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Taz to host WWE WrestleMania recap show on CBS Sports Radio

Former ECW, TNA, WWE talent Taz will host a WrestleMania recap show at 11 p.m. EST Sunday, April 3 on the CBS Sports Radio Network.
Former ECW, TNA, WWE talent Taz will host a WrestleMania recap show at 11 p.m. EST Sunday, April 3 on the CBS Sports Radio Network.

ECW original Taz, who called the action for TNA and WWE, will host a WrestleMania recap show on a special edition of “The TAZ Show: Bodyslams and Beyond” at 11 p.m. ET Sunday, April 3 on the CBS Sports Radio Network.

“CBS radio executives wanted to do something special, a little bit different,” Taz said, “because they realize WrestleMania -- ala the Super Bowl or World Series or the Stanley Cup or any other major sporting event -- has a massive gigantic audience, just as mainstream sports do.

“So I’m under contract to them, and I guess they felt like it was a lay-up, pretty simple deal, to let’s do something special with Taz’s show for WrestleMania, because they know that I do a good amount of reactions to shows and analysis on shows.

“This gives the audience a platform on a major level to give their thoughts and opinions on a big show like WrestleMania right after it ends with someone like me who’s been part of WrestleMania.”

Taz, 48, noted there will be phone lines for callers. He and his producer will also be interacting with fans via Twitter.

The three-hour show, emanating from the famous WFAN studios in New York City, ends at 2 a.m. ET.

Fans can catch this special edition of The Taz Show by listening over-the-air, streaming online or using the CBS Sports and Radio.com apps for a variety of mobile devices, as well as watching a live video stream of the show on TazShow.com. The special will also be offered on-demand after the show ends and will serve as the Monday, April 4 edition of “The Taz Show: Bodyslams and Beyond.”

“There will be no better way to celebrate the biggest night in sports entertainment than by bringing Taz’s one of a kind personality and analysis to the fans across America as soon as the final bell rings in Dallas,” Chris Oliviero, Executive Vice President, Programming, CBS RADIO, said in a release. “The passion of this audience is incredible, and they deserve an outlet on the nation’s premier sports radio stations to have their say and be heard.”

His post-WrestleMania show will reach more than 200 affiliates across the country, including 560 WQAM on the AM radio dial in South Florida.

To check for a CBS Sports Radio affiliate in your area, go to

http://radio.cbssports.com/stations/

- TAZ daily show and more

Launched last year, The TAZ Show: Bodyslams and Beyod podcast is a live audio and video show from 7-9 a.m. Monday-Friday. You can watch and/or listen live. You can watch and/or listen anytime. Video On Demand with highlights and clips from the show is also available.

Debuting in the wrestling ring in 1987, Taz is a former judo competitor who transitioned successfully into professional wrestling. With more than 25 years of wrestling experiences, he has various titles to his name including two-time ECW World Heavyweight Champion, three-time ECW Tag Team Champion, three-time WWE Hardcore Champion, and WWE Tag Team Champion among others. After his retirement from in-ring wrestling, he was a color commentator from 2002-15 for WWE Raw, WWE SmackDown and TNA Impact Wrestling.

Taz is currently a broadcaster and award-winning podcaster, hosting The TAZ Show five days a week.

“It’s a lot more difficult than people realize, even me,” Taz said. “I knew being in the radio business -- full-time, daily show -- is a lot of work and a lot of pressure. A lot of wrestlers say, ‘I’m going to do radio, when I’m done wrestling.’ They throw that around a lot, and I was one of those guys. I really delved into it close to 10 years ago, really trying to get in because I had a passion for it.

“What I’ve learned is that it’s even harder than I thought it was. It’s very hard to have a blank piece of paper everyday for 10 hours of original programming every week. That’s what I do, a 2-hour live daily show. I have no writers. All the years of being a pro wrestling commentator, I was working off of someone else’s creativity -- whether it was Vince McMahon or the writers or in TNA with Vince Russo or Eric Bischoff. No matter who it was -- at any given time, when I was broadcasting with TNA or WWE -- you’re working off of a run sheet or outline. I don’t like to call it a script, because it’s not really a script. It’s an outline of what those two or three hours are going to be that you’re broadcasting, and that’s weekly. So I was working off something, and I also had picture. Meaning on my monitor, as a TV broadcaster in wrestling, I had a picture to work off of -- two people wrestling each other -- and I had a story to tell.

