Place to Be Podcast Episode 289: SummerSlam 2001

In this new episode of the PTB Podcast, Scott & Justin are in the Vintage Vault and joined by Scott Keith to chat SummerSlam 2001. They discuss X-Pac, Edge, Rob Van Dam, Undertaker, Steve Austin and much, much more.

So fire up this action packed episode and join Scott and Justin because it is time for another edition of the PTB Podcast!

Check out more from the Place to Be Podcast right here at Place to Be Nation including interviews with Kevin Kelly, Steve Corino, J.J. Dillon, Scott Keith, Christopher Robin Zimmerman, Christopher Daniels, Gary Michael Cappetta, Scott Hudson, Bruno Lauer, Stevie Richards, Eddie Edwards and many, many more. Don't forget to check out our other great podcasts – only at Place to Be Nation!

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I should also point out that, finally, the mystery of who burned down my apartment building in 2000 is SOLVED.  The answer revealed only on this show!

A+ Match of the Day

And I wanted to take a break from this until after Elimination Chamber, damn you Phil!

As a send off to our favorite pipe-bomb laying, diva-fucking, straight-edged wrestling savant, here are a few of CM Punk’s greatest hits.

First up, what else but 2011 Money in the Bank vs. John Cena. A five-star affair if there ever was one.

Rest up Punk, we’ll be here when you get back.

Punk E-Mails Wave 1

And away we go…

Hi Scott, hope you are well.
The recent kafuffling with Daniel Bryan, and now with CM Punk going home, has crystallized something which had been running around my brain for a while. In some ways, Daniel Bryan and CM Punk remind me of Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels during the 90s. It’s not a completely perfect comparison, and heaven knows I don’t think Bryan and Punk have the tension between them that Bret & Shawn did (and lets hope they never do), but I do see some similarities.
Two of the most talented in-ring WWF/E performers of their era, who weren’t supposed to be top guys because of their size/not looking like a star, and have to scrap and claw their way up the roster while the serious/hardcore fans are very much into them. Individually, there are also some comparisons that can be made.
Technical wrestlers who fall into somewhat of a traditionalist role.
Gets paired with a large powerhouse but becomes the fan favourite before moving on.
The company always looking for someone else while the fans keep wanting them as a/the top guy.
Very talented guys who were/are douchebags backstage.
Large chips on their shoulders.
Often butting heads with management.
Will take his ball and go home.
Now obviously, there are differences. They appear to get along much better than Bret & Shawn did (at least circa 96-97). But then again, those two got along quite well during the late 80s & early 90s. And Punk & Bryan haven’t really been pitted against each other in any big way, either on camera or backstage. However, it wouldn’t be above Hunter and Vince to play them off of one another at some point, both on and off camera. Let’s hope they know enough not to fall in to those traps, assuming those traps get set, and they could do good stuff together (also assuming Punk come back).
And of course there is the irony of Shawn having trained the Bret guy (Bryan).
Like I said, it’s far from a perfect comparison, but I think it’s interesting to consider. Thoughts?
Take care.

It is indeed an interesting comparison, and hopefully things won’t end as badly for Bryan as they did for Bret.  But wait…does this make Colt Cabana Kevin Nash? 

Hey Scott,
It dawned on me earlier today when I read that Punk bailed… Whether it’s a work or a shoot, he just made a terrific move. One of the complaints for the last decade or so is the over-exposure of the top stars and how no big matches seem special anymore because they’re on free TV all the time. Well, Brock, Rock, Undertaker, Batista, and Jericho figured it out.  And maybe we can add Punk to the list:
Whose matches have the most meaning?
Who has been headlining the most recent Wrestlemanias?
Who do we welcome back every time they decide to wrestle?
Who is seen on regular TV the least and doesn’t do asinine non-title matches and deal with 50/50 booking?
These guys have their cake and eat it, too. They have this in common with late ’80s Hogan. They can all pursue other agendas while staying fresh and staying “strong” booking-wise. Sadly (and smartly), they let the guys like Ziggler, Bryan, and whoever else lose on TV all they want.  It’s genius, actually. It just takes some extra $$$ or another job to make sure you have some leverage
Maybe WWE will make the connection.

