Jim Ross and Conrad Thompson covered “WWE No Way Out 2001” on the latest “Grilling JR” podcast on AdFreeShows.com.
The show featured Kurt Angle vs. The Rock for the WWF Championship, Triple H vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin in a “Three Stages of Hell” match, The Dudley Boyz vs. The Undertaker and Kane, and a lot more.
A lot was happening in the wrestling business around this time. WCW was about to be sold to WWE, ECW shut down a month before this pay-per-view, and Paul Heyman was about to go to work for WWE. Heyman replaced Jerry Lawler on commentary after he quit because of his girlfriend “The Kat” Stacy Carter being fired.
Ross gave his thoughts on The Kat being fired by WWE in 2001:
“I thought the world of Stacy (Stacy Carter, The Kat). Jan (Ross’ wife) and I went to their (The Kat and Jerry Lawler) wedding in Vegas. Jan and Stacy became good buddies because Lawler and I were together a lot. We did PPVs together and things as people know. Sometimes at those big events, you would bring your significant other to enjoy a long weekend or whatever it may be.
You know, she just was a sweetheart, I thought, but apparently, based on what the writers said, those same writers who couldn’t find an idea for the Stone Cold babyface to do viably, said she was too hard to work with. They caught Vince on a day when he was not in a real great mood, apparently. I got called in Vince’s office and he said, ‘I want her gone and I want her gone today.’ So, that’s where your job becomes very challenging. Look, there’s no way I would have fired her, no matter what the writers said, without talking to the writers and telling me ‘What did she do that you believe merits her dismissal? Explain to me so I know.’ I didn’t do that because I had no room to do that.
I asked, “Can I do some checking around?’ ‘No, she’s gone.’ You got a decision there. It’s not like “Well, I would have done anything’ or ‘I would have challenged Vince in that deal.’ Well, you’re stupid if you do that. That’s what he wanted. I knew if we got past this day and she took some time off that there’s a good chance we could bring her back. He forgives. Hell, look at me. I’ve been in and out, in and out. So I know there’s a propensity to do that by him. What we didn’t count on, and I don’t think Vince did either, that Lawler was going to support her and leave. That was a little different twist to the plot.
But, apparently some of the writers who were producing her segments, and the thing about Stacy, unlike a lot of the women, Stacy had product knowledge. She lived the business since she was a teenager, being Lawler’s girlfriend and then his wife. So she had a little bit more of a knowledge and a basic fundamental skill set as far as the psychology and understanding of the product than did a lot of the other Divas. With that said, she would question things. Ask questions. It wasn’t like ‘I’m not going to do this, I’m not going to do that, well that doesn’t make any sense, you’re stupid.’ It’s just she would ask for the logic behind something she was going to do, which, if you’re a good producer, you have no problem with talent asking questions because you can explain it and sell it to them.
In any event, they lost patience, this crew of creative in that regard and she was out, and Lawler said he’s out. He felt like he was doing the right thing and I admire what he did, but it was something we hadn’t planned on and losing Lawler off the broadcast team was significant in my opinion. It was to me. It certainly was to me. He was my partner. It was an unfortunate deal all the way around. A lot of overreaction. I thought the writers/producers had issues that were unwarranted and were a little bit of a knee jerk.”
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