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Eight years in the making: It all comes down to this


Singles Match

Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz

It’s been eight years. Eight years of biting insults, ego driven tirades and fire promos from two of the hottest superstars in WWE. Their hatred for each other is palpable, it bleeds through the screen; and this match might just steal the whole dang show.

How did we get here?

How does one sum up an eight year feud? Oh, right. This week on SmackDown Live WWE did some of it’s best video package work in years. In a three part series sprinkled throughout the show we were reminded just how deep their animosity goes.

Part One - The NXT Days

Daniel Bryan had been a wrestler on the indies for a decade. Of course, just like any hot young indie guy, his ultimate goal was to make it to the big leagues. NXT seemed like the perfect opportunity to get his foot in the door.

Of course he was right, he was seen by millions, but he was saddled with a “pro” with less experience and a style of wrestling that was frankly offensive to Bryan.

Miz thought Bryan was ungrateful and lacked charisma. Bryan thought Miz was a hack. At the time both were right, but instead of pooling their resources and working together, their egos led to mutual destruction and Daniel Bryan was kicked off NXT with a 0-10 record. Ouch.

Part Two - Talking Smack

After Daniel Bryan’s heartfelt - and seemingly permanent - retirement, WWE found a place for him as the General Manager of SmackDown Live. Unfortunately for Bryan, not only was The Miz one of the hottest superstars in the company, but he was on SmackDown Live. Fortunately for us, Talking Smack was heating up our Tuesday nights and provided the perfect breeding ground to continue to build up this epic feud.

Time may have passed, but their opinions of each other hadn’t changed. In the most memorable episode of the short lived show (RIP Talking Smack) Daniel Bryan insinuated that The Miz, despite all the hype, despite his historic IC title reign, was still a lackluster superstar and an embarrassment as a wrestler. The Miz completely lost it. He reminded Daniel Bryan that he had never been out with an injury, that his career was thriving and that he was the IC champion. Oh and that Bryan can’t wrestle in WWE any more so maybe he should “just go back to the Bingo halls.”

Throwing the thing that Bryan loved most and lost in his face was too much for him. Daniel Bryan was so upset he left the set while Miz continued his tirade, veins popping from his for head, straight into the camera.

The audience at home prayed for a day that these two would meet in a WWE ring.

Part 3 - Daniel Bryan’s Return

This year we got to witness Daniel Bryan’s return to the ring. It’s a moment we fans never thought we’d see, but as Brie Bella says “If you fight for your dreams, they will fight for you.” And that’s exactly what Daniel Bryan did. He fought everyday since his forced retirement to get back in the ring and it was finally happening. Every one was elated to see Bryan back in action.

Well, almost everyone.

The Miz was less than thrilled, but he was safe from Bryan since he was on RAW. Daniel Bryan, knowing how crafty The Miz is, pulled one last trick as GM and traded The Miz back to SmackDown Live; perfectly setting up the dream match we were all waiting for.

But then Kane showed up.

Now I’m a Kane mark (he’s better than the Undertaker. Fight me!) and I’m all for a little nostalgic throw back here and there, but Kane showing up led to a Team Hell No reunion which led us away from Miz vs. Bryan. #eternalsadaness

Fans were delighted to see Team Hell No back together - and they seemed like they were on their way to winning the SmackDown Live tag team championships - but in the back of everyone’s mind was “but what about Miz?”

They didn’t win the tag team belts, however, because Team Hell No’s reunion was cut short due to a shoot injury for Kane. They had spent weeks diverting the energy from the Miz/Bryan feud into Team Hell No, but even a demon needs time to heel a broken ankle.

With no partner to face The Bludgeon Brothers, Daniel Bryan refocused his energy toward The Miz. The feud was back on and Bryan was ready for him.

The Miz tried to hide behind cameras and promos, but Daniel had enough and began to attack him whenever he had the opportunity. The Miz’s worst nightmare, just became THE match to watch at SummerSlam.

What’s at stake?

There may not be a belt on the line, but pride is always on the line in a wrestling match and boy are these two full of hubris. Whoever wins tonight gets the opportunity to say “I was right” which, if we’re being honest here, is all they really want.

I truly think the only option here is for one of them to win clean and end this feud. If they draw out this feud they risk it becoming stale. They inadvertently created magic with this mega long term story telling, but now it’s up to them to write a convincing final chapter.

Who get’s to say “I told ya so” tonight? Sound off below Cagesiders.


Who will win?

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    The Miz
    (175 votes)
  • 41%
    Daniel Bryan
    (123 votes)
298 votes total Vote Now

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