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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

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Hidden Highlights 05.07.07: Issue #88
Posted by Prag-Thomlison on 05.07.2007



Hidden Highlights
By JP Prag and James "JT" Thomlison

Issue #88


Intro

Hello everyone who checked to see if this article would land on 7/7/7 (it won't), and welcome back to Hidden Highlights!!

Hidden Highlights

There are very few positive things on the Internet. It's more about everyone's negative view of what everyone else is trying to do.
— Eric Bischoff, Controversy Creates Ca$h

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?

Why none other than JP Prag and James "JT" Thomlison, of course!

We bring you Hidden Highlights with one goal in mind: to appreciate all those little things that make a huge difference. JT?

JT: I can't believe you didn't link our Gimme 5 Guest Appearance on NZPWI! That's right, kids, the Hidden Highlights Team invaded New Zealand's finest!

Also before we get started just need to make a small note. Many of you may frequent OWW for profiles, title history, show results, promotion info etc etc. Well, long story short because of some douch-baggery, Brad and the company he works for were forced to change the name. It is now Online World of Wrestling, or still OWW for short. It is the exact same site and will continue to run exactly the same; it is simply a name change. So please change your links and tell anyone you may know that visits that site so that they are privy to the change. Brad worked very hard to get the site where it's at today and it would suck to let some asshole capitalize on the popularity of the name. Thanks!

JP: Having used the site a ton when I wrote "In Defense Of…", I cannot begin to say what true resource we almost lost. Best of luck to the new OWW and it's great team (minus JT). Now on with the Hidden Highlights!

Hidden Highlights for WWE RAW, SmackDown!, and ECW Present Backlash: Sunday, April 29, 2007 by JP JT JP

JP: Well, I was going to do this PPV (and by me, I mean you, the readers), but then I found out during our interview with the New Zealand press that JT actually ordered this show and neglected to tell me!

JT: I also neglected to write any Hidden Highlights down.

JP: Seriously?

JT: Seriously.

JP: Oh man… guess that means I need to stall for content… let's see here…

What would be really fun in the future is if they do a storyline where RAW and ECW team up and have their own PPV and leave SmackDown! out. And then they do that for a bunch of successive PPVs until SmackDown! forms an alliance with… wait for it… OVW! Then you have dueling dual brand PPVs (see what I did there?)!!! What? Oh, fine, let's see what you readers have for me. You do have something? Right?!

(1) Just for life:

This Hidden Highlight is brought to you by Westin S. who says:

I was rewatching the Undertaker-Batista Last man Standing Match and noticed a pretty awesome hidden highlight. Watch the referee at the end of the match after the explosion. He absolute freaks out after the explosion happens, then staggers backwards in fear as the towers fall relatively close to him. A great job of selling that the explosion/towers was completely unexpected.

JP: And that's all we got! JT, really?

JT: Really!

Hidden Highlights for WWE RAW: Monday, April 30, 2007 by JP

JP: You know how the WWE tends to book the main event for the show during the show itself? I like to sometimes ponder: what if this match was not booked? What would be the main event? Well, that would be the semi-main event (if that was not booked during the show as well). This week, if you look at the card and what was the last match of the night that wasn't booked during the show, the main event would be: Melina and Victoria vs. Mickie James and Candice Michelle. No offense to the ladies, but logistically that's not the biggest main event I could ever think of!

(3) Now that's a counter:

I've noticed that over all wrestling shows recently there has been a severe lack of actually calling moves during a match (this will come up again later in TNA, they aren't getting off the hook this week). Some items, I would imagine, would not be Hidden Highlights if the announcers got back into the habit of calling the matches. I'm not knocking the announcers, by the way; I know they are told from the truck what to focus on and that they have to sell the PPVs, merchandise, sponsors, main event, and the next show with limited amount of times. This first Hidden Highlight is about a move that deserves to be noticed and remembered, yet was completely missed by the announcers (and thus recappers and audience) and deserves to be noted.

During the Jeff Hardy / Johnny Nitro match, Nitro was in the corner and was going for a rope assisted flying kick. To counter the move, Nitro actually managed to flip up into the air using the bottom ropes and kick Hardy straight in the guts, knocking him down. This was not only an amazing bit of athleticism, but a very smart counter that goes to show just how much Nitro is learning each and every week. Nitro deserves major props for not only coming up with this counter, but actually pulling it off. The announcers may not have taken the time to notice, but I sure as hell did.

