The Taz Show w/Kevin Kelly & Brian Hebner (Sept. 16, 2015)

The Taz Show – Bodyslams & Beyond, Episode 3
Hosts: Taz with producer Seth
Guests: Kevin Kelly and Brian Hebner
Release Date: Sept. 16, 2015
Report by: Sean Sumey, PWPodcasts Reporter



TAZ IS NOT BITTER: A fan on Twitter accuses Taz of being bitter toward TNA.  As expected, this gets Taz fired up.

TAZ TALKS NXT: Taz and Seth talk about upcoming NXT shows.

ROH’S KEVIN KELLY: Taz catches up with Kevin Kelly over the phone and discusses the differences between WWE and ROH. Kelly also hypes ROH’s PPV this Friday.

TNA REFEREE BRIAN HEBNER:  Taz talks ref bumps, wrestler security, injuries, and Earl Hebner’s blue school bus in an entertaining phone interview with Brian Hebner.

THIS DAY IN WRESTLING HISTORY: Bob Backlund, the original hardcore icon??  Taz meets Rey Mysterio mid-springboard.  McMahon-Hornswoggle memories.

LISTENER PHONE CALLS: Taz takes calls from some familiar callers and even handles his first international call.  Taz discusses the infamous title match between Taz, under a WWE contract, and Mike Awesome, who was under a WCW contract, for the ECW World Title.


(00:00-00:38) Show intro

(00:39-04:00) Taz opens the show and introduces Seth.  Taz hypes “Hump Day Promos” and explains that they will allow listeners to cut promos and have a chance to win various prizes and giveaways.  Taz previews the show and announces Kevin Kelly from ROH will be calling in as well as TNA’s Brian Hebner.  Taz will be taking listener phone calls and will try to discuss some NFL and NCAA power rankings if time allows.

(04:13) Taz mentions how a Twitter follower criticized Taz having Brian Hebner on and accused Taz of being bitter toward TNA.  Taz says he is not bitter.  Taz says he is happy.  Taz explains that he is real and honest and gives his opinions.  Taz isn’t trying to bash anyone.  Taz says there are people in TNA that he dislikes as well as people that he likes.  Taz has defended TNA in the past.  Seth points out that Taz worked at TNA for six or seven years.  Taz says he tries to be nice to everyone.  Taz also clarifies that he never pushed an old lady to get onto a plane.  Taz said he barked at her and may have brushed her with air.  Taz couldn’t remember where that rumor came from.  (Side note: Jim Ross mentioned this on one of his recent podcasts.)  Taz points out that he isn’t trying to get an announcing job.  Taz enjoys NXT but criticizes the announcing.  Taz then admits that he wasn’t pleased with the way things went down as he was leaving TNA, but still feels he left on his own terms.

(13:22) Taz takes a call from Kevin in Philadelphia.  Kevin doesn’t believe Taz is bitter.  Taz has his own opinions.  Taz says that he does miss announcing, but doesn’t have time for a full-time announcing job.  Kevin is a big fan of ECW and the Philadelphia Eagles.  Kevin feels that ECW can’t be re-created or copied because it was organic and unique to the times.  Taz agrees and believes that people try too hard.  Taz says that he was always competitive, but feels having a teenage son fixed that.  Taz says that having a teenager is humbling because they are mean.

(17:44) Taz and Seth break down the quarterly ratings for Raw.  Taz was impressed how Raw held up against Monday Night Football.

(19:30) Taz takes a call from Joe in Staten Island.  Joe is a genuine paison.  Joe is a big pro wrestling fan.  Joe’s favorite match is Taz vs. Bam Bam Bigelow from ECW Heatwave.  This is one of Taz’s favorite matches, too.  Joe asks Taz for his Night of Champions predictions.  Taz feels that Seth Rollins will keep the World Title, but will drop the U.S. Title to John Cena.  Taz is excited that pro wrestling is on an upswing with WWE, ROH, etc.

(23:13) Taz complains about local travel issues in his neighborhood.  Between road closures and parking garages being blocked, Taz is getting blown up from walking all over the place.  Seth says the Taz from his Heatwave match against Bam Bam is “long gone.”  Seth states that the old Taz would smack current Taz.

