For weeks in early 2000, fans had been teased with a mysterious orange flickering light throughout various arenas. It lasted only a few moments before the show went back to normal. The announcers had no clue what they had witnessed or what it meant. Finally, all was revealed at the Royal Rumble when one of ECW’s top stars made their shocking WWF debut.
Despite the land of extreme not having a major cable home at the time, the New York crowd knew who Tazz was. Look to the massive pop he received as proof. Emerging from the back with a black towel over his head and walking with a badass swagger, it’s likely Kurt Angle had second thoughts about being able to handle this mystery challenger.
Unfortunately, the two had a disappointingly short three minute match. However, Tazz was able to make the Olympic gold medalist tap out, ending his undefeated streak (though the announcers claimed it was an illegal choke, something Tazz didn’t know was going to happen in real life). Angle had to be stretchered out of the arena, showing that The Human Suplex Machine was certainly a man not to be messed with.
Looking back, Tazz’s debut was easily the highlight of his entire run in the company. It never got better for him. Still, his quick, dominant victory over a future Hall of Famer was one hell of a way to make a name for himself in the biggest wrestling promotion in the world.
As Rust Cohle from True Detective said "Life's barely long enough to get good at one thing. So be careful what you're good at."
Sadly, I can't solve a murder like Rust...or change a tire, or even tie a tie. But I do know all the lyrics to Hulk Hogan's "Real American" theme song and can easily name every Natural Born Thriller from the dying days of WCW. I was once ranked 21st in the United States in Tetris...on the Playstation 3 version...for about a week.
Follow along @AndrewSoucek and check out my podcast at wrestlingwithfriends.com