After WWE TLC 2016 went off the air Sunday, the WWE Network rolled straight into the post-show discussion panel broadcast of Talking Smack. Since its launch this summer, Talking Smack has become an important outlet for the WWE to allow its performers some room to breathe and further develop their characters and storylines.
Perhaps no one has taken advantage of the platform as much as The Miz, who caused a firestorm this summer with a passionate rant against SmackDown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan, as the Inquisitr reported. After The Miz retained his Intercontinental Championship against Dolph Ziggler in a hard-fought ladder match at WWE TLC 2016, The Miz once again appeared on Talking Smack and got into another fiery argument with Daniel Bryan.
Before The Miz’s match earlier in the evening, Bryan said in an interview that he was hoping Ziggler would win, as he’d be a better representative for SmackDown Live than The Miz. The general manager conceded that Miz has a certain star quality but noted that SmackDown is the land of opportunity. The Miz then entered the picture, and the pair admitted that they’d never liked each other. Miz added that he wished it was Bryan in the match so he could push him off a ladder instead but said he’d enjoy disappointing Bryan by beating Ziggler.
The Miz, who for several months has been mimicking Daniel Bryan’s moves in his matches, did the same in his title match. After delivering two low blows to incapacitate Ziggler and grabbing his Intercontinental Championship from the top of the ladder, The Miz somewhat sarcastically dedicated his victory to Daniel Bryan.
Later in the evening, in the final segment of Talking Smack, The Miz and his wife/valet Maryse interrupted. Miz gave Bryan, a former four-time WWE World Champion, credit for his performances and accomplishments as a competitor but claimed Bryan is a terrible general manager, Wrestling Inc. noted.
“I feel like the general consensus from most of the people in the locker room think that Daniel Bryan’s a great General Manager,” Talking Smack co-host Renee Young interjected.
Miz countered by asking whether Renee Young was in the locker room (she said she was in the women’s locker room and talks to other wrestlers in catering and backstage) and claiming that many of his cohorts in the SmackDown Live locker room felt the same way as him about Bryan. He added that Maryse was also in the women’s locker room and hears about Bryan’s performance all the time.
The Miz acknowledged that fans loved seeing Daniel Bryan and chanting “Yes” whenever he appeared but claimed those people didn’t matter and only the talent in the locker room did “and the opportunities that people deserve.” He said the only reason he had the Intercontinental Championship was because of opportunities he’d given himself.
Bryan insisted he’d never claimed to be the best general manager but was trying his best. He suggested that without The Miz appearing on Talking Smack and “denigrating” him, he wouldn’t be enjoying his current level of success.
“Without me pushing you to be better than the lazy hack that you were before,” Bryan continued before Miz interrupted furiously.
The Miz said he was the hardest worker in the company and that he was up at 6 a.m. to do media and interviews and did Bryan’s moves better than he did. Bryan conceded that Miz works hard at interviews but had really only stepped up his game since their first Talking Smack argument.
The Miz took issue with Bryan seemingly taking credit for his improvements and countered that he did Bryan’s job as Talking Smack co-host better, with his substitute hosting appearance on last week’s show the highest-rated episode ever.
Bryan suggested that was because Miz was a better talker than a wrestler, but Miz held up the evidence that he was a great wrestler in the form of his sixth Intercontinental Championship. Bryan diminished Miz’s accomplishment by suggesting that someone had interfered on Miz’s behalf during every one of his championship reigns.
The two continued arguing passionately as Talking Smack went off the air.
It’s not quite clear what the endgame is for the issue between The Miz and Daniel Bryan as Bryan was forced to retire from in-ring competition earlier this year due to injury. It seems highly unlikely that Bryan will compete again in a WWE ring.
However, the dynamic between Bryan and The Miz is such that it makes for compelling television, especially for those with an interest in the WWE’s behind-the-scenes mechanics, as the pair often appear to blur the lines between fiction and reality. Wherever this story between The Miz and Daniel Bryan is headed doesn’t really matter all that much when the journey makes for such fascinating viewing.
[Featured Image by WWE]