Kurt Angle has had his say on why he feels former ECW Champion Taz had his in-ring career cut short by Vince McMahon in WWE.
Taz was a mainstay of Extreme Championship Wrestling throughout the nineties, building a cult following as well as introducing the world to the FTW Championship for the first time.
By late 1999 however, it was time for something new for The Human Suplex Machine and Taz made his debut for the then-World Wrestling Federation at the 2000 Royal Rumble. Held in Madison Square Garden, the Rumble was packed with fans that knew of Taz’s imminent arrival and they gave him a deafening ovation when he made his way to the ring to take on Kurt Angle.
Arguably that night in the Garden was the apex of Taz’s WWE in-ring career as by October of 2000 he had already begun working behind the announce desk. By the middle of 2002 and Taz’s full-time in-ring career was over and he was a full-time broadcaster, best known for his time calling SmackDown alongside Michael Cole.
“I think the reason was Vince McMahon had this idea of Taz being a smaller guy and selling for the big guys and never giving up. Taz had in his mind that he wanted to be a dominant wrestler. They didn’t want him to be. He didn’t himself want to be the underdog that was fighting, and that’s the reason why they kind of ended Taz’s career a little early was because he had a different idea of what the creative had for him. And then they made him a commentator, so that was pretty much the end of Taz’s career. I don’t think he lasted that long after this.”
Despite sharing the ring on a few occasions, Angle revealed that he’d have loved to have worked a full program with Taz:
“I would have loved to have a program with Taz. He was an incredible wrestler. He was especially good on the microphone, and he had a lot of talent.”
Kurt Angle has previously discussed the perception that Taz was dangerous to work with in the ring, saying nothing could be further from the truth.