is subtle like this instead of smiling when he makes the crowd boo. Just play your role, don’t look like you are just TRYING to get a reaction. Good little moment by Mr. Orton. Katie returns with… ummm… I don’t even know how to describe this batch:
-Is it just me, or did anyone get a Snakes on a Plane vibe from Shawn's little demo of the plane ride? Seeing as it came out a few days ago, I'd say yes. Cause it's...meh, I've done this line so many times by now it's getting old.:p
-Well, at least the big reveal of Titan Towers revealed why Lawler didn't mention it...I mean, it was on the website for 3 weeks!>_<
-One of Vince's backstage scenes had a poster for The Marine on the wall (damn, Cena's hot..ter than usual!)! And a few months ago, See No Evil's poster was conveniently on a spot on the wall during a Vince backstage segment...
-Here's another one from 2003...I always remember that year the best, don't I? Then again, it was my first year as a fan. Anyway, Cena (feuding with BikerTaker) makes out an open challenge(just like Angle did when Cena himself debuted) to commemorate him being in the WWE for a year. Now, I was one of the 10 or so people who cared about Velocity. So I had a feeling who was going to make his debut, since he had a recent winning streak since showing up on Velocity hell. And my guess was correct...Orlando Jordan! And what's better (or worse, since it kinda steals the HH), Cole actually references this fact.
JP: I did get the Snakes on a Plane vibe. But I also had just got off an airplane when I watched RAW, so take from that what you will. And yeah, I immediately thought, “Didn’t that spray paint job happen weeks ago? Ah well! Kayfabe it is!” I did see the Marine poster, and am always impressed with the array of background images. I have no basis to judge if Cena is a good looking guy or not or when he looks better. Cook would probably be able to answer that one. And I actually remember that episode of Velocity! Poor Orlando Jordan, he could never get a break, even when he became a champion later on! Well, that was a fun aside. Zack Rizza takes us back to RAW:
Anyone noticed during Kane's pyro that one of the turnbuckles was still on fire and how quick that guy who put out the fire was when the camera angle HAD HIM IN THE SHOT PUTTING IT OUT?
JP: Totally missed it, even though I just spent forever talking about production above! I’m awful! Speaking of Kane’s pyro, Brillo got another one:
When Kane was on his way to the ring for his IC Title match, Nitro was getting his coat and shades out of the ring. The shades landed in the ring but at the corner of the screen you can see Melina reach in and grab them so they wouldn't be damaged.
JP: I did notice them fall to corner, but I think I missed Melina grabbing them. Of course she would care about the condition of Nitro’s glasses! JT Allen shoots us past the pyro and into the selling on ECW:
A nice little HH from CM Punk on ECW's 8/22 broadcast. CW had been working over Punk's left arm for the entire match (after all, he's an Anderson!). After the victory, the ref went to raise Punk's left arm. Punk sold the injury, winced in pain, and told the ref to raise his right arm. Nice job!!
JP: Couldn’t have summed it up better, though you better get used to calling him Christopher W. And they were concerned about people confusing CM with CW so they put them in the same match? Hilarious! Chris Vinning finishes us off this week with some ECW notes of his own:
After the Bashams aka Paul Heyman's security force almost had their identity reveled, the Duo had black hood on under their riot gear. Smart idea.
Also ECW is the only brand where the announcers are visible during the matches. I find it strange that Tazz and Styles watch the match, not by looking at the ring, but by watching the monitors at the desk. They are less than 10 feet away from the ring but watch the action on a 7" monitor.
JP: I noticed that, too, this week! Especially because Joey was watching the middle monitor so he was leaning to the side. But I know that the announcers are told to watch the monitors to call what the viewers would see at home (unlike in TNA where Mike Tenay or Don West will mention something the cameras missed). Oh well, it gives us more Hidden Highlights to pick up on, especially live ones!
Well, that finishes us for this week. Oh, and for the hundred or so people that wrote in that Foley spelled out “I Q-U-I-T” because of what happened to him with the Rock years ago, you should read the Reader Write-in section a little more closely because it was covered twice in there last issue. So no love for you this week!
JT: No love indeed! No A for effort! No nothing! Shame on all of you! Just kidding. A great batch as usual. Keep them coming, especially all you legal, attractive, single lad-
JP: Hey! That’s my gimmick!
JT: I was just testing to see if you’d get worked up, and you did. Further proof you’re a shameless perv.
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 email@example.com 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!
JP: Ok, it’s time for a quick commercial break. When we come back, it’s Part 2 of this very issue, with a retrospective on the first issue of Hidden Highlights, a look back at what this year has brought us, and Match #3 of the opening round of the Great Posivity Debate 3 Tournament. Stay tuned!!