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Tazz Saves the Day
February 25, 2005

by PyroFalkon
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Another day, another pile of boredom.

Football is over, baseball doesn’t start for another month… what the heck do I occupy my time with? I mean sure, I could do something constructive, like work on my taxes. But what fun is that?

So now I’ve got nothing better to do in my free time than contemplate wrestling. Which, under the circumstances, isn’t so bad. Everything is going right with Batista. Even if the E is in a position where they can’t screw it up anyway, it’s still nice to see things execute correctly, you know? Storylines can always sound good on paper; it's all about the 

execution, whether the performers can put the ideas together and do something that entertains us all. On good days, we have Batista. On bad days, we have Randy Orton.

And speaking of those two, isn’t it obvious that there’s going to be a tag match in our near future? We’re going to see Batista/Orton against Trips/Flair at SOME point. And like storylines, on paper it makes sense and might be good. But in execution? Well, it seems Randy’s improving at least… maybe there’s hope after all.

But while I’m fantasy booking, I know of how it can be completely screwed up. What I don’t want to see under any circumstances is Randy trying to take credit for Batista’s turn. “I got inside his head, and made him see the light!” The only reason that could be good is if it turns Orton back heel and makes a mini-feud between him and Batista… but that should only fly after Batista and Trips are done with each other. In other words, hopefully not for a long, long time.

In the meantime, I’ll bet anyone a cookie that between now and Wrestlemania, we’ll have at least one Evolution vs. Former Evolution tag match. And it certainly won’t end clean. Here’s hoping it doesn’t entirely detract from the main storyline.

Speaking of toasts, here’s hoping Tazz is the host again and continues his bad assery streak he’s been up to! I didn’t consciously realize it, but I’ve been far less annoyed at Josh when Tazz is there to counteract him.

Intro, Guest Rundown, Media Hype, Show Recap: Well, things are off to a great start because cause Tazz is here! He’s again so thrilled about things that he’s opening on the phone, totally ignoring Josh as he does the rundown. We’ve got Paul London and Shelton Benjamin coming, so that should be something. They recap No Way Out, and you know the OO policy on that. A new DVD is out called The Best of the Intercontinental Championship, which is about… well, the best of the IC title. At least, I think it is. Anyway, they’re giving away a copy or two, and we’re doing the trivia thing for it.

Following that hype is absolutely hilarious aside from Tazz that runs the gamut from e-mail to half-naked female maids. You owe it to yourself to give that a listen.

They back on track, chatting more about No Way Out and other things, nothing really worth repeating (especially if you’re smart and read Rick's recap). After another aside about Tazz’s tattoos, we get…

Droz’s 19 Cents: No break, and we segue to Droz. He talks about WWE Fantasy, and I just now realized they haven’t talked about that shit in a long time. If I hear five-second chunks every few months, I think it’s more than tolerable. After a bit of some uninteresting introductions, he and Tazz get into a short talk about tattoos. It’s weird how Tazz brings up the interest level of everyone he talks to.

That’s it, and he’s out. Kinda pointless, but more than tolerable. Here comes the trivia question: who was the first IC champ?

Filling Time: I guess we’re not doing breaks anymore, which I’m damn happy about. To fill time, Josh pimps a replica US Championship belt, on sale now for three hundred bucks. I can think of many things I’d rather buy for that much money.

Caller in, who nails the question. Tazz says, what the hell, let’s ask him a follow up question for a Tazz-signed copy of Are We There Yet. The question: what former IC champ trained Paul London? Caller gets that too, then chats with Tazz about cereal and pillows. Also funny, and I won’t ruin it for saying the details.

And, uh, we’re taking a break. Oh, I get it, Josh didn’t want to take a break, but the WWE brass does. Damnit.

[break 1]

Games and Drugs… You Gotta Love Paul London: London is in, and he opens by calling Tazz, Marc, and Josh “The Terrible Trio.” He then promptly apologizes, when Tazz kindly requests him not to group him with the other two.

Paul sounds completely wasted, going so far to as to talking about feeding his frogs. Really, he’s getting weird, talking about everyone being part of life and laughing about everything for no reason. He sounds REALLY gone. Kinda funny. Maybe that clothesline at the Royal Rumble is still affecting him.

