A Look Back at the Place to Be Podcast: Season 2

A Look Back at the Place to Be Podcast: Season 2

On February 11th, 2011, the Place to Be Podcast launched and now less than a year and 100 episodes later, the podcast embarks on its second season and is continuing to grow as a podcast. With the template for the podcast having been set in the first 100 episode, the next 100 would see Scott and Justin fine tune the podcast as we see a couple of changes happen this season and the PTB Nation continues to grow with new faces coming in. It will be interesting to see how the podcast continues to grow as we progress through the season and reach the end of the second season with 200 episodes.

Headlines

As the season started, the headlines remained a main focus of the podcast as the boys continued to talk wrestling and sports, and early on they introduced a new segment call “Meet the Nation” where they brought in a member of the Nation and they talked about their fandom. However on episode 131 (aired 6/6/12), the boys made their first major change as they headlines would go from weekly to monthly due to the lack of major news occurring in the wrestling world during the summer of 2012. Once a month, they would run down all the news of the month and hype the upcoming PPV while also continuing to cover the sports news, and another change was doing their NFL picks during the Vaults, and towards the end of the season they introduced a new segment where Jordan Duncan would come on and give his half baked ideas. This was an example of Scott and Justin understanding what the Nation liked the best and changing up the format, and it will be interesting to see how long we keep with this format.

Vintage Vaults

One thing that didn’t change this season was the Vintage Vaults as Scott and Justin continued their trek through the history of the WWF, and they would start the season with Summerslam 1995 and wrapped up the season by reaching the 1998 Survivor Series. Some of the segments that started in the previous season rolled over into this season including the “Rob Houston Memorial “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan Update” which saw two new characters debut including “Sugartits” Leroux and Vince McMahon himself. We also got another pair of songs dedicated to one of Scott’s favorite wrestlers, this time being Triple H as we started with “All My Life” by K-Ci and JoJo before changing over to “I Wanna Know” by Joe beginning at the 1997 King of the Ring in episode 157 (aired 9/4/12). We also continued the trend of guests appearing on the Vaults as Graham Cawthon made his return for episode 124 covering Wrestlemania XII (aired 4/27/12) and episode 161 for Summerslam 1997 (aired 9/18/12). They would then be joined by Jason Greenhouse who won a Facebook trivia contest to appear on episode 143 for Survivor Series (aired 7/13/12), and then we had Kyle Forchetti join on episode 150 for Wrestlemania 13 (aired 8/7/12) and episode 168 for Survivor Series 1997 (aired 10/15/12) as he was in attendance for both shows. They were then joined by Jay Ouimette on episode 151 for IYH: Revenge of the Taker (aired 8/13/12) and by Austin Pfaff on episode 192 for Summerslam 1998 (aired 1/20/13), and finally they welcomed Jay Hinchey for episode 1999 for Survivor Series 1998 (aired 2/19/13). It was clear that the Vaults were becoming the centerpiece episodes of the Podcast and as I will mention in just a minute, they would get more enhanced throughout the summer especially as the quality of the shows being reviews got better.

Summer Throwbacks

As I mentioned, this season saw a major change as Scott and Justin decided to make the headlines monthly instead of weekly, and replacing those shows would be this special Vaults dubbed the “Summer Throwback”. They would have the Nation come up with a list of shows for them to do which was posted on the message board, and they would do three weeks of throwback shows with the fourth episode of the month being the headline show. This season would see three PPVs outside the canon be covered as they did the Wrestling Classic on episode 116 (aired 3/23/12), Wrestlefest 1988 on episode 137 (aired 6/28/12), and One Night Only on episode 164 (aired 9/27/12), and they would also cover numerous episodes of RAW from 1996-1998 to follow the canon of the Vaults as well as two episodes of WCW Monday Nitro. They would also live watch a few movies as they watched Beyond the Mat on episode 133 (aired 6/13/12) with Jordan Duncan, Wrestling with Shadows on episode 169 (aired 10/17/12), and Suburban Commando on episode 187 (aired 1/5/13) with Andy Flanagan appearing on both episodes. They would even cover a modern episode of RAW as they reviewed RAW’s 1000th episode on episode 146 (aired 7/26/12) which also doubled as a headline episode. Obviously, we saw a number of memorable episodes of TV covered this season and I’m sure we will see more over the next season or so as the Vaults continue to be the centerpiece of the PTB Podcast.

