Taz was one of the biggest stars to come out of ECW. On a recent episode of the AEW Unrestricted podcast, Taz talked about the mindset of the ECW roster. He has said before that the passion that the ECW roster has is comparable to the AEW roster, and he reiterates the point that the ECW and AEW roster are filled with wrestlers that are decried by older wrestlers.
“We were told, just like AEW, ‘oh, you guys are doing too many spot. You guys don’t sell. Oh, that guy, he’s going through tables. There’s too much blood. You guys are juicing.’ F–k you. That’s how we were towards those old-timers, and I feel the same thing you get with a lot of the AEW talent,” Taz said, “‘These guys aren’t big enough.’ I was told my whole life I wasn’t big enough. My whole career, so that to me just drives this locker room. All the guys and girls. That same synergy from ECW and what we were told back then to fast forward to now.”
Taz talked about how enjoys working with the young talent of AEW. He also said he enjoys working as a color analyst on AEW as it gives him a chance to put them over compared to his roles on WWE and TNA.
“I try to hang out by the ring. I don’t mean this egotistically, they come to me. I appreciate that. They appreciate me, but I appreciate them being humble enough to say, ‘hey, what do you think of this move?,’ or ‘hey, should I change this? Do you have a mindset on this Taz?’ I love that. I’m a coach at heart, so I love that. I love to give back because I didn’t have a plethora of veterans that helped me years ago, but I did have a couple of them that were really helpful towards me and taught me a lot. So I always remembered if I make it per say, I want to help. I want to help guys and girls if I ever get to that level.
“I’m having so much fun right now, as we record this. I’m doing commentary with Excalibur on Dark. I love it because it’s a lot of younger people. A lot of them are chomping at the bit to get on Dynamite, and I love that. No one’s told me this, but I know my job is to help get those guys and girls over with what they do in the ring and extenuate that,” Taz said. “A lot of my commentary work in TNA, some people didn’t like my commentary work because when I was a heel character and I was with Aces and Eights, they wanted me to be a heel commentator. So I was acting like an a–hole on the air and not really getting anybody over except the heels. I hated it, but as you know you gotta do your job. In WWE, some of my commentary was ha ha fun. That’s what the boss wanted. What I’m doing as a commentator in this company, I love.”
Tony Schiavone asked Taz about his relationship with Paul Heyman. Taz praised Heyman and talked about why he left ECW for WWE.
“My relationship with Paul, to this day, is still very good. We’ll text. We’ll keep up with each other. I’m always really thankful for what he did for me. As you know, there was stuff with guys owed money and checks bounce and all that. I got to be honest with you, he’s never owed me a dime. He still doesn’t. I’ve never had a check bounce. That’s the gospel truth. He’s always treated me great. We’ve had our ups and downs, and when I gave notice that I was leaving to go to WWE, that was rough,” Taz said. “He thought we had an agreement for me to stay. We shook hands on an agreement. I never had a contract. All my years, I never had paper. I was always a man of my word there.
“My wife had just given birth to our son. He was an infant, and the deal that Paul and I worked out verbally was like an amazing deal. Then I’m like two weeks or a week after we make this agreement, I’m starting to hear about the TV deal. It’s not what we think it is. All that s–t is kayfabe. Then I’m realizing, he’s not gonna be able to pay me. I know he’s not. In his heart, he knows he’s gonna be able to pay me, but I’m starting a young family, and we just bought a home.”
Taz has gone by many monikers and has many catchphrases. Taz has said that his “Human Suplex Machine” moniker was not liked by many wrestlers. Taz went through his look and monikers and the origins of them. He also talked more about Heyman and how everyone on ECW had a special connection with him.
“At that time, I had a vision for branding before branding was ever a thing.
“Like the ‘orange and black attack,’ that was another moniker I had. I always wore orange and black. People think I love the color orange. I don’t give a s–t about the color orange, but the thing was, at that time, Bret Hart was wearing pink and black, and I saw that it got over. Everybody was either wearing red and black or blue and black. I want to be different, so I went with orange and black,” Taz revealed. “I wore a towel on my head, and my inspiration for a towel on my head was Mike Tyson.
“‘Human Suplex Maxhine’, it just worked. Obviously, I have an array of throws and suplexes I’ve worked on for a very long time. Paul Heyman had a version, and we came up with ‘Human Suplex Machine.’ ‘Beat me if you can, survive if I let you’ was more Paul Heyman and I, mostly Paul came up with that catchphrase, and I loved it. A lot of the s–t he came up with, I loved. Each guy from ECW then could tell you, you felt like you had a bond with him. There’s a lot of things about Paul that people hate, but I’m telling you, as someone that worked closely with him, his passion, his heart [and] the type of person he is, he’s a good man. He is a good man, and each guy will tell you, they had a special bond with Paul because he turned into you when he talked to you. Strange f–king dude, but that’s what made him so talented. He had a connectivity with each character that he was pushing.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.