I recently spoke with Taz, whose daily two-hour show, The Taz Show: BodySlams & Beyond, is now available as a live video stream on TazShow.com. You can listen to the full interview above, below is the second part of the interview.
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You have your show, Bodyslams and Beyond, which is now available as a two hour video stream. How did your venture into the internet radio community come about?
"It's all through CBS Radio. CBS is trying different genres in the world of streaming audio and video. A lot of big broadcasting companies in the radio world feel that audio is becoming on demand, especially with podcasting. They want to put a lot of time, effort and money in video on demand and live video. It's something they've been throwing around for over a year and a half. When they brought me in, I was just doing the weekly podcast, but I wanted it to be more, so I put more into the show. Instead of being a guest driven show, it was more of a topic driven show. That perked the interests of the CBS radio executives instantly. Within a month they said 'Not only do you have the ability to do a daily show because of your history in radio, but the ability to be broadcast on VOD. When comparing your numbers when you have a guest compared to just you, and your history as a trainer, a wrestler, a broadcaster, that you cover all facets of breaking down a match, a show, a wrestler.' They felt if I was interested, they would roll with it, and I was all in. I had done radio for CBS years ago when I was in WWE as a color commentator, so we had a history. I fell out of doing radio, but it was good timing. I was interested in doing stuff with Podcast One because they had Steve Austin, Chris Jericho, JR. It didn't work out and they weren't that interested. Sirius wasn't that interested. Whenever someone wasn't interested, it built my fire hotter and hotter. I put my thinking cap on and talked to CBS two weeks after that. It just took off, it's awesome."
Your promos in ECW were so memorable because it seemed like you. In WWF they moved to scripted promos. How much was you, and how much was scripted?
"Not a ton of it was scripted. You had an option, if you wanted, they would script out a whole promo for you. Or bullet points, like I preferred and many guys preferred. Give me these bullet points and I'll make it my own. My stuff wasn't scripted. There were three problems with my promos in WWE. I wasn't able to finish them the way I wanted to build my catchphrase that I did in ECW, that wasn't permitted. My promos weren't long, and I didn't get a chance to do them enough. That was really it. It was a totally different time now. Back then if you were under 6 feet, good luck getting over. It was hard. Now if you're athletic and you're explosive, and even if you're little you're getting a push. I'm happy for the guys today, they're lucky. My promos weren't scripted, I'm not built that way. Even when I do the podcast, I joke about that, I can't work off paper. It has to come from me. Heyman let me be me. That's how I really felt. It was me, It was me, my life. My style was the Taz character. I was given a lot of time on the promo, and I was given a push. In WWE, not so much."
What were the differences in working for Paul Heyman and Vince McMahon?
"There's a lot of difference, but there's a lot of similarities, which is really unique. Their passion for the business is well documented. They're amazingly passionate about the business. They're both non-stop workaholics. They're both geniuses in creative and the business. They see things before we see them. We're looking at the trees, they're looking at the forest. The differences – Vince is more of a micromanager, when I was wrestling there and announcing there. Paul definitely gave me more freedom. That was a big difference. Working for both of those companies, the major difference was the size. The pure mass of WWE, you truly felt like you were a part of this big machine. It's cool, but it's easy to be a cog in the wheel, and there's a lot of cogs on the wheel. In ECW it's a smaller scale, there were fewer cogs on the wheel. If you were making mistakes or weren't getting over in ECW, you kept getting chances. In WWE, that's not the way it works. If you kept messing up, the chances kind of end.
"This is years ago, but when I went to WWE as a wrestler, the direction I was given was a little cloudy at times. I don't know who you want me to be here. They didn't know who they wanted me to be. What I'm doing when I was first here worked. We heard the people in the Garden, it worked. They revamped it and changed it and didn't know what they didn't want to change it to, but they wanted to change it. It was a different time, a lot of backstabbing going on, zero comradery at times, dog eat dog, attitude era business. Let's survive, warzone business. It was tough."
You were booked to face Mike Awesome for the ECW Title, as a WWE superstar while Awesome was a WCW wrestler. You had the match with Triple H where he Pedigreed you and Tommy Dreamer. Looking back, was that a mistake for ECW to go that route?