Interviews

After establishing themselves in the first season, Scott and Justin continued to grow their cred throughout season 2 as they brought on some more legendary names from the world of wrestling for interviews. We did see a returning guest as they brought John Walters back for episode 141 (aired 7/9/12) as he talked about the upcoming season of Lucha Libre USA while also giving his thoughts on Randy Savage and the current state of wrestling. Moving onto debuting guests, the boys first welcomed longtime WCW ring announcer Gary Michael Cappetta for episode 121 (aired 4/12/12) which also included Graham Cawthon as Cappetta talked his career in wrestling as well as promoted his upcoming book. The boys would then welcome legendary manager Bruno Lauer (Harvey Wippleman) for episodes 154 (aired 8/23/12) and 158 (aired 9/6/12), and Lauer would talk about his career, the death of Joey Marella, and did a lightning round of various wrestlers throughout his career. They would then hit the pinnacle of the season by bringing in legendary manager James J. Dillon for episodes 189 (aired 1/10/13) and 194 (aired 1/24/13), and he would discuss his long career on screen and behind the scenes which included a story about reuniting with Dusty Rhodes at the 2012 Hall of Fame. The boys would get one more interview in right before the end of the season as they welcomed former WCW commentator Scott Hudson for episode 196 (aired 2/6/13), and he would talk about his wrestling career as well as his law career. But this season will best be remembered for bringing former WWF announcer and then-Ring of Honor announcer Kevin Kelly into the family as he would make his debut on episode 142 (aired 7/11/12) to discuss the 11/4/96 RAW which had the infamous moment of Brian Pillman pointing a gun at Steve Austin and Kevin would also discuss the end of 1996 behind the scenes. Kevin would then return for episodes 172 (aired 10/29/12) and 178 (aired 11/28/12) to discuss 1997 on-screen and behind the scenes, and Kevin would also appear on episode 184 (aired 12/26/12) for an open forum as Kevin talked about his love of wrestling and college football, and the episode would also feature a surprise appearance by John Walters as he and Kevin talked politics. Kevin would make one more appearance in the season on episode 191 (aired 1/16/13) to talk the first half of 1998 on-screen and behind the scenes, and Kevin would become a fixture of the show going forward which was really cool as he in essence became an honorary member of the Nation. You can tell that Scott and Justin were becoming big time by having some of the names they had on the Podcast, and it will be interesting to see what big names would come on in future seasons of the Podcast.

Specialty Episodes

So in addition to the Vaults, the headlines, the Summer Throwbacks, and the interviews, we saw some more specialty shows pop up throughout the season as Scott and Justin continued to branch out during the season. They would do the final List-a-Mania for a PPV as they covered the Royal Rumble on episode 102 (aired 1/28/12), and they would do their second annual March Madness preview on episode 113 (aired 3/12/12) which is memorable for being the first episode to not feature one of the PICs as Justin sat out this episode due to the recent birth of his daughter though Andrew Riche, Matt Rotella, and Chris Criscuolo returned. On episode 139 (aired 7/1/12), they would do the first of many episodes where they brought a guest in and watched a random show while talking wrestling, and on episode 156 (aired 8/30/12) they would do their NFL Preview with Kyle Forchetti who would join them on future headlines to track the season. They would hold their first official Halloween-themed show on episode 173 (aired 11/1/12) where they live-watched the Halloween episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event from 11/2/85 and also did headlines, and for episode 175 (aired 11/8/12), they held a free open forum where they discussed everything from wrestling to the 2012 Presidential election. They would hold their second annual Christmas episode for episode 181 (aired 12/14/12) where they did headlines and gave out their own “presents” for the Nation, and on episode 182 (aired 12/17/12) they would hold another free open forum where they talked the state of wrestling at that time as well as the NFL season at that point. On episode 186 (aired 1/2/13), the boys would welcome Graham Cawthon back as they did their awards for the year of 2012 for wrestling, and then they would close out the season with episode 200 (aired 2/20/13) where they looked back at the previous 200 episodes, listened to messages from the Nation, and featured a memorable battle rap between Scott and Josh Richer.  But probably the most memorable specialty show of the year was episode 183 (aired 12/20/12), the boys welcomed back Josh Richer and Andy Flanagan as they discussed their old backyard wrestling promotion the Wrestling Championship Federation or WCF. It is always good to see a variety of shows show up during the season and no doubt we will see this continue throughout the future seasons.

