IN BATTLE it is known as the outflanking manoeuvre - attacking your enemy's entrenched position by pushing your force to their side and launching an all-out attack with your big guns. That is just what TVB Jade attempted last night as it rolled out its heavyweight stars to counter the threat to its ratings posed by ATV Home channel's Miss Asia semi-final. Mud-wrestling starlets, soccer-playing disc jockeys and pop stars on the ten-pin bowling lanes formed the heavy artillery as TVB laid on its Superstar Gladiators special in a time slot in direct competition to ATV's collection of demure beauties in bathing suits and clinging cheongsams. Taped last Tuesday evening at the Hong Kong Coliseum, the Superstar Gladiators had attracted a great deal of pre-broadcast publicity in the Chinese press, with plenty of rumours of starlets unwilling to wrestle each other in the mudbath and superstar egos being massaged after they complained about being put on the wrong team in the soccer match. In contrast, ATV stuck firmly to the rules laid down in the well-worn Hong Kong beauty pageant manual for the pageant at the Academy for Performing Arts' Lyric Theatre. While the stations await the viewing figures in the next few days, TVB appeared to have sustained a defeat on the basis of a straw poll. The Miss Asia final is on September 10. TVB, smarting from losing a battle but determined to win the war, is keeping its secret weapon under wraps until then.