(2) Potty Mouth:

Anyone who has read this article on a regular basis knows I try not to swear during an issue. This is not because I have anything against swearing, but because swearing is so common that people who don't swear are actually paid more attention to. That said, sometimes to describe a situation, I must write those swear word downs.

JT: I have no problem swearing. Watch: bitch, shit, fu—

JP: Yes JT, we know you have no control. This isn't about you, though, but about a fan in the RAW audience.

After Edge speared Orton off the ring apron to the announce table during their match, a lone voice raised above the rest: a child of no more that 8 or 9 was trying to start a "Holy Shit" chant. If that wasn't funny enough, you could distinctly hear how after about two chants that it was not catching on, and he started giggling to himself to cover up the fact that no one else was chanting. It was a silly moment for me that just made me crack up laughing.

(1) Bring it home:

Often in these pages, we have talked about men like King Booker who take their gimmick and impose it on other by calling them certain names. For instance, King Booker always called Matt and Jeff Hardy "Matthew and Jeffrey". Well, it looks like King Booker might be getting some competition from none other than new Intercontinental Champion Santino Marella. During his interview with Todd Grisham, they showed a clip of Bobby Lashley helping Marella get the pinfall on Umaga. After the came back to the studio, Marella said, "I just have to thank Roberto Lashley…". How great is that? Marella is already incorporating his Italian gimmick and calling people Italian names. I hope he can keep that up for years to come!

JT: Plus evil Carlito is back! I'm sure that makes you happy, but we'll get to him later in the column.

Hidden Highlights for ECW on SciFi: Tuesday, May 1, 2007 by JT

JT: Lashley is grumpy (who can blame him!) and Armando Alejandro Estrada suffers for it, Punk continues to one-up the New Breed with a win a win over Kevin Thorne which led to Thorne quitting, the Extreme Expose has returned (yeah, I know, but I recap here, it's what I do), the Major Brothers get an upset victory over Striker and Cor Von – further ruining the New Breeds night, Vince shows to pimp his new ECW Championship, and the Originals are forced to face each other to get a shot at the gold!

(3) Don't speak, even if spoken to:

To everyone's surprise, Matt Striker and Marcus Cor Von lost in a tag team match to the Major Brothers. Afterwards, Elijah Burke began talking to yelling at Matt Striker. He said "What the hell was that!?"… and before Striker could get more than two words out, "Shut up! I don't want to hear your excuses!". He asked a question and then cut him off before he could answer! I really liked this one because in real life, I hate people that do that when they're infuriated. As it pertains to wrestling though, that is a fantastic trait to add to your heel repertoire. Man, that's like 3 of the last 5 weeks for Burke!

(2) This hurts me a lot more than it hurts you:

During the main event, Sabu had Sandman rolled up for the pin. RVD walked over to him, and broke it up. How did he break it up though? A kick? A punch!? Both!!!??? Nope. None of the above. He simply pushed him backwards in order to ensure that he didn't get the pin! Then he actually HELPED Sabu up, and didn't attack him! Granted, his friendly gesture got both of them kicked out of the ring courtesy of Sandman, but the whole series of moments really helped sell that these guys – despite being put in this unfortunate circumstance by Vince McMahon – really in no way want to hurt each other and are most certainly unified; a unification that could be broken only with the promise of kicking McMahon's ass.

(1) Giving a wardrobe to props:

So as I'm watching Armando Alejandro Estrada cut his promo outside of the ring, for some reason the microphone caught my eye. I soon realized that it was because the ECW logos going around the mic were actually 3D! I had always assumed that those were merely stickers placed on them or something, but this actually makes perfect sense considering that they have to use the same microphones as SmackDown because those are the ones that are programmed/wired into the arena! Initially it seemed that someone went through a lot of trouble for something that seems so irrelevant, but in fact having something you can just slip over the mic must really help to make things easier. It also made me realize – in thinking of my HH from last week involving all the change-overs between the SD show and ECW going live – that there really are a ton of little things we don't even think of when discussing the fifteen minute "intermission".

JP: Damn straight, and I'm sure none of those grips ever get any notice for getting their jobs done flawlessly on a weekly basis. What probably happens is the ones time they forget one microphone they get reamed out. It really is a thankless position, so we'll make sure to thank them!

