The Miz is proof a wrestler does not need to be part of the main event picture to have a successful career in WWE.
The current Intercontinental champion has been doing it better than anybody on Monday night Raw’s roster for years. A combination of solid wrestling and promo work has made him the man to watch.
WWE has placed great emphasis on the Universal Heavyweight Title, but the greatness of the 12-year veteran carrying around the white strap has made Monday nights “must see” television.
I’ve spoken at length in the past about what a solid performer Mike Mizanin has become. He is every bit as valuable to the WWE roster as Brock Lesnar, Braun Strowman, and Seth Rollins. He is better on the microphone and his ability to work a crowd reminds me of wrestling greats from an era that is sorely missed.
His brilliance is magnified given that he no longer has his beautiful wife, Maryse by his side. Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel are the supporting cast that make this old-school angle work.
A few years ago, WWE sought Chris Jericho when it needed a veteran to help enhance rising talent. Now that the greatness if Jericho is no longer a fixture on Monday or Tuesday nights, the company has turned to the next best thing. To take that step further, The Miz’s role is a lot like heel characters of the old NWA.
Ric Flair we’re on Anderson or Tully Blanchard would kill it in an interview, and then go in the ring and take as much punishment from the baby face of the moment, and steal a victory.
That’s how wrestling worked. WWE has gotten away from traditional wrestling values. I know it’s hard to use that terminology, but the science of this business dictates you have someone who can entice his opponent and the fans at the same time. It’s a craft many have not learned yet.
There are many times when fans will talk on message boards or in chat rooms about which wrestlers of today compare to the greats of the past. There’s lots of talk about Dolph Ziggler being a Shawn Michaels type a performer. CM Punk reminds many of a younger Randy Savage. John Cena is a new version of Hulk Hogan.
The Miz is the WWE equivalent of Rowdy Roddy Piper. There is a chance the company that helped create such a solid character will find success in the mid card once again thanks to this breath of fresh air.
Since Rollins and Finn Balor have produced solid matches of late and have challenge the current champion in the fight for his title, the undercard is once again valuable. Because of the oversaturation performers on the WWE roster on Monday night, a triple threat match for the Intercontinental title is almost a guarantee at WrestleMania 34. That’s not such a bad thing, where a program like this could steal the show.
That kind of match doesn’t reach the kind of excellence it could achieve if not for the current champion. WWE knows that, which is why they give him a format to run his mouth on a weekly basis. Professional wrestling is more about the delivery than it is the action in the ring. And when you have a performer who can walk the walk and then talk the talk in a ring, a promotion has greatness.
The Miz may never win a WWE world title again. Honestly, it’s not a necessity to define his career. As long as he remains relevant in the mid card, and helps bring out the best in his opponents, he has done his job and done his job well. Fans appreciate how good he is in the ring. I throw back to the way wrestling should be. And I suspect there will be more mid card titles in his future.
Whether he ascends to the top of WWE’s apex on Monday nights – that remains to be seen. But for now, fans of both the red and blue brands are being treated to the greatest performer of the last five years while not having to worry about who holds the companies top strap.
This may not have been the original plan as so much emphasis is placed on the heavyweights in this business. But it’s the way things have evolved, and the man who reminds me of how wrestling used to be is doing it better than anybody else.