Okay, we’re on track, and Josh asks about wrestling in general. London puts over Japan, saying (without using the words) that the Japanese style is much more intense and the fans are crazy-serious about it over there. He says that he went “all out” with Akio in No Way Out, and that the fans enjoyed it. I call bullshit, and I didn’t even see the match.

Tazz reads Online Onslaught and decides to ask about the dumbass ring attire. He asks London why he stole Michael Cole’s fur coat from his locker room. He answers that he actually stole it from Cole’s grandmother. Somehow he segues into talking about the Dragon Suplex, and… well, nothing major. Until Josh asks him about the 450, then Paul replies that Tazz taught it to him months ago at a swimming pool.

After a little bit of chatting (very amusing stuff involving Marc Loyd), an e-mail question asks about how London felt training under Shawn Michaels’s school. He basically fires a vanilla answer, nothing major.

Another question comes in about an action figure collection. Apparently Paul has an unhealthy addiction to action figures of comics and movies, Transformers and GI Joes, and so on. London gets wise and tells everyone to be themselves and damn anyone who doesn’t like you for who you are and so on.

Tazz interrupts that by asking Paul about the new Willie Wonka movie that stars Johnny Depp. Paul says he’s scared as hell about it, and is more looking forward to the next Batman money. Tazz then asks if Paul’s got a PlayStation 2, and Paul does, but he’s an old-school gamer like Asteroids, Kung-Fu Masters, and Duck Hunt. Yay Paul!

Caller in who asks something boring, and gets a boring response. So we’re going to ignore that.

Paul’s gotta leave to comb his coat, which leads to Tazz saying he goes commando and doesn’t wear underwear. Wow. On that note, he’s out. Tazz loses his mind in another hilarious aside, and we’re off to…

[break 2]

Back in the Slow Lane: Josh opens with Shelton Benjamin, asking him if he considers himself the best IC champ ever. Shelton pulls a heel and says he is, which I definitely call bullshit on. Shelton and all the hosts seem way too sober… this is already effectively “killing the crowd,” if that’s possible with a Net audience.

SB puts over Charlie, blah blah blah, facing Kurt Angle in a 2 out of 3 falls match at Wrestlemania would be the best match ever, blah blah blah, I loved being in Wrestlemania 19, blah blah blah, Kurt Angle/HBK will rule, blah blah blah, mental preparation is important for Wrestlemania, blah blah blah.

We now go into Interesting Mode for the first time in the conversation. They talk about the T-Bone Suplex, and Tazz takes credit for naming it. He goes into the history of the move, which indirectly leads to Josh doing a drug-induced impersonation of Jim Ross calling the move.

Caller in… okay, this sounds pretty damn fake or scripted, but a girl named Rebecca calls in who talks about that she’s the only girl on her wrestling team. She says that she gets picked on a lot, and she’s contemplated quitting, so she asks Shelton’s opinion about it. Shelton answers exactly how you think he should: don’t quit, stick with it, ignore the idiots and stick with what you love. He even mentions how that the divas of the WWE can attest that they get harassed too (or fired, although he doesn’t say that). She thanks him, and then is off.

I mention her name only because Tazz follows that up by saying Rebecca has two things in common with Marc Loyd: they’re both girls, and they’re both picked on. Heh.

They talk for a few minutes about hyping SD, including putting over JBL for winning his match on No Way Out. That leads to them saying Tazz would be a great GM if Theodore Long gets the axe; Tazz says that will be good, but then who will carry Michael Cole? Certainly not Josh!

That’s it, we’re done. And let me say, this episode was the most entertaining Byte This! in a long time. Shelton’s segment really kinda blew, but everything else clicked, especially the first 10 minutes or so. The is certainly nothing as magical as the ECW episode, but if you have a free hour this weekend, you really should give this one a listen. I highly, highly recommend it. Thumbs up!

I think we found the magic formula for Byte This!: Tazz needs to be speaking for at least 65% of the show, and the guests have to be relaxed. SB sounded uptight, and a little too guarded. It just wasn’t interesting, especially with almost too fake phone call. But overall, an excellent and entertaining episode that can fill some time when you’re bored or buzzed.

Here are the trivia questions, then I’m on a 167-hour break.

Question 1: Who was the first IC champ?
Answer: Pat Patterson

Question 2: What former IC champ trained Paul London?
Answer: Shawn Michaels [You know, it just occurred to me that London answered this question during his interview, so you should have been able to answer this one at least after hitting that part of my recap. If not, shame on you.]



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