How WWE Can Nail The Miz and John Morrison vs. New Day Feud on WWE SmackDown
When it was officially revealed in December that John Morrison had re-signed with WWE, the thought of him reuniting with The Miz on SmackDown was the first thing that went through the minds of many fans.
Sure enough, Morrison made his first appearance on WWE TV in many years on the first SmackDown of 2020 by popping out of Miz's locker room. The Dirt Sheet duo confirmed their reunion Friday night, when they teamed up against The New Day and seemed to indicate they have set their sights winning on the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.
Although the possibilities were endless for Morrison wherever he wound up, WWE made the right call in putting him back with Miz right out of the gate. There's a ton to explore there, and their chemistry as partners speaks for itself.
More importantly, SmackDown's tag team division is about to receive a major boost in the form of a feud between Miz and Morrison and New Day. Kofi Kingston and Big E have done a decent job of holding the fort on the blue brand as tag team champions, but they haven't received a run for their money until now.
The only way the rivalry lives up to its potential is if WWE handles it with care. In order for it to be as entertaining as it should be, the company must nail the following five plot points.
Firmly Establishing Miz and Morrison as Heels
As recently as Jan. 3, The Miz was beloved by the WWE Universe, even if his win-loss record wasn't the most impressive.
It was only after ambushing Kofi Kingston following his latest defeat in singles competition that Miz started to show signs of reverting to his heel roots. He cemented his villainous status on the most recent edition of SmackDown by blaming the audience for his recent failures.
John Morrison, who returned to TV one week earlier, echoed his thoughts about the fans' fickle nature and confirmed his heel turn as well. It should be noted that as popular as Miz and Morrison are as babyfaces, they have always worked infinitely better as bad guys.
In fact, they were heels for their entire first run together as a team and reigned as champions for nearly one year between their two title reigns. Fans loved to hate them, they were easy to root against and their babyface opponents benefited from beating them (on the rare occasions Miz and Morrison lost, that is).
All that being said, Miz and Morrison need to do more to establish that they are heels. Cheating to beat The New Day is one thing, but they must be properly defined as the antagonists in this upcoming feud.
Otherwise, crowds will be unsure who to cheer for and resort to not caring.
Bringing Back 'The Dirt Sheet' and Letting Their Creativity Shine Through
The Miz avenged his loss to Kofi Kingston from the first SmackDown of the decade by beating him Friday thanks to a distraction from John Morrison at ringside. It's already been announced that Morrison will meet Big E in his return to the ring for WWE on the next episode.
That leaves just one SmackDown left before the Royal Rumble, wherein the two teams are bound to collide for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. If Miz and Morrison go 2-0 over Kingston and Big E in singles competition ahead of the event, the only thing left for them to do prior to the pay-per-view is to bring back The Dirt Sheet.
Long before establishing a popular presence on YouTube and other social media platforms, WWE hosted series exclusively on its website. The Dirt Sheet was easily the most entertaining of the bunch, as it gave Miz and Morrison a creative outlet to find themselves as characters and have fun at their foes' expense.
Plus, there were many times when feuds were furthered on the show, so it always proved to be must-see. Miz and Morrison hosted a few episodes live in the ring, and thus it wouldn't be difficult for them to do the same all these years later.
Before they reach the next chapter of their feud, there's no harm in either Miz and Morrison or New Day channeling their comedic sides and bringing the best out of each other in an environment like The Dirt Sheet.
Giving Miz and Morrison the SmackDown Tag Team Championships
The New Day have reigned as the SmackDown tag team champions since mid-November, and to their credit, they have had several successful title defenses in that time. Their most memorable match during this latest run came against The Revival at December's TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view, but they haven't had much competition since.
That's likely because of how Kofi Kingston and Big E (alongside with Xavier Woods) have beaten almost all of the opposition in their time on top, making The Miz and John Morrison their most refreshing rivals to date. Miz and Morrison originally clashed with Kingston in the tag team ranks in 2008, but that was well before he became the decorated tag team specialist he is today.
While it doesn't necessarily have to happen at the Royal Rumble, Miz and Morrison stealing the SmackDown Tag Team Championships from New Day should be inevitable.
Miz and Morrison can't complete their journey back to the top of the tag team division without becoming the champs at some point or another. There is plenty of time between now and WrestleMania for the title change to take place, but the Rumble may be the perfect place to pull the trigger because it would instantly put New Day in chase mode, a position in which they have always thrived.
Furthermore, Miz and Morrison claiming the twin titles would shake up SmackDown's tag team title scene and give other tandems such as Heavy Machinery and The Usos an opportunity to break out again. This is the most efficient way of prolonging the program and keeping everyone involved interesting.
Giving The New Day an Edge
There is no denying The New Day's entertainment value and high level of popularity. They have remained relevant over the past five years because of how beloved they are and because of their ability to make the most of whatever they are given.
New Day proved throughout their heated rivalry with The Usos in 2017 that they can get serious when they need to. Unfortunately, fans haven't seen that same aggression from them since then, even when it's been sorely needed.
Kofi Kingston, in particular, could have benefited from developing an edge during his run as WWE champion last year—and especially once he lost the title to Brock Lesnar in a matter of seconds. The Miz and John Morrison taking shots at his swift loss to Lesnar should pave the way for New Day becoming more serious going into their feud with the egotistical duo.
As previously noted, the potential is there for New Day, Miz and Morrison to have plenty of enjoyable segments once The Dirt Sheet is brought back. Once those run their course, however, New Day must show off their serious side or risk losing steam.
It doesn't have to be immediate, but it would make sense for Kingston and Big E to switch gears following their eventual loss of the twin titles. Losing what's most important to them should be what causes New Day to drop the pancakes and get fired up.
Dragging It out Until WrestleMania 36
There is zero reason for this rivalry to wrap up any earlier than WrestleMania 36.
Tag team wrestling clearly hasn't been a top priority for WWE in recent years. That said, if any tag team match deserves a prominent position on the WrestleMania card, it's Morrison and Miz vs. New Day.
The program is still in its early stages and is bound to extend beyond a likely first match at the Royal Rumble. Elimination Chamber is the only major event slated to take place between the Rumble and WrestleMania, so that would be a logical show to do the rematch at.
WWE has been known for throwing tag teams into random multi-man affairs at the Showcase of the Immortals every year without putting the effort into creating a compelling story. That needs to change in 2020, as a special gimmick match between these tandems would be WrestleMania-worthy if built up the right way.
It's also possible another decorated duo (such as The Usos or The Hardy Boyz) is thrown into the mix to make it a Triple Threat tag team ladder match in honor of the first-ever triangle tag team ladder match 20 years ago.
Either way, this program is primed to be a blast on the Road to WrestleMania and should be given as much time as necessary. Anything less than a three-month-long storyline would be a waste of their talent.
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, is an Endicott College alumnus and aspiring journalist. Visit his website, Next Era Wrestling, and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.