(24:43) Taz and Seth discuss NXT.  Taz is digging the Dusty Tag Classic.  This week’s NXT show will include Baron Corbin and Rhyno taking on Johnny Garano and Tommaso Ciampa.  Taz thinks this should be good.  Tyler Breeze will face Adam Rose.  Apollo Cruz and Ty Dillinger will meet.  Taz feels that both guys are on the upswing.  Taz is looking forward to Bayley, as he is a huge fan of hers.  Taz and Seth both feel Bayley is an excellent athlete with the “girl next door” look.  Taz hypes the October 7 “NXT Takeover: Respect” show.  Taz notes that Bayley vs. Sasha Banks will be a 30-minute Iron Woman match for the NXT Women’s Championship.  The show will also feature the finals of the Dusty Classic.  Seth believes the tournament was a great opportunity to give new talent a chance and to see what teams will mesh.  Taz mentioned that he will be going to WWE headquarters today for a project.  Seth asks for some details, but Taz won’t give in.  Taz admits that no one from WWE specifically directed him to keep quiet about it, but he still doesn’t believe he should discuss it.  Taz jokes that he might Periscope his visit.

(29:59-30:00) Break.  When the show returns, the background music is louder than Taz’s audio for an extended amount of time.

(31:33) Taz reveals that Kevin Kelly was instrumental in Taz’s development in WWE.  Taz mentioned that Kelly is a Florida State guy.  Seth mentions that he has bad memories of Florida State.  Seth got tackled during a pick-up game of football at Florida State and separated his shoulder.  Taz wishes he was the guy who tackled Seth and got to hurt him.

(33:17) More NXT talk.  Taz feels that NXT brings a level of excitement that is unique.  Taz says NXT’s energy is at a whole different level.  Taz puts over the atmosphere, the lighting, and the roster of NXT.  Seth compares NXT to the music industry.  NXT allows artist development.  Seth mentions how U2 said in their Hall of Fame speech that they would not be able to make it today because it took them three albums to make it.

(34:38) Taz then asked Seth his opinions on Sound Cloud.  Seth says it is an evolution much like NXT.  Taz agrees.  Taz digs the set-up for the NXT talent and says they are in a great spot for their training.  Taz also believes WWE will eventually have a physical Hall of Fame building in Orlando.  Taz points out that the NFL, MLB, and other organizations have chosen small towns for their Hall of Fame locations.

(37:48) Taz takes a call from Ian in San Antonio again.  Ian compares Taz’s show to Family Guy.  Ian explains how Seth is like Seth McFarlane and Taz is like Peter…because Ian read on Wikipedia that Taz’s real first name is Peter.  Taz advises Ian not to believe everything he reads because his real first name is, in fact, also Ian.  Taz and Seth point out a chirping noise in the background of Ian’s location.  Taz says it sounds like a smoke detector.  Ian admits that is exactly what it is.  Taz then busts Ian’s balls about 9-volt batteries only costing $1.  Ian reveals that he can’t drive to the store because he is partially blind.  Taz and Seth feel that is a valid reason for Ian to not drive.  Ian wants to know who Taz thinks the mystery partner for Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns will be.  Ian doesn’t believe it will be Baron Corbin because of his “Lone Wolf” status.  Ian predicts a Samoa Joe appearance.  Taz says the Lone Wolf is an NXT gimmick and can easily be changed for the main roster.  Ian questions if the popularity of NXT ruins the ability for WWE to repackage.  Taz doesn’t think the casual fan watches NXT.  Taz points out that Vince McMahon will ultimately repackage anyone if he feels it is necessary for the Raw roster.

(43:49) Seth announces that the show will now be available in Canada and Australia.

(44:20) Taz admits that he may have screwed up the scheduled time for Kevin Kelly’s interview when he set it up through Ring of Honor.  This leads to a Taz rant on Seth about how Seth needs to be booking the talent, not Taz.  Seth tells a story about when Taz interviewed Edge, who was filming in Nova Scotia.  This led to confusion because no one knew what time zone Nova Scotia was in.

(46:44-58:30) Taz interviews Kevin Kelly.  Kevin thought the interview was supposed to be at 8:30, but blames it on ROH management.  Taz thanks Kevin for all of his help while they were in WWE.  Kevin praises Taz for being able to transform from an in-ring competitor to a broadcaster so quickly. The conversation then shifts to ROH’s PPV that will air Friday from San Antonio.  Taz puts over Jay Lethal as being a great top guy.  Kevin mentions how Lethal believes that he is the best in the business at this time.  Taz can relate because as ECW World Champion, he felt he was better than The Rock or Hulk Hogan.  Kevin mentions how Jay Lethal will defend two titles at the event.  Taz then mentions how Seth Rollins will also be defending two titles at Night of Champions.  Kevin says that the irony is not lost on ROH.

