A Look Back at the Place to Be Podcast: Season 5
On February 11th, 2011, the Place to Be Podcast was launched and we were now heading into the fifth season as well as having 400 episodes, and the podcast has now been on the air for just over five years and things feel completely different than back in 2011 when the podcast launched. After releasing two episodes a week for the better part of the last five years, the podcast was now having a show once every two weeks and while it feels like far less than what we’ve had, the PTB Nation has grown a lot with new podcasts popping up and the website continuing to grow. It was going to be interesting to see how this season ends up going because there would be some more changes going forward that would shape the podcast from here.
The Vintage Vaults continued to be the showcase for the PTB Podcast as Scott and Justin continued their trek through the WWE, starting the season with the 2006 Royal Rumble on episode 401 (aired 4/11/16) and making it all the way to Wrestlemania 23 on episode 425 (aired 11/7/16). They would also briefly return to the live watches as they brought in Jason Greenhouse, Glenn Butler, and Steve Willie to do the March ’06 Saturday Night’s Main Event on episode 403 (aired 5/2/16), and then they brought Willie and Butler back along with Brad Woodling and Roger Morrisette for episode 407 (aired 5/30/16) to live watch the WWE vs. ECW show from 6/7/06. The final live watch would take place for episode 411 (aired 6/27/16) as the boys welcomed back Butler along with Greg Phillips and myself to watch the July ’06 Saturday Night’s Main Event, and this would be the last live watch for the current run of PPVs. Speaking of Glenn Butler, he would also appear on episode 410 (aired 6/20/16) to talk Vengeance 2006, and he wouldn’t be the only guest as Marc Clair returned for episodes 408 (aired 6/6/16) and 422 (aired 10/10/16) to talk ECW One Night Stand 2006 and the 2007 Royal Rumble. They would welcome a first-time guest in Timothy Buechner for episode 419 (aired 9/5/16) to talk December to Dismember 2006, and finally they welcomed back Chad Campbell for Wrestlemania 23. There weren’t many reoccurring segments during this run aside from Scott doing his 3 steps for each match and the boys would also do rankings for the 2006-2007 season by ranking the PPVs in order, doing their top 5 matches which ended up being closer to 20, and their 3 worst though that ended being 4 instead. But it is here where we have our first major shift as after following the main track for the last 5 and a half years, the boys decide to head back to 1985 and refresh the PPVs that they did while also including all the Saturday Night’s Main Events and all of the house shows at Madison Square Garden. In addition, the boys would start giving grades for their matches which they had not done to this point and also gave out awards for best and worst match, MVP, LVP, best moment, most juiced, worst hair which was added on episode 489 (aired 5/14/18) for the 2/22/88 house show, and overall grades. Also included would be Scott’s Pop Culture corner as he would list off the Top 10 on the Billboard chart for the weekend of the show, the movies released that same weekend, any sports scores around that time, and also any major news in pop culture around that time, and this season also saw Justin go up against whoever the guest was during the fall shows as they guessed the winners for that year’s NFL season. They would begin this new track on episode 427 (aired 11/28/16) with the 1/21/85 house show and concluded the season by making it to Summerslam 1988 on episode 499 (aired 9/11/18), and they would also include two special episodes covering the builds for Wrestlemania III and IV on episodes 470 (aired 11/20/17) and 491 (aired 6/4/18). They would also begin having regular guests for particular shows as Kelly Nelson became their main third man for the house shows, Peter Winston for the Saturday Night’s Main Events, and J Arsenio D’Amato for the pay-per-views beginning with Wrestlemania 2 for episode 451 (aired 5/29/17). In addition, they would welcome various guests for random shows including Chad, Ryan Everett, Pete Schirmacher, Tim Capel, Richard Laind, Nick Duke, Tim Slomka, Jennifer Smith, Stacey O’Loughlin, and even myself as the boys would make their 2-man power trip a consistent 3-person power trip. It was pretty crazy seeing the shift back to 1985 after being on such a roll and making it to 2007, but I feel like the change was a good thing as you could tell the boys were tiring of the current run they were on and needed a change. Plus, you can hear the difference in quality for these shows particularly when you compare them to the original reviews of these shows back in season 1, and it really feels like two different podcasts even though they are the same.
