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Peter Senerchia (born October 11, 1967) is an American retired professional wrestler and current color commentator best known by his ring name Tazz, originally Tazmaniac and later shortened to simply Taz. He is currently signed to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

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, and a two time FTW Heavyweight Champion. His World Wrestling Entertainment career as an in-ring performer came to an early halt 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, Senerchia debuted in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling at their Victory Road pay-per-view under the ring name Taz and eventually reprised his role as a color commentator for TNA's broadcasts, replacing Don West.

Career

Senerchia debuted in professional wrestling 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.

Extreme Championship Wrestling (1993–1999)

The Tazmaniac

In October 1993, he and Jack Dick (brother of Chris Chetti) debuted in the Philadelphiamarker-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 coming, he didn't 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.

Taz

When Senerchia returned, he did so with a revamped gimmick and used the shortened name Taz. The new character had him clad in a black singlet and exhibiting a more physically intense in-ring style, focusing his offense on 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. After feuds with 2 Cold Scorpio, Jason, and Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Paul Varelans, Taz and his former partner Sabu were put into an angle stemming from the firing incident years earlier. The two chased each other throughout 1996 and 1997, including having an altercation on Monday Night Raw, the flagship show of their "competition", during a working agreement between the two companies. The feud was all designed to lead to ECW's first pay-per-view, Barely Legal, where Taz defeated Sabu with his Tazmission, only to have his manager, Bill Alfonso, turn on him and join Sabu and his partner Rob Van Dam. Two months later, at Wrestlepalooza, Taz won the World Television Championship from Shane Douglas to begin his second reign, starting a feud with Bam Bam Bigelow over it and eventually losing it to him.

After losing the TV 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 long time 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.

World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment (2000–2009)

Wrestling (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 in 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 and turned face 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 WWF 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 PPV on WWE No Way Out with Jim Ross, as well as becoming one of the trainers for the joint WWF/MTV produced reality series Tough Enough.

Tazz signing autographs in 2006
When World Wrestling Entertainment split into two brands, Tazz was put on SmackDown!, where he again became color commentator. 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.

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.

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)

Samoa Joe's advisor and commentary

At Victory Road, Senerchia, 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 villain 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 edition of Impact!, Taz replaced Don West as the promotion's color commentator and also became a fan favorite 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 new found skills.

Personal life

Senerchia currently resides in Massapequa, New Yorkmarker with his wife Theresa Smith and son, 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. Senerchia also studied judo prior to entering the professional wrestling circuit.

In wrestling









  • Nicknames
    • "The Human Suplex Machine"
    • "The Most Miserable Man / Son of a Bitch on the Planet"
    • "The One-Man Crime Spree"




Wrestlers trained by Taz



Championships and accomplishments

Amateur wrestling

  • Empire States Heavyweight Champion


Professional wrestling











1Although Tazz and Sullivan won the title twice, only their first reign is recognized officially by World Wrestling Entertainment. 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.

References

External links




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