Stephen A. Smith And The Miz Sparring On ‘First Take’ Was As Entertaining As You’d Imagine


You know how First Take stopped trying to be anything other than a spectacle of sports debate a long time ago, because it realized that’s a thing that people want to watch? Well as it turns out, that format makes it so adding a professional wrestler whose best asset is his ability on the mic to the desk works out remarkably well.

In one corner, we have Stephen A. Smith, who literally is paid money to fire off takes at speeds that will make your head spin. In the other, we have The Miz, who thrives in the middle of the squared circle with a microphone in his hands, especially when he is given the ability to provoke someone and get a reaction.

The Miz also happens to be a gigantic Cleveland sports fan and is a fixtures at Cavaliers games, where he gets the crowd fired up either live or through a pre-recorded video. So when he said he honestly believes the Cavs will come back from their 3-0 series deficit and win the 2018 NBA Finals, it felt 100 percent genuine. It also riled Stephen A. up. It really was great television, please watch it.

One thing The Miz does so well in the ring is tie things within his promos back to his original point, which is on display here when he says things like “I just had a baby daughter,” and ties it to his belief that LeBron James will stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Really, the whole thing is high art, whether it’s The Miz shooting from the hip, Stephen A. doing that thing he does where his voice goes from screaming to speaking softly to screaming again, or Max Kellerman and Molly Qerim lobbing softballs for the other two to knock out of the park.

Anyway, on the off chance anyone at ESPN is reading this, please have The Miz on First Take once every few weeks just so he and Stephen A. Smith can yell at each other. Or maybe Stephen A. has a future with WWE as, like, Roman Reigns’ mouthpiece or something. Either way, this is tremendous television.