Hidden Highlights for TNA iMPACT: Thursday, May 3, 2007 by JP

JP: After this iMPACT, there are not now three triple threat matches booked for Sacrifice. Let's fix this by adding a forth team to the tag match and making the main event elimination style (a la the old ECW). That was, there's at least a little variety. Three way dances can be very cool, but you can't have almost half of your card be them! I like steak, but I'm not going to eat it for half of my meals during the week!

But just to turn positive here, I do have to say this iMPACT was muuuuuuuch better paced and had some interesting matches and angles. Also, props to Gail Kim and Jackie Moore for showing the WWE how much talent they lost in the Women's division by letting them go.

(3) I look at you with prayer:

Team 3D were in the back being interviewed by Leticia about what it meant to be NWA World Tag Team Champions and what they were going to do now that they had achieved their destiny. After giving their answer, the two turned to trademarks (that they have) and Brother Devon did his "TESTIFY!" line. During that moment, Brother Ray put his head down in prayer… except he didn't have his eyes closed! Where was he looking? Right at Leticia's chest. Oh Brother Ray, you got caught just in the corner of the screen. Nice.

(2) That's the move to call:

As noted above, I wasn't going to let the TNA announcers get away with missing calling an impressive move either. After the aforementioned interview, Team 3D defended their titles against the makeshift tag team of Rhino and Samoa Joe. About half way into the match, Samoa Joe hit Brother Ray with a good, but hardly distinguished for him, over the head side suplex. The announcers then went into a tizzy about just how good that move was and how impressive Joe is. Not saying he is, but they completely missed what happened right before that move: Brother Ray had hit Samoa Joe with an over the head released German suplex that saw Joe land on his neck in a devastating fashion. Now that was a truly impressive move as it highlighted not only the wrestling knowledge that Brother Ray has, but also the pure strength that he has to lift someone the size of Samoa Joe over his head and throw him. This feat deserves major kudos, and was sadly ignored.

And yes, that is two in a row for Brother Ray. Guess I don't hate him like many people do…

(1) It's like we were on TV:

Our top Hidden Highlight for iMPACT this week goes to perennial favorite Christian Cage. Now, we all know that Cage is hilarious in his interviews and says things that we in turn highlight in these pages. But this week, Cage turned the tables and highlighted things we have previously talked about! First off, when AJ Styles accused Cage of stealing his hood, one of his excuses was that he wore the hood so that they would feel and look more like a team. How often in these pages have we talked about how tag teams should dress alike? If that were not enough, Christian then said, "We even have matching chest hair." Did we not talk about this just three weeks ago in the Reader Write-in section?

It seems to me like the real Hidden Highlight is that Christian Cage is reading this here article. That's ok, Christian, we love when you lift our material. Keep up the good work!

JT: I was watching the De La Hoya fight Saturday night, so I still have not gotten to this, but it's so funny that you mention him reading us as we head into the SmackDown! section!

Hidden Highlights for WWE SmackDown!: Friday, May 4, 2007 by JT

JT: The Boogeyman gets a win in the first default victory of the evening, Kane is still after Taylor and Regal, we have a long line of legends (including The Dream) waiting to sign up for what they think is a GM role, Kendrick gets a win over Domino in singles action, Matt Hardy continues to get more wins than losses – this time over Kennedy, Jimmy Wang Yang gets a pin over Gregory Helms, Big Dave is ready to get his title back, the Miz bails out of his fight with Finlay, and MVP gets himself another shot at the U.S. Title!

(3) I love you, only not like a brother:

When Deuce and Domino came down for Domino's match with Brian Kendrick, they made their way to the ring and as usual helped Cherry up onto the ring apron. Right after they did, as Deuce was entering the ring, Cherry quickly blew him a kiss (I find this Hidden mind you because he wasn't even looking at her)! Despite him not even being a part of the match, she felt the need to send her "boyfriend" a little thank you gesture for helping her up. There are less hidden examples I've seen from her, but she really interacts with both men in completely different ways which of course really helps sell that one is her brother and the other her boyfriend.

(2) Michael Cole reads Hidden Highlights:

You're probably not going to believe this, but I'm actually giving yet another Highlight to the opening contest which featured… yes… the Boogeyman. But credit must be given where credit is due. This one comes though does not come from him, it comes from Michael Cole and is actually more of a personal testament to us and in this case, the readers. As the Boogeyman came down with "Little Boogeyman", Cole noted that he "even has a little clock!". Well, sorry Michael Cole but you are just a bit behind. Some of you may or may not remember, but a couple of months ago one of the readers wrote in and pointed out that the clock carried by the littler Boogey was in fact a miniature replica of the clock we usual see from Boogeyman. Looks like sometimes we (us AND the readers) are ahead of the game when it comes to the small stuff! Does that make us the next Mike Walker?

