The Spotlight On Wrestling Podcasts- The Lapsed Fan’s Starrcade Memorial Tour

I touched on the lapsed fan podcast a few months back here on the site but I feel like they’re worth bringing up again.  I first discovered the Lapsed Fan Wrestling Podcast almost one year ago and when I did, they were on their journey through all 30 Wrestlemanias.  Every week they would review one Wrestlemania at a time beginning with Wrestlemania 1 and all the way up to and including Wrestlemania 31 (which they did a live show immediately following Wrestlemania).  Each week they would start with their favorite moments from the show and then they would welcome in Dave Meltzer for a really unique historical perspective.  Once Meltzer was finished, they would then start their trademark “Deep Dive”  and go through each Wrestlemania from start to finish in grave detail.  The result was a podcast that lasted anywhere from 4 hours in length to, in the case of Wrestlemania 17, over 7 hours long.  People would talk about how perhaps the podcast was too long but I loved it because they paid careful attention to everything from every midcard superstar to every vignette, the lapsed fan had you covered.  I remember listening to the Wrestlemania podcasts all week long on the way to and from work and they left me both engaged and nostalgic going through each one.

Following the Wrestlemania journey, the Lapsed Fan podcast started doing listener request shows where, for a small fee, a member of the “lapsed fan solar system” would get to choose a show for Jack and JP to review.  On top of that the person who chose the show got to come onto the show and discuss the ways in which this show had effected them.  By now, you’ve read my personal stories regarding meeting certain wrestlers or having different live experiences at a variety of shows, so I really appreciate hearing different fans talk about their favorite experiences at shows.  The most recent listener request show they put up on Summerslam 1999 features a great personal story from show producer TJ DeSantis that is worth going out of your way to listen.  I had meant to getting around to donating to the lapsed fan and requesting that they review either Summerslam 2007 or Royal Rumble 2008 just because those two shows have my own personal stories that I feel are interesting but it appears that the listener request series is at least on a hiatus because…

Just a few weeks ago, the Lapsed Fan announced that Jack & JP are going on another journey, this time through all of the different WCW Starcade events through the years.  This is going to be a 17 week journey spanning from the original Starcade event in 1983 all the way through the end of WCW in 2000 (they’ve already done Starcade 1985 as a tribute to Dusty Rhodes right after he passed).  This is reay cool for someone like me because I’ve never actually seen any of the Starrcade events other than 1997.  The reason for that is because I’ve always been a big WWE fan growing up and never watched any of WCW.  My family tried to order Bash at the Beach 1994 to see Hogan and my father was unimpressed with the entire show.  Due to this, I never once asked to ever order a WCW show until Starrcade 1997, and I only pushed that because of Bret Hart.  Now with the WWE Network, I can go back and watch each one  of these events as the Lapsed Fan breaks them down, which is awesome as a new fan.  Starrcade was obviously the WCW’s version of Wrestlemania, and the original as it started 2 years prior to Mania, and is more than worthy of getting that journey treatment.  Jack and JP started their Starrcade memorial tour yesterday with the debut of Starrcade 1983.  As an added bonus, Dave Meltzer is in fact back to give that historical perspective of each one of the Starrcade events.  It’s especially cool with Starrcade because WCW is out of business so, as Jack and JP have mentioned before, they can really tell the entire story of WCW through their history of Starrcade series.

Jack and JP have made it clear that, unlike the Wrestlemania series, this may not take place every single week.  I’m glad to hear this actually as Jack and JP both have families and I’m sure that Wrestlemania series (30 episodes in 30 weeks at about 5 hours a week) had to be quite the burden on both them and their families.  The lapsed fan is also now independently owned and operated as the guys are no longer affliated with Wrestlezone.  If you’d like to support thelapsedfan podcast you can follow them on twitter @TheLapsedFan to find out how you could.  I’m excited for the new Starrcade journey to begin and would love to hear your feedback on the lapsed fan if you’ve checked it out as well.

