AEW manager and broadcaster Taz is mostly known for his managerial and commentary work today, but two decades ago he was one of the hottest in-ring talents going.
Taz made the leap from ECW to WWF at the turn of the century, defeating Kurt Angle in his debut match. Taz’s big victory over Angle would be a one-off, as the submission specialist would move on to an inter-promotional program with Mike Awesome.
Speaking on The Kurt Angle Show, Angle says he wished he got to work with Taz more beyond the one match at the 2000 Royal Rumble.
“I would have loved to have had a program with Taz,” Angle said. “He was an incredible wrestler, especially good on the microphone. He had a lot of talent.”
Injuries put a significant damper on Taz’s in-ring career, but WWE creative did not help the inaugural FTW Champion. Angle detailed that he saw Taz and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon’s ideas for his character clashing.
“I think the reason was Vince McMahon had this idea of Taz being a smaller guy and selling for the big guys and never giving up,” Angle said. “Taz had in his mind that he wanted to be a dominant wrestler and just beat everybody up dominantly. They didn’t want him to be, he didn’t himself want to be the underdog that was fighting from underneath.
“I think that’s the reason why they kind of ended Taz’s career a little bit early, because he had a different idea than what the creative had for him. Then they made him a commentary. That was pretty much the end of Taz’s career. I don’t think he lasted much longer afterwards.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit The Kurt Angle Show with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.