While you were busy watching “WWE Raw” or “SmackDown Live,” you actually missed WWE’s best segment in some time. Why? Because it didn’t air on TV. Instead, it was part of “Talking Smack,” the online post-show for “Smackdown Live,” which airs on the WWE Network and YouTube.
In the segment, “Smackdown Live’s” General Manager Daniel Bryan told current Intercontinental Champion The Miz that he “wrestles like a coward.” That didn’t sit well with the champ, who went on to deliver the greatest promo of his career.
“The reason I wrestle the way I wrestle is because I can do it day in and day out all the time for ten plus years. I have never … never in my career ever have been injured,” he says before reflecting on Bryan’s own career. “I don’t get injured six months to a year. I am here each and every week. But you sit there and call me a coward!”
It was earlier in 2016 when Bryan announced that he was being forced to retire from professional wrestling due to injuries sustained in the ring.
Often The Miz is treated as a comedy act, an over-the-top wannabe Hollywood superstar who thinks he’s better than everyone because he was in a couple ABC Family movies. This, on the other hand, was a passionate sports entertainer who is sick and tired of being disrespected by everyone.
It’s the man many wrestling fans have been waiting years for The Miz to become.
Throughout his career, The Miz has done a number of notable things — including main event a “WrestleMania” as WWE Champion. He’s never truly been taken seriously, though.
Be it ridiculing him for his time as a cast member on “The Real World” or the how he constantly refers to himself as “awesome,” he’s never been seen as a possible contender to be the face of the company — a role John Cena has occupied for over a decade.
This new Miz though, with the fire to cut down a legendary wrestler like Daniel Bryan, could be key in the future of the company. He’s been Intercontinental Champion for over 140 days and shows no signs of slowing down. Incorporating his real-life wife Maryse into his act has also breathed new life into the star.
The question that remains is why this is a segment that aired online, rather than as part of “Smackdown Live.” While the Tuesday night show only runs two hours — compared to “Raw’s” three on Mondays — this was hands-down one of the most riveting pieces of WWE content produced in a very long time and would have been even more compelling as part of the televised show.