A primary factor in Monday night’s fan freakout about the talents going from SmackDown to Raw was the blue brand’s loss of The Miz. All due respect to AJ Styles, and to steal one of the A-Lister’s catchphrases, Miz was a big reason why Tuesday nights became must see TV for wrestling fans.
More than just his presence on the main USA Network broadcast, the Grand Slam champion helped put WWE Network’s post-show, Talking Smack, on the map. His semi-shoot evisceration of Daniel Bryan will remain on “best promo” lists for years to come, and everytime Miz joined Bryan & Renee Young, viewers had a reason to talk about Talking Smack the next day.
The idea of a Miz-less Tuesday night post-show was not awesome.
Never fear, Talking Smack-ies! In his first appearance on the show, United States champion Kevin Owens demonstrated he’s up to the task of filling Maryse’s man’s shoes.
Well, not literally, as Miz is a Hollywood icon and fashion horse, and KO literally took his “cheap” footwear off and threw it across the announce desk on the April 12 edition of Talking Smack. But in pretty much every other way, Owens created the palpable tension previously only possible when DB & his former NXT mentor started trading verbal jabs.
Unlike that rivalry, however, the Prizefighter seemed to get under commissioner Shane McMahon’s skin more than anyone else on the panel. You can see it in the above video, where he mocks Shane O’Mac’s “land of opportunity” description of SmackDown. And it was definitely on display during an exchange which is getting KO real heat from some fans, where he aggressively brought up Young’s recent - and up until then, officially unannounced - marriage to Dean Ambrose, despite McMahon telling him not to pursue it.
[For the record, I doubt Owens went rogue there. As great as he is at playing a heel, he’s a husband and father whose wife was driven off Instagram by “overzealous” fans... I doubt he’d use his co-worker’s privacy for his own benefit. But we’ll never know - that’s what I love about Talking Smack!]
Miz can never be replaced on Tuesday nights. But it looks like we have a new reason to cringe.