Before he was a top star in All Elite Wrestling, Bryan Danielson spent more than a decade as Daniel Bryan in WWE, ushering in the Yes Movement and becoming a top star in the promotion despite being far from Vince McMahon’s ideal of a sports entertainer.
A top name on the independent scene prior to his signing, Danielson took part in the first season of the game show era of NXT, which saw WWE rookies paired up with established pros in the sports entertainment giant. Fans were aghast when he was paired up with The Miz as his pro despite having years more experience in professional wrestling, and the pairing made for one of the most memorable dynamics in NXT history despite Bryan being the first eliminated from the show.
Years later, during Bryan’s hiatus from wrestling due to injury, the two came face to face on an episode of Talking Smack. Miz was Intercontinental Champion at the time, and Daniel Bryan was serving as SmackDown General Manager. Enraged at being called “soft,” Miz got in Danielson’s face and launched into a verbal tirade, saying he wrestles a particular style because it helps him avoid the types of injuries that were keeping Bryan out of the ring. Danielson walked out of the segment, and the promo is hailed as an all-time classic.
Bryan Danielson Says Working With The Miz Is A Great Launching Pad
During a recent interview with the South Kongress Podcast, Danielson was asked if he viewed working with Miz as a demotion in WWE as many fans seem to believe. Danielson disputed the popular online theory, saying that while the two have plenty of real-life animosity toward one another, Miz provides a great starting point for a wrestler’s career because he’s so hated by fans.
“As much as I dislike him as a human being, Miz really helped me and gave me a good story point and launching pad in WWE. Everything is how you take it, how it plays out. I don’t think (it’s a demotion), no. If it gives you an opportunity to show people what you can do, it’s a great starting point because at the very least, the fans dislike The Miz. If you can go in, and you’re good enough, if you go in there and have a great program with him, it’s a great launching pad.”
The Miz isn’t currently involved in a feud ahead of the upcoming WrestleMania 39 in Los Angeles. Instead, he will be serving as host of the blockbuster event.