Infinity War, Part 1

Raw Regurgitated, 4/16

*** WARNING!!! YOU ARE NOW ENTERING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE *** PLEASE ALL EYES AND EARS INSIDE OF KAYFABE AT ALL TIMES*** While Daniel Bryan is most popular performer in the WWE — meaning the person liked by the most people for their professional wrestling performances —  you’d be hard press to find a more well-known full-time performer than the Miz. Which, on top of every thing else, is why their feud is so exciting to wrestling fans: a storyline, easily digestible to people on the outside that will live up to possibly any expectations set forth for it.

And it’s that bit — that you can introduce anyone who has even heard of professional wrestling in the last ten years to the feud between Daniel Bryan and The Miz, and have them as emotionally invested as any WWE fan — which makes it so interesting it will be taking place on Smackdown (presumably) instead of the company’s most important show.  Normally when things have years of build the way that The Miz and Daniel Bryan’s has from their time on NXT through the most/only important Talking Smack segment in history

they get pushed further and further  up the ladder so that the prominent place on whatever major card it happens is justified in ways it might not be without the baggage. But the WWE has chosen, seemingly, to build Daniel Bryan’s push towards the title as slowly as possible, with the most grating obstacle one could imagine standing in the way.

But the Miz is much more than a charming obstacle, not just to Daniel Bryan but to the company as a whole. He has slowly but surely become the most important person on either show — so important, in fact, that he keeps on being traded back and forth to give juice to whatever show has lost the most talent — through insisting upon himself and his talent.  And for all the talk of John Cena’s greatest rivals, The Miz’s relationship with him has stood strongest over time.

Because what we forget about The Miz and what he represents in the meta sense is very much what Daniel Bryan represents on-screen: the idea that if you fight for your dreams, they will fight for you. The Miz has made it from Divas Search host to a lynchpin performer in one of the industry’s most incredible (and sustainable) boom periods, a modern-day Roddy Piper with orders of magnitude more wrestling talent.

And it was Roddy who once asked of Hogan, “Do you think they would’ve loved you so much if hadn’t hated me?” For this feud, the only though which remains is “How much longer can the crowd hate someone they so clearly love?” and I, for one, am extremely interested in whatever answer to that question they give us.


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