Thursday, August 25, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: The Taz Show, Aug. 23

Rollins' alleged recklessness is tackled this week on the Taz show
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: 8/23/16
Run Time: 1:52:30
Guest: Mike Johnson

Summary: Finn Bálor is injured, Seth Rollins is being labeled a "reckless" wrestler, and Taz is hot and bothered. Noting that many of these accusations against Rollins are coming from non-wrestlers, Taz does his best to explain the nature of wrestlers doing moves to each other, with all of it being dependent upon the comfort level of the person having the move done to them. He also points out that moments in matches are split-second decisions that cannot be predicted, especially not by someone who has never been in the ring. Taz and his co-host, The Captain, then bring on Mike Johnson of PWInsider for some reports on a possible backstage confrontation between Brock Lesnar and Chris Jericho. Taz then takes calls from listeners about various topics.

Quote of the Week: Taz - "When guys aren't comfortable taking a move, the moves don't happen. And you feel awkward to ask someone to take something that's dangerous. I know this because I've done it, on both sides. All those suplexes you guys saw me do, dangerous or not, I would clear them 99% of the time with each guy I was working with...You don't become as successful as a Seth Rollins by being a douchebag. And that's a douchebag - when you go and do a move that a guy don't wanna take."

Why you should listen: This was probably the most worthwhile episode of The Taz Show I've listened to. As a guy who clearly cares about the integrity of pro wrestling and the sacrifices made in the ring by his cohorts, Taz does his best to explain what wrestling fans don't know about the physicality of the sport. It's also very enjoyable to hear Taz's callers try to act like they know what they're talking about, only to be nicely yet firmly told to reevaluate how they watch and think about pro wrestling. Anytime we can humiliate some people who call in to a wrestling talk show, we're all winners.

Why you should skip it: The show is still way too long considering what it is able to accomplish. Taz could easily make this an hour-long show, complete with Brooklyn swear words and all, but because he's on the radio, they yammer about nothing too often, and constantly fall back on their stupid soundboard.

Final Thoughts: Can I just use this space to talk more about soundboards? Okay, I will. I cannot believe that in 2016, there are still radio shows using soundboards. Sometimes, the entire human race seems to agree on an issue because there is only one answer, and when it comes to soundboards, there is a good reason why we have all agreed that they are the last refuge of the hacky scoundrel: because that's what they are. When Taz mentions Joey Styles, does it help me to hear a loud clip of Styles screaming "OH MY GOD," perhaps on the off-chance that I forgot about that being a thing Styles used to say? I didn't need help to remember that, and no one else does. And when Taz's co-host says something stupid, does it help to have some out-of-context clip from a movie yelled in my ear that highlights how the co-host is so dumb and worthless? No, not in any way. Soundboards are used by the type of people who tell you, "I'm a funny guy," which of course means they're as funny as a school bus fire.

I don't listen to Cheap Heat anymore, so I don't know if Peter Rosenberg still uses a soundboard, but that thing was a big reason why I stopped listening. I always got sad when I imagined how it played out the first time Rosenberg came into the studio with his laptop and said, "Hey guys, I've got a bunch of wrestling catchphrases and theme songs loaded up here, and I'm going to derail the conversation whenever I feel like it in order to play Bray Wyatt's theme song whenever his name is brought up or some other shit. Trust me, it's gonna be so funny. We do this in radio!" I got sad imagining poor David Shoemaker being too nice, too meek to tell Rosenberg, "That is a terrible idea and anyone with a functional IQ is going to hate it." If only more people could have that conversation with the dinosaurs of radio's past. We'd all be better off.

Anyway, listen to Taz's podcast if you like that. Or don't, it's all good.