By John Moore
Talking Smack TV Recap
Aired August 23, 2016 on WWE Network
-Renee Young asked Daniel Bryan about his SummerSlam weekend. Bryan hyped up some of the wrestling events that he attended. He mentioned Evolve and NXT as some of his favorite shows during the week. Bryan said that AJ Styles and John Cena stole the show at SummerSlam. Bryan connected Cena’s leaving the armband in the ring to his comments from last week’s Talking Smack episode where Cena mentioned wanting someone to step up and take his top spot.
-Renee wanted Bryan’s thoughts on the Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton finish. Bryan said he was angry at the situation. Bryan said he can’t talk about why he’s angry on the air. Orton said that Brock may be the toughest man in the world, but Randy has heart. He said Orton didn’t quit, give up, or get pinned and he worked his butt off. Bryan said he was intrigued as to what Orton will end up doing with Bray Wyatt.
-Renee transitioned to Smackdown debuting a new set and championship belts. Bryan talked about how they are getting a better reception than the WWE Universal Championship. Bryan said that the women came on the show last week and wanted something to fight for so that’s what he was giving them.
-Nikki Bella came into scene and hugged Bryan, who talked about Nikki knowing how he hates hugs. They ended up talking about Nikki’s neck injury. Nikki said she was told that she would never be able to wrestle again by the doctors. Nikki said she didn’t want that and she wanted to make the impossible possible. She said she loves being in the ring and being in the women’s division. She said she didn’t want her career to end in this new era and the screws in her neck weren’t going to keep her down. Bryan said there should be a documentary about Nikki’s return. Bryan said it was inspirational for him to watch the recovery.
-Bryan asked Nikki about how she felt about her favorable reception upon her return. Nikki said she was nervous during her booty shake. Renee joked about favoritism because Nikki was Bryan’s sister-in-law. Bryan said Nikki was his favorite sister-in-law even though she’s the only sister-in-law. Renee wanted Nikki’s thoughts on the new locker room. Nikki said she was excited at first but was disappointed when “bootleg Nikki Bella” (Carmella) attacked her. Nikki said that sometimes talent can get excited when someone is gone. Before she could end her statement, Carmella ran in and attacked Nikki on set. The Usos ran in and saved the day by breaking up the brawl. Renee and Daniel paused for a good moment to wait for an update. Renee and Bryan hoped that “Nicole” was okay.
-Renee Young wanted Bryan’s thoughts on the Tag Team Tournament. Before Bryan could answer, the Usos came on the set. Bryan and Renee thanked the Usos for taking care of the situation. Uso 2 said they were eating at catering when they saw the commotion. Uso 2 also picked up and wore Nikki’s red cap. The Usos liked the new tag titles and they even liked the color scheme. Bryan brought up American Alpha’s claim that they were the best above the rest. The Usos laughed it off. Uso 1 talked about having similar thoughts when they were younger and they said that they were the OGs. Bryan wanted to know if the Usos were going to be in the finals. The Usos laughed it off and said that’s what they thought. Bryan wondered why the Usos weren’t getting a favorable reaction as much as they used to. Uso 1 blamed it on Roman Reigns. Uso 2 said that people have started to lose respect for them and drinking the hater aide.
-Bryan wanted to know if the Usos were resentful. Uso 1 said they can finally put their stamp on the division by picking up these new belts. Daniel Bryan said that on Raw the story is more about testicles than championships. Bryan said it was about who is the best on Smackdown. Renee wanted to know if the Usos think they are better than the Raw tag teams. Uso 1 joked about saying no before he said yes. Renee wanted to know who the Usos thought was their biggest threat. Uso 1 said all of them. They talked about bling bling blaw. Renee tried to dig in on the same question. The Usos talked about all of them again.
-After the Usos left, Renee and Bryan talked about Backlash and the AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose main event. Bryan said it was a dream match because they never crossed each other’s paths. Bryan talked about many titles being decided at Backlash. AJ wanted Bryan’s thoughts on AJ after wrestling him in the past. Bryan said AJ was technical, a high flyer, and submission specialist. Bryan said Ambrose was a fighter at heart and brought up seeing something in Ambrose performing in hardcore matches in CZW. Bryan said Ambrose fights with blood and guts. Bryan said AJ was more of a “technique guy” just like him.
