"'Cause I'm Taz, the Human Suplex Machine. Beat me if you can. Survive if I let you!"
The name Tazz may generate some confusion depending on the generation of some wrestling fans. To more modern fans, the name Tazz brings to mind a goofy, if entertaining, commentator. To fans from the 1990's, however, the name Tazz brings to mind one of the most lethal wrestlers in the history of ECW. Born Peter Senerchia, Tazz began his wrestling career in 1987, wrestling for six years in Puerto Rico and the IWCCW promotion as well as in Smoky Mountain Wrestling and for the W*ING promotion in Japan, usually teaming with Kevin Sullivan. In 1993, however, he would debut in ECW as The Tazmaniac, and 2 years later, after success in the tag team division he would shed his caveman gimmick and be rechristened as Taz, and become known as "The Human Suplex Machine", using a wide arsenal of suplexes and introducing his Tazmission finisher, which, to the surprise of some younger viewers, was what introduced the Tap Out to Professional Wrestling. He is a former 2x ECW World Heavyweight Champion, a former 2x NWA ECW/ECW World Television Champion, a former 3x NWA ECW/ECW World Tag Team Champion, holding the belts twice w/Kevin Sullivan and 1x w/Sabu, a 1x WWE World Tag Team Champion w/Spike Dudley and a 3x WWE Hardcore Champion.You can read more about his career at The Other Wiki.
Crossover: After ECW World Heavyweight Champion Mike Awesome made his surprise WCW debut on the April 10, 2000 episode of WCW Monday Nitro, Paul Heyman filed a court injunction to prevent Awesome from appearing on WCW TV with the belt. This led to ECW's April 13th show, which produced a true once-in-a-lifetime moment that can never be duplicated, as Tazz, a WWE-contracted wrestler, defeated Mike Awesome, a WCW-contracted wrestler, for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship.note Tazz would drop the ECW Title to ECW's own Tommy Dreamer nine days later...who would lose it the same night to Justin Credible. Joey Styles explained that the Tazz-Dreamer switch wouldn't appear on ECW TV because they couldn't show a WWE wrestler losing on ECW TV.
Inverted. After his huge heel turn at ECW November to Remember 95, he went for over a year without getting pinned. He lost one match to Chris Jericho by disqualification at ECW Big Ass Extreme Bash on March 9, 1996, but was otherwise unstoppable until his Arch-Enemy Sabu pinned him when Taz had him in the Tazmission and effectively pinned himself in their match at ECW WrestlePalooza 97, June 7, 1997.
At Royal Rumble 2000, Kurt Angle, who had been competing for WWE with a two-month long undefeated streak, issued an open challenge to anyone in the back to come face him. Tazz made his WWE debut by utterly curb stomping Angle, choking him unconscious with the Tazzmission.
Determinator: Claimed on the Rise & Fall of ECW DVD to have walked himself to the hospital after suffering a broken neck due to a botched spike piledriver at the hands of Dean Malenko and 2 Cold Scorpio during a tag match in Florida in 1995.
Evil Mentor: To Samoa Joe in TNA during Joe's "nation of violence gimmick". As if a traitorous, violence worshiping, head biting, sling blade using Wild Samoan was not evil enough already.
Expy: Samoa Joe seemed to take a lot from him, particularly the chokehold finisher, the towel he carries around with him, and the "Joe is gonna kill you!" chants.
Face-Heel Turn: At ECW November to Remember 95, November 18, 1995. Taz had walked to the ring wearing a referee's shirt before Joey Styles' in-ring introductions for the Konnan vs. Jason match. Taz told Joey that ECW had made him a referee for the night because they said he was an "insurance risk." Jason got in Taz's face. Taz asked both guys if they were ready, and decked Jason, leading to Konnan powerbombing and pinning him in 14 seconds. Everything looks to be on the up and up, right? Not quite, of course.
Later that night, there was a match, such as it was, between Commissioner Tod Gordon and evil referee Bill Alfonso. Beulah McGillicutty, then a heel as Raven's girlfriend, is supposed to be the referee, but Fonzie attacks her and throws her out of the match. They sort-of brawl for a while, complete with Fonzie blading, with no referee. Taz comes down while Tod is attempting a pin, starts to count, then stops, beats up Tod, puts Alfonso on top and counts the pin, this turning himself heel. The crowd is shocked, and Taz explains that he did it because none of the fans called or wrote or made any attempt to contact him after his injury and that Alfonso was the only person who seemed to care about him. He also rips on the fans for being happy to see Sabu, who had returned earlier that night after seven months in self-imposed exile in WCW, New Japan Pro Wrestling and the indies,note Sabu had left ECW right before The Three-Way Dance on April 8th and the fans had chanted "FUCK SABU! FUCK SABU!", Paul E. and whatever and whoever else comes to mind, finally saying to the fans, "I DON'T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT YOU!"
Game-Breaking Injury: His mounting neck injuries were what caused his retirement from active wrestling in 2002.
The Ghost/Noodle Incident: As part of his Brooklyn street thug gimmick in WWE, Tazz would occassionally refer to someone named "Joey Numbas." If this character was supposed to exist or was ever going to be introduced, he never was.
Suplex Finisher: Much of his arsenal consisted of a wide variety of suplexes. A particularly noteworthy example would be the Tazmissionplex, where he locked his opponent in a half nelson choke, before throwing them through the air onto their shoulders and head. If he hit you with this, you were done. At ECW House Party 99, he defeated Shane Douglas with this, marking his first pinfall victory, as opposed to submission, in some three years.
Thirteen Is Unlucky: His WWE theme was called "13," which Tazz explained as representing how many years it had taken him to get to WWE.
Writing Around Trademarks: His original name, the Tazmaniac and his following one of Taz were changed to Tazz when he debuted in WWE. He was able to get away with it in ECW due to ECW being too low-key for Warner Bros. to notice.