Tazz, and What Could Have Been
August 22, 2004 by Brendan "Tazz's #1 Fan" R.
This is my first column for OWW and I'm going talk about the true master of thuganamics Tazz. Let me make this point clear Tazz is my favourite wrestler, why ,hears some of the reasons why.
1. He never let anybody push around even though I'm taller than him and I'm thirteen.
2. Also because I always loved the thug life gimmick.
3. He would kick anyone's ass and laugh it up all the way ex. (At Cyber slam '99 Tazz fought Chris Candido and hurt him so much he had to be carried out of the arena on a stretcher. Tazz thought it was hilarious, knowing Tazz he wouldn't let Candido leave so he knocked him off the stretcher and continued to beat the crap out of him.)
4. Tazz in my opinion had one of the greatest entrance theme's of all time.
5. When he was in the ring you knew his opponent was going to get their ass kicked.
6. I could keep on going but this will be my last point Tazz's style was great, his suplex's, his judo moves, his submissions, and most importantly the Tazzmission.
Now that I'm done telling you about who this articles about and how Tazz
rules let me get to the other part of this article "What could have been."
January 2000 WWE'S Royal Rumble Tazz V.S Kurt Angle. Kurt Angle had been on a
winning streak, he had never lost. A Man was suppose to fight at the Rumble,
that man was Tazz. The time had come for the match, orange lights filled the
arena and Tazz's music began. Sounds of a heart beating then silence, all of a
sudden Tazz's music began and he walked down to the ring. The match began Tazz
got the win by choking out Angle.
It was amazing from then on I have always like Tazz. He did great until around
the end of 2001 he started announcing a lot more, Tazz had been announcing for a
long time but I didn't want this. I don't think Tazz is a bad announcer but I
still wanted to see more Tazzmission's. Then later in 2002 the whole brand thing
started and Tazz took the position of announcing full time with Micole Cole on
I think if he didn't take the position WWE should have let him get a title shot
"he was the first person ever to beat Kurt Angle for god's sake!" Actually WWE
should have let him get the title shot early when he first arrived because it
would show people he was for real and his gimmick wouldn't have gotten stale
like it did. Think about it he was in my opinion ECW'S most dominant champion
ever, so he did deserve a title shot.
Well I think one of the reason's he started announcing full time is because his
gimmick was getting sort of stale. If he was to maybe one night on SmackDown!
Interfere in a heavyweight title match and screw the face of the match out of
his title opportunity. Then next week return to his thug ways, I think the fans
would love that he's back but hate the fact that he ruined the faces title shot.
The gimmick wouldn't be stale anymore, because unlike that ass whip John Cena,
Tazz would actually be a thug, and his exact gimmick hasn't been done for about
2 years so it would be fresh again, and most importantly SmackDown! needs all
the help it can get. Any way if this did happen Tazz could go for the title and
dominate the SmackDown! roster.
I guess I'll turn on the T.V this Thursday to watch SmackDown! and see him
announcing like usual but ya' never know maybe some day the Red Hook will
by Brendan "Tazz's #1 Fan" R...
cameron fowler wrote:
If you are such a big Tazz fan like you say you are, you would be smart enough to know Tazz will never be in the ring again because of his neck....Yes, Tazz has had a neck injury for the longest time...Jeez, for the #1 Tazz fan, you sure don't as much as you think you do....
Joe Joe wrote:
WWE def could've pushed Tazz now, but be happy he still has a job. The thing about Tazz, Tommy Dreamer, and others is that they were getting older and years of injuries have taken their toll. If you were to ask Tazz or Tommy Dreamer now to make a big comeback in the WWE they would probably decline as they are happy in their current positions and their bodies can't hold up like they used to. Others in the WWE like Al Snow and Jerry Lawler who aren't full time wrestlers get to work indies, but the likes of Dreamer and Tazz haven't worked any indies. That should be further indication that neither is really interested in wrestling anymore due to their bodies. As for John Cena and his thug gimmick, it really doesn't seem that hardcore and more of him as some nice freestyler. Tazz's thug gimmick was much more hardcore and he didn't take crap from anyone. That along with his size(which still is a factor in WWE today) stopped him from getting a big push in WWE.
