The Taz Show, Bodyslams & Beyond (Episode 7)
Host: Taz with producer Seth
Guests: Mike Johnson, Del Wilkes, and Chris DeJoseph
Release Date: September 22, 2015
RAW REVIEW: Taz and Seth discuss Paige turning heel, the absence of Sting, the return of Kane, and more.
MIKE JOHNSON REPORTS: PWInsider’s Mike Johnson returns for his weekly segment to discuss the latest news and headlines in professional wrestling.
DEL WILKES INTERVIEW: The real Patriot joins the show to discuss Tom Brandi, the Honky Tonk Man, and other things.
CHRIS DEJOSEPH INTERVIEW: DeJoseph calls in to discuss the recently announced second season of Lucha Underground. Are there any changes we should be expecting?
LISTENER PHONE CALLS: A variety of calls but most importantly, is Salam really from Saudi Arabia??
SUBJECTS COVERED (w/Time Stamps)
(00:37-01:13) Intro to the show
(01:14) Taz opens the show and is joined by his producer, Seth. On this episode, the guys will review Raw. Taz will be joined by PWInsider’s Mike Johnson for his weekly segment covering the latest happenings in the world of wrestling. Taz returns to yesterday’s discussion on the Tom Brandi portrayal of The Patriot. Taz will be joined today by Del Wilkes to get the back story directly from the man who made the gimmick famous. Taz mentions that some fans reached out to him and claim the Honky Tonk Man actually owns the rights to The Patriot gimmick. Taz isn’t sure and hasn’t heard that before. Lucha Underground’s Chris DeJoseph will also be joining to discuss the upcoming second season. All this and listener calls.
(07:50) The New York Jets defeated the Indianapolis Colts. Taz saw a tweet from Joey Styles who was quick to point out that since Taz announced he was switching his allegiance from the Jets to the Buffalo Bills, the Jets are now 2-0. Taz will continue to cheer on the Jets, unless they play the Bills.
(08:50-10:32) Taz does a live read for DraftKings.com
(12:07-15:21) Taz takes a call from Frank in Georgia. Frank is a fan of women’s wrestling and enjoys the action on NXT. Frank wants to know if Taz believes the Divas are being held back on the main roster. Taz doesn’t think so and points out that, in his opinion, WWE dedicates a lot of time to the Divas. Taz mentions that WWE tries to squeeze a lot of talent in to the Divas segment and they could break it up a bit, but overall they are getting time.
(15:25) Taz discusses Paige’s heel turn. Taz thought the segment was well done. Taz wasn’t sure who was actually going to turn. Taz actually thought Charlotte might turn on her father, Ric Flair. Taz enjoyed when Paige hit Charlotte with some stiff punchlines referring to her father being the reason she is on the main roster. Taz said that obviously isn’t true and he was always taught that faces tell the truth and heels always lie.
(20:46-28:11) Taz takes a call from Dan in New York. Dan wants to discuss the announce team on Raw. Dan doesn’t feel any emotion coming from the booth during the matches. Dan thinks that when the heels are cheating, Michael Cole should be flipping out while JBL defends them. Taz tells Dan that the NXT announce team has that. Taz mentions Corey Graves as a true heel commentator. Taz said that while he was in TNA, he always tried to be a heel and put the talent over. Taz thinks JBL does a good job of putting the talent over, but wishes he wouldn’t talk about himself so much. Taz disagrees with Dan and feels that the commentary should provide a gray area. Taz thinks the play by play announcer should steer the ship while the color commentator rides shotgun and follows their lead. Taz is not a fan of three-man broadcast teams. Taz feels the WWE announce teams are confusing because they are always rotating. Taz puts over Jim Ross and Mike Tenay for being able to set the emotional tone of a match or a moment. Seth said he usually doesn’t pay attention to the announcers and treats them as background noise for the in-ring action.
(28:18-30:35) Salam from Saudi Arabia calls in. Taz asks the hard hitting questions and wants to know if Salam is really from Saudi Arabia. Salam wants to set the record straight and announce that he is not from Houston, Dallas, or anywhere else in the great country of the United States. Salam is in Saudi Arabia and can speak Arabic. Taz asks to hear a little bit. Salam speaks some good ol’ Arabic and Taz is convinced. Taz accuses Salam of having a Rusev-esque accent, meaning it comes and goes. Salam laughs it off and wants to say that he feels the Kane storyline is very similar to the Abyss storyline of TNA. Taz will discuss this in further detail later in the show (doesn’t happen).
