Taz has used his time as a pro wrestler to now become a successful morning show host and podcaster. Popularizing his character in Extreme Championship Wrestling as the Human Suplex Machine, Taz would use his smaller stature to have a better-grounded start in suplexing his opponents, whether it was a smaller foe, such as Mikey Whipwreck, or a larger enemy, such as Bam Bam Bigelow.
Throughout his time in ECW, he would become one of the most notable names in the history of the company, winning the Heavyweight Championship twice, Television Championship twice, and Tag Team Championship on three occasions. This impressive resume led to a highly anticipated debut in WWE, as he was the surprise competitor against Kurt Angle at the 2000 Royal Rumble.
Taz would experience mild success in the WWE, but nothing as notable as his ECW career. He had three reigns as WWE Hardcore Champion and a Tag Team Championship reign with Spike Dudley.
On a recent episode of Talk is Jericho, Taz revealed how he reluctantly made the transition from in-ring competitor to ring announcer. Taz shared that the transition started when he was feuding with Jerry Lawler. The original plan was for Taz to sit down as a guest commentator and Lawler would blindside him at the commentary booth. However, he started to get confused when Lawler did not come out during the expected segment, and he kept commentating. After Lawler attacked him and the segment was over, he went backstage and was complimented by Vince McMahon on a job well done. Vince would then discuss the option of becoming a full-time commentator since his in-ring career was slowing down due to injury.
Accepting the role as a full-time commentator, Taz would spend a significant portion of his time alongside Michael Cole on SmackDown, and later Joey Styles on ECW, in addition to Jim Ross on SmackDown and Mike Adamle on ECW. Taz stated that his headset is only one-way: he can hear what Vince is instructing him to do from the backstage “Gorilla Position,” but he could not talk back and say anything. This was unlike his days in Impact Wrestling, where both sides could communicate with each other. Taz admitted that there were some times where he would pretend that he did not hear Vince when he really did, but just did not want to do what was being asked of him through the headset.
“[Vince McMahon] would say something, and I just wouldn’t say it, and he would get hot. And he would just keep [screaming], and I would just no-sell. And then, during the break, Kevin [Dunn] would go, ‘Uh, Tazz. Do you hear Vince?’ I’m like, ‘Nah. I haven’t heard him at all.’ So, I learned that, without naming names, from one of the commentators there who taught me that.”
Taz revealed that he left WWE because he eventually felt like a “highly paid puppet” due to a lack of creative freedom. He did not want to leave WWE, neither did Vince McMahon want him too, but he needed a break. He also said that he was willing to come back for WrestleMania of that year for free, but WWE decided to move forward and use another commentator.
Taz added that commentators are the last voice to sell tickets and pay-per-views, and he has learned so much being a commentator. He also admitted that, if it was not for his career as a commentator, he might not be a radio show host and podcaster right now.