The long-awaited battle between Daniel Bryan and The Miz got one step closer to reality Monday night on Raw.
Raw general manager Kurt Angle announced The Miz was moving to SmackDown Live at the behest of Bryan, SmackDown Live commissioner Shane McMahon and general manager Paige:
The Miz and Daniel Bryan famously had a war of words on Talking Smack in August 2016.
Bryan contended The Miz "wrestled like a coward," while The A-Lister countered The Yes! Man was the real coward for not returning to the ring after retiring earlier in the year:
The Miz later said the intense promo wasn't entirely scripted, so both his and Bryan's reactions were genuine, adding to the emotional weight of the interaction.
Since then, WWE has made various callbacks to the episode, and Bryan clearly hasn't forgotten:
Once Bryan received his clearance to continue wrestling, a match with The Miz immediately shot near the top of his potential opponents. The Superstar Shake-up was an opportunity to get the two on the same show, and WWE wasn't about to let that go to waste.
The circumstances of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn's arrival on Raw could foreshadow a power struggle on WWE's flagship show.
Zayn shared an email he received from Raw commissioner Stephanie McMahon in which she went behind Angle's back to sign the pair to the red brand:
McMahon is likely still stewing from her and Triple H's defeat to Angle and Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania 34 on April 8.
The McMahon family has rarely let go of a grudge, so this is unlikely to be the last time Stephanie tries to undercut Angle's authority as the Raw GM.
Here's a full list of the superstars who have switched brands as part of the WWE Superstar Shake-up:
- Jinder Mahal
- Sami Zayn
- Kevin Owens
- Riott Squad
- Dolph Ziggler
- Drew McIntyre
- Baron Corbin
- Mojo Rawley
- Zack Ryder
- Mike Kanellis
- Bobby Roode
- Chad Gable
- The Ascension
- The Miz