Thursday, February 18, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: The Taz Show, Feb. 15

Tenay and Taz fantasy draft women's wrestlers
Photo Credit: Lee South/
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 many wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but this feature largely hews to the regular rotation 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: 2/17/16
Run Time: 1:18:43
Guest: Mike Tenay

Summary: The Taz Show is off their daily schedule this week, but Taz and his co-host The Captain found time to squeeze in one episode, bringing on Mike Tenay to do a Fantasy Draft of their Top 10 current female wrestlers. They all like Ivelisse, though they all agree that Lucha Underground should not do so much intergender wrestling. Bayley earns high praise, with Tenay predicting her being adopted and backed by the crowd in a fashion similar to Daniel Bryan. Other women praised include Emma, Natalya, Jade, Asuka, Becky Lynch and Paige. Both Taz and Tenay put Sasha Banks in their No. 1 spot, with The Captain giving that honor to Asuka.

Quote of the Week: Mike Tenay on Sasha vs. Bayley in Brooklyn - "It was a hell of a match, and especially given the amount of time that they had, and the crowd reaction that they got that night, I do not know that I've seen a crowd reaction as strong as that for a Divas match in...maybe ever. That was really phenomenal."

Why you should listen: Mike Tenay and Taz worked together at TNA for many years, thus developing an easy familiarity where they get each other's inside jokes and personality quirks. It sounds like Tenay is a semi-regular guest on The Taz Show, and I assume all of those episodes go by like a breeze just like this one. Tenay still gives echoes of his 90's glory days when he would join WCW's commentary team to drop knowledge and get mocked by Bobby Heenan. He is a smart guy who knows what makes a good wrestler, and his analysis is on display in breaking down his list of the best female wrestlers.

Why you should skip it: It would be unfair to cast Taz as a knuckle-dragging sexist, but he's not exactly Gloria Steinem either. In explaining each of his picks, I don't think he got through it without commenting on the girl's attractiveness. Comments like that might be a little off-putting to some. Also, one thing that hasn't changed since my last review of The Taz Show is their unfortunate insistence on using a morning zoo soundboard, with idiotic soundbites that do nothing for the show other than providing Taz an opportunity to laugh at his own stupidity.

Final Thoughts: Occasional lunkheaded detours aside, this episode is an overall valuable discussion of what it takes to be a good wrestler in this business, not just what it takes to be a good female wrestler. Mike Tenay makes the episode worth listening to, as he's quite reasonable in his judgments. Taz isn't terrible, but he spouts some dumb thoughts that would be better off unsaid. He doesn't think Asuka is great, solely because she doesn't speak much English. I'm sure if Taz actually thought about the logic of what he said here, he'd realize how wrong he is. But that lack of thought is indicative of the somewhat tossed-off nature of The Taz Show. He's just kind of puttering around, sort of hosting a show, mostly just hanging out and being a cool Brooklyn guy. He even acknowledges at one point that their soundboard makes them sound like a morning zoo show. Well, if you know that's what you sound like, then don't do it, dude.