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411’s WWE Timeline Report – ‘Whatever It Takes’

August 9, 2020 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
WWE Timeline

411’s WWE Timeline Report – ‘Whatever It Takes’

-Air Date: 08/09/20
-Run Time: 44:07

-The WWE Network has gifted us a new series and the debut episode is going to focus on the Miz/Daniel Bryan rivalry. As noted countless times I am a sucker for WWE documentaries and this is right up by alley as I love when they acknowledge their history. The NFL Network has their own show by the same name and I am expecting this to be similar. The Bryan/Miz feud is definitely worthy of this treatment as it has been on and off for nearly a decade. A big part of this is going to focus on Miz’s famous promo on Talking Smack and you can find my review of that show here. Let’s get to it!

-We start off with the infamous Talking Smack episode (August 23, 2016) where Miz cuts the promo of his life. Man, I miss Talking Smack! Miz just went off as Bryan called him a coward, so he flipped it on Daniel for being a coward for not leaving the WWE if he wanted to wrestle so bad.

-Mauro is the narrator for this and he brings up how explosive the moment was and that we will see what got Miz and Bryan to that point. This is WWE Timeline!

-YES! Tough Enough footage of Miz! He is one of the most unlikely success stories in the WWE. He is a reality TV transplant that didn’t win his season of Tough Enough. Ironically he found his early success teaming with John Morrison, who did win his season of Tough Enough. The Miz climbed the ranks and became an IC and US Champion.

-The WWE went back to the reality TV well with NXT, which replaced ECW, and the idea was to pair WWE pros with rookies in development. Miz was the pro for internet darling, Daniel Bryan. They had instant chemistry in the dynamic they presented each week as the WWE struck gold with the pairing. Daniel got a match with World Champion Chris Jericho on NXT and it was great, but he lost. That give Miz a chance to dress him down.

-The following weeks on NXT saw Bryan lose week after week while The Miz continued to run him down. The Miz and Bryan had to team together and they came to blows causing them to lose to R Truth and Otunga with Otunga pinning Miz. Bryan was 0-7 in his NXT career as the Miz kept harping that Bryan couldn’t be a star. Bryan lost again to fall to 0-8 and that lead to him eliminating himself from the contest. Before exiting though he brawls with Miz to keep the feud going.

-The Miz then goes on to win Money in The Bank as we head towards SummerSlam. This was the summer of Nexus with Team WWE needing to fill one open spot and we see Jericho telling Miz that he is needed on the team. The Miz of course basked in all the praise and groveling and was ready to take the spot, but Cena cuts his entrance off and announces Daniel Bryan has taken the spot. Awesome! Bryan of course was returning from his exit from the company following the Justin Roberts tie choking issue (though that wasn’t mentioned here). Bryan gets to showcase himself during the match as he eliminates a few guys and is left with Cena as his partner against 2 from Nexus. Great storytelling takes over as Miz comes down to cost Daniel in the match. Again, simple and easy story to tell.

-The Miz cuts a promo about how people feel Daniel is better and should have been his mentor. He is heated he was put on the back burner behind Daniel Bryan. They have a war of words on RAW and man, does Bryan look so much younger and smaller. Daniel challenges Miz for the US Championship at Night of Champions. Oh man, an Alex Riley sighting! Miz and Bryan have a good match that has the crowd rocking along with them. The Miz taps clean to a massive pop as Bryan win his first title in the WWE. It was always an easy way to get the title off The Miz because of what was next for him.

-Daniel gets a successful run as the US Champion and it reminded me of the Bella Twins being with him for a blink of an eye. That turned out well for Bryan! The Miz cashed in MITB on Orton to win the WWE Title.

-WrestleMania XXVII: I was there and here’s my review! Miz pins Cena as they leave out Rock causing the win. Bryan goes on to win Money in The Bank later that year and cases in on Big Show at TLC to win The World Title. His celebration in Cole’s face is still fantastic!

-Each goes on to win Tag Titles as Bryan teams with Kane and Miz with Sandow. During this time Bryan’s popularity explodes which is kind of an understatement and he caps it off by winning the WWE Title at WrestleMania XXX. Again, my review of that show.

-A year later Bryan wins the IC Title in a great ladder match and that’s where things take a turn. An injury forces Bryan to relinquish the IC Title. The Miz can’t help himself and gets a sit down interview with Bryan where he brings up that Bryan’s career is over. Bryan tells him that he will be back, but well, Feb 8, 2016 happens as Bryan retires in Seattle on RAW. They show some kids and ladies in the crowd crying. This was tough to watch as you could tell it was crushing Daniel’s soul. Brie meets Daniel in the ring after the match to comfort her husband.

-Meanwhile The Miz gets to make a ton of Marine movies and has his wife, Maryse join him at ringside. The It Couple Era is born and she was perfect in the role.

-July 2016 The WWE brings back The Brand Split and Shane McMahon names Daniel Bryan as the SmackDown General Manager. The crowd was just a little happy to see him! The next night on SmackDown the Draft happens and Bryan drafts The Miz and Maryse because he wants the IC Title on SmackDown. Again, just nice little storytelling where they seemingly got every detail right in this one.

