While Taz was with WWE, he was asked by Vince McMahon to return to ECW to wrestle Mike Awesome for the ECW Championship. Awesome was the ECW Champion and had made a surprise jump from ECW to WCW while holding the belt. A deal was made for Awesome to make one appearance to drop the title.
It was the first time that there was a WCW contracted talent facing a WWE star for the ECW Championship. While Taz went on to defeat Awesome for the title, he revealed that he did not want to do the match.
"It was awesome, it was a lot of fun, but I didn't want to," Taz said. "I remember coming back from the road and I get a call on the phone from WWE, and Vince [McMahon] is one of the guys on the other phone, I was at the mall with my wife pushing my kid in a stroller.
"They're like 'hey, uh, Paul Heyman needs a little help', and I'm like 'what do you mean?' Vince was like 'hey look pal, they got a guy there who is holding the title hostage and I need you to go in there and help Paul and take the title from this Mike Awesome guy.'"
After ECW folded, Heyman went on to have a successful career with WWE. Taz said that he knew that all along that Heyman would be a great character.
"It doesn't surprise me at all. [Heyman's] ultra talented, but he's always been," Taz said. "You go back when he first started managing guys many many moons ago, he's always been amazing on the mic. I used to yell and scream at him during the prime of ECW, when he didn't want to be on camera, I said 'Paul, we need some star power, people know you, especially from what you did in the Dangerous Alliance, get your ass on camera. Get on the mic. Do something', and every once in a while he would. But a lot of times he didn't want the spotlight to be on him, he wanted it to be on the talent."
You can listen to the full interview with Taz on The Apter Chat with Bill Apter and Josh Shernoff in the player below. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Apter Chat with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.