Miz Could Be Awesome, But...

Corbin Macklin

Credit: WWE.com

The Miz that was built up before he won the WWE championship the first time was the best version of The Miz. He was credible in the sense that he had been winning various midcard championships. Michael Cole was great value Bobby Heenan to his great value Ric Flair, all respect due to those legends who should otherwise never be mentioned in the same sentence as the current day talent. As part of the presentation of Miz as a burgeoning top heel, it helped a lot to have the lead announcer be a heel that is constantly putting him over. He was one of the rare talents that didn't get jobbed out while holding the Money in the Bank briefcase. And then he won the belt. It is one thing to be a chicken shit heel. It is another to literally look weak. Heel psychology IS that the babyface is superior as a worker, is smarter and stronger etc. No disrespect to the legend, Jerry Lawler, but Miz had no business only retaining the WWE championship because Michael Cole interfered in the match. Miz's entire first championship reign was "he should have lost every match but someone interfered to advance an angle for WrestleMania. CM Punk kept Randy Orton from winning back the belt, Cole kept King from winning the belt and The Rock caused John Cena to lose at Mania to set up their future match. I hated that because of the lack of variety. I hate when the story of a heel's championship reign is that they keep doing the same finish every match. It makes the babyfaces look stupid. Like... do you watch your own show? How do you not win a match because the heel resorts to the same exact tactic every time?

At one point, as WWE fans do, they started cheering The Miz. I knew before the inevitable face turn happened, it would never work. Some wrestlers are naturally unlikeable like Seth Rollins. You WANT them to be good, but they are bad at being good. The way they talk, and carry themselves just lends itself to hate. They kind of got him over as a face that time that he was in a tag team with Shane McMahon... but then they had him doing multiple jobs to put over Shane McMahon as the biggest heel in the business. So that went nowhere. Largely, ever since Miz won the WWE championship he has trended downward. Here and there he would work a meaningful midcard program with someone like Roman Reigns or Daniel Bryan, but largely he has become a joke character. Not even a comedic figure a la R Truth. On the same night in which he would win the championship, he got pimp slapped by Bad Bunny and backed down when he saw Damian Priest. Again, there is being a chicken shit heel but then there is just being made to look so impotent, you look at him and think... why should I believe that he could survive in a match with Bobby Lashley? Bobby Lashley is one of the most pushed and protected talents on the roster. Since Lashley lost a match against Drew McIntyre for the championship he has been on a tear. You can tell by the fake crowd noise that WWE is actually turning Lashley face right now. Problem is, it does damage to babyfaces when you have them repeatedly fail to win the big one. It does not build sympathy to be like "oh, so and so just keeps coming up short in the big matches." Even if the story was that there was a run in, a bomb went off and they got hit by a car. Then, WWE can never just do a match as a one off and then move on to other things. They'll probably do like three matches. Let's assume, that for three different matches, Bobby Lashley loses because The Hurt Business turned on him. That will make him look dumb, not sympathetic.

I go back to when Roman Reigns was working with Baron Corbin, and he poured the dog food on him. WWE was presenting Roman as "The Big Dog", saying WWE was his yard. He is the locker room leader. HOW DOES IT MAKE HIM LOOK LIKE THIS GREAT LOCKER ROOM LEADER WHEN THE HEELS CAN JUST TAKE THEIR TIME BEATING ON HIM AND HUMILIATING HIM? That's one of the great disconnects in modern wrestling. Usually you will have heels cheating for each other and you're looking at the babyface like "so, out of the whole locker room........... you don't have ONE friend?" I'm not saying that you can't have heels getting heat on babyfaces and doing things to get under their skin and feed the comeback and all that jazz, I'm saying that you can have a babyface or two try to hit the ring and make the save and get foiled and hit with gimmicks and left laying so at least it looks like someone was trying to help them out. WWE needs to stop being lazy with the booking and having every chicken shit heel win championship matches because their friend or their enemies OTHER enemies helped. I miss seeing heels win because they grabbed the tights, used a low blow or an eye rake or a gimmick behind the ref's back and other heel finishes. But then maybe you can't even use those finishes for heels because babyfaces do those things and the announcers say dumb shit like "a win is a win". Quick sidebar: while I was watching the first match I remember wondering to myself "what is Cesaro?" as in "is he heel or face?" and honestly I don't know. I didn't really pay attention to the fake crowd noise to tell me what he was supposed to be. I should be able to watch wrestling and know someone's alignment by the facial expressions, body language and the moves they use. Cesaro works the exact same whether he is supposed to be a heel or face and I had the realization, he cannot be a true top talent when I don't feel one way or the other about him.

The Miz IS a main event level heel because, make no two bones about it, he is eminently hateable. Bryan Alvarez has dropped like 6 clips in the last three days about how much he hates that Miz is champion. "Go away heat" is an overutilized term nowadays especially when in modern wrestling no one actually hates heels. People want all the babyfaces to turn heel, and think all the heels should turn face. Alignments don't really mean anything to fans. There are like two dudes in WWE no one likes and they are Baron Corbin and The Miz. Everyone else is just a babyface that you might boo or cheer. Unless Roman Reigns is babyface then he is the absolute worst. Which, we will be back to that in about a year or so. For, now WWE has booked itself into a corner that reminds me of that time John Cena was due to wrestle CM Punk in Hell in a Cell and then Cena got hurt so they put Ryback in the match KNOWING that they didn't want him to win but also they didn't want CM Punk to lose. This is bad booking. This means... literally don't book the match. Put anyone else in that spot. Braun Strowman was pushed much stronger about two or three years ago, before WWE put him in multiple matches with Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar knowing they didn't want to change the title. I'm not saying that losing to top talent buries you, I'm saying that when you have a guy who is either unbeaten or riding a wave of momentum, you do not put them in a situation where they can't do anything but fail. You just have them keep winning against other folk. I say this to say, WWE is making a mistake if they changed the belt to push Miz as champion and now Drew McIntyre goes down the card and Lashley also won't win the belt and Strowman is just there demanding championship matches but losing, and then Miz isn't holding on to the belt because he has a deep bag of tricks where one night he gets disqualified which leads to no dq which he wins with dirty tactics that are now legal then he gets counted out which leads to falls count anywhere which he wins because he got lucky and the face tripped on a banana peel which leads to him winning because his friend helped which leads to a lumberjack match where he still wins because the heels interfered more than the faces could stop the interference. Variety. Not just the same finish every time like when Kevin Owens was Universal champ or Jinder Mahal was WWE champ.

Miz is a strong promo when he has something to say and he means what he is saying. WWE can use that to get heat. Miz is a decent worker who doesn't hurt anyone and he is never injured. That is someone who definitely can be trusted to carry programs at the top of the card. They just can't keep booking him like a joke and they have to mix up the opponents to keep them credible and looking strong .