-The Miz sets out to make the IC Title the most important title in the WWE and has a good feud with Dolph over it. The Miz though isn’t really in the good graces of Bryan and gets left off SmackDown. That takes us back to the where we started with Talking Smack. Renee talks to Bryan about the Tag Titles and The Miz storms the set as he is pissed the IC Title hasn’t been featured. Bryan tells him that he was on the show two weeks ago. Miz brings up that Bryan wanted to make the title prestigious. Bryan says he has respect for the title, but not the guy holding it and that sets Miz off. Bryan says his issue is that he, like the fans, doesn’t like the way The Miz wrestles. Renee’s face as he says that is tremendous! Bryan tells Miz he wrestles like a coward as he is afraid to get hit. The Miz rightly points out that his style has kept him from getting injured. He then calls Bryan the coward for not coming back like he promised. Bryan shouts back that if they let him come back he would. Miz won’t let that slide and points out if Bryan loved wrestling so much he would quit and go back to the bingo halls. Bryan walks off the show as he likely wanted to punch Miz in the face. The Miz continues to rant as he is the one day in and day out in the ring beating people up.

-The segment set the wrestling world on fire and reignited a rivalry. The Miz starts mocking Bryan by using some of his moves during his matches. He dedicates wins to Bryan and it looked like this was a one sided rivalry that was never going to get a proper payoff. They continue to have verbal battles on Talking Smack and Bryan mentions it was him that lit a fire under the Miz and why he has had such a great run with the IC Title. Again, I really miss Talking Smack and give no cares Daniel Bryan.

-It finally happened as Daniel Bryan was medically cleared to return to in ring competition after 2 years. I remember reading the story while I was at work and I legit got so happy that I started to tear up. I have no idea why or where it came from but it just made me so happy.

-We jump a bit to Daniel being in a gauntlet match on SmackDown. He ran through Big E and Joe, but was taken out by The Bludgeon Brothers and left as easy pickings for The Miz as he eliminates Bryan. Again, easy storytelling that makes sense! I am a little bummed they skipped over the small segment where Miz gets traded back to SmackDown from RAW as a favor to Bryan from Shane.

-Finally, after years of it seeming like a physical payoff was never coming, The Miz and Bryan agree to a match at SummerSlam 2018. Here’s Larry’s review of that show. The video package for the match (not included here) was just amazing and one of the best the WWE has ever done. The proceed to have a very good match that I liked more than others, but I was a sucker for everything in this feud. Maryse slips something to Miz and he gets the win with it. That kind of deflated the crowd, but again, it just continued the story.

-A tearful Miz comes out and announces his retirement…..of ever facing Daniel Bryan again. Nice fake out with the crowd biting on it. The Miz calls the 8 year rivalry over, but Bryan isn’t ready to call an end to it. Bryan now wants to expose Miz for what he really is. Maryse interrupts Bryan and it leads to the next step in the feud: the wives getting involved.

-Hell in a Cell 2018 (Larry’s review): The mixed tag match happens and again, Miz and Maryse get the win by cheating as Maryse pins Brie with a handful of tights. Again, just more to add to the story.

-Super Showdown 2018 (Larry’s review): Miz vs Bryan one more time with the winner becoming the #1 Contender to the WWE Title. Bryan gets the win in under 3 minutes as Mr. Small Package strikes! Not really the satisfying blow-off we all wanted, but it moved Bryan to something else.

-The Miz hosts AJ Styles and Daniel and he stirs the pot between the two. It was great as they each took subtle jabs at The Miz. He gets fed up with the shots and claims Bryan’s win was a fluke and he wanted another shot, but Paige shot it down.

-Nov 13, 2018: AJ is nearly a year into his WWE Title reign and it looked like a rematch with Brock was coming at Survivor Series. However, Bryan turns heel as he punts AJ in his rounded globes to win the WWE Championship.

-The Miz welcomes The New Daniel Bryan on an episode of SmackDown as at this point you had to to figure Miz was turning face at some point to continue the feud and it never happened. I mean, The Miz turned face but they never went back to the rivalry. The Miz takes credit for The New Daniel Bryan because he finally listened to him and did whatever it took to win. Great editing as they flashback to Miz screaming at Bryan to just go out and win. For 8 years Daniel had everyone had fooled, but Miz wasn’t. Miz wants to know if Daniel is WWE Champion because of what he said and Bryan says “yes.” Agreeing with Miz and giving him credit was an easy way to cement the heel turn.

-It was a heated rivalry that led to mutual respect. For nearly a decade they helped elevate each other to newer heights with personality changes, title wins, and unforgettable moments.

-This was great and a fun trip down memory lane. They have a wealth of historic rivalries to use for this series and I hope it sticks around a while to get through some of them. They could have done a talking head format for this, but I was fine with letting what we saw on WWE programming tells the story. It’s also nice to have somethings kept kayfabe. I know some have wanted a feature on the Network where you can see moment by moment in a rivalry, but this may be as close as we get. This seems like something that was going to be a DVD release at one point with a bunch of extras, but we don’t get stuff like that anymore. This was a good show and an easy watch as all these documentaries usually are. Everything was covered aside from a small segment here or there and I still think they missed the boat on a heel Bryan vs face Miz match they had the chance to run as it would have added to their story. Still, who knew a feud with The Miz and Daniel Bryan would last nearly a decade with some of the best storytelling the WWE has done in recent history. Thanks for reading!

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WWE Timeline, Robert Leighty Jr.