And really, Punk was doing nothing ever since the Brock feud anyway, and has nothing left to prove as far as being a full-time guy.  He won all the titles, did the Undertaker match, and got his big moment with Money in the Bank.  As long as he saved his money, he should be able to pull a Jericho and just come back when he feels like it.  Maybe he can go book ROH or something to occupy his time. 

How in the hell did CM Punk avoid the WWE Filtering Process and come in from the farm league as “CM Punk” instead of  by some horseshit ring name “Tam Goodkind” or “Derek Zach Smyser”?  It’s now requisite that you drop your indy mantle and bear the mark of the WWE.   So how did CM Punk get lucky?  Different marketing philosophy?

I believe he just made sure to fight for it, but this was also during a time when they weren’t pushing so hard for guys to change their indy names in developmental.  And I’m pretty sure having Paul Heyman on his side helped, too.

Hey Scott,
OK, let’s say Punk is indeed gone and Bryan loses again at the Chamber. Batista stays face and challenges Orton for the title at Mania. How the hell does WWE keep the crowds from hijacking every Raw the next 2 months with constant “CM Punk” “Daniel Bryan” and “J-B-L” chants? I mean, Batista and Orton segments won’t have a chance, that’s for sure. I could even seeing things get so bad that fans just start shitting on everything, maybe even Taker or Hogan segments.
Raw’s in New York the week before Mania! Holy shit that’s gonna be rough.

It’s the bed they made.   Really, they need to get that title onto Bryan NOW.  Whatever half-assed plan they have for Batista v. Orton can’t be worth all the headaches it’s gonna cause them if they continue to ignore the problem.  Put it on Bryan at the Chamber, HHH can challenge him for it because his golden boy couldn’t get the job done, and there’s your big WM moment for him. 

If Randy Orton loses the title at EC couldn’t he be moved into a feud with HHH? It would solve the issue of him not belonging in a Bryan vs. Batista or Brock match and although Orton vs. HHH isn’t exactly a fresh matchup, I think Randy going over decisively in an “I’m not your bitch” type angle could help him recover some of the overness he had before he got the belt.

Yeah, but he hates being a babyface so I doubt he’d go back to it so soon without making a big stink about it. 

So…what’s the over/under on possible WWE Network subscribers on launch day and for year one?  Hulu Plus has surpassed five million; Netflix is 44 million.  Does one million for the Network sound far-fetched for the first year?
Without a way to pre-order, WWE is likely going to double-stress their servers on day one – once with people rushing to sign up, and the second with all those new subscribers browsing and gorging on content.  Wonder if they’ve stress tested it yet.

I kinda think they announced it too soon and now they’re losing momentum on it.  If they had done the announcement and then got everyone to rush out and sign up, they’d clear the million easily.  But they’re not exactly making it a household name right now and the more the Bryan/Punk stuff drags on for hardcore fans, the less they’re gonna feel the need to buy the network for the increasingly crappy PPVs.  That being said, Royal Rumble streamed without a hitch for me, so the servers seem to be fine.

Am I the only one who thinks its kinda funny Vince just spitting in everones face?  Imagine the grapefruits on vince if he walks out and says DB is fired and does not have a no compete clause.  If you all love him so much lets see you try and watch TNA.  Could DB save TNA?
That’s how crazy things are getting.  I’m starting to wonder if DB is so red hot right could he move the meter in TNA?  Thats Vince’s point right.  The man wont be able to draw.  I would just love to see someone proven right or wrong.

Pretty sure that if Bryan can’t sell out a house show in WWE, he’s not moving the needle in TNA.

