Top 50 Wrestlers Of The 1990s: #43 - Taz
WrestleMania 34 is coming up, and being a wrestling fan, I tend to get a little more nostalgic for them olden days of when wrestlers didn't have scripts in front of them. DeLorean back to my early days of fandom during the 1990s and you had a product that was hotter than a 1994 white Ford Bronco containing an ex-football star (okay, slight exaggeration, the whole O.J. thing did get an FX series after all).
So from now up until "The Grandest Stage of Them All", I will release my Top 50 wrestlers of the 1990., factoring in their impact from the kid-friendly first half to the cuss-ridden, beer drinking second half to determine where exactly your favorite heel or face fall in rank.
Hailing From: Brooklyn, NY
Finisher: The Tazmission
Sure, you could make an argument for The Giant, a wrestler who spent 90s time in the WWF & WCW, to be higher up on this list than Taz (or any other ECW stalwart for that matter), but "The Human Suplex Machine" helped define and establish Extreme Championship Wrestling's wrestling identity. With catchphrases like "FTW" and "Just Another Victim" the original mayor of Supex City was one Italian ball of badass, so putting him in a feud with an established veteran and bigger star (both figuratively and literally) like Bam Bam Bigelow added to Taz's "Beat Me If You Can, Survive If I Let You" toughness.
Plus, with the way belts got turned over in the late 90s, putting a heavyweight championship on a wrestler for nine months could be on the level of Bruno Sammartino holding the WWWF title for eight years in the 1960-70s. I'm pretty serious, too. Besides Hollywood Hogan, who very rarely defended the WCW title, it was unprecedented for teenage me to see a title reign that long. Nine months was an eternity which made Taz's ECW run all the more memorable. You had to really be behind somebody if you were going to do that and Paul Heyman was that with Taz all the way up until he left for WWF at the end of the decade.
Too bad Taz never got the fair shake he deserved in WWF, because the early 2000s would have been a lot more intriguing if he did.