JP: I know who Mike Walker is from the Howard Stern Show, but why don't you explain to the audience who he is.

JT: He's that gossip columnist for The National Enquirer who seems to scoop things weeks in advance.

JP: Ah… so you read the National Enquirer?

JT: …..my mom gives it to me when she's done with it. …What!? Hey, in my defense it is excellent bathroom literature AND I also keep ESPN The Mag in there as well.

JP: Whatever you say, Susan. You read the Enquirer. And in that case, I most certainly hope we are not the next Mike Walker. I have no desire to have my farts broadcast on Sirius. What's next?

(1) Wait, is he pinned?:

First let me just say kudos to both Kennedy and Matt Hardy for putting on one heck of a match. I, however, would like to focus on the referee, Jimmy Cordaris (since I know they're Cook's favorite WWE and ESPECIALLY TNA employees). After Kennedy had delivered several Crossfaces to Matt Hardy, he was down on one knee (Matt was sitting) and had him in a Sleeper hold. He then fell backwards and wrapped his legs around Hardy, adding further pressure to the Sleeper. The ref (Jimmy) dropped down to the mat as usual to ask Hardy if he'd like to submit. Only thing here though is that before he said a word to Hardy, he slid his hands under Kennedy's shoulders to make sure they weren't flat on the mat (as he was the one laying there)! We give love to the refs around here every now and again, but little things like this remind us that there are so many rules they have to remember out there, and this was one that Corderas could have easily blown off. Nice job by Jimmy to remember the minor technicalities.

JP: I noticed refs were checking shoulders a lot this week. Must be the "item of the week" for refs to look better in the ring. Actually, this comes up again in the Reader Write-in section, so keep reading!

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 guessing almost nobody who reads this column watches PPV? So, *GENERAL WARNING*:: some parts of the following Reader Write-in Hidden Highlights may be edited for grammar, spelling, and English translation…

We'll start off this week with regular Chris Page and a slightly delayed ECW:

Actually I do have one of sorts. To be fair, I've seen it happen a fair few times in the past, but it's something that's worth throwing out some kudos for since I've also never seen anyone (or heard the announcers) acknowledge it when it does happen. This past week on ECW in the elimination match, Sabu and Elijah Burke were duking it out and Sabu whips Burke into the ropes to hit a move on him. Nothing untoward there, but the highlight comes on the apron with Matt Striker - when Burke hit the ropes, Striker takes a swing with his arm in Burkes direction in an attempt to get a blind tag. Of course there was no intention of him ACTUALLY tagging in since the way the match was panning out at that time called for Burke to be in the ring, but it was a nice touch on Strikers part (and whenever anyone else does it) to suggest that he's actually trying to win the match, especially since most tag wrestlers never bother. I guess that's why Striker is the smartest man in the New Breed (except Punk... maybe... ask me after next weeks show when all is explained).

JP: OK, I'll ask you this week since I don't think much actually got explained. Sticking in past, first timer Edgar Garcia points out:

On the 4/26 edition of TNA Impact, when LAX is with Don West and Mike Tenay at the announcer's table before the interview with Tomko and Steiner, Hernandez can be seen pointing out the bald spot on the back of Mike Tenay's head.

JP: Oh that is too rich! Hernandez has a lot of untapped potential in TNA. I can't wait to see if he can continue to move up, but I'm happy to see him putting over LAX in the short term. All right, since I like to see JT cry, we have another one for last week's SmackDown!:

Hey, nice catch on Boogeyman, but I've got something else on him; if you notice, in that tag team match, he never once stopped moving! He was constantly leaning over, crouching, hopping around, gibbering, cocking his head, and generally acting like a deranged loon. Say what you will about the guy's limited moveset, his advanced age, his cartoonish character... but nobody, and I mean nobody, invests himself in his gimmick like Boogeyman does, and it's all the better for it.

JP: I could not agree more! JT would agree, but he's stabbing himself with a pencil right now. He'll come around eventually, don't you worry. Giving us the perfect segue is Pedro Rodriguez with a little bit of the past and little bit of present:

I'm back with some hidden highlights from RAW and ECW:

-This one's late, but it's from last week's edition of ECW. During the New Breed's entrance for the 4-on-4 elimination match, CM Punk was in the back of the group. Yet, one thing I noticed was that Matt Striker actually moved out the way so that Punk can move up. I thought that was a nice move by Striker, showing that Striker respected Punk's role in the NB.