Trivia

This season would begin what would become a tradition of future seasons and that is members of the Nation competing in trivia contests, and the first would take place on Facebook which was won by Jason Greenhouse who claimed his prize by joining Scott and Justin to talk Survivor Series 1996. Over the summer of 2012, the boys held the first official PTB Trivia tournament which featured 24 competitors from all over the world with the winner receiving a set of DVDs from Jay Ouimette while also earning the right to appear on a future Vault. The first round began on episode 141 after the boys talked to John Walters, and that match saw Derek Cornette knock off the aforementioned Ouimette along with newcomer James Gruenberg to advance. The next match happened on episode 142 which saw underdog Grant Owens knock off Josh Richer and David Crisafi to advance, and the third match took place on episode 143 where Jason Greenhouse edged out Michael McDonald and Kyle Forchetti to advance. Match number four took place on episode 144 (aired 7/17/12) which saw Dennis Nunez upset Derrick Leroux and J Arsenio D’Amato in an upset that also saw the return of El Gigante, and match five took place on episode 145 (aired 7/19/12) where early favorite Jeremy Nichols defeated Brian Samec and Mike Wilkinson to advance. The next match took place on episode 146 where Jay Hinchey defeated Jordan Duncan and Andy Flanagan to advance, and the seventh match took place on episode 147 (aired 7/27/12) where “The Hot Scot” Kieran Polland defeated George Ribolino and Ashley Cruse to advance. The final match of round one took place on episode 148 (aired 8/2/12) where Dave Hall took out Sean Zern and Austin Pfaff to round out the elite 8, and the quarterfinals would be unveiled on episode 149 (aired 8/3/12). The quarterfinals began on episode 152 (aired 8/15/12) where Hinchey defeated Owens and the second match was on episode 153 (aired 8/20/12) where Greenhouse barely edged out Nunez, and the third match was on episode 155 (aired 8/27/12) where Hall defeated Polland and the final match was on episode 157 (aired 9/4/12) where Nichols defeated Cornette to complete the Final Four. The Semifinals began on episode 160 (aired 9/13/12) where Hinchey defeated Greenhouse, and the second match took place on episode 164 where Hall upset Nichols to advance. The finals of the tournament took place on episode 165 (aired 10/1/12) where Hinchey defeated Hall to become the first PTB Trivia champion, and he would redeem his prize at the end of the season by talking Survivor Series 1998 with the boys. Despite some of the issues that happened during this tournament like scheduling conflicts, there was no doubt that this was a major success and would not be the last time they did something like this.

Moments

Much like the first season, the second season had itself plenty of memorable moments that took place as the chemistry between Scott and Justin continued to grow, and the Nation would continue to grow as new voices showed up and provided their own moments. The boys would celebrate the first anniversary of the show on episode 107 (aired 2/14/12) which also doubled as a Valentine’s Day episode, and the March Madness episode may not have had Justin officially on though he and his daughter would occasionally make their presence felt during the show. One of the best moments happened during Wrestlemania XII as they would constantly play clips from “Beyond the Mat” and Scott would debut Terry Funk as a character which caused Graham to lose his composure with laughter. They would continue this when Graham return for Summerslam 1997 as they also poked fun at Graham being from the South, and episodes 129 (aired 5/24/12) and 132 (aired 6/7/12) covering IYH: Beware of Dog and King of the Ring 1996 were memorable with Scott having Skype issues and having to use other means of communication which was fitting given the situation surrounding Beware of Dog. The character moments continued on the episode of Beyond the Mat as Justin would spend most of the episode mocking Jake Roberts’ daughter while also talking up the legendary Dennis Stamp. One of the greatest moments in the trivia tournament came on episode 144 where Dennis Nunez pulled out the win after J Arsenio D’Amato bombed after being hyped as one of the favorites, and that show also featured the greatest quote in history when Scott said “To do worse than Josh Richer”. This would become a running theme going forward and the quote has been included in the opening to this date, and on episode 152 Richer would return and confronted Scott about it which led to a memorable back-and-forth between the two. That same episode would also feature another memorable rant by Justin about the Boston Red Sox, and on episode 146 Scott would tell a memorable story about his return home from Rhode Island that was not so good for him. Coming off the episode in season one where Scott and Justin argued about Twitter, we saw another memorable back-and-forth on the RAW 1000 episode where Scott tried to learn about Tout and Justin ripped on him for what he thought how Tout worked. Episode 167 (aired 10/10/12) saw the boys do a headline show during the MLB playoffs as they saw in real time the New York Yankees pull off a victory over the Baltimore Orioles in extra innings to stay alive, and during the Survivor Series 1997 Vault Kyle shared a story about him and his friend at the hotel where the wrestlers were staying and stumbling upon a secret meeting between the officials. That same episode also saw Scott and Justin share stories about Matt Rotella and his womanizing to Kyle’s amusement, and their episodes with Kevin had great moments including Kevin telling a story of Vince crapping his pants during a promo at a house show and Kevin ragging on Justin and his Providence Friars. One of the more infamous moments took place when Kevin was on the Free Open Forum episode that John Walters crashed and their discussions led it to being one of the more disliked episodes in the history of the Podcast. Two great moments occurred on episode 180 (aired 12/11/12) where they discussed Unforgiven 1998 and the first was Justin yelling at Scott for not listening to him after Scott repeated a note made about the Rock and Roll Express using the Rockers’ old theme, and they got into another heated debate about where the Legion of Doom should’ve won the tag titles from the New Age Outlaws. Another instance of a sports event happening during a Vault occurred during the episode about Summerslam 1998 as the Baltimore Ravens upset the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game much to Justin’s absolute delight. Lastly, the 200th episode had some great moments including an audio diary of moments from the previous episodes, Vince and El Gigante’s discussion, and of course the rap battle between Scott and Josh. No doubt the second season was full of great moments for Scott and Justin and you could argue that this season had more memorable moments than the first season, but that’s a topic for another time.

