WWE and ECW legend Taz went off on his podcast over the WWE not inviting him to Smackdown 1000.
His exclusion was surprising considering that Taz and Michael Cole were the announce team with the longest tenure on the show. Here are some of Taz’s thoughts:
On Being Frustrated Over Not Being Invited To Smackdown 1000:
It is ridiculous. I’ve got to be honest with you….I heard nothing and maybe they were waiting for me to reach them. That’s not how this cowboy’s wired up, so I’m not doing that. I have no desire to reach out to them to be at SmackDown 1000. It’s disappointing and I’ve got to be honest. I mean this from the bottom of my heart Mike [Johnson]. It’s disappointing, not for me, but for the true wrestling fans that take pride and love the history of the business, the tradition of the business, the legacy of the business. If you’re gonna do a SmackDown 1000 and you have a guy who was a color commentator there for well over 320 episodes, or whatever it was. I think that, I don’t know, maybe put a poll up. I don’t want to put it up on my Twitter because it would be weird; but, I’d love for someone to put a poll up. Who was the voice: the team voice of SmackDown? Was it Michael Cole & JBL or was it Michael Cole and Taz?
On How Important The Announce Team of Taz And Cole Were To Smackdown:
They talk about the WWE Universe and all that sh*t and I’ve got to be honest – just being real here like I always am – that’s where it’s a little bit load of bullsh*t. Yeah, they care about their fan base. I was here for about two weeks with a shitload of tweets from people and these people, these fans, were tagging Vince McMahon, tagging Stephanie [McMahon], tagging Triple H, so they were seeing this, tagging Michael Cole. I reached out to one person and I can’t say that guy’s name. I wasn’t looking to be there. I just said that, ‘I’m surprised that the company is that petty when it comes to me.’ He just said, ‘I wasn’t involved with the meeting. I wasn’t there.’ That was it, like he didn’t want to say nothing. I’m not gonna make anyone feel uncomfortable in a text message. This person is my friend, I think.
On Why He Thinks He Was Left Out:
What did Taz do so wrong? What did I do so wrong? I left and I left on my own terms. My contract was up the week going into WrestleMania, which was in the Orange Bowl in Florida. I wasn’t there. That was it. I was done at the Dallas TV before that. It was me and J.R. calling SmackDown, I don’t remember what we were calling; but, it was in Dallas. I officially gave notice to Vince [McMahon]. He knew I was giving notice because I gave notice to Kevin Dunn three weeks prior and they were trying to get me to stay. They were like, ‘Is it money?’ They offered me a new deal, which was a great deal. They always took care of me. No, it was nothing like that. I needed a fresh coat of paint. I had to get out of there. Anyway, bottom line is I did offer to work WrestleMania. I talked with Kevin Dunn and he didn’t want me to leave. They all liked me there and wanted to keep me in that role and it was a thing where I just had to go and when he mentioned WrestleMania and said, ‘Listen, I would never leave you in a lurch. Just fly me out there. I’ll work the show for free. Don’t worry about paying me. It’s all good.’ He’s like, ‘I appreciate that. I’ll talk with Vince. We’ll work it out. We’ll figure it out.’ About a week later I saw Vince in Dallas and I officially gave word, shook his hand, said I was leaving – in his mock office in Dallas. He and I were crying and hugging, ‘I’m gonna miss you.’ I thanked him for everything. It was great. I remember talking to Stephanie [McMahon] and Triple H……Stephanie was just looking at me, ‘I’m really surprised. Why are you doing this?’ She couldn’t understand why I would leave. She wasn’t mean. She wasn’t disrespectful. ‘I need to do this. I appreciate everything you’ve done for me. There’s no ill will.’ She was the same way with me. So was Hunter. They were extremely awesome to me; but, like an adult to an adult she was just wondering why and I was, ‘I just need a break.’ Bottom line, I think that, I know that when you leave there on your own terms and you don’t get future endeavored and I think this might prove point for those of us in the industry that feels these feelings, you’re kind of like dead to them for the most part.
On Awkwardness When He Appeared At Smackdown 900:
I knew that something was funky there. I was in the fuc*ing building for SmackDown 900 and I was talking to some of the writers. I saw Brian James. We were shooting the sh*t. I always got along great with him. He was the man. I did not see Stephanie. I did not see Hunter. It was just busy that night. Everybody was busy.
I went up to a writer and said “listen, I’m here. If you want me to do something with Michael Cole, I have no problem. I’m here.” ‘Oh that’s awesome. Yeah we’ll figure it out. We’ll figure it out.’ I didn’t hear sh*t. It was weird, Mike. I’m in the fuc*ing building. They’re paying me to do the ECW thing backstage. I offer my services; but, they didn’t want to do it. They didn’t tell me either. When I was done with the ECW taping thing backstage, I went to Vince’s office….we shook hands, we hugged. I told him I just wanted to thank him again and say hello. I hadn’t seen him in years. I communicated with the production people for a couple of weeks after that, while I was doing The Taz Show. I will always have friends in that studio that will be life-long friends.
On His Outspoken Opinions Against The WWE:
I have critiqued them more than once and they don’t like that. They don’t mind if a reporter or journalist in the industry does it….but if it’s somebody that was there for a decade, on the airplane, breaking bread with them and all that sh*t, I’m strongly assuming they don’t like it.
H/T Wrestlezone for the transcription.