You knew it was coming.
The Physical Embodiment of Sports Entertainment, The Personification of Weenie, The Wiz, The..um, hrumpf, other word that rhymes with Miz..you know the one. Yes, it’s The Miz- whose wretched journey as on-air “Who? From what show?” to WWE Champion has caused more suffering to viewing audiences than anyone in the WWE over the last decade. No mercy. On the wing of a childhood dream and a pithy fart of celebrity, The Miz had dreams of being the next Rock or Shawn Michaels. Despite WWE’s best efforts, we knew better: The Miz was shit. Every stutter, every botch was proof positive he was as undeserving and hollow as the reality show from which he spawned. Along the way, however, you gotta admire his tenacity for it. And you have to admire that – no matter how many times he hosts the vile “Miz TV” only to get laid out in the middle of the ring – you still wait fervently for that son-of-a-bitch to get his, and you still boo the next time his cheesy, smiling dumbface makes an appearance.
Whatever your opinion on Roman Reigns, this was nice.
Fun fact about The Miz: His entrance video doesn’t feature any clips of him actually wrestling and hasn’t for years. Oh, there’s lots him doing other things in it – acting (horribly), talking to other TV personalities (awkwardly) – and lots of stock footage of time-lapse L.A. cityscapes. He came to…play? To play. He came to play. Not to win, to fight, to work, to be a champion, just to play. Sums it up, really. There’s no need to relive all of the growing pains of WWE trying to turn his steaming pile of petulance into superstardom. Thankfully, they’ve learned. It’s just too easy to hate on The Miz, and that gift shouldn’t go to waste. The gift of wanting to see someone be endlessly put on their ass, as well as the gift of his persona, rebelling against fans sense of what it means to be a great heel. “Oh, but The Miz isn’t vicious enough, he doesn’t have the mean streak” you might say. That’s mostly true, and exactly why our hate feels so justified: He isn’t a tough guy or one who enjoys violence. But having a mean-streak or being tough isn’t what makes a heel great, rather it’s the ability to be hated – to get heat – and Miz is so naturally talented that it makes you wonder if he has evolved a way to synthesize and break down audible booing into essential nutrients necessary to sustain life itself.
I swear, they ever make a Wrestlemania match out of these two, I’m losing my shit.
His remarkable growth, all while maintaining the aura of soft and safe pantomime “wrestler”, has told a story for WWE fans over the course of his career. Again, we’re intentionally not reliving any of that here. But you’ve seen most of it already, and at various points probably thought the wrestler he antagonized, but I’d posit that’s not always the case. Or, at least, The Miz played his part of standing opposite of everything his opponent stood for at least as well as his respective protagonist stood for those values themselves. He was a wannabe against the Rock, a vain and vapid socialite to Mizdow’s commitment and pure artistry, and an insincere hot dog against Daniel Bryan’s authentic, blue-collar charm. All of those amazing elements of psychology and storytelling are taken for granted. And that’s mostly because it’s impossible stop hating on this moron who main-evented a Wrestlemania and held WWE Championship gold when so many more deserving wrestlers before and during his time haven’t.
“I am the Title!” – actual quote
Since adopting his B-movie star shtick, fans have begun to appreciate all those years of his shitty, unbearable presence. He really found a groove! And so the hate has come full circle: I love to hate The Miz. When I have gone to live events where he was performing, I booed with hands cupped around my mouth for maximum sound wave travel distance in his direction. For every respect I can have for his performance, he still enters and leaves with his heat from me. Even now, when he’s try-harding against Dolph Ziggler or Dean Ambrose, I can feel the grimace work it’s way across my face. “This fucker thinks I’m going to respect his wrestling now.” I’ll be damned. And his passionate yet bumbling promos on Talking Smack only make me laugh. I still don’t believe he’s “that guy” which only adds another layer of hate, thus ensuring his continued survival on WWE television, and maybe even his very life on Earth.
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