Jim Ross Explains Why Signing Tazz To WWE “Was Not A Popular Hire”

Jim Ross has revealed that hiring Tazz in WWE over 20 years ago was not a popular decision.

When Tazz (it’s spelled with two Z’s in WWE and Taz elsewhere) made his WWE debut at Royal Rumble 2000, Jim Ross was WWE’s main announcer on television, but he was also the Head of Talent Relations. A big part of JR’s job was to hire and fire talent.

Tazz’s WWE debut was a huge success at Royal Rumble 2000 when he defeated the undefeated Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle in about three minutes. It was a perfect debut where Tazz was made to look dominant in his hometown of New York City since his WWE debut was in Madison Square Garden.

While Tazz did have some mild success during his WWE career as a Tag Team Champion with Spike Dudley and three-time Hardcore Champion, his WWE run wasn’t that special considering he was a top guy in ECW.

Jim Ross recently talked about his fellow AEW colleague Tazz on the Grilling JR podcast [first available early and ad-free at]. While discussing Tazz’s WWE run, Ross noted that Tazz wasn’t a popular hire while also stating that WWE failed to use Taz the right way creatively:

“I just don’t think we ever did Tazz justice, creative-wise. Not too long thereafter [Unforgiven 2001], I may be getting my dates mixed up, he got hurt, and that kind of shut that down. Tazz was not [considered] a popular hire by me by some of those in the company, simply because he was under six feet and he had a very no-sell type style. You know, all that crap. But I don’t think we ever did Tazz justice, quite frankly.”

Tazz became a full-time announcer in WWE in 2002 after the brand extension started. Tazz worked as an announcer in WWE for about seven years before going to TNA/Impact Wrestling in 2009 where he had a six-year run there.

JR signed with AEW before the company’s first show while Taz joined AEW full time in January 2020. Taz works for AEW as a manager of Team Taz and also a commentator as well.