“One more match! One more match!” I see how everyone is angling for the potential of Daniel Bryan getting back in a wrestling ring following The Miz’s epic rant on WWE Talking Smack from last week. The potential of the former WWE World Champion to get in the ring and wrestle again has everyone talking. The truth is while WWE and Bryan have not closed the door completely on a comeback, the confrontation between the two performers wasn’t so much about teasing Bryan’s return as it was to help put the current Intercontinental Champion over. While the mid card scene on Smackdown Live isn’t as strong as Raw, The Miz holds all the cards right now – which road he wants to walk down will help shape the brand over the last four months of 2016.
What this also did was make the character Mike Mizanin portrays just as important as the belt Bryan wanted on his brand, despite who was holding it at the time of the WWE Draft.
For 10 years, The Miz has been for lack of a better word Mr. Everything in WWE – a world champion, a tag team champion and a mid-card champion. While he has remained relevant during his tenure, he has also played the role of jobber and Mr. Irrelevant in programs that were cartoonish in nature. Only after his wife and sidekick Maryse returned to the company (and I might add how happy I am about that), has his star risen and gotten brighter. The power couple are what old school professional wrestling is all about.
Now, the words heard all over the Internet are helping him become a “champion” on a brand that is still sorting out a few issues of how it will promote its mid card.
After Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles, John Cena and Dolph Ziggler, Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt, there is a lot of minutae to wade through – much like the women’s division. This is where The Miz can shine. He is solid on the microphone, promotes himself like few others and is a solid worker in the ring – when he isn’t “wrestling scared” as Bryan points out. The scared part is what makes him such a solid heel. There is a lot that is desirable of being a wrestler who tries to retain a title without having to “wrestle” for it.
It’s a loose analogy, but Ric Flair used to travel the states and the globe wrestling the top babyface in a promotion. Kevin Von Erich, Jerry Lawler, Gino Hernandez and Dusty Rhodes. He was famous for getting heat from the fans, He wrestled and put on a show, but he would also escape to the outside of the ring, pick a fight with a referee and even do what he had to do to get himself disqualified.
It was part of the show. The Miz’s antics are part of his shtick. And judging by the comments made by Bryan, they are working to build him as a true heel in this company. Mick Foley has sung his praises for his work – deeming him underrated. I tend to agree with it. There should be more performers who work on their whole package than just the in-ring work.
WWE has done a solid job of booking the champion – who doesn’t look to be relinquishing the title any time soon.
I have referred to The Miz’s character before as a poor man’s Tully Blanchard. The look, the work in interviews, the arrogance and the style of wrestling. Blanchard was a better performer in the ring. The Miz has held world championships. I’d call it a wash except for the fact Blanchard was a Horseman. The Miz could only be so lucky. But if he continues to build on his tirade from last week and gets the recognition he deserves and still goes out and performs at a high level, he could be just what WWE needs in a mid-card champion.
In the meantime we might want to pump the breaks on a Daniel Bryan return to the ring – it’s not happening just yet.