Tazz in November 2008.
|Birth name||Peter Senercia|
|Ring name(s)||Kid Krush
The Tasmanian Devil
|Billed height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Billed weight||240 lb (110 kg)|
October 11, 1967 |
Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York
|Resides||Massapequa, New York|
|Billed from||The Red Hook Section of Brooklyn, New York|
|Trained by||Johnny Rodz|
Peter Senercia (born October 11, 1967) is an American color commentator and a professional wrestler, best known under his ring name Taz (or Tazz). Tazz is signed to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, where he works as a color commentator and is a member of the Aces & Eights.
He is best known from his tenure in Extreme Championship Wrestling, where he was a two time World Heavyweight Champion, a two time World Television Champion, a three time World Tag Team Champion, a two time (and the inaugural) FTW Heavyweight Champion, and the fourth ECW Triple Crown Champion.
His World Wrestling Entertainment career as an in-ring performer came to an early end in 2002, when mounting injuries forced him to retire and become a color commentator, which he continued to do until his contract with WWE expired in April 2009. Two months later, Senercia debuted in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling at their Victory Road pay-per-view under his original Taz ring name and eventually reprised his role as a color commentator for TNA's broadcasts, replacing Don West.
Professional wrestling career
Debut and early years (1987–1993)
Senercia debuted in professional wrestling in World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico in 1987 after being trained by Johnny Rodz. He wrestled as Kid Krush before moving on to the name Tazmaniac, which he would use variations of for the rest of his career. In the early 1990s, as The Tazmaniac, he wrestled for International World Class Championship Wrestling and held its Light Heavyweight Championship for six months in 1991. He would follow Tony Rumble in leaving IWCCW to join the newly-established Century Wrestling Alliance. He would also tour in New Japan Pro Wrestling. He also wrestled in the Memphis based USWA.
Eastern / Extreme Championship Wrestling (1993–1999)
In October 1993, he and Joe Chetti (brother of Chris Chetti) debuted in the Philadelphia-based Eastern Championship Wrestling (ECW), just prior to its name change to Extreme Championship Wrestling, as the tag team The Tazmaniacs. When that team broke up, he was put into another team with Kevin Sullivan, with whom he won the Tag Team Championship twice. During his second reign as Tag Team Champion with Sullivan, The Tazmaniac became a double champion when he also won the Television Championship for one night in March 1994. For most of the rest of the year he floated around the tag ranks, teaming with different partners. He held the title once more, this time with Sabu, until Sabu was (legitimately) fired by ECW owner Paul Heyman for no-showing an event in favor of appearing at another event in Japan.
Tazmaniac was put out of action by a legitimate injury for much of 1995. During a tag team match 2 Cold Scorpio and Dean Malenko delivered a spike piledriver to him, and though he knew it was about to be performed, he did not have time to properly protect himself. As he explained on the DVD documentary The Rise and Fall of ECW, "I landed right on my forehead and just jacked my whole neck back and that was it." The neck injury was so bad that, according to Tommy Dreamer, hospital staff couldn't believe he'd walked into the hospital where he sought help after the match. Though he was unable to wrestle, Paul Heyman continued to pay him per their oral agreement, forging a loyalty between the men.
Return from injury and championship reigns (1995–1999)
Following his neck injury, Taz made appearances with The Steiner Brothers, even standing in their corner during matches with The Eliminators and getting physical with Jason. It was at the 1995 November to Remember, when Taz turned heel and joined up with referee Bill Alfonso. Working as the special referee for Alfonso's match with ECW commissioner Tod Gordon, Taz refused to count to three and assaulted Gordon, then making the count for Alfonso. In his post-match promo, he claimed that no one was looking after him while he was injured and that no one cared (though Heyman was still paying him, the kayfabe story was that he had been forgotten and that Alfonso was the one helping him keep food on his family's table). He was also angry that Sabu was brought back in that very night.
Taz returned to the ring On December 19, 1995 at Holiday Hell with a new look and wrestling style. The new character had him clad in a black singlet and exhibiting a more physically intense in-ring style, focusing his offense on mat wrestling and suplexes, which announcer Joey Styles dubbed "Taz-Plexes", earning him the nickname "The Human Suplex Machine". He also debuted his Tazmission finishing maneuver, causing opponents to tap out to signal their submission as in mixed martial arts instead of nodding their head or vocally saying "yes". This quirk was soon picked up by other companies throughout the country. Throughout 1996, Taz steamrolled the competition as "Fonzie" got on the mic and demanded to know, "Who can stop the path of rage?" Though his foe never acknowledged it, Taz began calling out Sabu in nearly every promo and after every match. He choked out the likes of "Lionheart" Chris Jericho, Buh Buh Ray Dudley, 2 Cold Scorpio, Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Paul Varelans, 911 and even Bam Bam Bigelow.