JP: I'm starting to worry we talk about Striker too much, but he is that good…

-I notice during RAW, some of the refs (mainly the one for Edge/Orton) checked the wrestler having their shoulders down, not only by looking, but by also using his hand to make sure they were down. After what happened in Paris, I don't think they want to risk another incident.

JP: That explains it! I mentioned it above, but there have been a lot of shoulder checks recently. Your reasoning makes a lot more sense.

-On this week's edition of ECW, Burke was criticizing Kevin Thorn for losing and went on a rant about how anyone in the NB (including Ariel) could beat Punk. I noticed that while Burke said Striker (HH goldmine) could beat him, you could see Striker's mouth say "I know I did." Well, if we look into the past, on the Jan. 30th edition of ECW, Striker did beat Punk. Nice continuity on Striker's part.

Also, as an added thought, I was happy that The Major Brothers debuted. I saw them on DSW and they have potential.


JP: I totally missed that! Again with the Striker… this guy is too good. Sticking with ECW is Tom Ratanawn:

Not sure if this has ever been mentioned but I didn't notice until last night on ECW on Sci-Fi. Throughout the night they showed graphics for the McMahon and the ECW Originals confrontation all night. But the hidden highlight was that on the ECW Originals side the "ECW" logo was purple like how it was originally and the graphics of the wrestlers were blurry, while on McMahon's side the "ECW" logo was red reflecting the WWECW's version and McMahon's pic was crystal clear, no blurriness.

JP: I've actually noticed that a lot with the Originals vs. New Breed. The fonts, backgrounds, and picture styles are different for the two groups! The in major pain Sam J. checks in with some iMPACT notes:

Wrestlers, by god!: On this weeks iMPACT!, during the tag match between Rhino and Samoa Joe vs. Team 3D, after Daniels interupted, Don West shouted "I wouldn't want to be in that ring with 4 pissed off wrestlers!" Now, if J.R., Cole, King, or JBL had called this, I bet my bottom dollar they would have said Superstars, not Wrestlers. I thought this was a nice, subtle nod to their whole "We Are Wrestling" slogan, even though Csonka may disagree with that pretty often.

JP: You are definitely right about that, and I hope that TNA pushes the word "wrestlers" instead of stars or whatnot. Giving us a new Classic (you'll see what I mean) first timer RoyalT716 says:

So, I'm watching the 5/11/87 edition of WWF PrimeTime and Brutus Beefcake is facing off against Johnny V. Well, Beefcake wins the match. He gets the buzzers and starts shaving Johnny V's head. Now the Hidden Highlight comes from the commentators, who are Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura. Vince McMahon says "This is great! Look at him! He looks like Adrian from Wrestlemania 3" And Jesse Ventura, in all his infinite wisdom, replies, "You know Vince, I hope someday YOU get a haircut like that!" I automatically start cracking up. Fast forward 20 years later and Jesse Ventura gets his wish! Just goes to show, no matter how ludicrous or impossible something may sound today, in the wrestling world, you never know what will happen years down the line.

JP: I like these retroactive Hidden Highlights, they are a good time. And closing out this week is a very interesting letter Norway. There's not way for me to explain this one, so we might as well just cut into it with Eirik Støylen:

Just dropping a line or two to thank for a really fun column. As a Norwegian fan with no wrestling on any channel (except for occasionally getting EUROSPORT and TNA), a column like yours is basically the only way for me to catch small details from the shows with any regularity. It also helps me improve my own game a lot, so thanks for that, too.

JP: Wow! It's amazing that you can keep up with wrestling when there is none on TV. How does one get into wrestling when it isn't even on television in the first place?

Now, I do have a few HHs of my own to share... just a quick little nag first.

JP: Uh oh… I hope this is about JT…

At the RAW in England (keep in mind I have not actually seen the show - I got this from reports. If it's wrong, ignore this and take an apology ;) ) the "pasty long-haired jobber" whose name you didn't bother to look up was, apparently, Robbie Brookside. Now, if you're not following British wrestling, that doesn't mean much, but this is a 20 years + veteran, the guy who mentored Regal, who unmasked Kendo Nagasaki, and is quite probably still the biggest name in British wrestling (also, he's a heck of a nice guy, especially to the rookies, which is somewhat of a rarity).