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The Spotlight On The Survivor Series-Pt. 3- 1997-2001

A new day (clap clap) and a new batch of Survivor Series past as we continue down our trip down memory lane with our complete WWE Survivor Series Retrospective.  Today we will get into five different Survivor Series events and we’ll start with Survivor Series 1997, live from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Survivor Series 1997- Hmm I can’t think of too much that happened during the Survivor Series 1997.  It wasn’t really a noteworthy show by any means, I mean can you recall any of the matches because I sure can’t.  Ah, it was Kane’s debut match, that was it, that’s why the Survivor Series 1997 is looked back on so much, right?  Ok, I’m obviously kidding.  We are actually nearly 18 years to the day of the Montreal Screwjob which took place during the main event between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart.  At the time watching it as an 11 year, I can tell you that I had no idea what was going on during the show other than I thought it was really peculiar that Vince McMahon wasn’t doing commentary for the show.  I remember my father actually breaking the news to me that night that Vince was the owner of WWF and perhaps he had some business to take care of, he was right.  It turned out that Vince McMahon would never rejoin the commentary team and instead he went on to become one of the biggest villains in the history of WWE, as this was the night Vince screwed Bret out of the WWE World Heavyweight Title.  The fallout for this was pretty historic as in many ways, with it being used as the vehicle to start the Mr. McMahon heel persona, really launched WWE into the dominance and helped to launch the Attitude Era.  What I always found odd about this was I remember that it was first reported that Shawn Michaels wasn’t in on it and, being a huge Shawn fan I believed every word he said.  If you watch the match he looked really pissed off about the whole thing.  Of course years later he came clean and admitted that he was in on it.   I actually did a college paper for a media class looking at the Montreal Screwjob comparing all different forms of media and how they presented their thoughts on the screwjob.  I compared Dave Metlzer’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter to WWE’s old confidential show, which is where it was first revealed  that Shawn Michaels was in on the screwjob, to Bret Hart’s documentary “Wrestling With Shadows.  I aced the class and my paper came out to over 40 pages long, that poor professor.

Survivor Series 1998:  Survivor Series 1998 was actually the first Survivor Series not to have any traditional Survivor Series matches but I don’t remember minding one bit as this show was all about the Deadly Game tournament.  The first thing that I remember about this show was that it was such a brilliant story that unfolded throughout the show.  This was the era  where everyone was potentially  in cahoots and you would watch with the idea of seeing how Vince McMahon was going to try to screw over Stone Cold Steve Austin.  It appeared that throughout the show Vince McMahon was having poor Mankind do his bidding for him and that the two men Vince did not want to be champion were Steve Austin and The Rock.  I remember Mankind had a first round opponent that was hyped like crazy and my friends were all throwing out different ideas of who it could be. I remember my buddy and I calling the Ultimate (a near by wrestling store) and asking the guy running the store who the mystery opponent was and he thinking it was either Jake Roberts or Mike Tyson, which looking back what was he thinking.  It ended up being setup as it was long time jobber, Duane Gill who later went on to be Gillberg.  Serously though if you go back and watch all of the twists and turns it is storytelling at its finest.  From Shane McMahon (who was my favorite growing up) screwing Austin to the McMahons ultimately joining the Rock and screwing Mankind one year after the infamous Montreal Screwjob. It is the attitude era at its peak.

Survivor Series 1999-  Here was another show that I remember my father being infuriated about and with good reason.  The promoted main event for this show was a triple threat match between The Rock, Triple H and Steve Austin.  Obviously, this is an awesome main event but it never happened.  Instead, in the middle of the show, Austin was laid out in the back and taken away.  He went on to randomly being replaced by the Big Show, who won the title, but we all thought this was very lame and hoped Austin would emerge from the back during the main event, but he never did.  I understand now why they promoted him, but knowing he was hurt the whole time and couldn’t compete, it really was a bit lame looking back.  One match on this show that I do remember being a ton of fun was Chris Jericho vs. Chyna.  The crowd that night was so hot for Jericho and pretty much completely turned on Chyna.

Survivor Series 2000-  This is the one show that for whatever reason I can’t remember too much  about.  The main take away from the show was that it ended with Steve Austin taking a car with Triple H in it and lifting it up high with a forklift, then dropping the car and pretty much killing Triple H as the show went to black.  Of course, Triple H would return three weeks later with a smiple bandaid and they wrote it off to him being able to get out of the car at the very last second.  As a 13 year old who just lost Owen Hart the year before, I was glad to see Hunter was OK. Sidenote: Shoutout to the Undertaker’s awkward pair of pants here.

Survivor Series 2001- The culmination of the invasion storyline which saw a collection of matches in which Team WWE battle against Team Alliance (WCW and ECW).  I remember being really over most of the Alliance guys at this point and I just wanted the WWE back.  The invasion storyline just pretty much died on a vine because most of the big stars from WCW were still under contract to Time Warner so it would still be quite some time before guys like Hogan, Hall, Nash, Goldberg, Scott Steiner and Sting made their way to WWE, hell even Rey Mysterio wasn’t around.  This made for a good amount of team WCW/ECW consisting of WWE guys like Steve Austin, who was the face of WWE when WCW went out of business. While the Invasion didn’t work, this is actually a pretty kick ass show as a standalone show.  The main event in particular is such a great Traditional Survivor Series match, possibly the best ever.