Into the summer, Taz began feuding with Tommy Dreamer, joining up with Brian Lee to face Dreamer and Terry Gordy and later Dreamer and "Dr. Death" Steve Williams. Taz also developed a friendship with The Eliminators, based on mutual respect, and they occasionally involved themselves in his matches. Perry Saturn and Taz were both trainers at ECW's House of Hardcore training school. For a while, some of the students, including Mako and Chris Chetti, would accompany Taz and Alfonso to the ring as a faction known as Team Taz.
At the September 22, 1996 In Your House: Mind Games event in Philadelphia, hosted by the World Wrestling Federation, ECW stars (The Sandman, Tommy Dreamer, Paul Heyman, and Taz) were on hand in the front row with Sandman even interfering in one match (when he spat beer on Savio Vega during his strap match with Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw). McMahon acknowledged ECW’s status as a local, up and coming organization on the air. The next night on RAW, Taz and his manager at the time, Bill Alfonso, jumped the guard rail with signs saying "Sabu fears Taz" during a match. He continued to stretch and choke out the likes of Mikey Whipwreck, Little Guido and Johnny Smith, even confronting Kurt Angle when he visited ECW.
At the 1996 November to Remember, things seemed to come full circle, as Taz stormed to the ring and interrupted Styles and "stole Paul E.'s thunder" by announcing that there would be a "big show in the first quarter of the new year", basically telling the fans in attendance that ECW's first PPV was on the horizon. At that "big show", he guaranteed that Sabu would finally face him. Later that night, he came out to force Scorpio to leave the ring and went on an angry tirade, abusing Bob Artese and holding him hostage in the ring. Several officials and wrestlers came out and Taz eventually got his hands on Paul E. The lights went out and when they came back on, Sabu was in the ring, across from Taz. This was the first time they had been in the ring together since early 1995. Before they could lock up, the lights went out again.
During Sabu's match, where he teamed with Rob Van Dam to face The Eliminators and The Gangstas in a Three Way Dance, Taz attempted to attack his former partner, but Van Dam saved Sabu and was choked out in the aisle. This distraction caused Sabu to get hit with Total Elimination and his team lost. Taz began a mini-feud with Rob Van Dam, dominating him in every match and was also out for a short time to get surgery on his injured shoulder. As 1996 ended and 1997 began, Taz and Sabu continued to try getting at one another, with no actual contact.
Early in 1997, Taz did commentary with Joey Styles during an Eliminators match, with them bowing to him after the match and him doing the same. The antagonism between Sabu and Taz was growing, as Taz attacked Sabu's partner, Rob Van Dam, costing the team matches with The Eliminators and others. In the months leading to ECW's first PPV, Taz choked out low-level wrestlers, as his matches had become secondary to the rivalry with him and Sabu.
Taz took part in ECW's "Invasion" of WWF Monday Night Raw on 24 February 1997. He was among the few wrestlers to be chosen to represent ECW as he defeated former Triple Crown Champion, Mikey Whipwreck. He then dominated another series of matches with Van Dam, before meeting Sabu at Barely Legal, where Taz defeated him with his Tazmission, only to have his manager, Bill Alfonso, turn on him and join Sabu and his partner Rob Van Dam. Taz started teaming with Chris Candido to face the newly-turned heel team of Sabu and RVD.
Two months later, at Wrestlepalooza, Taz lost to Sabu in the rematch, marking his first loss since 1995. However, later in the night, he won the World Television Championship from Shane Douglas to begin his second reign. He defended the title against all comers, including Shane Douglas, Lance Storm, John Kronus, Al Snow, Jerry Lynn and Chris Candido. Throughout late 1997, Taz was feuding with the team of Sabu and Van Dam, as well as The Triple Threat, sometimes teaming up with Tommy Dreamer. He also began feuding with the Wright Connection - Lance Wright's stable of WWF "invaders", going through both Pit Bulls and eventually "WWF wrestler" Brakkus. At the 1997 November to Remember, he issued a challenge to Bam Bam Bigelow, who was then ECW World Heavyweight Champion. The two would eventually meet, after Bigelow turned on Taz in a match against Shane Douglas and Chris Candido (begging the native of Red Hook, NY to be his partner, prior to this). Taz would ultimately lose the title to Bam Bam Bigelow at Living Dangerously on March 1, 1998.