So for the fans in the arena, quite a few likely knew who he was, and this was far more than the beatdown of a no-name jobber.

Of course, Brookside is virtually unknown outside England, so...

No grief (though I'll hazard a guess there's been a bit of that from British fans), just a heads up.


JP: No, I was just being lazy. Believe me, I've had my run ins with the Brits. Just ask Floyd!

As for the Hidden Highlights... I recently got married, and for our honeymoon we figured we might as well make it count, and went to Japan. Of course, going to Japan and not catching a wrestling show would be unthinkable, so 4/8, me and the wife were three rows from ringside at Korakuen Hall, at the NJPW show (we also caught K-DOJO's five year anniversary show earlier that day. Unfortunately, I've not followed the fed, so all HHs from there, apart from the match with TAKA, would be by "that guy". I dropped it).

JP: I really thought this was going to be a Norwegian one, but sure, go ahead!

3: A-Train watches Vader Giant Bernard (Albert/A-train) is basically top Gaijin in New Japan now, and throughout his match were lots of hints to another big foreigner - Vader. Some of it, Albert has been using forever (like the backwards splash from the corner), but what really impressed me were the Vader forearm shots he pulled out. His opponent dodged the lot, but they looked so hard, and at the same time so slow, that you got the feeling he would knock the guy's head off if he connected. Great way to get over the "lumbering giant" gimmick without actually moving like a slug.

2: Lyger celebrates in style One of the main attractions for me was actually seeing Jushin Lyger in person. This highlight came after his team (Lyger, Jado and Gedo) won their six-man, and were leaving, Gado and Jedo mugging like the thugs they portray, and Lyger somber and serious. Just as Lyger passes the second row, a woman stands up and makes to hug him... and Lyger turns around like a dervish, grabs her, points at the ring and dances like a madman, doing everything but shouting "I win! I WIN! HAHA" (Heck, maybe he did. I don't speak Japanese)! Then, he just turns around and leaves.

So funny, and so utterly random, and so in keeping with the origin of the Jushin Thunder Lyger gimmick as an anime character.

1: The veteran can teach you. In the tag match between Tenzan's heel group GBH and IGWP champ Tanahashi and Nakanishi, veteran Koshinaka absolutely stole the show. At some point, as he had been murdering the champ with repeated hip attacks to a huge reaction, his partner tags in and continues the assault. To the crowd's amusement, he delivers a noticeably less efficient hip attack of his own, and then notices the veteran demanding the tag. Tagged in, Koshinaka then proceeds to slowly position the champ for a hip attack, pausing to point out the best angle of approach and how to hold the victim's head. A minute later, as Koshinaka's tagged out again, his partner lines up and delivers a much better hip strike, with Koshinaka giving him a smile a mile wide and showing the A-OK sign.

Brilliant, and so much the better as Koshinaka's tip actually paid off, as Ishii Tomohiro's second hip attack looked a lot better than his first.


JP: My Hidden Highlight out of all that was that Jedo and Gado are still teaming together! That's just crazy!

Finally, in keeping with posting to an internet site, I really need to include this little gem. Norway, not the biggest market for wrestling, has all of one promotion, the Norwegian Wrestling Federation, to which I belong. We've kept it going for six years come October.

During Easter, while I was in Japan for my honeymoon, NWF had a show at the
Gathering, which is a somewhat famous computer convention/LAN party held yearly at a skating hall in Hamar, filling the Olympic skating hall to the brim each year. The co-main featured Jon "Big John" Veivåg defending his Norwegian Championship against Gromguten (translates roughly to "The Favored Son"). At a point halfway through the match, Big John realizes that they are in danger of losing the crowd.

Big John has adopted the facewash/bootscrape series in the corner (one of the few advantages of the low wrestling interest in Norway is that no one knows when you steal stuff), usually punctuated by badmouthing his opponent in between. Now, knowing absolutely everyone in the 2.500 strong crowd is a computer geek, and needing to win them back, he positions Gromguten, starts the bootscrapes... and goes through the "all your base are belong to us" spiel, a sentence per bootscrapes, even adding the toneless "ha ha ha
ha" at the end as he stomps Gromguten down.

The crowd was back.

Thanks for your time. Looking forward to the next column.


JP: Ok, I have to be honest… I have no idea what the means or how it works, but a Hidden Highlight is a Hidden Highlight! It's all about what it means to you!