With the Vintage Vaults now being the main show for the podcast, the specialty episodes became fewer and far between, and eventually got to a point where there were only specific ones that you knew were going to happen at least once during the season. We did get one more interview this season as Justin would fly solo on episode 409 (aired 6/13/16) and welcomed James Dixon to talk his “Titan” series of books as well as his wrestling fandom, and to this date this would end up being the final interview that Scott and Justin have done. They would also do a special quick project for episodes 415 (aired 8/1/16) and 426 (aired 11/21/16) where the boys along with Chad Campbell would do rankings for the previous PPV seasons that they had done in the similar vein that they were doing for the 2006-2007 season. They would also do a special anniversary show for episode 437 (aired 2/13/17) where they welcomed Chad back and discussed their sixth anniversary, and they would compare the topics they talked about in the first episode back in 2011 and compared it to where they were at in 2017. Of course, we have our annual Halloween episodes as there two this season on episodes 424 (aired 10/31/16) and 468 (aired 10/30/17), and the first one saw the return of trivia as 16 competitors took part in this tournament which we will talk about later. The second episode saw the boys welcome numerous guests including Kevin Kelly, Timothy Buechner, Jennifer Smith, Mirandia Berthold, Tim Capel, Peter Winston, Travis Woloshyn, and Max Mitchell as they discussed their podcasts as well as various Halloween topics. We also had two Christmas specials this season with episodes 431 (aired 12/24/16) and 474 (aired 12/24/17), and the first special would be another play this time talking about the birth of PTB Nation and its potential downfall, and the second one would see the boys travel through space and time as Justin tries to save Scott who is faking having polio to meet Triple H. Finally, we had our final episode of the season with the 500th episode (aired 9/25/18) as the boys talked about the previous episodes, we had special interludes of Vince McMahon and others trying to record a cover of “We Are the World”, and the boys held another giant trivia tournament which I will get into later. At this point, the different type of specialty shows were going to become rarer as we would have our standard bearers going forward, and while it is sad that the unique different shows would disappear, the regular ones that we get more than make up with their memorability.
One of the constants from the last few seasons has been trivia as we had a trivia tournament in 2012 and 2013, and then the last one that the boys would hold was on episode 300 when they did the Trivia Olympics. Now after being dormant for quite a while, the boys decided to bring trivia back twice for this season as the first tournament that they held was on the 2016 Halloween episode, and they welcomed 16 competitors which included Greg Phillips, Jason Greenhouse, myself, Nate Milton, Jordan Duncan, Good Ol’ Will, Andrew Riche, Ryan Everett, James Gruenberg, Steve Williams, Steven Ferrari, Nick Duke, Pete Schirmacher, Steve Willie, Kelly Nelson, and Ben Morse. After a strong first round, the field was cut to 8 as myself, Williams, Ferrari, Willie, Nelson, Morse, Everett, and Schirmacher advanced, and after a great second round and two tiebreakers, the final four ended up being myself, Williams, Nelson, and Everett. Following the final four, myself and Nelson were bounced as it came down to Everett and Williams, and after a fantastic finals Ryan Everett outlasted Steve Williams to win the Halloween tournament. But that wouldn’t be the only tournament this season as the boys held a giant trivia tournament on the 500th episode, and this one would feature 25 competitors including Michael Cook, Logan Crosland, Stacey O’Loughlin, Dave Hall, Good Ol’ Will, Robert Bauckner, Andy LeBar, Keith Langston, myself, Kelly Nelson, Aaron George, Jason Sherman, Greg Diener, Ryan Everett, Jared Dusett, Mike Poulin, Tim Capel, Nick Duke, Greg Phillips, Rory McNamara, Andy Atherton, Scott Shifflett, Calum McDougal, Steve Williams, and Ed Bennett. After a long and interesting first round, the field was cut to 12 with Hall, myself, Nelson, Diener, Everett, Poulin, Capel, Phillips, McNamara, Shifflett, McDougal, and Williams advancing, and after the second round only four made it to the next round with myself, McDougal, Diener, and Everett advancing. When the third round ended, myself and McDougal got knocked out with Everett and Diener making it to the championship, and at the end of the day Ryan Everett once again proved superior as he defeated Greg Diener to win the Episode 500 trivia tournament. As usual, these tournaments are always fun to do and come with many surprises and funny moments, and if anything it showed that Ryan Everett is a trivia beast and will be remembered for his runs during this season.
