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Miz explains his goal in controversial Talking Smack segments with Big E

Over the past couple of weeks, conversation about the rebooted blue brand post-show Talking Smack has centered on two segments with fill-in host The Miz and Big E discussing the latter’s current singles push.

The initially contentious, eventually cordial talk between the two wrestlers has drawn people’s attention because it started a dialogue about race & privilege in WWE during a time when those topics are being addressed in every aspect of our lives. It’s also provided an opportunity to play one of wrestling fans’ favorite games... work or shoot.

In an interview with Uproxx that’s mostly about one of his other jobs (hosting water park reality competition show Cannonball on USA Network), Miz was asked about his Talking Smack scenes with Big E.

From the start, the man who came to pro wrestling from MTV’s Real World reality TV franchise says he likes Talking Smack because it’s a way for WWE Superstars to engage in “real conversations on real experiences” that he believes people “need” to see from them - so he’s leaning into the idea the argument and reconciliation with E were a shoot.

As their second segment on last week’s show did, Miz also doesn’t address the part of their initial debate that generated so much heat - the idea that bias hasn’t factored into the career of E’s New Day teammate Kofi Kingston. Instead, Miz seemed to be arguing on the Talking Smack filmed Aug. 21, the length of time it took for Kingston to get a WWE title shot and how he’s been booked since are a product of how hard he’s worked, what he was able to do with the opportunities he was given, etc.

Miz says he was simply focused on using the kind of talks he and E have off-camera to show the WWE Universe the big man has a serious side he can use as a solo main eventer.

“Every time I have a conversation with Big E, he’s always enlightening. To be honest, I got told I was doing Talking Smack an hour before I was doing it. WWE knows, ‘Hey we need a host, fill him in right now.’ I didn’t have any time to prepare because I was doing Smackdown right before that. I put my suit on and went at it and just started talking. We got into a discussion where I felt I was right and he felt he was right. I had positive and negative feedback from that show. Big E and I talked about it. My goal was to showcase Big E not just being a goofball, not just throwing pancakes. I wanted to show people he has a serious side. How do I get that out of him? I didn’t need to do that. He has a serious side and when we started talking, I think people looked at him and said, ‘Wow, this is Big E.’

“I’ve been a WWE champion and I’ve been in the main event. I know what it takes, what the brass is looking for. Sometimes when you’re goofy and funny, you’re just entertainment, you’re not a main event poster child. I know what Big E is saying. I know he doesn’t want to be a bland superstar.”

“If you listen to Big E in the first and and second Talking Smack, they’re different. But they’re both a serious Big E and that Big E is a main-event-caliber, money-making Universal champion-type superstar. I do believe that Big E will be able to be a world champion very quickly.”

Those Talking Smack segments did help showcase Big E’s serious side. Whether he required Miz’s help to do that - something the A-Lister himself admits he didn’t need to do while kind of taking credit for doing it? - is debatable.

What’s not debatable is that we still haven’t heard Miz say, “I recognize my being white has led to my receiving more opportunities in my WWE career than my black and brown colleagues have received.”

Whether you think he should, or if it would be part of storyline if he did say that? Those debates can continue.

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