Zbyszko chatted with Jim Ross about the opportunity but Kevin Dunn wanted him to tryout.
Now in his 70s, Larry Zbyszko tallied up an active career in pro wrestling that spanned almost 50 years. Zbyszko has worked with WCW, All Japan, New Japan, TNA/IMPACT and the WWF/E.
He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015 and while guest appearing on the Insiders Edge Podcast, Larry recounted when Jim Ross reached out to him around the time that the SmackDown program was starting up. Zbyszko said Ross inquired about his interest in a commentary position.
He went on to add that Kevin Dunn wanted him to tryout but at the time, Zbyszko had been commentating for a decade. Ultimately, things did not work out and Zbyszko does not know what happened.
Well you know what? I didn’t hear nothing about Raw, but Jim [Ross] did call me once and asked if I’d be interested in commentating over SmackDown; Thursday because it was when SmackDown was starting and said something about Kevin Dunn maybe wanting me to come down and do a tryout. I said, ‘Tryout?’ I’d been doing it for ten years. ‘You have to see a tryout?’ But anyway, for some reason — I don’t know what the reason is but for some reason, it just didn’t happen and then when WCW — I wanted to try another dream at 51 years old now. I came down, I moved to Florida and I start playing golf on the professional mini tours, senior professional mini tours.
Another ‘what if’ moment from Zbyszko’s career was when he worked with TNA/IMPACT, there was talk of him managing a young A.J. Styles.
And then I wound up doing a couple of matches, I think for IMPACT when the Jarretts had just started and remember AJ Styles just starting. I had a hell of a match with young AJ when he first started. Even some talk about maybe me being his manager because he was from around Georgia there. But that never happened.
Styles was back on Monday Night Raw on 9/19 and had a confrontation with Finn Balor. To read more about their segment, head over to the Raw notes article.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit the Insiders Edge Podcast with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.