Unless you’re in elementary school, most people realize just about the only thing real in pro wrestling is the baby oil. WWE doesn’t even call its performers pro wrestlers; they’re called “sports entertainers” because, really, these people are paid actors with an athletic bent.
With that in mind, it’s highly possible that a heated argument on Tuesday night, during which Daniel Bryan said the Miz wrestles like a “coward” and the Miz said Bryan should “quit [WWE] and go to the bingo halls with your indie friends,” was completely staged. But because neither performer has mentioned the ordeal on their social media accounts (a custom that has become routine for story line purposes), there’s a chance the words exchanged between the two were actually very real. There’s a chance Bryan really did walk off the set in disgust after the Miz brought up his injuries.
The argument began when Bryan criticized the Miz’s in-ring skills.
“There’s no gentle way to say it. To me you wrestle like a coward,” Bryan told the Miz on WWE Network’s “Talking Smack,” which aired live, directly after “Smackdown.” “You wrestle like someone who’s afraid to get hit.”
What made Bryan’s words seem more genuine, is that he appeared to insult WWE in the process.
“If I were to create a wrestler, like, to me [who] embodies … the soft WWE style, it would be that,” he said referring to the Miz’s in-ring performances.
The Miz, whose real name is Mike Mizanin, turned red with anger and interrupted Bryan, who remains an on-air personality with WWE, but no longer wrestles due to multiple concussions that WWE doctors have deemed to high-risk for an action role.
“Let’s talk about cowards for one second,” he said. “The reason I wrestle the way I wrestle is because I can do it day-in and day-out all the time for 10-plus years. I have never in my career — ever — been injured. I don’t get injured for six months to a year. I am here each and every week, but you sit there and call me a coward?”
This point appeared to strike a nerve with Bryan, who potentially could wrestle elsewhere at his own risk, but has instead chosen to stick with WWE.
“If they would let me come back, I would come back,” Bryan said, referring to WWE’s doctors.
“Oh, you would?” the Miz responds. “You love being right in that wrestling ring and you love wrestling right? Well why don’t you quit? Why don’t you quit and go to the bingo halls with your indie friends?”
At that point, Bryan, who came to WWE a fan favorite because of his stints in Japan and an independent promotion called “Ring of Honor,” walked off the set and didn’t return.