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Renee Young and Miz beautifully blur the line

SmackDown’s most compelling moment came with no announcing, no commentary, just pure emotion.

Professional wrestling can often be accused of treating virtually everything in its path, from the serious to the profane, in the most ham-handed, simplistic way imaginable. That can be a problem, but only when it’s done poorly. Often, a straightforward concept works far better than the Vince Russo-ish swerves that eventually wear out their welcomes. For example, Charlotte is unquestionably the best heel in WWE, because everything she does is entirely predictable.

No one bought her “apology” to Ric, no one bought her humility after a win or a loss, and no one looks at her smile and believes one genuine muscle, one genuine bone was used to create it. But, just like her father, it’s all about the execution of those moments, not the subtlety of them. When a Flair does what we expect a Flair to do, we boo louder, because we saw it coming and still couldn’t do anything about it.

Tuesday night, when Miz alluded to the romantic relationship between Renee Young and Dean Ambrose, we experienced one of those easily definable sequences that required no further explanation. Here, it was the absence of a soundtrack and the aggregation of natural sound that sold it alongside the participants. In similar fashion to the night the Nexus arrived in WWE, nothing Mauro Ranallo or the usual gang of idiots could have said would have been a net positive.

Miz was the perfect heel to pull this line off, and though I’ve seen a few comments that he was off script, I find that hard to believe, because he immediately sold his face and cheek to Renee to take that slap to the face. Here, Miz is as dastardly as they come, because he didn’t just bring up old shit, he brought up REAL shit. He brought up current shit. And many WWE viewers know it, because Renee herself doesn’t hide the relationship on social media, nor should she. She’s also the ultimate babyface. This is a company chock-full of subpar announcers, either because of what they’re given to do, or because they’re incompetent.

Then there’s Renee Young, the Internet darling who doubles as a mainstream darling. Almost everybody loves her, and for Miz to immediately jump to who she’s sleeping with was a stunning piece of business.

There was no provocation for it, no reason for it, and thus it was absolutely perfect. Not to mention, he’s got the “this fu**ing guy” thing going for him. You can make the argument Miz has been the character MVP of SmackDown since the brand split. While AJ has carried much of the load in the ring, Miz has been compelling since the second he bucked up to Daniel Bryan on Talking Smack.

DB was injured and his career taken from him. Renee Young is a host and an interviewer, and here’s the Intercontinental Champion making what’s intimate and private both crass and public. When she crushed him, it was so much more satisfying than Stephanie annihilating some superstar who obviously can’t hit her back. Here, we’re not thinking about retaliation or a no-win-situation.

Here we’re collectively thinking, “Damn, this dude is an ass.”

And that’s EXACTLY what we’re supposed to think.

The best wrestling segments can stand alone, even on mute. Outside of a match, it doesn’t get much clearer than Miz saying something inappropriate (even if we didn’t hear the specifics) and getting jaw-jacked by potentially the most popular woman in WWE. It also wasn’t a 15 minute promo to get to the climax. It was a few lines back and forth and WHAM!

Just gorgeous, folks.

What could it lead to in the future? Well, it could lead to a pretty damn entertaining mixed tag featuring Miz and Maryse squaring off with Dean and Renee, and in a world where James Ellsworth had a multi-month run in main event television segments, Renee Young is actually an ATTRACTION as a special in-ring competitor. We’d all watch the end product, and the run-up to that one match would be similarly intriguing television.

It also gives Dean Ambrose something to do away from AJ Styles and the WWE World Championship, because we’re done there for a while. By “we,” I mean the entire audience. The matches were good, but 46 of them is enough to satiate our collective appetite. We’ve never seen Dean placed in a position to stand up for his woman, who already proved she can also stand up for herself. This is a golden angle for all involved, and would ensure the Intercontinental Championship is relevant, surrounding something with heavy attention, and positioned in segments that would likely rate well.

Whenever somebody went after Jim Ross, there was hell to pay. 2016’s most beloved announcing asset is undeniably Renee, with the added benefit that she’s a woman that the promotion has never presented as an athlete, amplifying anything Miz says to her by several degrees. When no one spoke and we just went away from the situation, the effect was instant and it was visible from miles away.

It really was the slap heard round the... well... at least the WWE Universe.

During a dead period before the Rumble build heats up in a few weeks, this was a welcome few minutes of television, and there is absolute, definite potential in a Renee vs. Miz angle involving their significant others. It was just great stuff.

Not a controversial take. Sometimes, just like WWE, the simple is far more powerful than the convoluted or illogical.

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