-Suddenly, Miz walked on set and ranted about himself and the Intercontinental Championship not being featured on tonight’s show. Miz talked about Hall of Famers having the title like Pat Patterson, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, etc. Bryan tried to shrug off Miz, who said that this was Bryan’s last title and that he wanted to make it relevant and prestigious. Bryan said he has respect for the title, but no respect for the man holding it. Bryan said he doesn’t like the way that Miz wrestles.
-Miz said he beat Apollo Crews clean just the way that Bryan likes it and why did Bryan still not show him respect him. Bryan said he was more impressed with Crews. Miz said Crews lost. Bryan said that Miz wrestles like a coward, like a person who doesn’t want to get hit. Renee Young looked uncomfortable at this point when the camera cut to her. Bryan said when he was on the independents, he would see someone like Miz as the embodiment of the “soft WWE Style” and how WWE has transformed.
-Miz unloaded with a rant: “You had a chance to talk, you called me [the Miz] a coward in the wrestling ring. But let’s talk about cowards for one second. The reason I wrestle the way I wrestle is because I can do it day in and day out all the time for ten plus years. I have never… never in my career ever have been injured. I don’t get injured six months to a year. I am here each and every week. But you sit there and call me a coward!!! Let me tell you about a coward! Let me tell you about a guy who tells his WWE fans, people that he loves, that he would be back. He promises them! ‘I Promise You, I will be back in one year’s time to claim this title!’. But you didn’t Daniel did you?!”
-Bryan: “If they would let me come back I would come back!”
-Miz: “You would? You love that WWE ring! You love being in wrestling! You love being in that ring and wrestling right? Well, why won’t you quit?!? Why don’t you quit and go to the bingo halls with your indy friends! No! No! (to shut down Renee Young), this is a great show but we’re talking here. I need to talk to you real quick because you’re the one that calls me the coward, but you’re the one who doesn’t get in a WWE ring! (Bryan walks away) No! Don’t you walk away from me Daniel!”
-Miz: “I’m the one that loves the fans! I’m the one that loves everyone and everything and you’re the one who gets up and walks away! I am not a coward. I am your Intercontinental Champion and there’s a reason I have the title! The reason? I’m making this the most relevant and prestigious title WWE has and I deserve the respect on Smackdown Live. Get that camera right here! Understand, that this is day 141 of the never-ending Intercontinental Championship world tour and I swear to you, I promise you, it would be the best and most relevant title on Smackdown Live. I could care less about those little kids out for the tag team titles. And the Women’s Championship. And the WWE Championship. This…. is my show! My Show! And I’m sick of all of you, my GM, sitting there criticizing me calling me a coward. You’re the cowards! I’m the one here day in and day out in the wrestling ring beating people up! Thank you very much!”
– Renee looked shocked and the show ended with her closing out the episode. Even though it was inaudible, the microphone picked up some of the backstage talking.
John’s Thoughts: Damn, Miz! That promo will garner attention and probably end up being one of the Miz’s best promos to date. Miz has always been a good speaker, a good promo, but WWE hasn’t really tapped into the Miz’s struggle to get accepted by the wrestling purists. One can argue that Daniel Bryan was the bad guy here by saying that his style is the style of today while he has no respect for the Miz’s safer style. Bryan seemed to let a lot slip, just like he’s mentioned in recent interviews. The quote where he said if they let him back, he’ll be back seemed pure shoot in that he is not retired in his mind and is just waiting for the chance to either be cleared to wrestle or bounce from WWE once he is contractually able to do so.
I can see this promo being very divisive amongst the wrestling fanbase but as of right now I’m a huge proponent of it from an entertainment perspective. This also gave me flashbacks of when Miz first broke away from John Morrison and had very good feuds against John Cena and MVP. Miz dug into a more personal level that made him more believable as opposed to an afterthought. It also brings up the question in people’s minds as to whether the Bryan Danielson and Nigel McGuiness hard hitting indy style is the way to go. Some would argue that it would be healthier for the wrestlers and the promotions if they took more of a Miz or Jerry Lawler type of approach by pacing yourself rather than going all out.
Talking Smack continues to be an entertaining pocket of television where Daniel Bryan and friends look like they have some sort of free reign over what they say on television. Most of the time we get the troll-ish/bully Bryan, but this week we got more of Danielson the person. The Carmella attack earlier on was a nice change of pace for the show as well.