Josh Williams wrote:
You call yourself Tazz's number 1 fan, you have seriously lost your mind.
For starters you didn't even know about him until he was in the WWF/WWE, so
you never have seen any of his great feuds with Rhyno, Tajari, or Raven. Also,
the reason the man started announcing is because of a bad neck, it wasn't
because of the gimmick. So before you go ahead and proclaiming yourself a
wrestler's number 1 fan, get your facts straight.
RJ Ciocco wrote:
First of all I wanted to say that after reading this article I feel my life is incomplete. Why you ask" No offense kid, but I just saw many holes through this. Now I know that you're only 13 and would of made you 10 when ECW closed and you probably didn't get to even watch the matches on TV or PPV, but there was so much more to Taz(z) then WWF/E. In WWF he picked on announcer Jim Ross and concluded his feud with Tajiri (which spilled over from ECW) in a half assed manner. His best match was of course when he beat the undefeated Kurt Angle at RR 2000.
But enough of that, what about ECW" In ECW, Peter Senerca entered the fed in 1994 as Tazmaniac. You think his thug life gimmick was hot, you should of seen that one. His best friend at that time was Sabu and they formed a great team, winning the tag titles and then disbanding. Tazz and Sabu feuded over the TV title in 1997 which also included Shane Douglas and Gary Wolf. He then AGAIN feuded with Sabu for the world title. When he lost it to Sabu he created the FTW title and when he won the world back the two were combined. He went to WWF after his final match in ECW he lost at November to Remember 1999 to RVD. He returned and defeated WCW property Mike Awesome for the title again.
Tazz in a nutshell, since you must not of followed your favorite wrestler too far Brendan.
Oh and like the other people said it was the neck injury and NOT the gimmick to which he retired and is now Michael Cole's bully. Think about it, if you ever got the chance to sit down and watch the ECW matches he competed in (along with say Dreamer and Storm) you would be amazed the guy is even standing and not in a wheelchair (ala Dynamite Kid or Hayabusa.) And the only reason RVD can still fly today after his days in ECW is because of his amazing flexibility.
So basically I'm just saying is take some time and even go to the bio of his on this site and read into his ECW past, and his days as Kid Krush even before them if you want to. But don't leave out facts and the ones you do present make sure they can stand in the wind.
Jerel M. wrote:
Okay, for starters let me say that I like the title of your column. It caught me by surprise, especially since I browsed to OWW to look for some information on Kurt Angle, while watching Smackdown. I saw your column and then I decided to read it, but as I read your thoughts on one of my favorite wrestlers...I thought it was missing something. It could be due to your lack of research, you could have found on this very site. Or the fact that you did not know everything there is about the man known as Peter Senerca, missing out on a lot of important events that happened besides noting your own experiences on watching Red Hook's most recognizable superstar. When I read a title like 'Tazz and what could've been'; I'm expecting a Taz (z) here is your life type of deal, where the writer starts talking about where said wrestler started in his career, which was in the Indies where another responder said he didn't want to wrestle (while in the WWF/E) due to injury.
You could have talked about who trained your favorite wrestler Taz (z), which was Johnny Rodz, the trials and tribulations Peter went through with all the terrible gimmicks ideas that were throw his way, before joining the ranks of Extreme Championship Wrestling. In ECW, although Taz (z) started out of the blocks slowly (cheap Mick Foley type Olympic reference), his skill good was enough for management to feel confident in his skills...by placing him in numerous tag team combinations, before the ECW tag team gold was around his waist with then partner/hated enemy, 'the homicidal, suicidal, genocidal, yada yada yada', Sabu. (Sabu if you're reading this, sorry but that nickname belongs to someone called Raven) Any way moving on, you could have also mentioned how Taz (z) scrapped that terrible Disney gimmick (the Tazmanic) to use his real life persona, which some say was copied by the WWE...and then fitted for their most popular star ever, Stone Cold Steve Austin.