(32:40) Raw talk continues. Taz was surprised that Sting was completely ignored on the show. Taz covers the injury news and mentions the statement released by Sting’s manager. Taz puts over Seth Rollins as being very physical. At Sting’s age of 56, Rollins may have been too much. Taz discussed his retirement from the ring and why he never returned. Taz mentioned that Vince McMahon wanted Taz to return to the ring to face Brock Lesnar when Taz was still doing commentary for Smackdown. Taz refused because he knew his days of suplexing were over. Taz has a friend who runs a successful independent wrestling promotion. This friend has offered Taz a large sum of money in the past to return to the ring, but Taz had to explain to him that it wasn’t about the money. Taz feels that we have seen Sting’s last match. Taz explains how muscle damage in your neck can be worse than actually breaking your neck because it takes so much longer to heal. Taz believes Sting may have suffered whiplash.
(39:06-41:00) Taz takes a call from Marty in New York. Marty wants to know what Taz thought of Paige not only verbally attacking Charlotte, but also going after the Bellas for their relationships with John Cena and Daniel Bryan. Taz said that politics in wrestling is nothing new.
(41:01) More Raw talk. Taz liked the spot where Dolph nearly kicked the trombone out of Xavier Woods’ mouth. Taz then moved on to the build-up of Big Show for his upcoming match against Lesnar. Taz enjoyed the match with Cesaro but thought it was a little funky. Taz understands the need to establish Big Show as a credible threat but he doesn’t understand WWE utilizing Cesaro in this way. Taz is drawn to Cesaro and goes out of his way to watch his matches. Seth liked the spot where Cesaro suplexed Big Show into the ring. Taz also enjoyed the spot but was expecting more.
(44:45-49:56) Taz takes a call from Andy in Long Island. Andy wants to know if Taz thinks the injury to Sting will end his career. Taz believes so. Taz references the ongoing issues with Daniel Bryan trying to get cleared to wrestle. Taz hopes that Sting can get to a level where he is comfortable for the rest of his life. Taz doubts that Sting’s family, doctors, and WWE would all sign off on him wrestling any more matches. Andy believes Rollins was just too physical for Sting.
(51:04-54:33) Taz takes a call from Joe in Staten Island who wants to discuss Hall of Fame predictions. Taz wants to know Joe’s picks first. Joe mentions the Freebirds, Brian Pillman, Bam Bam Bigelow, Rob Van Dam, and Taz. Taz picks Sting and the Freebirds. Joe also adds Rick Rude, Tommy Dreamer, and Sabu. Taz feels alot of the ECW Originals will eventually be inducted.
(55:46) Taz heard a few other wrestling shows steal his ideas about moving the ringside barricade back to increase wrestler safety. Taz thinks these shows are all hacks for stealing his ideas.
(58:07-1:01:20) Jose from Florida is calling in to ask Taz about his three-way dance with Masato Tanaka and Mike Awesome in ECW for the World Title. Taz said that match came about because he was the World Champ and had recently signed with WWE and was on his way out. Taz said a lot of fans already knew that and Paul Heyman had been booking Taz to put guys over. Taz didn’t want to be in the match and was already emotionally checked out of ECW. Taz felt lazy and was upset over money issues. Taz was eliminated early to shock the fans and guarantee a new champion.
(1:01:22-1:21:45) PWInsider Report with Mike Johnson. Mike covers the Sting injury and claims that he was originally supposed to be on Raw but instead flew home to Dallas. The injury is believed to have happened during the final bucklebomb in the match. It is possible that Rollins released Sting early, causing the injury. Mike hopes that Sting gets back in the ring because a lot of fans want to see Sting vs. Undertaker. Taz doesn’t see that happening. Taz says WWE won’t take any chances on Sting. Mike then discusses fans jumping the barricades and interrupting shows. Mike has it on good authority that WWE is ready to start criminally charging fans and may even consider lawsuits. Taz mentioned that ring announcers will tell the fans at the beginning of the show that they are liable if they choose to interfere with the matches. Taz says that luckily, most fans don’t know how to enter a ring through the ropes. Mike was surprised that WWE made no mention of Sting on Raw and also says their website is surprisingly vague about the Sting situation. Mike got his information from TMZ. Mike thinks there were some last-minute changes for the show. Taz told a story about a three-way he was in against Chris Jericho and Bob Backlund. Taz said that each wrestler made their entrance and then had to cut a promo. Taz came out last. As he was about to go through the curtain, Bruce Pritchard told him to take it home. Mike then discussed Chris Jericho being the mystery partner of Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns. Mike had heard that Jericho and Kane were backstage. Jericho only flew in three hours before the show started. Vince McMahon likes to rely on talent that he trusts and has had success with. Mike mentioned the strength of NXT who ran three shows this past weekend in Texas. Mike said the NXT talent are starting to make noise about not getting any cut of the gates at their house shows. Taz mentioned that WWE covers all travel and meals for the NXT talent and they should be happy with that. Mike also announced that Lucha Underground will begin filming season two at Boyle Heights in Los Angeles by the end of the year. Taz thinks Lucha Underground is a unique show in that they acknowledge a guy’s background in other promotions but don’t make it seem like the other promotions are any more important. Mike believes that Lucha Underground would be perfect for Hulu or Netflix because each episode always feels fresh.
