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What do we make of this Miz situation?
Awwwwwesome? Or Awwwwwful?
As soon as the referee’s hand hit the mat for the third count with Miz draped over Drew McIntyre to win his second WWE Championship a week ago at the Elimination Chamber PPV event, that debate raged like a wildfire.
The arguments as I saw them? Miz’s longevity and ability to be a chameleon in the WWE corporate environment makes him worthy of the WWE Championship vs. It’s Miz. He’s awful. Get him out of my WWE Championship picture. What garbage.
Here’s the thing. Neither one of those arguments is accurate. Miz is Miz and we all know that. We know what he does and what he has brought to the table throughout his career. Appreciate that career, but c’mon, question the recent booking too.
The Miz has not been presented as, and at this time is not, a credible professional wrestler in the ring. We see glimpses of a serious character pop up now and then, but it’s inconsistent at best. At worst, the context of the character blows with the wind and the long list of needs that the WWE corporation demands. Reality shows, comedy bits on television, corporate appearances, fan events, media obligations, and a host of other appearances as brief examples. Championship wrestler is nowhere to be found on that list.
Therein lies the problem. If you train the audience that your act exists for reasons outside of the functional narratives on WWE television that revolve around winning titles, it’s almost impossible to convince the same audience that a championship win is in the cards without it feeling like an out-of-left-field shock tactic.
That’s what Elimination Chamber was. Yes, Miz had the Money in the Bank briefcase, but his interactions in the build to that PPV involved celebrity comedy with Bad Bunny instead of wins in matches or promos that positioned him as a viable threat.
So, Miz walking out of Elimination Chamber with the WWE Championship was severely questionable. The move buckled over and laughed in the face of real pro wrestling logic when that logic was always available to WWE. They just needed to try and activate it.
Don’t mean-tweet me yet Miz fans. The defense is on the way.
Miz is not a credible professional wrestler in the ring, but he is a pros pro in terms of using the business to serve him, elevate his star power, grow his bank account, and thrive as a businessman. It’s strange to say, but bruisers like Stan Hansen and Bruiser Brody might just be proud of him.
Those guys and a host of others throughout history knew their worth. They knew what they brought to the table and held firm on business decisions because of that knowledge. During their time, they wouldn’t be able to fathom how that notion would change, but Miz is essentially executing the same strategy and it’s working.
The Miz is a reality show “star” and has parlayed that gimmick into a 15-year career with WWE. His strength is his ability to blow with the wind and the long list of needs that the WWE corporation demands. I believe I read that somewhere else. That’s his worth. It’s what Miz brings to the table and like Hansen’s lariat, it’s why he’s able to cash what has to be some pretty thick WWE checks for over a decade.
Pro wrestling is a business and Miz’s success in finding and exploiting the current landscape to make money is normal. In his case, it also leaves championship reigns, big time matches, and memorable pieces of in-ring business off the table.
We can end the debate, folks. Miz’s longevity and ability to be a chameleon in the WWE corporate environment does not make him worthy of the WWE Championship, but is valuable for that corporate environment to have. For that reason, Miz isn’t awful, but should be far away from the WWE Championship picture.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S TAKE: HEYDORN’S TAKE: Don’t hold me to this – WWE Elimination Chamber 2021