After coming back from a combination shoulder/neck injury (if I'm wrong, please reply), with the tag titles gone, Taz (z) decided use his real life persona like I mentioned earlier to help reinvent his career. His bitter, nasty as hell, I know I'm better than you and you even know it attitude was the thing ECW needed...besides relying on Raven/Tommy Dreamer feud to bring in ratings. And it worked; this new Taz (z) cut some of the best promos the fans had ever heard. One of my personal favorites (after begging my mother to buy an ECW PPV, although she hated the vulgarity) I witnessed Taz (z) showing up in streets clothes although not cleared to wrestle...daring Shane Douglas to fight him, which resulted in 'the Human Supple Machine' being throw out of the building into a waiting cop car. While in the backseat, he kicked out one of the windows...an image you would NEVER see a SCSA or any of those other wannabe bad asses do in any other promotion.
With Taz (z)'s new persona in tow, combined with redefined wrestling skills while training with the Steiner Bros., he went on to cripple his competition, had amazing feuds of the year with Sabu and Shane Douglas...and won accolades such as ECW TV champ, World, FTW (self created title) and became one of ECW's Triple Crown champions. With this much going on in little old' ECW, you knew that WWF/E couldn't ignore him for much longer...especially after picking up the Dudley Boyz months earlier.
Joining the WWF/E is what killed the love for Peter's bad ass character that old ECW fans had for Taz (z). After learning that said wrestler had joined Vince's company and was going to debut in his hometown of NYC, you know that I was marking the F' out on the couch, like many people were. At the Rumble, Taz (z) had an amazing match with then rookie Kurt Angle and should of beat Angle. Taz (z) was a thirteen year veteran to the wrestling ring, hence the 13 on his attire and on his hype promos, but as months went on in the WWF/E...fans could tell (including me) that the company did not know what to do with him, like other ECW stars that arrived.
The biggest example of this is when Taz (z) returned to ECW; to take the World title strap off of Mike Awesome (the man that defeated him for the strap), who was also defecting to the crap-tacular dubya-cee-duyba. When Taz (z) wrestled the next night on Smackdown, Triple H cut a promo about there should only be one World champion in the WWF/E, and I basically knew that the company was feeding another talented superstar to Triple BS (I saw someone use this name, so I can't claim to be the first one to use it). Instead of making that match a classic, Triple H defeated ECW's most dominant champion, a man who beat the best in the world (Tajiri, Masanto Tanaka, Super Crazy, and RVD) in less than five minutes with a few punches and a Pedigree. This officially killed Taz (z) for the fans.
I felt like I wanted to throw up right there on the spot.
After more months of opportunities slipping through Taz (z)'s finger tips, like the depressing 2001 Royal Rumble elimination, and being jobbed to men twice his size, but could not touch his in-rings skills with a fifty foot pink slip on a pole....a nagging neck injury made one of my favorite wrestlers, decide to hang up the tights and do commentary, since Journalism was a dream of his. Now like most of you reading this, I was excited at first. I thought it was going to be the same individual who did commentary back in ECW (sometimes) with the best play-by-play man in my honest opinion (Joey Styles), talking trash about Sabu or some adversary while in the Crow's Nest, commenting about how he could wipe the canvas with said wrestler...five minutes later Taz (z) did exactly that with an array of Taz suplexes, subsequently leading to a Tazmission in the center of the ring.
