Thursday, May 5, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: The Taz Show, May 3

Ryback's departure is a topic for conversation
Photo Credit:
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: 5/3/16
Run Time: 2:00:08
Guest: Mike Johnson

Summary: Taz and the Captain are going up on a Tuesday, cruising from topic to topic as they see fit. The previous night's episode of RAW is discussed, and Taz wasn't much of a fan. He didn't like how the Dudley Boyz bossed the Vaudevillains around and made them look like amateurs. The biggest wrestling news of the day is the departure-for-now of Ryback, and they bring on's Mike Johnson to tell us what he knows about that. They also take calls from listeners, and today's theme is essentially asking people for their three favorite bands. Taz's favorites, in case you were wondering, are Led Zeppelin, The Eagles and Pearl Jam.

Quote of the Week: Taz, on the proper way to be a heel - "Back in ECW, where I was a heel, a lot of things I was doing in the ring people were cheering. A real heel stays in his lane. I stayed in my heel lane. Samoa Joe stays in his heel lane. Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, those guys stay in their heel lane, no matter if they're being cheered or booed. You cannot let the audience decide in that realm."

Why you should listen: When Taz really gets down to business and lets the listeners in on what he knows about pro wrestling, the results are almost always valuable. There is a lot to learn from his discussion of what doesn't work with certain segments, or how certain wrestlers need to be consistent bad guys. Taz's years as a color commentator also brings about occasional bits of information I'd never thought about, such as how the commentators are instructed to shut up whenever a wrestler is yelling at his opponent during a match.

I'd also like to give a shout out to the part when Taz is scrolling through Twitter's trending topics, and he says, "Hmm, the 'Tony noms'...I have no idea what that is." Taz is SO straight, and not gay, you guys.

Why you should skip it: The Taz Show is desperately clinging to its two biggest problems: listener calls and the soundboard. I cannot put myself in the mental place of someone who would hear unfunny clips from movies of people shouting "SHUT UP" and actually laugh at them. Taz and the Captain use their soundboard so much that they make Peter Rosenberg look sophisticated and reserved.

Final Thoughts: This episode demonstrates how The Taz Show does not know what it wants to be. I understand that a radio talk show doesn't have to stick to one topic all the time, but when they do drift to a different topic, there is rarely any good analysis to be found. A listener from Romania calls in to give his three favorite bands: Linkin Park, Five Finger Death Punch and Disturbed. Putting aside this guy's total lack of taste or brain cells, his list only prompts Taz to say things like, "Yeah, those bands rock. Thanks for calling in, bro." This lack of depth goes through almost every aspect of the show. If Taz mostly stuck to wrestling, like his memories of it and his thoughts on current happenings, we'd get much more out of listening. As of now, The Taz Show is basically two hours of Taz running around a room, picking up an object, saying it's pretty cool, then throwing it down and moving on to something else.