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Wrestler : THE TAZZ

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After being contacted by the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling in 1999,[17] Taz debuted for the WWF—with the slightly modified ring name Tazz—at the 2000 Royal Rumble in a win over the previously undefeated Kurt Angle.[18] Just a few months after Tazz arrived in the WWF, Mike Awesome, the man he had lost the ECW World Heavyweight Championship to, signed with World Championship Wrestling. Legal wrangling by Paul Heyman prevented Awesome from taking the title belt with him, and in a piece of bizarre wrestling history, ECW and WWF officials agreed to have Tazz, a WWF wrestler, make a surprise appearance at an ECW show to defeat Awesome, a WCW wrestler, for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship.[19] Tazz held the belt for ten days before losing it to Tommy Dreamer, during which time he wore it on various WWF shows, including an episode of SmackDown! where he lost to the WWF Champion Triple H[20]—a booking decision Vince McMahon later expressed some regret about.[21]
After losing the ECW Title, Tazz was placed into contention for the Intercontinental Championship, but never won the title. In the summer, after taking time off for an arm injury, he was turned into a villainous character and placed into a feud with color commentator Jerry "The King" Lawler.[22] The feud included matches at SummerSlam[23] and Unforgiven, which they split.[24] Tazz was only able to pick up the Unforgiven win when he received help from Raven, who had returned to the company. Afterwards, the duo formed a tag team that lasted until November.
When the Invasion angle began, Tazz acted as "the voice of the WCW/ECW Alliance", sticking up for them and speaking on their behalf whenever possible. He eventually left the stable and turned face after the leader Stone Cold Steve Austin criticized his decision to stay on commentary rather than help ECW owner Stephanie McMahon.[25]
Lawler returned to the company on November 19, 2001 and resumed his place as commentator, with Tazz becoming both a wrestler and a commentator.[26] In January he and Spike Dudley won the WWF Tag Team Championship,[27] holding it for over a month before losing it to Billy and Chuck.[28]

Tazz signing autographs in 2006

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