"They had to. You can go to my show and I gave a full description of that on the Human Podcast Machine. I gave that whole deal while I wrestled Mike Awesome in Indianapolis. It was the first time a WWF wrestler faced a WCW wrestler at an ECW event for an ECW championship. It was a crazy time. It seemed like WWE was doing ECW a favor, because ECW thought Awesome was going to go on WCW and throw the title in the trash can on Nitro. WWE didn't want that for a couple of different reasons. I knew when I heard from Vince McMahon and Bruce Prichard at the time that they were trying to help Paul. I knew I'd be the perfect person to come in there and do this thing. I said 'no problem,' and that's kind of how it happened. It was a good thing. It all came from the right spot in the WWE's heart. Paul needed help and we helped him. Did you think it was bad?"
I meant more of Triple H giving you both the Pedigree in your match.
"You see the same thing with Sting when he came in. You're in their house. I'm wrestling Triple H in Philadelphia on Smackdown, it's a perfect scenario. Let's have Triple H beat Taz in Philly on TV, but Dreamer will come to save him and get Pedigreed too. It works out perfect for them, but I don't think that killed or hurt ECW. It played into the story, because I wrestled Dreamer a few days later because he screwed me trying to help me. I don't think that hurt. I understand your point about Triple H Pedigreeing me and Tommy, but there was no push back from me. I was under contract to WWE. People get hung up in semantics and the business, and their pride and losing matches. Losing matches is important, but worse than losing matches is not getting paid. It's a business. Guys are in it to make money. You have to have your pride, but at the end of the day it's about your career and feeding your family. You only have a short window in this business to make money. Any aspiring wrestler reading this need to realize at the end of the day, it's not like prostitution, but it is your career, you have to get paid. You can't work at Burger King and tell your boss you want to cook fish sandwiches instead of Whoppers. Guess what? You're fired. You're not doing your job. It's the same thing with wrestling? You think you should win? We want you to lose. Well then you're gone. They pay you. I don't get hung up in the creative things and who's not getting pushed. Something went right, we're here years later still talking about it."
You've moved your show into a daily format, and it's also available on video. What kind of challenges have you met as you've grown?
"A lot of challenges, awesome challenges. It's extremely hard. Every day I have a microphone and a camera in my face for two hours. So I'm giving ten hours a week of original programming by myself. Every day I have to come up with a show alone. I love it, I'm having a blast and I'm very fortunate. Thanks to all the listeners, because it's growing rapidly. CBS seems ecstatic with it, which is why they give me such a platform. This is just the beginning of it. I'm under contract with these guys, god willing, I'm going to be with these guys a long time. It's not easy. You hear a lot of wrestlers that think because they can cut a promo, they'll get into radio. I used to think that too, I realized how hard that was. It's different, man. All those years as a commentator, I had a picture to play off of. I had a match to sink my teeth into, you sit there with a partner. The ratings weren't contingent on my performance. Now downloads are contingent on me and my creative. I can't point at the play-by-play guy or if the talent sucks, or if that match was horrible, or the production crew's not that good. It's me. I'm the promoter, marketer, I book the guests, I analyze and break everything down. For those that have never watched my show, I bring a lot of energy and I'm two hours full throttle. It's not a laid back show, it's sophomoric, I goof around a lot, I don't take myself too serious. When I have a guest, it's not an interview, it's catching up with guys, learning about them. You can't take yourself too serious because I'm gonna rib you. I have great callers that call in, and they can't take themselves serious either. I get on them, they get on me. We have a lot of fun. I'll cover some sports, too. It's 80-90 percent pro wrestling."
It goes by really fast too. Where all can people catch it?
"The best and easiest way is TazShow.com. It's video on demand, so you can watch it any time you want. I do audio and video live. About an hour later, the daily podcast drops. Two hours after the show, the VOD drops. Clips and the full show. CBS owns that, that's their gimmick. That's the platform for all audio and video of my show."
Click here for the first part of the interview, where Taz discussed his time in TNA and why he left, WWE ratings, Seth Rollins' injury, his show and more. The Taz Show: BodySlams & Beyond is now available as a live video stream on TazShow.com. Audio of the program was launched in September and can be found live and on-demand on the Play.it podcast network. The show is broadcast weekdays from 7:00-9:00AM ET.
You can check out the full interview with Taz in the video player above, or listen to it below. You can also download directly at this link. If you want to subscribe, you can do so through iTunes as well as our RSS feed, which you can use this to subscribe through any podcast app. If you're enjoying the show, please subscribe and rate on iTunes!