The Tasmaniacs


You say ECW never had anything resembling Wrestlecrap? I call bullstuff.

Though they rarely had anything on the level of, say, The Yeti or Kwang The Ninja, ECW saw its fair share of questionable gimmicks, especially during the early years. Take this one for instance.

WWF fans know Tazz as the wise-cracking host of WWE Smackdown. ECW fans remember him, as Taz, one of the most dominant world champions in their federation. But old-school ECW fans will remember him as The Tasmaniac. Even older fans will remember him as part of a team called The Tasmaniacs (sometimes spelled Tazmaniacs).

When Tazz first started out in the sport, one of his first gimmicks was The Tasmanian Devil, and naturally, he played a wildman-type. He later shortened the name to Tasmaniac (so as not to rile anyone at Warner Bros.), and teamed up with cousin Jack (or Joe, depending on who you ask) Chetti (brother of Chris Chetti) in a Tasmaniacs team.

The Brooklyn thug was still a ways away. Instead, he was one of two barefoot guys wearing fur and face-paint, and acting like he could be more comfortable in a Tarzan movie than in the Red Hook District. The Tasmaniacs were essentially another in a long line of “unmanageable” monsters, much like the Samoans and Kamala. They came to ring, did weird ritualistic dancing and generally acted crazy, and were only able to be controlled by a mysterious crystal that manager Damien Stone wore around his neck. They also handed out some of the sickest suplexes this side of Japan.

Tazz was called Noga, and Chetti was Mako, for the record.
Having started the team, I believe, in Joe Savoldi’s IWCCW promotion, the Tasmaniacs drifted to the then-fledgling ECW (which still stood for Eastern Championship Wrestling at the time), where they found some success before Chetti left the business and Tazz on his own.

Granted, the gimmick started Tazz on his path of dominance, but it’s still a pretty lame one.

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