“Now, delving into daily radio, I don’t have an outline from someone else. I create my own outline everyday. Earlier in the day, myself and my producer, we get together and come up with an outline for the show, and the throughout the day and into the evening, I’ll come up with different creative points that we’ll hit. Once it hits 7 a.m. Eastern, the radio light is on, and I’m doing my thing. That’s everyday.

“I’m not playing off anything. There’s nothing to play off of, like two guys or two girls in the ring wrestling. Daily radio is hard, but you don’t know that until you live it. That being said, I’m having an absolute blast. I’m having the most fun I’ve ever had in my entire career, and the freedom to utilize my creativity and imagination on the air, and a big company like CBS embraces that and embraces me and believes in me...and most importantly my audience believes in me. The audience is growing rapidly from when I first started doing the weekly podcast. So I’m most thankful to the audience, and that’s sincere.”

Originally from the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, Taz learned on the job from talented television broadcasters Jim Ross, Mike Tenay and especially Michael Cole, who he worked with a lot. Now Taz lets loose on the business in his no-holds barred show, featuring hot topics in the world of pro wrestling, sports and entertainment, including weekly guest segments and more. The show is live form New York City via the Play.it Network.

“The numbers for the weekly podcast [The Human Podcast Machine with Taz] were very high,” Taz said. “After just two months, [CBS] was like, ‘Are you interested in maybe doing two podcasts a week, ‘ and I’m like, ‘Yea, I’d love to,’ and being that I’m in New York, where they’re based, I was able to go into the studio as opposed to doing the podcast in my house. So I was doing it broadcast quality in a legitimate studio.

“Then they saw the numbers on two podcasts a week, and how it was, and that I had a lot of content. I have a lot of opinions, and a lot of things to say -- not just with wrestling. I was covering different things in sports, too.

“They said, ‘Listen. We want to try something with you. We want to do live daily video and live daily audio, and what we will do is drop it as a podcast everyday and drop it as a VOD everyday, after the first run is live.’ They talked to my agent and myself. We worked out the numbers. It took a little while obviously. We came to terms about less than a year ago, and it’s been going great.”

The bulk of Taz’s show is pro wrestling/sports entertainment, but he discusses sports and entertainment and pop culture as well.

“The name of the show is ‘The Taz Show: Bodyslams and Beyond,’ so the beyond covers my personal life, mainstream sports, pop culture,” he said. “I give my slant on things. So if the Oscars happen or the Grammys, I’m not gonna sit there and do a full show on the Oscars or the Grammys. I’m going to give you my slant, which is usually a sarcastic, comedic slant on the Oscars or Grammys, and that might last five, 10, 15 minutes, and then I move onto something else. It’s very organic the way I write my show. It’s very loose.

“I do cover certain sports more than other sports. For example, during the NFL season and college football season, I was covering a good chunk of that in the first segment of my show. Baseball, too, I’ll cover. I’m not big into basketball, but now with March Madness, I’ve been covering a good chunk of March Madness -- again not an insane amount. I’m not a huge hockey guy, but I am a hockey fan. So once in a while we talk hockey. My son [Gooch] being a lacrosse player and myself being a lacrosse fan, a lot of people who are lacrosse fans through my son’s play and people I know and even professional lacrosse players listen or watch my show. So I will at times talk about lacrosse but not too much.

