Former ECW, WWE, and IMPACT Wrestling star Taz was recently interviewed on The Apter Chat podcast. Taz talked about coming up with his ring name, style clashes he had with Vince McMahon, and why he decided to leave IMPACT Wrestling. Here are the highlights:
Coming up with his ring name:
“The initial thought of it came from the Tasmanian Devil because back then gimmicks were popular. Everywhere everybody had gimmicks. Everybody had a different reptile or bird or dog walking into the ring, so I didn’t want to do that.
“I figured I needed a gimmick and being that I was an undersized guy, being like 5’9″ I figured I needed something, so I always had a nickname where I was shorter and thicker, stocky, and I was a darker complexion.
“When I was younger a lot of guys would say, ‘Taz,’ and I had a Tasmanian Devil stuffed animal in my car and I was like, ‘You know what, this might be a good gimmick.’ I didn’t want to be comical. I figured, I didn’t want to get sued by Warner Brothers.
“I was nobody, like Warner Brothers is going to serve a cease and desist to a guy making $40 a match. I kinda said let me make it the Tasmaniac, which is a little different.”
Style clash with Vince McMahon:
“Vince was more concerned – the wrestlers have too much pride to tell you. Vince was more concerned once I signed the deal. He was like, ‘Some of the stuff you do is a little bit scary for some of the guys.’ I go, ‘These guys are 6’9.” These guys are 7’0.” What am I? I’m a little guy.
“What are you scared of me? ‘Some of that stuff, you look like you’re killing guys.’ Well, that’s my job Vince. My job is to look like I’m killing you. That’s what I do.”
Why he left IMPACT Wrestling:
“With TNA, I had a blast. I loved working with Mike Tenay. I loved everybody there. Dixie [Carter] is just a really nice person. It just got to a point where it got a little crazy there. I was there 6,7 years, whatever it was, and the next thing you know my checks are bouncing and I’m like, ‘Listen, if I don’t get paid, I’m not coming to Nashville to do voice overs.
“I’m not doing this. I’m not doing that.’ I was really pissed off. At that time I signed a contract to do a podcast with CBS Radio called The Human Podcasting Machine which was me talking about wrestling.”
H/T WrestleZone for the transcriptions