Thursday, November 12, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: The Taz Show, Nov. 11

Taz's show is on the docket this week
Photo Credit: @OfficialTAZ
If you're new, here's the rundown; we listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week - too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are better wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but these are the ones in our regular rotation that we feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If we can save other folks some time, we're happy to do so.

Show: The Taz Show
Episode: 11/11/15
Run Time: 1:52:26
Guest: None

Summary: It's Wednesday, so apparently on The Taz Show that means it's time for Hump Day Promos! Fans of the show film a video of themselves doing a promo, Taz plays it on his live-streaming web show/podcast, then he and his co-host Brian review and rate each promo. Taz picks a winner every week and sends them one of his classic "Orange 13" shirts. This week's directive was for listeners to do their promos about people who accuse pro wrestling of being fake. In addition to this contest, today's episode finds Taz taking calls from listeners, telling a couple stories about working with Vince McMahon, and clearing up some "controversy" from yesterday's episode when he said that the Manchester crowd for Monday's episode of RAW didn't come through well on the broadcast.

Why you should listen: Taz is a veteran of the wrestling business, and he knows what's good and what isn't. He shows some of this in his reviews of the fan-submitted promos. Taz also does an excellent job of keeping up the energy level over a two-hour live broadcast. He moves a mile a minute the entire time. He also treats his listeners with kindness and patience, especially when they call up basically just to talk to a famous wrestler.

Why you should skip it: The Hump Day Promos thing is a good idea in theory. When executed, it results in total embarrassment and douche-chills galore. One guy completely rips off a Dean Ambrose promo verbatim, and neither Taz or Brian even notice. A guy going by the name "Fishman" yells about wrestling while a Metallica song plays in the background of his bedroom. Another guy does a terrible Russian accent and inserts dumb sound effects. Rather than do the reasonable thing and respond to every promo with, "Wow, that completely sucked," Taz has backed himself into a corner where he can't really be mean to his listeners, and instead has to do a serious critique of some total nerd living out his sad dream of being a pro wrestler. As nice of an olive branch as this is to extend to his fans, it is not something that should be listened to by a single living human being. On top of all this, taking listener phone calls is almost never a good idea, and that is proven on today's episode, when none of Taz's callers have anything interesting or funny to say.

Final Thoughts: After looking at the summaries of other episodes of The Taz Show, it's likely that I just picked the absolute worst episode with which to start. I assume when Taz is talking about NXT and ROH, he is listenable and can provide meaningful insight. But even with a more interesting topic, The Taz Show feels too much like Middle America morning radio, with irritating soundboard clips and a co-host who couldn't even buy a personality if he had the money. Perhaps I'll try again in the future, but if I do, I'm avoiding Hump Day Promos like the plague.