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12 February 2014

Taz FTW!


Two weeks into the 2014 Maximum Impact UK Tour, and with Taz absent on some ambiguous assignment, commentary duties have fallen on the shoulders of Jeremy Borash and Mike Tenay.  Jeremy Borash has so far added a fresh level of excitement to the tour, echoing what many fans must be feeling watching TNA at home or in the UK audiences.  During this past fortnight, I have read some fans on Twitter calling for JB to take up commentary duties on a permanent basis, and I would support this.

However, if his appointment would be at the expense of replacing Taz at the commentary desk, I would have to disagree.

There has been some great action in the two Glasgow shows so far, and I have to say I have missed Taz's contribution on commentary to help further that action.  As much as I love Borash's enthusiasm and love for his job and TNA as a company, and the Professor Mike Tenay is second to none when it comes to an encyclopedic knowledge of the company's history, there is one thing that neither of them can give us; a wrestler's perspective on the action.

One of the biggest roles of the commentary team is to sell us the action inside the ring, and whilst Borash and Tenay are great at calling a match, neither of them can hold a candle to Taz when it comes to giving a critique of the wrestling involved.  As a former wrestler himself, Taz has a very technical approach to his commentary and is able to give the viewers a very detailed breakdown of wrestling moves, highlighting the subtleties a wrestler might use such as arching their back to give an otherwise simple suplex even more impact.  Taz also has a great awareness of what hurts in the ring, coaching us through precisely what muscle groups are suffering when wrestlers are performing or finding themselves on the receiving end of moves.  The net result is that when Taz is on commentary we are constantly reminded that wrestling is an art form, and the men and women inside the ring are given credit for the technicians that they are.

I am sure everyone is aware that Taz does have the occasional brainfart.  His mind might wander into bizarre territory and his inner monologue might briefly escape as he talks about the size of Eric Young's head, but Tenay does a very good job of reeling that in and I find Tenay's sarcastic reactions to these moments pretty amusing and akin to a long-suffering fatherly figure.  As a colour commentator, Taz does a superb job cheering on the heels and putting them over, affording Tenay the opportunity to react and do the same for the faces.  They are a great partnership.

So as much as I have loved hearing Jeremy Borash on the announce desk for the last two weeks, I do not think he should ever replace Taz on a more permanent basis.  The roster must put a heck of a lot of work into planning their matches, and I feel that we only get to appreciate the full story they are trying to tell in the ring when Taz is calling the action.

My hope is that we get the best of both worlds at some point; the return of the three man announce team.
Borash, Tenay and Taz FTW!

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