(1:22:55) Taz explains how Hump Day Promos will work. A voice mail will be set up for fans to call in and leave a 45-second promo on a predetermined topic. The top three will be selected and those fans will get to cut live promos on the show.
(1:24:56-1:26:37) Gary from Connecticut thinks Dash and Dawson of NXT are awesome and the Young Bucks in ROH utilize too many high spots. Taz digs Dash and Dawson but would like to see them put on more muscle.
(1:27:04-1:39:36) Del Wilkes calls into the show. Del explains how his career got started after his training with the Fabulous Moolah. Del described Moolah as a good woman, but very tough. Taz brought up the issue with Tom Brandi portraying The Patriot. Del mentioned how he only recently joined social media and had no idea that Brandi was using the gimmick. Del claims that Honky Tonk Man does not own the gimmick, but did attempt to buy it. Honky was given permission to use the likeness of The Patriot for advertising overseas. As Del understands it, Honky wanted to use Del on shows overseas but couldn’t get in touch with him. Instead, Honky started using Brandi as The Patriot. Del is pissed because Brandi is making money with a gimmick that Del busted his butt to help get over. Brandi not only wrestles as The Patriot, but also sells and autographs pictures of Del in The Patriot gimmick. Brandi even appeared in a shoot video and used an image of Del’s Patriot gimmick. A lady sent Del a photograph that The Patriot took with her young son. The lady wanted to thank Del for taking time to pose with her son and wanted to ask him to sign the picture. Del said he was surprised when he saw the picture was of Tom Brandi as The Patriot. According to Del, fans have approached Brandi and asked him if he is, in fact, Del Wilkes, and Brandi claims he is. Taz has a friend who attended an indy show with his son where a number of stars were present. Taz’s friend sent him a picture of his kid with The Patriot. Taz could tell right away that it wasn’t Del. Del only crossed paths with Brandi one time when they both did a tour for All Japan. Brandi got into a physical altercation backstage and was never brought back. Del explained that Global Wrestling actually created The Patriot gimmick for him after the US invaded Kuwait. Del is too proud to go around stealing someone’s gimmick. You can follow Del on Twitter @DelWilkes.
(1:40:41-1:41:40) Justin from Japan calls in and wants to know what WWE will do with Undertaker since he will be wrestling Lesnar at Hell in a Cell. Could Taker finally face Sting at Wrestlemania? Taz says no.
(1:41:44-1:49:34) Chris DeJoseph of Lucha Underground calls in to discuss Season Two. Chris started as an intern in WWE getting the guys coffee. Taz says that he was always nice to him and that Michael Cole was a dick. Chris laughed. Chris eventually moved his way up to the head writer of Raw before switching over to the head writer of Smackdown. From WWE, Chris moved into reality television before being hired for Lucha Underground. Chris is very excited for the second season to get started. Taz loves the production values for each episode and can tell that some money goes into them. Taz asks for some previews for the next seasons. Chris says there will be twists and turns as they try to reward fans who have stuck by them. Chris says they just returned to work so they haven’t really decided on any stories. Taz asks Chris not to fire Matt Striker. Chris laughed and said they wouldn’t.
(1:49:55) This day in wrestling history. 1980 in Madison Square Garden, then WWE World Champion Bob Backlund defeated NWA World Champion Harley Race by DQ. In 1984, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan made his WWE debut as the manager for Big John Studd. Heenan was originally supposed to manage Jesse “The Body” Ventura who became injured. In 1996, Tommy Dreamer, Sandman, and Paul Heyman appear on an In Your House pay-per-view. Taz was there too. In 2000, “Spanky” Brian Kendrick defeated “The American Dragon” Brian Danielson in Mississippi for the Memphis Championship Wrestling Jr. Heavyweight Title. In 2004, Ray Traylor aka Big Boss Man passed away. Birthdays for the day include Johnny Valentine who was born in 1928, Ole Anderson who was born in 1944, Doug Sommers who was born in 1952, and Luther Reigns who was born in 1971.
(1:52:38) Taz closes the show.
RATING & REVIEW
7 out of 10: I’m bumping this show’s rating up a little because of the Del Wilkes appearance. Aside from his appearance on the Steve Austin Show, you don’t really hear too much out of Del these days. I thought it was genius for Taz to go directly to the source after giving his opinion on The Patriot gimmick yesterday. Taz always does a decent job on covering the big shows, but sometimes glosses over things or forgets to come back to certain topics. Taz does a great job handling his callers but could still benefit from better call screening to avoid the repeat questions on topics they already covered. Taz has one of the few shows who cause me to laugh out loud as I’m sitting at home with my earbuds on. This podcast showcases the true personality of the Human Suplex Machine. This episode was better than the last few.