Well that’s going to do it for me but tomorrow, I’ll be back with a complete spotlight dedicated to the Survivor Series 2002, which I attended live at Madison Square Garden.

The Spotlight On Wrestling Podcasts- The Lapsed Fan 

“Forget about Cesaro, they’re the real Kings Of Swing”

As I mentioned on the first post on the spotlight on wrestling podcasts, my idea with these blogs isn’t only to update everyone on a podcast you should go out of your way to listen to for a particular week.  That said,  I’m also looking to make wrestling fans more aware of  podcasts they maybe haven’t heard of or paid as much attention to as they should in the past. Today I’m going to talk about Wrestlezone.com’s Lapsed Fan Wrestling Podcast.

The Lapsed Fan hosts, JP Sarro & Jack Encarnacio, choose a classic wrestling pay per view from the archives of WWE, WCW or ECW that are currently in the on demand section of the WWE Network at random. When I first heard of the concept, I thought it was genius! This is the type of stuff us wrestling fans need as these podcasts encourage us to go back & watch an old pay per view we may have forgotten in the vast, sometimes overwhelming, library of wrestling events on the Network. Let’s get into some of the highlights of why I feel this is a must listen podcast you should go out of your way to hear.

Highlights 

1) A podcast for wrestling fans by wrestling fans- The thing about this podcast that I really enjoy is that both hosts are obviously lifelong fans of WWE. Even if they may have had periods of being “Lapsed”, at their core they are fans of the industry. Throughout the podcast not only is their attention to detail second to none but they also mix in a variety of stories from their past in which they went to different shows or signings that add a lot to the show or, in my case, lead me to reminisce about my experiences. There is one story, from the Wrestlemania 30 lapsed fan, where JP talks about how Jack got Virgil, yes wrestling superstar Virgil!, to appear at JP’s bachelor party, it has to be heard to be believed. The two hosts are also best friends & you can tell they love being around each other & talking about wrestling so, in turn, listeners like to listen to them talk about said wrestling.

2) 30 Weeks Of Wrestlemania- What’s great about The Lapsed Fan is that they pick the shows at random and so you don’t know which show will be reviewed next. With that said, the best feature theses guys have done thus far, in my opinion, has been there 30 week journey for Wrestlemania.  Every week they did a podcast dedicated to each one of the Wrestlemanias leading up to this year’s big show and even brought in Dave Meltzer for each show to get more of a historical perspective.  It was a great way to get excited for Wrestlemania and I would suggest that everyone who loves Wrestlemania history (what wrestling fan doesn’t? ) go back and check these out, maybe on the road to next year’s Wrestlemania.

3) The impressions-  All too frequently with wrestling podcasts, the material is discussed too seriously.  Well that isn’t the case here as Jack & JP remind you that, at the end of the day, wrestling is supposed to be fun.  JP Sarro in particular does a great job with his impressions of anyone from Vince McMahon to Jesse Ventura to Helen Hart to even Ludvig Borga.  These impressions are done just enough to keep you laughing without getting annoying.  Jack also does great as a counterpart to JP’s antics as the straight man that they end up balancing each other out very well.  The guys even find a way to get you to laugh at the some of the more tragic details of wrestling history such as with their death toll to start each show.

Closing Thoughts

At the end of the day I really think the Lapsed Fan is something that any long time wrestling fan should check out.  It’s important to point out that most episodes will give you entertainment for the entire week as each podcast goes for about four hours, sometimes as many as 7 but the guys do a good job starting off each episode with about an hour breakdown of the show which you can listen to if your short for time.  They then tie in fan feedback even encouraging fans to record audio of their own to send in.  Lastly, they move into a “deep dive” of the show which is the most comprehensive coverage of a wrestling show I’ve ever heard as they cover every match and story from the show.  This past week they just dropped their coverage of WWE Survivor Series 1993 and this week they’ll drop their coverage of WCW Great American Bash 1995.

The Lapsed Fan Podcast can be found at www.wrestlezone.com/tag/the-lapsed-fan

They can also be followed on twitter @thelapsedfan

And if you’re interested in supporting the guys monetarily you can do so here https://www.patreon.com/thelapsedfan?rf=751612&ty=2

That’s gonna do it for this week’s spotlight on wrestling podcasts, until next time, take care!