Kevin brags that Taz said he was the best wheelman to travel with.  Taz has to correct him and says he is now number two behind Tommy Dreamer.  Taz names Joey Styles as the worst wheelman in wrestling and proclaims Styles “sucks” as a driver.  Taz put over Kevin’s education and intelligence and called him the voice of reason among the boys.  Kevin says that as a fan, he always watched the crowd and used their reactions as a gauge to the excitement level.  Mike Tenay is mentioned and Kevin states that he has never met Tenay face-to-face.  Taz informs him that he isn’t missing much.  Kevin says that he is always going to ROH management and trying to pick his next understudies.  Taz claims all play-by-play guys are egomaniacs.  Kevin counters and says that color guys like Taz and Steve Corino are so sensitive.  Kevin is currently living in Pennsylvania and is loving life.  Taz asks Kevin about the differences between WWE and ROH.  Kevin says the headset.  Kevin says ROH allows creative freedom and doesn’t micro-manage their talent.  ROH allows them to tell stories.  Kevin promotes his podcast available at

(58:57-59:10) Break

(59:29-1:22:07) Brian Hebner calls in.  Taz compliments Brian’s physique and says that he obviously trains hard.  Brian said he started training harder after the wrestlers said it would help prevent injuries.  Taz remembers Brian as a partier.  Brian said that having kids changes that.  Brian is excited for his father, Earl Hebner, to be inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame.  Brian claims that Earl Hebner is the most recognizable official in any sport.  Taz puts over Brian’s creativity and says he doesn’t get the deserved credit.

Taz described TNA production meetings with the likes of Eric Bischoff, Hulk Hogan, and Dixie Carter.  Taz says that Brian always held his own in those meetings.  Taz brings up wrestler safety and asks Brian about the referee’s role in watching the wrestlers’s backs.  Brian recalls the angle between JBL and Eddie Guerrero.  Both Brian and Taz gush over the amount of legit heat that JBL had during that time.  Brian’s duty was to keep people from attacking JBL.  JBL gave him the warning, “If I get beat, you get beat.” Brian described a cage match where he observed a fan climbing up the cage.  Brian climbed up the cage and kicked the fan down.  Brian feels that litigation has tied the performers’s hands when it comes to preventing fan involvement.

Taz explains that the referee has the ability to scan the crowd and the environment while the wrestlers are working.  Brian says that a referee has to be aware of camera positions, what the crowd is doing, as well as knowing the upcoming spots.  Brian also points out that a referee has to be aware if one of the wrestlers becomes injured.  Brian said it used to be easier when the guys were honest.  Brian said a lot of guys will lie about injuries now to protect their spots.  Taz asks if Brian can remember any specific injuries.  Brian answers with “every Kurt Angle match.” Taz laughs and said that Kurt would pop if he was listening.

Brian talked about refereeing the match between Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 21.  Brian said that he knows Kurt got hurt at least three or four times during the match, but Kurt wouldn’t admit to it.  Brian said once Kurt came backstage, he had multiple ice packs on and was limping around.  Taz then asks about the worst bump Brian had to take.  Brian couldn’t remember and asked Taz if he saw any.  Taz began to recall Brian taking a Clothesline from Hell from JBL.  Brian remembered and said that he thinks JBL was working Undertaker.  Brian said the move knocked him out.  Brian knew it was going to be bad because JBL told him backstage “It’s coming, son.”

Brian complained about fans asking why a referee gets knocked out by one bump when the wrestlers are getting knocked around the whole match.  Brian pointed out that the referees are not trained and are typically much smaller than the wrestlers.  Brian mentioned that Earl was never trained to bump, either.  Brian tried to train to wrestle, but wasn’t cut out for it.

Taz and Brian then talked about Earl’s Hall of Fame induction on October 3 in Salem, Va.  Brian talked about Earl getting his start at the Richmond Arena and annoying the promoters.  Earl got a job setting up the ring.  Earl bought a school bus and had the seats removed and painted the bus blue.  Brian remembers riding in it with a kerosene heater.  Earl drove that bus up and down the East Coast until finally getting a chance to referee and ring announce.  Anything Earl gets a chance to do, he can do better than anyone.  Taz talks about how calm Earl always was and was great for airplane flights.  Brian agrees, but counters that Earl is the worst if you have an early flight because he will get to the airport at 4:30 a.m. for a 7:00 a.m. flight.  Taz says that Mike Tenay does the same thing.  Brian closes by thanking Dixie Carter and John Gaburick for inducting his father into the Hall of Fame.

(1:23:57) Taz discusses how the top level guys will refuse to work without certain refs.

