Former Wrestler Taz To Debut Weekly Lax Show
The mood is about to change.
Former professional wrestler and current Total Nonstop Action wrestling color commentator Taz, also known as "The Human Suplex Machine," will make his lacrosse radio debut Monday, hosting "Strong Island Lax Chat."
The two-time FTW and ECW World Heavyweight Champion and WWF World Tag Team Champion's weekly show can be heard every Thursday at Noon on The Lacrosse Radio Network.
"I was thrilled when this opportunity arose," network president Marisa Ingemi said in a statement. "I am looking forward to hearing his show ... Taz is very knowledgeable about the game and brings in a whole new fan base."
In a conversation Thursday with Lacrosse Magazine that touched on several topics surrounding the sport, it quickly became clear: Though he's never played the game, Taz is a lacrosse junkie.
"There are some people out there who are lacrosse purists and lacrosse diehards, who played the game forever, and they're wondering: Why is a former professional wrestler hosting a lacrosse show. But people who know me and know my son, they're not surprised at all," said Taz, who first started following the game about four years ago when his son Tyler, now in seventh-grade, decided to pick up the sport. "There's a fraternity of laxers out there, just like in my business, who might say, 'Who is this outsider?' You know what? I am an outsider. I never played. I respect that purist lacrosse mindset.
"But I can assure you, on the Strong Island Lax Chat, yours truly will never disrespect the great game of lacrosse. It'll always be about respect. I will never overstep my bounds. It's not going to be some circus act. People think pro wrestling, they say, 'A pro wrestling guy doing a lacrosse show? What's going to be? Is he going to hit guys with chairs? Or there are going to be monkeys playing drums?' No, it's nothing like that — nothing at all like it. It's a true respect for the game I've grown to love."
Taz's show will follow a fireside chat format, offering "an entertaining and informative one-on-one conversation with lacrosse legends." Taz said he has already scheduled eight guests, the first of which will be Long Island Lizards defenseman Nicky Polanco. Other guests include Lacrosse Unlimited owner Joe DeSimone, strength and conditioning coaches and nutritionists.
"My radio show is going to take more of a casual fan's approach. It's not going to be stat-driven. It's not X's and O's," Taz said. "The great Quint Kessenich, for example — that guy is an amazing analyst, who was a great goalie at Hopkins. He's loaded with credibility. He does a great job. I'm the complete polar opposite of Quint Kessenich, because I don't have his credibility. I don't have the deep knowledge or experience as a player. If I was doing a pro wrestling show — different story — that's my wheelhouse.
"What I'm doing here, I'm just going to have a conversation with a guest about their history, their experiences in the game, players they've played with or against. I'm going to have whole different variety of guests on my show. Strong Island Lax Chat screams Long Island lacrosse, right? It's going to have a Long Island flair. But I will have other guests on from great lacrosse areas and hotbeds, like the cities of Baltimore and Washington D.C., and others from Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New England. I'd love to get some West Coast guys on the show too."
Taz said he hopes to "bring my fan base from a different sport and do my part to help grow this great game."