On Tuesday’s (23rd August 2016) WWE Network’s ‘Talking Smack’, Daniel Bryan was the recipient of a heated tirade by The Miz. After telling The Miz he wrestles like a coward, The Miz retaliated in one of his best promos of his career. Afterwards the debate has raged between wrestling fans whether it was a ‘shoot’, real or a combination of both. What is definitely has done however is for the first time in a long while the WWE wrestling world is talking about an one of its main stayers, and not about one of the ‘new breed’ taking over the WWE. For those few who have yet to see the segment…
As the WWE enters this new ‘era’, this new breed (the likes of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Bayley, Sasha Banks, etc) has been like a new puppy for the WWE Universe. They’re fresh, exciting and bring in a new (dare I say it) attitude into the WWE. Meanwhile the old breed (such as The Miz, R-Truth, Big Show, Kane, Mark Henry, Naomi, Nikki Bella, Sheamus, Heath Slater) are like the old tom cat, being pushed to the side while everyone plays with the new puppy. And as we saw on Tuesday, the old Tom cat has had enough.
The ‘new breed’ has come in to the WWE with lifted restrictions on what they can and cannot do in the ring, and this is partly why they are exciting to watch. People forget that The Miz and his ‘old breed’ cohorts had to battle the last 10 years through the WWE PG era, which limited what they could do in the ring, both physically and on the mic. What we saw on Tuesday is what someone like The Miz can produce when the shackles have been lifted.
Many of the current WWE fans want to put the likes of Big Show, Kane and Mark Henry out to pasture, complaining that they’re taking up valuable ring time for the new and exciting new breed. But let us look at what these guys have done over the past year, they have made this new breed look good. Sheamus recently put over Apollo Crews, people still talk about the pop up power bomb Kevin Owens put on Mark Henry, and Kane helped solidify Seth Rollins reign in his first up WWE World Heavyweight Championship run. This role is something these seasoned veterans respect and know is part of their responsibility as veterans of the WWE.
Kane who is close to 50, is the most active oldest of this old breed, with most in the 35-45 age bracket. Which is still reasonably young considering Hogan and Flair were wrestling well into their 50’s (and even 60’s!). While they cannot move around the ring as fast as their younger new breed wrestlers, they do bring in experience in ring work, storytelling in the ring, and fan interaction. While I do not wish to see Big Show vs Kane for the nth time, I would like to see how Kevin Owens power bomb the Big Show, or how would Sami Zayn handle Kane in a inferno match, or could Finn Balor handle Sheamus in a tables match, and how good and strong can Mark Henry make Big Cass look.
We see how well mixing old and new has gone with The New Day. Kofi who has been around the WWE for nearly 10 years, has had a new lease of life joining with Big E and Xavier Woods. The Tag team division is a great way to mix the old and new breeds together as we have recently scene with Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens teaming up. Either as a tag team or just teaming up, combining a ‘new breed’ with a WWE long termer can have a positive impact on both wrestlers and fans.
If we class The New Day as part of the new breed, then The Miz is the only current old breed WWE superstar holding a major WWE title. In fact not only are all the other titles held by the new breed of WWE wrestlers, but all challenges to the titles are the new breed talent. If the WWE wishes to have a variety in their fan base, then to keep older fans happy, they need to see their favourites battling for titles and relevant in the WWE Universe. This does not mean we need to see another John Cena or Randy Orton major title run, but Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler, Chris Jericho, and Nikki Bella are all still believable champions, and could all have 1 or more major championship runs. As for The Miz, a lengthy Intercontinental title run, where he continues to beat (and cheat) his way through the new breed mid card could result in some great viewing and storytelling from the WWE if they strike while the iron is hot, and use The Miz’s rant, and not just let it be a one off incident.
Hooroo and see you next time