BoD Daily Update

CM Punk Update

As of right now, the belief among many in the company is that CM Punk is no longer factored in company plans going forward. Vince McMahon also called the writers in at 6pm to re-write the show, which originally had Punk lose an Elimination Chamber qualifying match due to interference from Kane. Punk’s contract is set to expire in July.

Credit Mike Johnson,

Wrestlers Worried Over Payouts When the Network Launches?

According to Wade Keller’s sources, lots of wrestlers are worried that the pay structure will change when the network begins. Most of them believe that PPV bonuses will no longer take place. Also, WWE mangement has yet to address the issue to the locker room.

Credit Wade Keller, PWTorch Newsletter

Matt Hardy and Reby Sky Arrested

They were both arrested for a domestic battery incident that took place at a hotel in Virginia.

Camera work

Hi Scott,

When did WWE forget how to film wrestling matches? I'm sure you know what I'm referring to: for quite a while now, whenever someone is about to hit a big move (even certain finishers) the camera angle changes right at the point of contact so that you don't really see the move happen. This happens way too much to be an accident. Do the directors in the booth (or Vince) really think this is appealing? Hope you can shed some light on the subject. Sorry about the lack of Daniel Bryan in this email.

Yeah, I've noticed the ADD camerawork in the HD era as well, and I think it has to do with a change in the directing staff.  It'll probably get worse when Hunter takes over and turfs out Kevin Dunn as well.  I think the real problem is just like with the lack of indies, in that they're running out of experienced cameramen and directors who know how to shoot WRESTLING and not just whatever WWE tells them to.  

Oh Great, Now Punk Is Jealous…

Punk decided to take his ball and go home, obviously jealous of all the attention that Bryan has been getting here on the blog as of late.
WE STILL LOVE YOU TOO, PHIL!  C'mere, big guy, let's hug it out.
I bet HHH is walking around Stamford right now being all "Fuck, I was gonna put him over at Wrestlemania so huge, too.  Oh well, his loss."  

Saturday Night’s Main Event: October 5th, 1985

October 5th, 1985

Your hosts are Jesse Ventura and Vince McMahon

Tonight, Hulk Hogan defends his World Heavyweight Title against Nikolai Volkoff in a Flag Match. Also, Uncle Elmer takes on Jerry Valiant then later on in the show, he will get married. Plus, Roddy Piper vs. Paul Orndorff, The Dream Team against Lanny Poffo & Tony Garea, and Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy vs. Andre the Giant & Tony Atlas

The announcers start by talking about the show, causing Jesse to go off on a rant about Uncle Elmer’s wedding having no place in wrestling.

Flag Match
World Heavyweight Championship
Nikolai Volkoff w/ Freddie Blassie vs. Hulk Hogan

This match came about due to Hogan not wanting Volkoff’s Russian flag or National Anthem played before his match. The match starts with Volkoff attacking Hogan from behind. He slams his head off of the turnbuckle then chokes Hogan out with his own shirt. Hogan fights back and punches away. He clotheslines Volkoff in the corner as the crowd explodes. He hits another clothesline then drops an elbow. Hogan punches him down then boots him through the ropes and onto the timekeepers table. Hogan follows out but Volkoff is able to shove him into the post. Back in the ring, Volkoff stomps away before hitting a double axe handle from the second rope. Volkoff hits his backbreaker but jaws at the crowd before covering and can only get two. Volkoff whips Hogan into the corner and tries a piledriver but Hogan counters that with a backdrop as both men are down. Volkoff stomps on Hogan then hits a slam, getting two. Hogan starts to hulk up and starts hammering away. He dodges a charge in the corner then hits his leg drop for the win (5:17) **1/4. After the match, Hogan takes the Russian flag and uses it to shine his boots, causing Jesse to go off on a rant as to how Hogan is a disgrace. Hogan then tosses the flag and spits on it before grabbing the American flag and waving it around in the ring, to the delight of the crowd.

