Newsday recently interviewed Taz, here are the highlights…
On A New Hot Period For Wrestling: " I think it comes down to giving people an alternative. Look at UFC and the mixed martial arts game. Their pay per view business if phenomenal. And the reason is that it's real, and it's kind of tough to compete with that. We're entertainment. We're a show. WWE is entertainment. It's a show. But, like I said at the top of this interview, I'm big into action. And I believe in TNA we've got a roster full of guys that have the athletic ability as a roster that I would put up against anybody. Let these guys go out there and let their hair down and do their thing. That's what I think. In my career, throughout all the promos I've done in ECW, I had a guy like Paul Heyman, who was my boss, would give me some bullet points and some direction. And the rest of that promo getting over was me delivering on the character that I was portraying. When I say getting back to basics, I think that's something that the business needs. I'm a big believer in that. You get into this business to be a pro wrestler. You're not an actor. The worst actors in the business are pro wrestlers. Acting is not good if you're a wrestler. You're a wrestler, you know what I mean?"
On Hulk Hogan To TNA: "And one thing you mentioned that I want to touch on, in regards to saying that maybe – and this is your words – that maybe Hulk Hogan is behind the times. I don't think Hulk Hogan is behind the times at all. I'm not buddies with Hulk Hogan, but when I was on Smackdown and Hulk Hogan was there, I got to know Hulk a little bit there. And to the contrary, he's a very progressive thinker in the industry. So I'm excited about him coming in. And I think that, in my opinion, professionally, and on the record, I think that it's not a bad thing if we get back to the basics a little bit. I believe let's get back to the nuts and bolts of the business. I believe that's what we need to do. And I don't know if that's Hulk Hogan's vision. I'm not sure. But I hope so, because I think that's the way we need to go. Let's get back to basics a little bit."
On Having Someone In You Ear When Commentating: "In WWE, just like in TNA, you always have somebody in your ear. Everyone has to be produced. That's the way it goes. I have the executive producer counting us. In WWE it was Kevin Dunn. Now in TNA it's Keith Mitchell. And we get counted in and out of breaks, and when a video package is going to fly up on the screen and what not. You've got to be directed. That's just TV production. At times Vince McMahon, sure, he would get a little active in people's headsets. But it was a little overblown the way people talked about it. Listen, Vince McMahon was in my headset, just like he was in every announcer's in WWE, and he still is, for – I don't know. I was an announcer in WWE, I don't know, seven years, eight years, whatever the heck it was. He was always in my ear. And all of a sudden I had this epiphany to leave WWE because Vince was in my ear? Fine. Great. No, there was a lot of reasons I left the company. Being over-produced was one of them. Yes, it was one of them. But not the main one. My schedule is a lot easier. I'm home with my family a little bit more. I'm not flying all over the world any more for TV's. I'm mainly going to one place. I like that. I like the environment I work in. It's a relaxed environment where you've got to do your best. And you're a performer. You're not micro-managed, and I'm a fan of that. So I like being part of something that's on the upswing, that's trying to climb that mountain. It's always a struggle. I like that. I remember that from the original ECW days. I'm a fan of that."
On TNA Moving To Monday's: "I hope so. I hope it becomes permanent. I think that people – especially wrestling fans – the time is definitely now that there's an alternative. I think that TNA can be that alternative. You know, there's a lot of cogs in the wheel at TNA, and if the wheel rolls straight, I think that we'll be a pretty strong alternative down the road. Not right now. This is just a one-time deal, from what I'm being told. I'm excited about it, and I think it's just the beginning of an extremely positive step, by not just TNA for wrestling fans, but by Spike TV to go out and do something like this and bang out three hours life. For people like Dixie Carter, the owner of our company, and Hulk Hogan to basically say we're coming right at WWE, right at Monday Night Raw, I think that's a very gutsy thing to say. And I'm very proud to be part of a company that has that kind of machismo."
You can read the full interview NewsDay.com.
Got a news tip or correction? Send it to us by clicking here.