But in the WWE, it was far from that. Instead we were forced to hear lame ass jokes, and the jumping from alignment to alignment as Taz (z) agreed with anyone who came by the announce table, as if he were scared to get his ass kicked. Come on WWE, do your research (god damnit)! This man behind the table is as talented as Kurt Angle on the mat, as fierce as Chris Benoit but more unpredictable than the Rattlesnake could ever be. (research Taz (z) & Triple Threat angle in ECW as an example. For those who don't know, Taz (z) aligned himself with Douglas to eliminate Sabu, because he was a contender for Shane's title...and if Taz (z) did the job right, the Red Hook Native would receive a world title shot) As the months turned into years, fans like the ones at OWW wondered where our favorite ECW superstar went.
Like a wise man once said who I don't recall, "Through the darkness, there will always be a shining beam of light". Our light was in the form of WWF/E's 'Invasion' angle. The latter must have read my diary, if I had a diary that is, of what I would like to see happen in storylines that weren't so predictable like wining battle Royals, claiming that winning the title is your dream/destiny/will help cure inner demons, followed by winning the world title weeks later. In 2001, who knew that ECW/WcW would come back to take on the WWF at the time for supremacy. We all knew that the angle could have been so much better, where the outcome of that angle could still be felt now in the present, but the company dropped the ball. WWF/E could have drawn in more WcW fans, who only watched that Southern promotion likewise with ECW.
But WWF/E really dropped the ball as it rolled away with Taz (z), when said wrestler joined the other ECW alumni to beat down Kane and Jericho on an episode of Smackdown. I thought we would see the rebirth of 'the Human Suplex Machine', as he torn through Vince's company like Test did around the same time, to reach a nice level of success. Another example of this was after the WcW/ECW faction won the battle with Austin's help, the Multiple time WWF/E champ tried to bad mouth everyone in the ring, but the ECW grand slam champ and only Taz (z) stood up to him when he was being put down. Instead of the WWF/E having Taz (z) put his foot up Austin's anus, sparking a nice program between the two, the angle went nowhere...WWF/E regained control and we all know what happened after that.
If the company would have continued to push the persona that Taz (z) made famous in ECW, we could have seen epic matches between Angle, Benoit, Jericho, Guerrero, the Rock, SCSA, Triple H and the Undertaker to name a few...and numerous single title reigns if Peter Senerca decided to get surgery. Sadly though, I don't think anyone in the company who is already high up on the card would put over such a star with hardcore roots deeply planted in professional wrestling...Or the WWE writers for that matter would be intelligent enough to do something worth while in the squared circle, that doesn't include two wrestlers getting married every two years or so (Steph/Test in 98'-99', Steph/HHH in 00'-01', Billy/Chuck in 02', Kane/Lita in 2004). I hate weddings, do you"
The Taz (z) we know is long gone, and to further prove this, if you watched Smackdown in the last few months, do you remember when he was pushed in a chocolate tub by Torri Wilson" Taz (z) was in a three piece suit for crying out loud! The man I knew would have choked her out in the drop of a bikini top, rather than just taking the abuse from a woman who is a dreadful wrestler. In closing, I hope you enjoyed my column/reply on the ECW stand out. After reading this, if you start jonzing for some good old Taz (z) action, I suggest you download Lime wire, Kazaa or any of those free file sharing software and look for some of his matches in ECW against Sabu, RVD, and Tajiri. They may also have audio clips of his promos, which were always golden and would make any mark chuckle.
I followed ECW since 1995. And I have seen that no one remembered Taz's feud with SABU, the biggest feud in the history of ECW. Their match at Barely Legal 1997, put ECW on the map as one of the Big 3 in professional wrestling. Also, Joe Joe, wasn't ECW an Indy Federation" For as long as I can remember, ECW was the ULTIMATE Indy Federation for years. Why do you think all other indy's try to imitate ECW"
Taz's #1 Fan, I'm happy that you want to see Taz back in the ring, and he could if it wasn't for his neck. He has had a history of neck problems. He broke his neck, if i remember correctly. Taz should've challenged for the WWE World Title, but we can't talk about WWE in 2000 and 2001, because it's the past. No one wants to hear about, what could've, should've, or would've. This is 2004, Taz will be remembered as a very good wrestler, but he won't be remembered as one of the greats.
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