After losing the Television Championship, Taz was elevated into the World Heavyweight Championship picture. In May 1998, with Shane Douglas injured and unable to wrestle, Taz was given an old Television Championship belt painted orange—his trademark color—and began cutting promos declaring himself the FTW Heavyweight Champion of the World. Though the championship was unsanctioned in storyline, it was defended at ECW shows until Douglas was healthy, at which time Taz defeated him for the World Heavyweight Title.
Just before winning the World Title, Taz "gave" the FTW title to longtime foe Sabu in a match where he physically pulled Sabu on top of him to allow him to get the pin. Taz held the ECW World Championship for nine months before he signed with the World Wrestling Federation, losing the title as the first man eliminated in a three way dance at Anarchy Rulz. As he walked out of the ring, a large portion of the ECW locker room joined him on the entrance ramp to give him an emotional sendoff. After being off of ECW television for most of the fall, he wrestled one final match as an ECW performer at November to Remember, losing to Rob Van Dam via pinfall. In the DVD The Rise and Fall of ECW, Taz said that he sign with the WWE because he was in the top of the company and he lost his passion.
World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment (2000–2009)
Debut and The Alliance (2000–2002)
After being contacted by the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling in 1999, Taz debuted for the WWF, with the slightly modified ring name Tazz, at the 2000 Royal Rumble with a win over the previously undefeated Kurt Angle. 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. 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, a booking decision Vince McMahon later expressed some regret about.
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. The feud included matches at SummerSlam and Unforgiven, which they split. 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 after the leader Stone Cold Steve Austin criticized his decision to stay on commentary rather than help ECW owner Stephanie McMahon.
Lawler returned to the company on November 19, 2001 and resumed his place as commentator, with Tazz becoming both a wrestler and a commentator. In January he and Spike Dudley won the Tag Team Championship, holding it for over a month before losing it to Billy and Chuck.
Commentating and departure (2002–2009)
With injuries mounting, Tazz began performing part-time commentary on Sunday Night Heat in October 2000. He joined the SmackDown! team in February 2001 after Jerry "The King" Lawler quit the company, after calling his first pay-per-view on No Way Out with Jim Ross, as well as becoming one of the trainers for the joint WWF/MTV produced reality series Tough Enough.
When World Wrestling Entertainment split into two brands, Tazz was put on the SmackDown! brand, where he resumed his color commentator duties. Not long after he retired from the ring, he became a full-time broadcaster. He co-hosted SmackDown! for World Wrestling Entertainment until a third brand, ECW, was introduced in 2006, at which point he became the color commentator for that show. He was also the co-host, with Joey Styles, of History of Extreme Championship Wrestling on WWE 24/7 Classics, a show that re-airs archived episodes of the original ECW's weekly television programs. Before and during episodes he and Styles provide insight into the storylines, inner workings, and general ambiance of ECW at the time—as they remember it.
In February 2006, Tazz and his SmackDown! broadcasting partner, Michael Cole, hosted a week long trial run of a show on Howard 101 on Sirius Satellite Radio, but the show was not picked up. He also hosted a talk show on 92.3 Free FM at sporadic intervals between late summer 2006 and early 2007, but it was not picked up and the station changed formats, replacing all post morning programming with music. On June 11, 2006, Tazz wrestled his final match to date, defeating Jerry Lawler at ECW One Night Stand.
During the recording of the April 29, 2008 episode of ECW, Tazz's broadcast partner Mike Adamle abruptly walked off set prior to the main event. Moments later, after reading the promo for the upcoming pay-per-view, Tazz walked out as well, leaving the main event with no commentators. On December 13, 2010, Tazz joined Right After Wrestling and said that it pisses him off when companies try to re-create the original ECW. He stated that the original ECW worked because "It was that era, that group of people, that leader in Paul Heyman. We were that little engine that could."
In August 2008, Tazz filled in for Mick Foley as a color commentator on the SmackDown brand, while Raw wrestler Matt Striker filled in for Tazz on the ECW brand. When Foley left the company, Tazz became the permanent color commentator for the SmackDown brand once again. On April 3, 2009, Tazz left WWE when his contract expired. His WWE.com profile was moved from the active SmackDown roster list to the alumni list for a short time, before being completely removed, confirming his departure from the company.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2009–present)
At Victory Road, Senercia, under his Taz ring name, made his official debut during Samoa Joe's match against Sting, revealing himself to be Joe's on-screen adviser and consequently a heel as well as an ally of the Main Event Mafia. The match ending was booked as Taz's presence enabling Joe to recover from Sting's Scorpion Deathlock submission hold and win the match via submission after applying the Coquina Clutch.
