Regardless of what anyone says, I still think Miz has it as a performer for me. He’s still awesome. Yeah, missing Truth on that dive was bad. And yeah, I honestly know that Miz is not everyone’s cup of tea. Regardless, I still look forward to his presence on the show, whether he’s got something to do or not.
I definitely agree with TH on this one. As an avid fan of the Real World/Road Rules challenges, and to a lesser extent “The Real World” itself, I’ve been following Mike Mizanin on TV since 2001. So when I see him living his dream — be it in the main event of WrestleMania or absolutely killing on Conan — I’m just happy for the guy. I bet one of the biggest thrills of his life was taking the Rock Bottom in the middle of the ring during Survivor Series at MSG.
(Let’s put it this way — you could have offered 8-year-old me the chance to grow up and be a wrestler and take even one flying elbow from the Macho Man or a Hulk Hogan legdrop and I would have emptied my piggy bank right there on the spot.)
Furthermore, Miz reminds me of what Brandon Stroud wrote about CM Punk this week:
I may have figured it out — Punk’s character only works for me when I feel like he’s in the right. When he tells Vince McMahon that he’s out of touch with his audience, I understand and agree. When he’s chastising Jeff The Slack-Jawed Yokel or yelling at Raven for pissing away his opportunities with drugs and alcohol, I’m like “yeah tell ‘em Punk you ARE a monster!” When he’s telling John Laurinaitis to take his balls out of his purse or taunting Alberto Del Rio for being Mexican by saying “you’re mexican” over and over, not so much.
But I agree with him here. Jericho’s claims are of the “I’m Glacier and I invented the standing side kick! Nuh uh, I’m Perry Saturn and that’s MY move!” variety and he should be called on it. That can allow Jericho to make Doggy Ate My Owse-Cweam face, and pro wrestling matches can occur. Best in the World vs. Best in the World in a ring at Mania, with their Twitter beef long ago lost in the ether.
When Miz comes out and says it’s BS he won the WrestleMania main event last year and can’t even sniff the card in 2012, he has a fantastic point. Not only do I like it when the show acknowledges even its recent past, I appreciate a guy with clear motivations. Miz wants to fight for his spot in the company. He is a moth for the TV cameras and yearns for relevancy. It’s not Dostoyevsky or anything, but at least it’s logical.
(Another obvious example at the moment: Big Show wants to win at WrestleMania. We’re acknowledging his horrible track record, going so far as to beat fans over the head with it — not that I disagree with how it’s being played out. Point is, no matter how his match at that show ends, the fans will be heavily invested in the outcome. A story is being told, and isn’t that the point?)
Is Miz that much different from Zack Ryder, at least in terms of motivation? Yes, Miz has been to the mountaintop and is looking to re-ascend, while Ryder was trying to break through, but the message is the same: I belong here with all these other guys. I deserve a shot. Where’s mine?
Maybe I’m just longing for a Shawn-Michaels-at-WrestleMania XII-type moment for Miz, where he has both fan support and the spotlight he craves. I know it’s easy for any moron to say “face turn!” or “heel turn!” as the solution for everything, which is not my point. But where others look at Miz’s current place and see irrelevance or burial or just a casualty of too many guys and not enough TV time, I see a character evolving, the building of layers and the potential for a big payoff if ever his number is called.
Plus, the guy is living his dream. And while that doesn’t make him unique, my knowledge (filtered by reality TV) of him when he was just a dreamer is part of the reason I remain invested in seeing him succeed.