I never saw him in ECW, and understood why he quickly fizzled as a wrestler after a strong debut match snapping Kurt Angle's unbeaten streak at MSG. Giving up that much height to everyone else, and then not being able to use his arsenal of suplexes, he didn't stand a chance.
He's grown on a lot of people as an announcer. I caught the scrambled video feed-(audio play by play only) for the Royal Rumble, and thought he was terrific.
Two reasons I might be overestimating his PPV skills might be
1. JR can make anyone other than Lawler sound fresh. 2. There was a solid match with Benoit in it the whole time.
However, after tonight's SMACKDOWN! I noticed a he did another terrific job with another Rumble, but this time without JR, but with Josh.
Think about the build he's given some impossible tasks. He does a great job making Big Show actually seem fearsome, and almost made Hardcore Holly's tough-guy character beleivably a threat.
He's often made me chuckle, he calls the moves in matches and he shuts up when the crowd is reacting.
If as rumored Benoit meets HHH, and Goldberg meets Brock at Mania, will Tazz/JR get to call both matches at both matches have superstars from each brand?
A Lawler-Tazz trade might be pulled off storyline wise as there are two "heel" GMs. I could see Bischoff getting (with Coach's help) pissed off enough at Lawler to fire him again, and also "stealing" Tazz from Heyman. Alternately, Tazz could be brought in by Sheriff Austin just when Coach thought he had the announcing gig.
I don't see any storyline reason why Heyman would want Lawler. Especially with both Dawn Marie/Sable featured prominently on Smackdown!, they are both too old for him to drool over.
How long does JR intend to stick around? I think I read somewhere that he's already cut a fair amount of his duties.
A Tazz-Lawler trade WOULD be good, yeah. Perhaps what 'The King' needs is a change of scenery, or at least the fact that he can re-tape some of his commentator later on... Tazz and JR made for a pretty decent combination.
What would be ideal, though (assuming Stephanie re-takes the job of SmackDown GM sometime soon) is reuniting JR and Paul Heyman. THAT was a great commentary team. You can't tell if they legitimately hate each other, or whether its just `part of the show' The next best thing to having Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan back on the mic.
JR and Heyman were superb. U just have to listen to them during the Shane Mcmahon Vs Kurt Angle Street Fight at KOTR
(After Shane O Mac is battered and bruised after going through the window a second time)
They argue when Shane is on a case being wheeled back to the ring
Heyman: It's the 4th I it's Ingenius. JR: Will u stop Shane Mcmahon has blood oozing from a wound in his head.
And then later on Heyman says this is over...maybe.
That is when Kurt gets Shane back to the ring
Brutal great match but the commentry is brilliant also.
However there is a problem with Heyman on commentry i think for non-wrestling fans i think ppl will not get bit and i feel Paul style of commentry (shouting and always completely supporting some wrestlers) would isolate new fans or casual observers who just wouldn't get it.
Go here www.air3.co.uk and listen to my show i won't be back on till the semester starts though Times to follow soon
I think the thing Tazz does so well is seamlessly mix kayfabe with reality. Even when it's a character that he shouldn't like, he'll grudgingly give them respect based on the actual person rather than just the character, but he does it in such a way that it sounds like he's just showing respect for the character. From his commentary, it's obvious that Tazz has lived the same life on the road as the people in the ring. He doesn't just provide insight into aspects of the match but into the whole picture. He keeps it subtle, though, so that it doesn't come off like he's preaching it.
Combine that with his ability to be flippant and humorous when it's called for and serious when necessary, Tazz makes for the full package when it comes to commentary.
I've been a fan of Tazz's for awhile now, but that level of appreciation rose even more a few weeks ago when Hardcore Holly was fighting The Big Show with Brock Lesnar on commentary. At the end, when Holly came after Lesnar with the chair and Lesnar ran off, Cole was going on and on about what a coward Lesnar was. Tazz, however, pointed out the fact that Lesnar was being chased by an armed man who had vowed to injure him, thus running away was the intelligent thing to do. When's the last time you heard a WWE commentator use logic to justify a wrestler's actions?
To me there is absolutely no question that Tazz is currently the best annoucer in the WWE right now by far. He's got it in every single area. He explains logic behind the science of wrestling, something Lawler and JR have not mentioned in YEARS, He mentions the names of moves as the happen. Something JR rarely can do cause he's too busy talking about something else. He has an actual fresh sense of humor, unlike Lawler who has been using the same schtick since he left his heelish leanings behind.
And more importantly I think Tazz and Cole are a better face for the WWE. They are younger, have more eneergy, and frankly they're cooler. I find myself cringing half the time JR and Lawler talk on Raw, they are so out of touch that they have lost all appeal to the common wrestling fan in my estimation.
Originally posted by InVerseWhen's the last time you heard a WWE commentator use logic to justify a wrestler's actions?
Jesse "The Body" Ventura.
Which is actually who Tazz reminds me a lot of on commentary.
Yes! I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but that's the analogy I've been trying to think of. I've been picking up a lot of WCW stuff lately from the period when Jesse was doing color, and the two are very similar.
What I really like about Tazz is how he knows when to treat things seriously and when he shouldn't. 90% of what's happening in the ring he'll treat like sport like Jesse used to do back in the day and offer insight as if the matches were real...BUT when they throw out something stupid like the Al Wilson angle Tazz treats it like garbage, which maintains his legitimacy in the long-run. The little things like "Tazz' Keys To Victory" give a slim look back to how things used to be where you didn't have guys like Lawler treating everything like a big joke.
Well, everyone thought Michael Cole sucked. Then Tazz started announcing with him and people started changing their opinions. Everyone thought Josh Matthews sucked. Then Tazz announced with him and they made a great and entertaining team. Everyone thought Jim Ross was stale and should retire. Then, at the Royal Rumble, Tazz announced with him, and people realized that the guy's still got it.
Yeah, I'd say Tazz is definitley the greatest color commentator in the business today.
I don't think Michael Cole has gotten any better since he's been with Tazz. His vocabulary is quite limited and he doesn't know the less common moves - something that should be required of a play by play guy. This brings me to Josh Mathews, who I never thought was that bad, esp. for a guy with no formal training. He always sounded like he knew what he was talking about, be it the moves or the backgrounds of the guys in the ring. And hell, how good a job could any of us do if we had to divide our attention between calling a match and keeping Ernest Miller awake at the headset?
I just want to say thanks for doing these recaps. I wish I had more to say but I had to watch that episode while doing work at home so I missed some of the details like the crowd noise loop. That is silly.