On the August 20, 2009 edition of Impact!, Taz replaced Don West as the promotion's color commentator and also became a face as a result, stating that he was only loosely associated with the Mafia and that he had taught all he knew to Joe and that it was now up to Joe to use his newfound skills. In May 2012, Taz began appearing as a judge in the monthly Gut Check segment on Impact Wrestling.
On the January 17, 2013 episode of Impact Wrestling, Taz was a groomsman at the wedding between Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan. As Ray and Brooke exchanged their vows, Taz interrupted the ceremony and revealed himself to be a member of Aces & Eights after sporting a kutte underneath his coat, turning heel again in the process. Following his revelation, Aces & Eights ambushed the ceremony and attacked Ray, his groomsmen Tommy Dreamer and Brother Runt and Brooke's father Hulk. The following week on Impact Wrestling, Taz revealed that he joined Aces & Eights because of his desire to be a member of a group that adheres to a higher power. He also revealed that because of a special clause in his contract, he is immune to being harmed or fired.
Senercia and his wife Theresa have a son named Tyler. He has a tattoo of the Looney Tunes Tasmanian Devil on his upper left biceps accompanied by the legend TAZ. His action figure produced by Jakks Pacific does not include the character, but does include the name. He has a self designed tattoo on his left lower biceps. Senercia also studied judo prior to entering the professional wrestling circuit. He is a fan of the New York Mets, New York Knicks, and the New York Jets.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Angry Man's Clothesline (Lariat)
- Brooklyn Boot (Running big boot)
- Concrete Crash (Double leg slam)
- Crucifix armbar
- Multiple suplex variations
- Entrance themes
- "Breed" by Nirvana
- "Keep It in the Family" by Anthrax
- "Path of Rage" by Harry Slash & The Slashtones
- "School" by Nirvana
- "Survive (If I Let You)" by Harry Slash & The Slashtones
- "War Machine" by Kiss
- "13" by Jim Johnston
- "Just Another Victim" by Cypress Hill
- "Deadman's Hand (Instrumental)" by Dale Oliver (October 18, 2012 – present)
Championships and accomplishments
- Empire States Heavyweight Champion
- Eastern Championship Wrestling / Extreme Championship Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- World Wrestling Federation
1Although Tazz and Sullivan won the title twice, only their first reign is recognized officially by WWE. The reign also occurred prior to ECW's withdrawal from the NWA and prior to ECW declaring their tag title a World title.
2Due to inconsistent reports from WWE, Tazz's two additional reigns during WrestleMania 2000 are considered unofficial as they are not featured in their online history for the title, but are listed in the title's history in the "WWE Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to World Wrestling Entertainment" published in 2009.
- "Tazz bio". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2007-07-20.
- "Tazz profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-07-21.
- "Tazz's WWE Alumni Bio". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2009-04-08. Retrieved 2008-08-23.
- "ECW World Heavyweight Title". Wrestling-Titles. Retrieved 2007-07-20.
- "ECW Television Title". Wrestling-Titles. Retrieved 2007-07-20.
- "ECW World Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles. Retrieved 2007-07-20.
- "Fuck The World title history". Solie's Title Histories. Retrieved 2007-07-22.
- "ICW/IWCCW Light Heavyweight Title". Wrestling-Titles. Retrieved 2007-07-21.
- Rise and Fall of ECW, The (Documentary ) (DVD). WWE Home Video. November 16, 2004.
- Rise and Fall of ECW, The (Documentary ) (DVD). WWE Home Video. 2004-11-16.
- "12/17/95". History of ECW. 2007-08-14. WWE Classics On Demand.
- Rise and Fall of ECW, The (Documentary ) (DVD). WWE Home Video. November 16, 2004.
- "Barely Legal 1997 results". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2007-07-22.
- "Heat Wave 1998 results". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2007-07-22.
- "Guilty as Charged 1999 results". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2007-07-22.
- "Anarchy Rulz 1999 results". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2007-07-22.
- "November to Remember 1999 results". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2007-07-22.
- Rise and Fall of ECW, The (Documentary ) (DVD). WWE Home Video. November 16, 2004.
- Anderson, Steve (October 2000). "Defection Inspection". Wrestling Digest. Archived from the original on 2008-10-21. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- "Royal Rumble 2000 results". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2007-07-23.
- Oliver, Greg. "Mike Awesome found dead". Slam! Sports. Retrieved 2007-07-23.