Even though the episodes from this season were pretty consistent with it being mainly Vintage Vaults with a handful of specialty episodes, there were no shortage of moments throughout this season as we still had plenty of them throughout. As I mentioned when talking about the Vintage Vaults, you could tell that Scott and Justin were starting to tire of the current track they were on though they did have some good discussions during that year particularly during the 2006 Survivor Series on episode 418 (aired 8/22/16) when they talked about the state of the roster at that time. When they made the transition back to 1985, the house shows provided some fun moments including the boys talking about the various jobbers and their tics, disastrous debuts including that of Sivi Afi, both men gaining new appreciation for certain wrestlers while also expressing disappointment with old favorites, and hearing different voices on certain shows including myself getting to talk Wrestlefest 1988 on episode 498 (aired 8/27/18). We also had plenty of great moments during the trivia tournaments especially on the first one with Will, James, and Andrew having embarrassing showings, Greg and Jason disappointing, and Ryan and Steve W. proving their trivia dominance, and hearing Scott and Justin try to create their PPV rankings was fun with Justin wanting to throw the towel in when doing the 2003-2004 year. The second Halloween episode also provided fun moments like Scott and Justin playing “F, Marry, Kill” with Jennifer, Tim, and Mirandia which included some very unique choices, and as usual, both Christmas plays provided great moments including dramatized lookbacks at Scott and Justin growing up, creating the podcast, and Brad and Ben plotting to destroy it, and then the second one was a complete mind trip with Scott going to great lengths to meet Triple H including scamming Make-a-Wish and Justin travelling through time with different characters to find the cure for polio. And of course, episode 500 provided some great moments including a few weak performances in the trivia tournament, the saga of Vince redoing “We Are The World” with different characters and some old voices, Justin bringing back “Asshole of the Week”, and the boys reminiscing on the past 500 episodes. Despite all the changes that have occurred during these last 500 episodes, there were always going to be plenty of great moments and no doubt there were going to be many great moments to come.
Overall, the fifth season of the Place to Be Podcast was a very fun season that saw a couple more changes and would set the template for what we would more than likely see going forward. The first season seems so far away by this point as it used to be Headlines and Vintage Vaults with a few specialty episodes sprinkled in between, and since then we’ve had Throwbacks, Live Watches, Trivia, Interviews, and more as we now mainly have Vintage Vaults with a few reoccurring specialty shows, particularly for Halloween and Christmas. The growth of the Nation continued through this season as more podcasts came into the fold, plenty of new faces came into the family, and the website continued to grow with the addition of these new faces and podcasts. These last five seasons have seen many changes, but nothing too drastic though as we will see throughout the sixth season, things around the world would become a bit chaotic and we will see if that ends up affecting the podcast in any way. As for this season, it is yet another great season and the sky continues to be the limit for Scott, Justin, and the rest of the PTB Nation.
1. Episode 403 – “Saturday Night’s Main Event 3/18/06”
2. Episode 404 – “Wrestlemania 22”
3. Episode 407 – “WWE vs. ECW Head to Head 6/7/06”
4. Episode 408 – “One Night Stand 2006”
5. Episode 410 – “Vengeance 2006”
6. Episode 411 – “Saturday Night’s Main Event 7/11/06”
7. Episode 418 – “Survivor Series 2006”
8. Episode 425 – “Wrestlemania 23”
9. Episode 427 – “WWF House Show – Madison Square Garden 1/21/85”
10. Episode 428 – “The War to Settle the Score – 2/18/85”
11. Episode 430 – “Vintage Vault Refresh – Wrestlemania I”
12. Episode 439 – “WWF House Show – Madison Square Garden 9/23/85”
13. Episode 447 – “WWF House Show – Madison Square Garden 1/27/86”
14. Episode 449 – “Saturday Night’s Main Event V – 3/1/86”
15. Episode 465 – “Saturday Night’s Main Event IX – 1/3/87, 1986 Year in Review, and Bobby Heenan Tribute”
16. Episode 471 – “Wrestlemania III”
17. Episode 491 – “The Road to Wrestlemania IV”
18. Episode 492 – “Wrestlemania IV”
19. Episode 498 – “Wrestlefest 1988”
20. Episode 499 – “Summerslam 1988”
1. Episode 409 – “Titan Screwed w/ James Dixon”
2. Episode 415 – “WWE PPV Report Cards Part One”
3. Episode 424 – “Sixth Annual Halloween Spooktacular”
4. Episode 426 – “WWE PPV Report Cards Part Two”
5. Episode 431 – “Sixth Annual Christmas Extravaganza”
6. Episode 437 – “Sixth Birthday Celebration”
7. Episode 468 – “Seventh Annual Halloween Spooktacular”
8. Episode 474 – “Seventh Annual Christmas Extravaganza”
9. Episode 500 – “Trivia Tournament and a Trip Down Memory Lane”