|The Miz: Former WWE Champion|
"The Miz" is a former reality television star, that some people may remember from MTV's The Real World: Back to New York in 2001. On that show is the first time we saw Mizanin portray the character of "The Miz." It was corny & hokey then, with him looking like an idiot in front of the other cast members (which is to say something as they were all ignorant, alcoholic apes & sluts). It was cringe-worthy & uncomfortable to watch as he made a fool out of himself on national television.
Who would have thought from seeing him then that he would one day not only become WWE Champion but would also headline a Wrestlemania?
"The Miz" was also on several other MTV reality show spin-offs after that & in late 2004, joined the fourth season of WWE Tough Enough. Another reality television show, only this time relating to professional wrestling instead of drunken frat parties & promiscuous sex while cameras were rolling. Now instead of throwing back a Heineken, he was literally being thrown on his back. He did not win that competition. Of course, that has never stopped WWE before, all you have to do is look at previous Diva Search contests to see that. So WWE gave The Miz a developmental wrestling contract & sent him to Deep South Wrestling in 2005. He became the first ever DSW Heavyweight Champion. In 2006, The Miz was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling. Also in 2006, The Miz made his debut on the main roster, on WWE Smackdown.
So The Miz had achieved his dream of becoming a WWE Superstar! Not a professional wrestler in the wrestling industry, mind you, but a WWE Superstar. No one really wants to be a wrestler anymore, you see. They all want to be television stars, or movie stars. So now the reality TV star was on wrestling TV.
The Miz has achieved a lot of success in WWE. He started at the bottom rung of the WWE ladder, hosting Smackdown events with Ashley "The Horse" Massaro, including Diva Search segments. Then he started wrestling undercard guys, like Funaki & Scotty 2 Hotty to build up a little winning streak, which was eventually thwarted & ended by The Boogeyman at WWE Armageddon but that meant The Miz was on a Pay-Per-View. The Miz was then drafted to WWE's version of ECW where he worked in mostly tag matches with John Morrison & they eventually won the WWE Tag Team titles. The Miz even won a Cyber Sunday vote giving him an ECW World Title match against C.M. Punk, which he lost. After some other tag team feuds, The Miz was drafted to RAW.
Once on RAW, The Miz was in a little feud (that he lost) with John Cena. Then he started chasing after the U.S. title, which he eventually won. He feuded with Kofi Kingston, John Morrison & MVP. Three other guys that I would put into the same category as The Miz as it pertains to the current WWE roster. Due to the brand split, there were two sets of tag team titles & The Miz won them both with The Big Show. Then The Miz won a Money in the Bank match, which he used the briefcase to cash-in on Randy Orton to win the WWE Title. He then feuded with Jerry Lawler, of all people. The Miz also picked up a lackey during this time in Alex Riley. Then he had his Wrestlemania main event title defense against John Cena at Wrestlemania XXVII before losing the title in a triple threat cage match at Extreme Rules in May. He then teamed with R-Truth for awhile, which was one of the only times I saw potential in him but WWE quickly squandered that shit.
Do you, dear reader, remember any of this? I sure as fuck don't! I have been using Wikipedia as a resource the whole time, which I am sure you already was aware of, to "refresh" my memory about most of it. Why? Easy, because The Miz is completely forgettable in every single way. He's boring, bland & has no star power whatsoever. Who would ever pay money to watch The Miz? Who would buy a ticket to see The Miz headline a show? Who wants to buy a Miz t-shirt? Or watch a movie, like a shitty Marine sequel (not like the original is any good) starring The Miz? This is a guy from an MTV reality show, that went to developmental for a couple of years, that WWE felt deserved to not only be WWE Champion but headline a Wrestlemania!
The problem does not fall solely into the hands of Mike Mizanin. He has shown glimpses of brightness through his WWE career, WWE themselves, or the creative team, just never capitalize on them when they happen. They can't adjust the script any, they have to follow each & every little thing down to the letter. Nothing is organic, so if something could work, WWE won't pursue it to find out because they didn't write that part.
Alex Riley turning babyface on The Miz - Alex Riley was SUPER over after this. The Miz, basically, made Alex Riley. He could have been a big star. Instead, WWE put him in some throwaway jobber matches with no build on TV & then took Riley off of TV altogether. Riley never got a real chance & then The Miz just became another midcarder.
"Awesome Truth" - The picture I posted above was from when The Miz & R-Truth "invaded" WWE Hell in a Cell & did a beatdown on Pay-Per-View of John Cena, C.M. Punk & Alberto Del Rio. They were flogged & handcuffed & escorted out of the area by security while the whole roster emptied out to see them off. They looked like stars & instead it led to them being lackeys for John Laurinaitis so John Cena could wrestle HIM on Pay-Per-View...yeah, that will put asses in seats.
The JBL promo - One of the best promos The Miz ever cut on TV. It made him look like a star. A guy with a future, a serious contender, but it also showed he had entertainment qualities about him & it got over his feud with MVP:
Now for the second act...