- "SmackDown! results – 2000". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-07-23. "April 20, 2000[...]WWF World Champion, Triple H, b ECW World Champion, Tazz"
- The Rise and Fall of ECW (Documentary ) (DVD). WWE Home Video. November 16, 2004.
- Kapur, Bob. "Tazz talks: ECW, Tough Enough, WWF". Slam! Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-07-24.
- "SummerSlam 2000 results". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2007-07-24.
- "Unforgiven 2000 results". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2007-07-24.
- "SmackDown! results – November 8, 2001". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-07-23.
- "SmackDown! results – November 22, 2001". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-07-24.
- Michael McAvennie (2003). "WWE The Yearbook: 2003 Edition". Pocket Books. pp. 13–16.
- "WWWF / WWF / WWE World Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles. Retrieved 2007-07-24.
- Tazz (2008-01-10). "Tazz shoots again". WWE. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
- "SmackDown! results – April 4, 2002". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-07-24.
- Zerr, Scott. "Tuning into Tazzvision". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-07-24.
- Martin, Adam (2006-06-11). "ECW One Night Stand PPV Results 6/11/06 New York City, New York". WrestleView. Retrieved 2010-07-15.
- Bishop, Matt. "ECW: Announcing follies overshadow decent show". SLAM! Sports. Retrieved 2008-04-30.
- Podcasts | The Score. Radio.thescore.com (2010-12-13). Retrieved on 2011-11-29.
- Martin, Adam (2009-07-19). "Victory Road PPV Results – 7/19/09". WrestleView. Retrieved 2010-07-15.
- Keller, Wade (2009-08-27). "Keller's TNA Impact report 8/20: Results, star ratings, thoughts, observations, quotebook". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2010-07-15.
- Sokol, Bryan; Sokol, Chris (2009-08-21). "Impact: Blueprint gets the tables". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2010-07-15.
- Turner, Scott (2012-05-04). "Turner's TNA Impact Wrestling Results 5/3: Roode and RVD pick opponents for each other, Gut Check fall-out, Flair calls out Hogan". PWTorch.com. Retrieved 2012-09-29.
- Keller, Wade (2013-01-17). "KELLER'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 1/17: The Bully Ray-Brooke Hogan Wedding Episode - What happened? Did Hulk accompany Brooke? Did the wedding end without a hitch?". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2013-01-17.
- "CALDWELL'S TNA IMPACT RESULTS 1/24: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Hardy vs. Daniels TNA Title match, Teflon Taz, wedding fall-out (updated w/Box Score)".
- Ross, Jim. "Lesnar… Buckethead Radio Show… Austin DVD… Super Bowl… Las Vegas… Mamajuana Energy… Rumors… Random Thoughts". JR's blog. JR's Bar B Q. Retrieved 2008-02-02.
- ECW Living Dangerously '99; Taz vs. Rob Van Dam (DVD). Extreme Championship Wrestling. 2000.
- "Dark Pegasus Video Review: No Way Out 2000". PWTorch. Retrieved 2009-09-24.
- "The 10th Day News Report for 8.22.07". 411Mania. Retrieved 2009-09-24.
- "411's WWF InVasion Report 7.22.01". 411Mania.
- "Living Dangerously PPV report".
- Extreme Championship Wrestling (1995-12-29). "Taz vs. Koji Nakagawa". ECW Holiday Hell 1995.
- "Tazmaniac vs. Pitbull #1 in a dog collar match".
- "Wrestlers managed".
- "Cagematch profile".
- Powell, John; Powell, Justin (2007-06-24). "Vengeance banal and badly booked". SLAM! Sports. Retrieved 2009-11-01.
- Csonka, Larry (2008-03-05). "My Take On The Original ECW 3.05.08: ECW Hardcore TV (2.25.96)". 411Mania. Retrieved 2009-11-01.
- "Entrance themes".[unreliable source]
- "Wrestler Entrance Music". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
- "deadman-s-hand-instrumental-aces-and-eights.aspx". Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Retrieved 2012-12-27.
- "Wrestlers trained". Cagematch. Retrieved 2010-07-15.
- Noted by Joey Styles during the 1997 November to Remember broadcast
- "Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500–1999". Wrestling Information Archive. Retrieved 2007-07-25.
- "History of the WWF/E Hardcore Championship".
- "History of the WWF/E World Tag Team Championship".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Tazz|
- TNA profile
- Tazz at Online World of Wrestling
- Tazz (Peter Senerchia) at the Internet Movie Database
- WWE Alumni Profile