JT: Hmmmm… you seem a bit short with the readers this week. Were you out late this weekend? Like say maybe, 4 a.m. on Saturday???

JP: NO COMMENT!

JT: I only jest, my bedtime habits are certainly nothing to warrant medals. Good week of emails and now we just need to get them motivated for those PPVs!

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 jpjthidden@yahoo.com with your thoughts! Send them by Saturday 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!

That Other Section

This week, JT has something for That Other Section.

JT: So, I'm sure everyone is familiar with WWE's Power 25. Well, in true theft-like genius, I've decided that since WrestleMania month has come and gone, I would present our own Power 25 of the WWE Roster as the superstars head into May! Some of these rankings are a mixture of kayfabe and non-kayfabe. Once you've finished the column, feel free to send us your own Power 25 and we'll share it either in the readers section or in That Other section in the weeks upcoming!

HIDDEN HIGHLIGHTS POWER 25 – APRIL



*Note: The first week of May is also included in the rankings.*

TWENTY FIVE

SANTINO MARELLA - Popped onto the scene on the WWE's overseas tour in Italy. He may have had help from Bobby Lashley, but the fact remains that he is now your Intercontinental Champion. All titles should be somewhere on this list with Chavo Guerrero being the only exception due to lack of action and a recent tag team loss.

TWENTY FOUR

CADE & MURDOCH - While I'm still not completely convinced that they would be believable champs, at this point they are A. being used, and B. appear to be the only real threat to the titles (where the hell is Cryme Tyme?).

TWENTY THREE

CARLITO CARIBBEAN COOL - Finally snapped when he turned on his partner/mentor Ric Flair. With any hope, he will re-develop to the brash, arrogant heel attitude he used to help get himself over originally. Question now will be if he can get a few confidence building wins in the weeks ahead.

TWENTY TWO

ELIJAH BURKE - Some may feel that his stock may be falling (and you'd be partially right on an individual level), but overall his involvement in the New Breed falling apart storyline has been pivotal to ECW being more enjoyable as of late.

TWENTY ONE

JIMMY WANG YANG - While he has been absent for most of the month, but with his huge win over the Gregory Helms on Friday, one would think that he has re-emerged as the clear cut #1 contender to the Cruiserweight championship.

TWENTY

RANDY ORTON - He's really only on this list because apparently I'm stupidly willing to give him as many chances as the E is. Either way, lost at ‘Mania, was sent home during the Italy tour, trashed a hotel room, was pinned at Backlash, and lost to Edge on RAW. No sir, things are not going well in the land of Orton.

NINETEEN

VINCE MCMAHON - Like it or not, he has not only managed to get the best of Bobby Lashley on several occasions, and in doing so also won himself the ECW World Championship. He's on TV a "hair" too much for my tastes, but he is making moves and therefore gets a spot on the list.

EIGHTEEN

MELINA - Has fended off Mickie James for her women's title, and has helped as of late to make the women's division slightly bearable.

SEVENTEEN

FINLAY - Finlay has slipped a bit lately. Since losing the Money In The Bank match at WrestleMania 23, he has naturally managed to pick a few fights, but he has really done nothing of significance other than be the awesome ass-kicker that he is.

SIXTEEN

LONDON & KENDRICK - Lost the tag team titles; even more relevant because it came only days before they were to celebrate their one year anniversary as champs. An injury to London has thrown Kendrick into a few single's victories, but London needs to get back so these guys can continue to make the tag team division relevant.

FIFTEEN

DEUCE & DOMINO - Debuted only a couple of months ago, and have now dethroned the very impressive title reign of London & Kendrick. Their no-nonsense attitude and street brawling style now have them sitting at the top of the tag team ranks.

FOURTEEN

KENNEDY - Some may think Kennedy would rank a little higher, but to me he has had just enough ups and downs to keep him right around the middle. He won a guaranteed title shot (to be used whenever he chooses) and has been GOLD on the mic. However, losing (in a damn fine match) to Matt Hardy on Friday may have really halted his steam. We will have to see how quickly he recovers from this.

THIRTEEN

RVD - Has gotten a few surprise victories over the course of the month, and now has put himself in a position to try and help ECW save a little face by taking the title off of Vince McMahon. This – of course – will probably hinge on whether or not he re-signs with the company or decides to leave.