Thoughts: Good match. It was all action and no dull spots. Volkoff looked quicker than usual and Hogan sold quite a bit for him too. The evil foreigner gimmick still worked well in 1985 and it showed as the fans hated Volkoff.

After his match, Hogan gets interviewed by Gene Okerlund. He is excted about the wedding of Uncle Elmer.

Jerry Valiant vs. Uncle Elmer w/ Hillbilly Jim & Cousin Junior

Valiant charges and gets slammed then Elmer pins him for the win (0:12). After the match, Howard Finkel announces the match at six seconds, breaking the nine second record for the fastest pinfall by King King Bundy over S.D Jones at WrestleMania. They even show the clip of Bundy squashing S.D afterwards.

Thoughts: They are giving Elmer quite the push tonight, even giving him the record of the fastest pinfall. He was such a bad wrestler that the length seemed fine and it was a bullshit record anyway and more of a way to hype his wedding later in the show.

The Body Shop with guest Bobby Heenan. For those who do not know, the “Body Shop” was a segment hosted by Jesse Ventura. Quite frankly, I thought that it was just as good as Piper’s Pit overall. It just lacked the bigger segments. Heenan tells us that the bounty for Paul Orndorff is up to $50,000 and tells Orndorff if he had any brains, he would come out and retire. Just hype for the Orndorff vs. Piper match.

Paul Orndorff vs. Roddy Piper

The match starts with both guys trading haymakers. Orndorff runs into a clothesline then Piper slams his head off of the mat. Orndorff takes him down and starts biting his forehead. They brawl some more until Piper hits a DDT. He puts the boots to Orndorff then they both go outside where Piper hits him with a chair. Orndorff fights back and rolls Piper back in the ring. He hits a double axe handle then a suplex as the crowd goes insane. Piper hits a kneelift after an eye rake then both men collide. Orndorff manages to get his knees up on a splash attempt by Roddy. They both go over the top rope after Orndorff hits a crossbody then they brawl all the way up the aisle and into the locker room, with the camera showing us the action. the match is ruled a double count-out (4:40) **1/2. Piper is able to sneak into a dressing room and lock the door as the segment ends with Orndorff still upset.

Thoughts: Good brawl. These guys still had a hot feud but it was starting to wain a bit at this point. Piper was one of the best ever at working a crowd into a frenzy.

And now, the wedding of Uncle Elmer. Mean Gene is playing the organ for this. Jesse is a riot in trashing this wedding. Even better is Vince yelling at Jesse for laughing over Elmer forgetting the words. Piper comes out and interrupts the ceremony, saying there is no room for weddings in wrestling and says it all stinks as Hogan comes out and points at Piper, who leaves.  As they kiss, Jesse gets in a great line about them looking like “two carp in the Mississippi fighting over the same piece of corn.” Funny enough, largely due to Jesse.

Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Tony Atlas & Andre the Giant

Andre chokes out Bundy with the straps off his ring attire. He chops Bundy in the corner then tags atlas after a double team. Bundy misses an elbow drop and gets headbutted. Studd tags as Atlas falls down delivering an Irish whip. Atlas comes back with headbutts and tries to slam Studd but fails. After missing a dropkick, Atlas gets beat down by Studd, who goes after Andre on the apron as Bundy splsahes Atlas. Andre tags as he faces of with Studd, with the crowd going crazy. He chops Studd but Bundy attacks Andre from behind. After slamming Atlas against the ropes, Studd joins Bundy in attacking Andre. The ref rings the bell for the DQ as the heels continue the assault (4:26) 1/2*. Andre fights back but it is not enough. Hogan runs out as the crowd is going out of their minds and he helps Andre clear the ring of the heels, with Jesse stating that Hogan had no business out there. After the match, Okerlund interviews Hogan, Andre, and Atlas as Hogan, who promises us that big news will be revealed soon.

Thoughts: Not bad and it moves Hogan onto a feud, after months of defending the belt against the upper midcard. The match itself was fine for what it was.