(1:25:57-1:26:00) Break

(1:26:52) Taz takes a call from Frank in Maine.  Frank wants to know about Taz’s ECW World Title match against Mike Awesome when Taz was under contract with WWE and Awesome was contracted by WCW.  Taz discussed this in a previous episode as a Taz Tale, but will cover it again.  Taz was pretty new to the WWE and was enjoying two days off when he got a call from Bruce Pritchard.  Bruce explained that Paul Heyman was in a jam.  They were worried that Mike Awesome was going to throw the ECW World Title in the trash on Nitro like Madusa.  They wanted Taz to defeat Awesome for the title.  Taz knew at the time that Heyman was not a huge Taz fan due to Taz going to WWE.  Taz arrived at the show with no one knowing he was going to be there except for Tommy Dreamer.  Taz looked for Awesome but was told that he was still at the hotel.  Taz went to the hotel with Tommy Dreamer and went over the match with Awesome and Doug Dillinger.  Taz said Awesome just laughed and said “you probably don’t want to be here anymore than I do.”  Taz agreed with that.  Taz then mentioned how the following week on Smackdown, Tommy Dreamer did a run-in and cost him a match against Triple H.  Seth announced that TheTazShow was trending on Twitter the day before.

(1:33:00) This day in wrestling history.  Seth didn’t have time to upload the sound bite for the bit. In 1978, WWWF Champion Bob Backlund defeated “Superstar” Billy Graham at The Spectrum in Philadelphia.  This match was a stretcher match.  Backlund won after hitting Graham with a chair and a stretcher.  Seth says Backlund was the original hardcore.  Taz mentions how fans ask if the chairs are fake.  Seth says there are fans that think Jake Roberts’s snake was fake.

Also in history … 1995 – ECW presented Gangsta’s Paradise.  On the show, Jason and the Eliminators defeated The Steiner Brothers and Taz when 2 Cold Scorpio interfered and allows Jason to pin Taz.  Taz believes this was right after his neck injury, which explains why he was in a six-man tag.  Taz doesn’t remember doing much in the match.  Taz said the Steiners were great to work with.  This show also had the debut of Rey Mysterio taking on Psychosis.  Taz was familiar with Rey from tapes, but hadn’t met him.  Taz says that he actually introduced himself to Rey while catching him off a springboard during a match.  Taz says this is a shoot.  As Rey was landing on Taz, both said hello to each other.

2007 – WWE Unforgiven.  The show is opened by Joey Styles and Taz(z).  Taz yells at Seth for trying to put him over.  Seth ads that this event also had video package that revealed Hornswoggle as Mr. McMahon’s illegitimate son.

Phil Lafon is 53.  Taz feels that Lafon and Doug Furnas were under-rated.

(1:40:24) Taz talks about NFL RB Marshawn Lynch’s mother cutting a promo on the Offensive Coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks.  Taz thought it was hilarious that even a high-caliber athlete still has to worry about his parents.

(1:41:48) Taz takes a call from Hasmin in India!  Hasmin refers to Taz as the mayor of Suplex City.  Taz digs it.  Hasmin can’t actually listen to the show, but took a chance on calling in.  Taz says that he hasn’t missed much.  It is 6:20 p.m. in India.  Hasmin wants to know if Taz thinks Sting can be WWE World Champ.  Taz says it’s not too late, but it’s not going to happen.  Hasmin then talks about the possibility of a program between Rusev and Kurt Angle.  Taz says it is good fantasy booking, but questions if Angle’s body could handle Rusev.  Taz asked who Hasmin, the non-American, would root for.  Hasmin says he would root for Angle, but adds that he isn’t patriotic about India, either.

(1:49:43) Taz and Seth talk about Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain going off on Kelvin Taylor.  Has America gone too soft?  Taz is all for tough coaching, but feels McElwain went too far.  Taz attributes this to stress.  Taz says that coaches today have to constantly worry about job security.  Tomorrow, Taz and Seth will cover NFL power rankings.

(1:54:11) The show ends.


8 out of 10.  The technical issues appear to have been fixed.  Well, we didn’t hear about them as often as previous shows.  The show flowed really well and had a number of interesting topics.  The interview with Kevin Kelly was short but enjoyable.  The interview with Brian Hebner was particularly interesting because it isn’t often that we get to hear a referee’s viewpoint.  There were a couple repeat callers, but I feel as time goes on, it will be more difficult to get through for a live call.  Taz never seems at a loss for words and I really dig the chemistry between he and Seth.  I’m interested to hear about the project Taz has going with WWE.  So far, Taz’s show improves with each episode.


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