TWELVE

EDGE - Despite limited action due to him recovering from a jaw injury, he has managed to keep himself around the WWE title bubble (albeit losing at Backlash), and has so far come out on top in his feud with Randy Orton. I expect more of the same as Orton is supposedly in the WWE Doghouse with not only management but the locker room as well.

ELEVEN

UMAGA - While he has really been Vince's muscle for a few weeks, he has been impressive muscle to say the least. He has helped hand several beat downs to former ECW Champion Bobby Lashley, continues to be booked as a beast, and as long as he's in Vince's pocket, will be a pretty powerful member of the roster.

TEN

MVP - I know, I know. NUMEROUS losses to the Rabin Wolverine Chris Benoit, but you know what? He has completed elevated his status in those losses and – more importantly – did get a victory over Kane to give him yet another shot at the United States Championship.

NINE

GREAT KHALI - Haven't seen much of him since his victory over Kane at WrestleMania, but Khali thrust himself up near the top of the list by showing up on RAW and manhandling not one, two, or even three of the E's top guys. He took out Cena, HBK, Orton, AND Edge as a way to send a message that he would no longer be ignored in the title scene. I'm not Khali's biggest fan but I will give the E credit for how they've booked him

EIGHT

THE HARDY BOYZ - Well these guys have certainly had a resurgence as of late no? They picked up the titles the night after WrestleMania 23, and have racked up wins both as a tag team and in single's competition – the most noteworthy probably being Matt Hardy's victory over Ken Kennedy. There have also seemingly gotten themselves MORE over with the crowd lately (if that's possible), and therefore cracked the top 10.

SEVEN

CM PUNK - Isn't even a blip on the ECW title radar, but at this point I think that's a good thing. Save McMahon's shenanigans, CM Punk is making the biggest waves in ECW. He has almost single-handedly torn apart the New Breed, and has several victories for the month of April (and even one during last Tuesday's show).

SIX

BOBBY LASHLEY - Yes, he has suffered a couple of crucial losses lately, but that doesn't change the fact that he is not only responsible for Vince McMahon being bald, but is also still the single greatest threat on the ECW roster. He is a powerhouse, and he is coming for his title!

FIVE

CHRIS BENOIT - Benoit has defended his title in the last five weeks more than any other champion on any show. Not only that, he has really helped to legitimize MVP in the eyes of the locker room and the fans. But, now that MVP has won another shot, will he be able to keep his United States Championship?

FOUR

JOHN CENA - The Champ is still The Champ, but just barely. He did manage to retain at WrestleMania, but he then lost an hour long epic to Shawn Michaels, and then proceeded to fall into a victory at Backlash. Cena probably knows that Michaels should be the champ right now, but he will not give up the title without another fight.

THREE

BATISTA - Big Dave lost the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 23, but he has been on a path of destruction to get it back ever since. His dreams of winning the rematch fell short when neither himself or The Undertaker could answer a standing 10 count, thus disqualification allowed the champ to retain.

TWO

THE UNDERTAKER - Your current World Heavyweight Champion, the Phenom has been on a roll for the better part of the last eight months. Firstly he improved his WrestleMania record to 15-0, won the WHC in the same evening, and managed to not lose the title at Backlash. How long can the Deadman do it?

ONE

SHAWN MICHAELS - To me, HBK has by far been the best overall performer the last month. Some will argue Cena should be in this spot because he still has the championship, but I think Michaels victory over Cena on RAW far outweighs the circumstances under which Cena retained at Backlash. The Heart Break Kid is back, and I wouldn't be surprised if we see one last title run for HBK.

Agree? Disagree? Send us your thoughts as always!

JP: I had nooooooo idea you were going to do this. Do you know what might be interesting? Maybe the "Hidden Highlights Power Ten" where we rank who is the most Hidden Highlight points of the week. Maybe I'll do that for next week… well, after you deal with all the feedback from this. That's going to be your problem!

Exit, stage left!

JT: Man, with the basketball playoffs, hockey playoffs, baseball, Kentucky Derby, and De La Hoya fight, I am all sported out from this weekend. Off to drink beer and do my interview with Sirios! And again to all the readers, help us get the word out there about OWW. Thanks and have a good week my little 411 Readers!

JP: …uh… 411 readers? That's it?

JT: Yeah, figured they wouldn't be expecting it!

JP: You do find ways to surprise me JT. I guess that's what keeps this column fresh.

Thank you for joining us for THE 88th 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 next time in the reader approved most positive article in all of the IWC: Hidden Highlights! Until then!





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