The problem is not The Miz, himself. It is the creative team. It is the fact that no one on the roster seems to care enough to stand up & make a difference anymore. They all just go with the flow & collect a paycheck like it's a normal job. It's not a normal job. It's professional wrestling. The roots go back to the carnies. It is its own world; a bubble. When WWE tries to make it legitimate, like it's just any other TV show like Lassie or Seinfeld, that's when the magic goes away.
The beauty of professional wrestling is that it is not a sport & it is not a television show. It is not "sports entertainment" either, no matter what WWE tries to say. It is its own entity. WWE & the creative team, including brain dead, clueless Stephanie McMahon, need to stop trying to make pilot episodes to sitcoms or solve C.S.I. cases & focus on actual professional wrestling. Physical drama based around the most basic story-telling. David Vs. Goliath. Good Vs. Evil. Revenge. Respect. Love. Professional wrestling is not meant for a politically correct world, with a TV-PG rating. It is not meant to be a publicly traded company, with wellness tests. It is not meant to be overly produced & scripted in an effort to create a false public image due to political aspirations or appeal to sponsors or potential investors.
WWE try to make their own rules & then wonder why they're the laughing stock of society. The wrest...sorry, superstars on the roster are "Independent Contractors" so WWE don't have to give them any benefits, yet they can't go & work elsewhere. Not without being punished. You think a pro-wrestler that gets thrown around for a living & travels 300+ days a year can just walk into any place & get health insurance? The Wellness Policy? That only exists when WWE wants it to exist. You think The Rock could have passed a piss test? You think it was a coincidence that WWE held onto Rey Mysterio, Jr.'s negative test for three months until releasing it, coincidentally right when they wanted to punish him because he didn't come back from an injury fast enough for their liking? But we're supposed to think they're great because of their involvement with Make-A-Wish foundation, or their bullshit Be A Star campaign? Or maybe because for a month they told us they cared about cancer, with their involvement with the Susan G. Komen? In that month, apparently anyone that had previously wore pink wasn't allowed to wear it anymore because now it belonged to John Cena!
Here is the bottom line & this is a tough pill to swallow as a wrestling fan & a hard realization: WWE is not a professional wrestling company.
I can't hold it against The Miz. I can't hold it against Kofi Kingston. I can't hold it against any worker on the roster. It's not their fault. They have families to feed & bills to pay. They're going to do whatever it is that they have to do to keep the money coming in. It might have been a passion of love initially, but now it's about necessity. They have become cogs in the machine & they're sacrificing their bodies & time in the process just to be digits on a piece of paper.
At one time, WWE used to be about building stories. They would take two people, give them characters & motivations, give them a reason to hate each other, draw you in as a viewer with the story-telling & then ask you to pay to see them finally clash. That is basic pro-wrestling. That is the model that we are used to in this day & age. In the previous era, instead of getting you to buy the PPV, they would get you to buy a ticket. WWE does not do this anymore. Instead, we get matches for no reason. There is no story, there are no consequences for the outcomes. The titles are as meaningless as wins & losses are. The matches on TV now are just to kill time because WWE have three hours to fill every Monday night. There is still a PPV every month, but there's no reason to order them anymore. When WWE comes to your town, there's no reason to go see the show. It is just "WWE Live!" without a card, if you're lucky you'll get a few names. No, now it's all about money generated from other revenue streams for WWE. DVD sales, Shopzone sales, contracts with various companies for toy lines or video games, being available in more countries so more people can contribute to them all. Wrestlemania, the biggest show of the year, is not even about the card anymore. It is about the glitz & glam, the extravagant sets, costumes, fireworks & celebrity appearances. Because when I think of professional wrestling, I think of Donald Trump, P. Diddy & Snooki.
If you watch an episode of WWE Monday Night RAW live, for all three hours (bless your heart), in-between commercial breaks, replays, "Did You Know?" segments, shilling for Domino's pizza, shilling of Twitter, shilling of WWE.com, patting themselves on the back for Susan G. Komen, Be A Star, Make-A-Wish, shilling of new merchandise on Shopzone.com, WWE films, cameos on other shows like Jimmy Kimmel, how much actual show, original content, do you get? Even that content is constantly beating you over the head with shit you can buy, like the next Pay-Per-View, John Cena's shirt, hat, arm bands, necklace, new movie, etc.
It's not a wrestling show, it's a home shopping network. They are not professional wrestlers, they are salesmen. We are not fans, we are potential customers. You think that is a wrestling ring in the middle of an arena? Nope, it's a traveling pedestal that moves from town-to-town to put shit on display to hock it to locals. You're no longer paying for wrestling or paying for stars, you're paying for the WWE logo. Wade Barrett, Kofi Kingston, John Cena? They're just walking billboards.
So why then did I choose to write about The Miz? Well, because he's been sculpted by the machine. He is the mold of a WWE superstar. He will take any shit sandwich they present him & swallow it whole with a smile on his face. When it comes to being a company shill, pandering to WWE, spreading the corporate, politically correct & hypocritical message to the masses, doing whatever he is told without questioning it...The Miz is awesome.