“The good thing is, where I’m very fortunate, is my audience, which is primarily consisting of pro wrestling fans, they are cool with it. I never get complaints about it. I give my slant on things, and I try to keep it as entertaining as possible. I’m very opinionated, very blunt, very frank, and I try to bring some humor into it. I crack on myself all the time. I don’t take myself super serious on the show. My producer, I don’t take him serious, and he doesn’t take me serious. It’s a very sophomoric feel, but yet when I get into the nooks and crannies of discussing or breaking down a segment of a pro wrestling show or a wrestler’s performance or a broadcaster’s performance or the creative team of those wrestling companies, I’m a lot more serious and give people legitimate opinions and thoughts from my expertise and background. The comedy is not there.”

Taz reaches a far and wide audience.

“A good amount of my audience are international fans,” he said. “I get fans from the UK; a guy called in from Kuwait. One of my die-hard fans is a couple from Ireland. Some people from Australia call in as they’re watching the show live because it’s on 10 or 11 o’clock at night their time. It’s more like a TV show for them online.

“I get people from Japan. I get fans from all over the world. Do you think they care about the NFL or college football? It’s not in their country, so they don’t care about that, but yet they’re cool about it. They’re patient with it. They listen to it. I’m fortunate that my audience is patient with it, and they just want to hear what I have to say, and I’m proud of that, very proud of that.”

Does that mean Taz will be studying/watching rugby, soccer and sumo wrestling? Not necessarily. Actually, for their patience, Taz gives those fans what they want with plenty of pro wrestling talk. It’s what he knows best.

“My show is legitimate opinions, thoughts, a hardcore viewpoint of what I saw and fair,” Taz said about his daily show and WrestleMania special. “If they do something great, I’m going to be honest about it. I’ve put WWE over in a positive way a lot, but there are times that I’m negative on it, but I don’t bash. I try not to bash because I’ve been in the pit.

“I know the goal of every single segment for WWE, Ring of Honor, TNA -- all these companies -- is to knock it out of the park every time from a wrestling perspective, an announcing perspective, writing perspective, referee perspective, production perspective. Everything. I know that. I lived it. So I respect all the men and women who work behind the scenes in these companies, but I also have to give my opinion on where they might have made a mistake or where they did somethng great. That’s what the Taz Show really is.”

@TazShowLive

www.TazShow.com

@OfficialTAZ

www.cbssportsnetwork.com

- TazMania

“I saw a lot of stuff and called so much action, but my favorite WrestleMania that I’ve been a part of was in Seattle at Safeco Field where the Mariners play,” Taz said. “It was WrestleMania 19 [in 2003]. Michael Cole and I called a lot of matches including the main event with Brock Lesnar against Kurt Angle [for the WWE title]. That was the most memorable WrestleMania for me. It was a blast, amazing.”

That WrestleMania also featured The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin. Hulk Hogan vs. Mr. McMahon. World champ Triple H (with Ric Flair) vs. Booker T. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho. WWE women’s champ Victoria (with Stevie Richards and Jazz) vs. Trish Stratus. The Undertaker vs. Big Show and A-Train. Rey Mysterio vs. Matt Hardy (with Shannon Moore). World tag champs Lance Storm and Chief Morley (with the Dudley Boyz) vs. Kane and Rob Van Dam. WWE tag champs Team Angle (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Hass) vs. Chris Benoit and Rhyno vs. Los Guerreros (Eddie and Chavo Guerrero Jr.).

- WWE WrestleMania

WrestleMania 32 is 7 p.m. EST Sunday, April 3 on WWE Network from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, near Dallas.

@WWE

@WrestleMania

- WWE Network

- WrestleMania 32 will be free for new WWE Network subscribers. WWE is using the #FreeWrestleMania hashtag to promote it.

Go to:

http://www.wwe.com/wwenetwork

@WWENetwork

- WWE WrestleMania Kickoff

USA Network will carry the WrestleMania 32 Kickoff Show at 6 p.m EST.

The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) against the Usos (Jimmy and Jey) will be on the pre-show as well as Total Divas Brie Bella, Paige, Natalya, Alicia Fox and Eva Marie) vs. B.A.D. & Blonde (Lana, Summer Rae, Naomi, Emma and Tamina).

@USA_Network

- Pro Wrestling On The Web

http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/fighting/

@jimmyv3

YouTube jim varsallone (jimmyv3 channel)

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