Gene Okerlund is at the Detroit zoo with George Steele. The joke here is that Steele is in his natural habitat and as Okerlund points out animals, Steele compares them to wrestlers then he takes off and runs into the bushes. Harmless comedy segment.

Tag Team Championship Match
“Leaping” Lanny Poffo & Tony Garea vs. The Dream Team w/ Johnny Valiant

Valentine takes down Poffo and works a headlock as the camera shows the former champions, Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo in the front row. Valentine slams Poffo but he fights back. He dropkicks Beefcake then gets a nearfall off of a moonsault. Valentine attacks Poffo and that allows Beefcake to gain control of the match. The heels neutralize Poffo until he finally makes the hot tag to Tony Garea. He hits some dropkicks as the crowd doesnt give a fuck. Crossbody gets two but he runs into an elbow smash. Valentine tags then drops the elbow before making Garea submit to the figure four (3:30) *.

Thoughts: The challengers were probably the single worst team to get a shot at the belts. No idea how they came to the conclusion that those two should wrestle on national television. Match was average.

At the wedding reception, Hogan and Orndorff are sitting at the same table as Vince and Jesse, who keeps ranting on and on how weddings have no place in wrestling. Mean Gene interviews Albano, who is teaching Cousin Junior how to eat.He then goes over to Poffo, who recites a poem for the newlyweds. Hillbilly Jim then propose a toast as Tiny Tim comes out with his ukelele and gives it to Elmer. The band plays as Elmer sings “Walk Through This World With Me,” and actually doesnt do that bad of a job. After he finishes, Jesse reads a poem that closes with him bashing the wedding. As Hogan and Orndorff get up and approach him, Jesse backpedals but gets tripped by Jim and falls into the cake, causing everyone to laugh. Entertaining enough but nowhere nearly as funny as the reception for Butcher Vachon’s wedding.

Hogan lets us know that next month on Saturday Night’s Main Event, Hogan & Andre will team up against King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd.

Final Thoughts: Not as eventful as the first SNME but it had its moments. Hogan’s match was solid and Piper/Orndorff was fun. Jesse single-handedly made the Uncle Elmer wedding entertaining. In fact, in his shoot interview with RF Video, Jesse stated that Bill Murray called him after watching the show and congratulated on his performance, especially about the joke he made when they kissed. They also set up the main event for next month’s show.

Is it just me

Or is there massive money in Batista/Bryan for the belt at wrestlemania?  When Bryan won the WHC, Batista had that whole twitter rant about Bryan being good, just not world champion material.  Throw in his bro hug with HHH, and it's like the story is writing itself.  Batista as a heel is far more a believable avatar for HHH/Vince then anything else they've had in the while.  It's almost like they don't just hate the fans , but they hate money, apparently.

Sent from my iPhone

I feel like they've been hating indiscriminately lately.  
But as noted, rumors are currently Bryan v. Orton v. Batista for WM in the "Match booked to shut up the smart fans" column.  Which is fine by me.  

Daniel Bryan Update

According to Dave Scherer of, the WWE is now considering Daniel Bryan facing both Batista and Randy Orton at WrestleMania for the Heavyweight Championship. This is reportedly the result of the overwhelming response for Bryan the past two shows and also partly due to fear that the crowd will hijack the show with Daniel Bryan chants. One big thing to note is that Batista was promised the Rumble and a main event match at WrestleMania when he re-signed with the company. There is also some speculation that Bryan winning the belt and being on RAW the day the network debuts would boost ratings.

20 years of announcing

Hi, Scott!
Today is my 20th anniversary as a pro wrestling announcer. You reviewed one of my shows (ROH Glory By Honor). You’ll be happy to know that last time I called an MMA show, I used the phrase “AIRHORN OF DOOM.”
To celebrate, I made this video called “The Four Steps to Becoming a Great Pro Wrestling Announcer.” Would you mind sharing it with the BoD? Thanks.
Jeff Gorman