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The Miz & Maryse def. Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella

Few Superstars want to get a piece of their adversary more than Daniel Bryan wants to fight The Miz. Except, perhaps, Bryan’s wife Brie Bella, who was champing at the bit all night to fight Miz’s wife Maryse in the Mixed Tag Team Match between the two premiere power couples on SmackDown LIVE. But Bryan & Brie’s expectations of a foregone victory might have been slightly, just slightly, premature.

Yes, Team “Braniel” suffered an unlikely defeat to The It Couple, thanks to a shocking, last-minute maneuver by Maryse that came after all pretense of a match had broken down and the two couples were engaged in an all-out fight. Blame the strategy by Miz and Maryse for that; they made a big show of tagging in and out to slow Bryan’s momentum in a clever exploitation of Mixed Tag rules — men and women can only fight each other — that effectively gave Miz a time-out whenever he needed.

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When Brie finally got into the match, she slammed Maryse’s face off the announce desk and mauled her so viciously that Miz ran interference and broke up a pinfall attempt, which only infuriated Bryan all the more and led to a sequence of stereo “Yes!” Kicks so blistering that Miz & Maryse decided they’d had enough. Brie would have no part of that, though, and she hauled Maryse back into the ring, used her to knock Miz off the apron and rolled her up for what seemed to be a deciding pinfall … at least until Maryse reversed it and stunned Brie to earn the three-count herself. A long strategy paying off? A stroke of luck? It’s all the same. The Miz is 2-0 against Daniel Bryan in 2018, and if you’re him, everything is awesome.

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