Jay Ouimette

For as much fun and frivolity this season had, there was some emotion as well as the Nation came to know Jay Ouimette, who first came in during the first season by leaving his comments during the Vaults. He would make his first appearance on episode 135 (aired 7/20/12) after the boys talked the 7/8/96 Monday Nitro, and he would talk about what his health issues and how he began selling his massive DVD collection to help pay for his bills as well as his love for the local promotion 2CW. He would return for the Trivia tournament though fell in the first round to Grant Owens and he would provide the winner Jay Hinchey with 10 free DVDs, and he would again return on episode 151 to talk Revenge of the Taker and gave an update on his health. He would remain a loyal member of the Nation and would appear a few more times in the later seasons which I will talk about, and he would be part of the large gathering at Wrestlemania 29. Sadly as of this writing, Jay Ouimette is no longer with us and while he may no longer be here in person, his spirit remains as a part of the Nation and he will forever be remembered so rest in peace Jay Ouimette.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the second season of the Place to Be Podcast was a great season and dare I say, it might have even been better than the first season. A lot of the technical issues that the boys had suffered through in the first season were gone for the most part this season though they still reared their ugly heads at times. We also saw the continued growth of the Nation thanks to the tournament and having various guests on different episodes, and the boys’ reputation continued to grow with the big names they brought on for interviews. It is incredible to see how much the podcast has grown in two years and 200 episodes, and it seems like the sky was the limit as they enter their third year on the air and begin the long trek to 300 episodes. As for the second season, it is a great season with some great moments and we see the continued growing of the Place to Be Nation.

Recommended Episodes:

Headlines:

1. Episode 101 – “Headlines”

2. Episode 105 – “Headlines and Meet the Nation”

3. Episode 112 – “Headlines”

4. Episode 117 – “Headlines and Wrestlemania XXVIII Preview”

5. Episode 131 – “Headlines”

6. Episode 144 – “Headlines and Trivia”

7. Episode 152 – “Headlines and Trivia”

8. Episode 160 – “Headlines and NFL Week Two”

9. Episode 171 – “Headlines and NFL Week Eight”

10. Episode 181 – “Christmas Headlines Spectacular”

Vintage Vaults:

1. Episode 108 – “In Your House #4”

2. Episode 124 – “Wrestlemania XII”

3. Episode 129 – “IYH: Beware of Dog”

4. Episode 132 – “King of the Ring 1996”

5. Episode 143 – “Survivor Series 1996”

6. Episode 150 – “Wrestlemania 13”

7. Episode 161 – “Summerslam 1997”

8. Episode 168 – “Survivor Series 1997”

9. Episode 180 – “Unforgiven 1998”

10. Episode 192 – “Summerslam 1998”

Summer Throwbacks:

1. Episode 133 – “Beyond the Mat”

2. Episode 142 – “Monday Night RAW 11/4/96 and Kevin Kelly”

3. Episode 146 – “RAW 1000”

4. Episode 148 – “Thursday RAW Thursday”

5. Episode 153 – “RAW 4/21/97 and Summerslam 2012”

6. Episode 164 – “One Night Only and NFL Week Four”

7. Episode 165 – “RAW is WAR 9/22/97”

8. Episode 169 – “Wrestling with Shadows and NFL Week Seven”

9. Episode 179 – “RAW is WAR 4/13/98”

10. Episode 187 – “Suburban Commando”

Specialty Episodes:

1. Episode 102 – “Royal Rumble List-a-Mania”

2. Episode 113 – “March Madness Preview”

3. Episode 121 – “Gary Michael Cappetta”

4. Episode 141 – “John Walters and Trivia”

5. Episodes 154 and 158 – “Bruno Lauer Interview”

6. Episodes 172 and 178 – “1997 with Kevin Kelly”

7. Episode 183 – “Rise and Fall of WCF”

8. Episodes 189 and 194 – “J.J. Dillon”

9. Episode 191 – “1998 WWF with Kevin Kelly Part 1”

10. Episode 196 – ‘Scott Hudson”

Bonus: Episode 200 – “A PTB Variety Show Retrospective”