The nearly-decade long rivalry between Daniel Bryan and The Miz will soon begin its next chapter in WWE and it could help SmackDown Live once again become the A-show.
Most wrestling fans know the backstory, but it’s pretty simple if you don’t.
Daniel made his WWE debut in 2010 being “mentored” by Miz on the original incarnation of NXT and the partnership didn’t end well. The two then began to feud and continued to cross paths over the years until Daniel was forced to retire from the ring in 2016 due to injury.
Upon Daniel’s return as the GM of SmackDown Live though, the Most Must See Athlete began to adopt his rival’s popular “Yes” chant and “Yes” kicks to taunt Bryan’s inability to wrestle … leading to a memorable moment on Talking Smack in which Miz went off on the show’s host (seen below).
At the time, most assumed there’d never be any real pay-off because the leader of the “Yes Movement” wasn’t cleared by WWE … but now things have changed. Daniel was given the green light by WWE docs in March and Miz was drafted back to Smackdown Live last night during the Superstar Shakeup.
The stage has officially been set for WWE to use years of animosity built up between the two wrestlers to take their feud to the next level in a big way. Plus, featuring their rivalry on SmackDown Live could be a key factor in restoring the show to the prominence it once held following the brand split.
For those who don’t recall, many wrestling fans believed the blue brand was putting out a superior product when the split was first made. The show was creating compelling storylines, utilizing lesser used talent in meaningful segments, giving purpose to Superstars across the card and making the show a highlight of the week in WWE programming.
Unfortunately, that changed after Talking Smack was cancelled and the last Superstar Shakeup occurred. SmackDown then began to look like Raw again with filler matches and the same wrestlers being repeatedly put in the same matches, with not a lot of compelling content being produced.
The latest Shakeup continued on Tuesday though and WWE once again seems to be shifting the focus of SD Live back to what people loved most — good wrestlers in meaningful programs.
Only this time, the roster is even stronger.
Before tonight’s influx of new talent … SD Live had AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Daniel Bryan, The Miz, Charlotte, Shelton Benjamin, Becky Lynch and Rusev to build the show around. As well as tag teams like New Day, The Usos and Bludgeon Brothers.
The land of opportunity then added Samoa Joe, Asuka, The Bar, Jeff Hardy and Andrade “Cien” Almas to its roster … further cementing the show as must-see viewing for wrestling fans.
SmackDown returning to its glory days won’t happen overnight. It will take some serious creative effort to get there. But the star power, talent and now a highly-anticipated feud are all in place to make it happen and 2018 could be a turning point for the blue brand if things are done correctly.
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