wrestling / News

Bruce Prichard on Telling Taz to Tone Down His Stiff In-Ring Style, Denies That WWE Doesn’t Like Using Stars Who Got Over Elsewhere

October 16, 2019 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Taz Triple H 2000

– On the latest edition of Something to Wrestle With Bruce Prichard discussed Taz signing with WWE [then WWF] back in 1999. Taz was previously a top guy and former world champion in ECW before he signed with WWE. Paul Heyman claimed that Taz was still under contract with ECW, but he was never able to produce a contract when WWE signed him. Below are some highlights.

Prichard on Taz vs. Kurt Angle at Royal Rumble 2000: “I thought the match was decent. It was alright. It wasn’t great, but it was a good match. I twas a solid match from two guys who worked that style. It wasn’t terrible, it just was — I think Taz in the Garden and I think maybe he had maybe psyched himself out a little bit. It’s a big deal going into the Garden for your first time and from Brooklyn?”

Prichard on Taz facing a younger Kurt Angle: “It was yeah, and it was somebody that we had high hopes for. And I think that Taz — I dunno, I think their styles were a little bit too similar, and it just didn’t mesh for whatever reason. I don’t think Vince [McMahon] had ever seen Taz work. ”

Prichard on he and Jerry Brisco having a talk with Taz about his in-ring style: “*Sarcastically* Oh yeah. We all waited at the store, waiting for him to get to us. No. Jerry Brisco and I talked to Taz. And again, guys, Taz had a reputation coming in. Taz had a reputation of working stiff, and to some guys, some of the suplexes where he would let guys go and s***, didn’t feel safe. And from the night before, working with Kurt, one of our top guys, you go, ‘OK man. Looks like you lost him here, and if you’re not going to do the stuff safe, we don’t want you doing it. We want you to do this stuff, make it look good, but we don’t want you dropping guys on their head here. And you gotta take care of your opponent.’ That’s the extent of the conversation. No more, no less.”

Prichard on how Taz took the conversation: “I think he was a little taken aback. ‘That’s my style, that’s what I do.’ ‘Look, we’re not trying to take away your style, we’re just telling you to do it safely or don’t do it. And if the guys are uncomfortable taking it, no one’s going to want to work with you if you’re going out and for whatever reason, somebody gets dropped on their head, they’re looking at the guy delivering the maneuver. And that’s not a reputation and that’s not the wrap you want.’ Austin’s not going to get in the ring with him when he’s dropping people on their head.”

Prichard on Taz’s perception that because he was established and got over outside WWE and was too over when he debuted, he knew he was never getting pushed in WWE and perception that WWE doesn’t like pushing talent who became stars or got over outside the company: “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. ‘OK. We don’t want anybody to get over! He’s over, so let’s kill it!’ That’s stupid. … Oh yeah, that’s what we say, ‘Oh yeah. This is over, but we don’t like it because somebody else [created it].’ That’s stupid! Think of what you’re saying! That’s stupid. Why would you do that?! [Conrad Thompson says, ‘Well, I’m just saying you did a lot.’] Yeah, well, OK. No we didn’t. Different audiences, different reactions, different times, different people. And that’s a stupid way of doing business, and that’s not the case. And I’m sure that you and everybody else and Dave Meltzer and Taz and whoever may think that, simply not true.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Something to Wrestle with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.