While SmackDown Live is at a bit of a programming disadvantage, due to the extra hour Raw receives on the USA Network each week, it has more than made up for it with their new WWE Network post-show Talking Smack.
If you haven’t been watching, Talking Smack is hosted by Renee Young and Daniel Bryan and operates in a similar vein to scripted television post shows like Talking Dead and their ilk, while also featuring relevant guests from that week’s episode. Most notably from the first few weeks of the show is the looser tone from traditional WWE programming, bringing real-world issues into their storytelling, like the fans negative reactions to the Usos, and often including Daniel Bryan often slipping in comments that tow the line between storylines and real life feelings.
From publicly criticizing the Universal Championship name to calling Brock Lesnar and the stars of Raw “lazy,” to being offended by Cena’s comments on Styles having to go back to independent wrestling, Daniel Bryan has slung his fair share of dirt on the program. Last night, The Miz slung back.
After being called, “soft” and “a coward” for wrestling like “he doesn’t want to get hit” by GM Bryan, The Miz unleashed a tirade that towed the aforementioned line Bryan has been dancing around on Talking Smack, criticizing Bryan for not returning to reclaim the IC Title as promised, for not quitting to work “the bingo halls” after WWE refused to clear him, and calling him a coward for not returning to the ring. The tirade continued, but at that point, Bryan had stormed off the set, setting the internet wrestling fans into a flutter.
It was a brilliantly executed segment on a number of levels as it has yours truly majorly invested in seeing who will dethrone Miz as IC Champion now, puts a ton of “heat,” for lack of a better term, with the fans on The Miz for criticizing a talent as beloved as Daniel Bryan, and raises so many juicy questions. How much of that promo was “The Miz” and how much of it was Mike Mizanin getting out the frustrations and criticisms he’s dealt with his entire career not being an indy darling? Did Bryan storm off to contain his real emotions or are they teasing a one-off return to the ring (whether it could actually happen given the severity of his injuries is a major hurdle, however)?
If Talking Smack can continue to create buzz-worthy moments like this and advance SmackDown storylines so effectively each week, it will put it into the category of must-see television for yours truly. Well done all around but especially, what a promo by The Miz.