Tazz Talks Smack
On the eve of Talkin' Smack's debut, Tazz sat down with WWE.com to talk about the Web site's newest video segment featuring SmackDown's announce team. Oftentimes throughout the interview, the former ECW Champion was very serious about demanding respect, while also dropping in many tongue-in-cheek comments that fans can expect to see more of on Talkin' Smack.
WWE.com: How did the idea of doing Talkin' Smack on WWE.com come up?
Tazz: Basically, Michael Cole and I were tired of the lack of respect SmackDown was getting on WWE.com. So we decided to go out and demand the respect. Several weeks ago when Matt Hardy and Ashley were on Byte This!, we interrupted -- I guess you could call it a "walk in." The only problem is that nobody got the chance to see it because WWE.com edited it out of the show… they censored us.
Then a few weeks later, the RAW boys were given a vacation from their duties at WWE.com. The only problem was that Byte This! was left without a host. So they came to us to help them out. It was like "Oh, now that you're in a bind, you want our help."
Eventually, Cole and I agreed to help out WWE.com and host Byte This!, which by the way, had some of the best ratings it ever had when we hosted. We obviously stole the show. I heard there were so many hits that WWE.com was barely hanging on. Anyway, we agreed to help because that's the kind of guys we are. In return, I guess they're giving us our own platform where we could say whatever we wanted without being censored again. That's how Talkin' Smack came about. Plus Cole has been dying to let fans see this other side of him, the side that all the rumors have been about. It's a dark side, it's a side that is accepted in some cites, but in most it's not (said jokingly).
WWE.com: In the past, you've said that SmackDown does not get the respect it deserves on WWE.com. Do you think that the new Talkin' Smack segment now gives SmackDown the respect it deserves online?
Tazz: First and foremost, I think that SmackDown is now respected. Not because of me, it's because of Michael Cole. Cole holds so much water and he has so much impact and he is so intimidating… Na, I'm just joking.
Truthfully, I think SmackDown is more respected now, and that was part of our plan. It's not that we are the heroes on the white horses for the SmackDown army. It's just that you get tired of sitting back and hearing everybody talk about RAW. It gets annoying after a while. I didn't work my ass of for 17 years to be part of show that is perceived as the B-show, which is not the case. Look at the talent on SmackDown -- Batista, Rey Mysterio, JBL, etc… It's far from the B-show.
WWE.com: Why do you think SmackDown originally got the reputation as the B-show?
Tazz: I think it's because RAW has been on the air longer. RAW has been considered the "mother ship" for a long time. It's live every Monday night and everybody knows that, not just the hardcore wrestling fans, but also the casual ones. That's been going on for several years. And RAW has been successful for so long, but to me, SmackDown always seemed like it was looked down upon. Another reason why we went on Survivor Series at the main event and went off on the RAW announce team. It wasn't like we had anything against them, even though I don't like any of them. It was more or less the right time for us to stand up for SmackDown. Cole and I sat there at Survivor Series and felt like we were part of a RAW pay-per-view. We called one match, then we sat there for four or five matches. It was all RAW. It was annoying. So we just sat there and boiled and boiled. Then when the main event finally came, we exploded. If that was any other situation, like John Cena vs. Batista in the main event, neither me nor Cole would have done that. We would have never talked that long and been that controversial and that confrontational during that match. It would have taken away from John Cena and Batista. And it would have been disrespectful to the guys in the ring. This was a different situation, though. It was a team vs. team thing. It was SmackDown vs. RAW, not just in the ring, but at the announce table also. You got to see the SmackDown announce team uncensored, as you will see on Talkin' Smack on WWE.com. It will be the most exciting segment in the history of the Internet as we know it.
WWE.com: How did the "powers that be" respond to your Survivor Series commentary?
Tazz: I think the office thinks we are assholes. And I think that they are not far off -- make sure you quote me on that. But I do think that the "powers that be" enjoyed it because it was different. And it showed passion on behalf of the SmackDown announce team. And passion is a big thing to the guy that runs this company. So if you're an announcer, I feel that you need to be outspoken and have an opinion. And that's what Talkin' Smack is going to be. That's what happened at Survivor Series. Cole and Tazz have an opinion. And Cole told me to tell you guys that he will not be muzzled no more. He's kinda like Howard Stern when the FCC was against him. Cole is like Stern but different.
WWE.com: So is it safe to say that you and Cole are the sole creative forces behind Talkin' Smack? If so, what can fans expect?
Tazz: Yeah, we will be the creative forces for as long as the office allows us to be the creative forces. But all kidding aside, Talkin' Smack is about Cole and Tazz in our loosest moment, having fun, letting our hair down. If you're into sophomoric, goofy humor, you might like it. Nothing is to be taken serious on Talkin' Smack, besides Cole's haircut. That's very serious.
I would say the best way to describe it is it's kind of like the movie Naked Gun meets Tuesday Night Titans meets the Odd Couple. It's totally different barrel of monkeys. Basically, nobody in the history of WWE has ever gone to the place that Talkin' Smack is going to go… and there's probably a reason for that. It's going to be very different.
Be sure to watch the debut of Talkin' Smack later today on WWE.com.