Recent buzz online is that The Miz and Dolph Ziggler will be forming a tag team in the near future. This is nothing new for WWE fans, as the company often pairs two Superstars together that perhaps previously had very little, if any, interaction. In fact, WWE rarely signs established tag teams; they create them instead.
The biggest point of this story is that Miz’s singles career is once again coming to an end. And that seems to happen a lot. But why is that?
From a distance, there is no reason why Miz should not be over. As a heel, he’s arrogant, cocky and annoying; the perfect blend for a rule breaker to succeed despite what pro wrestling promotion he’s working for. Fans love to hate a guy and Miz’s heel character definitely fits that description.
There is just nothing redeeming about Miz as an antagonist. From the way he looks at the crowd with utter contempt, to the tone of his voice when he addresses them; everything about Miz screams jerk. He gives WWE fans every reason to hate him. There is no way anyone could watch him and not want to hit him with a car.
On the flip side, The Miz’s babyface persona is the right kind of protagonist for the modern era. He’s hip, cool and ironic with a great sense of humor and just the right darkness to it. He’s very much a product of the times and his character is that of a guy that just completely sees through the nonsense and really enjoys what he does for a living.
Everything about Miz as a face tells you that he’s on your side. He speaks to the crowd on their level and it never feels as though he’s just delivering his lines as dictated by WWE creative. This Miz does everything in his power to convince fans that he is their kind of Superstar. And at the end of the day, fans should not only support him, they should want to hang out with him. That’s how likeable he can be when he’s at his best.
Wrong. On both counts. The fact is that despite how hard he works, despite how much he tries, The Miz cannot get over and sustain momentum as a heel or face. The question is why? Why does Miz have such a difficult time gaining crowd support or hatred and maintaining that over an extended period of time? Why is it not working for him?
I for one do not have the answer. In fact, I don’t have a clue.
Again, Miz does all the right things. He does his part to own the spotlight when it’s shining on him and even if his character has some sort of tragic flaw, his ring work does not. Miz has the potential to turn in a great match. He has proven that in the past. Miz is just as capable of delivering in the ring as any Superstar in Vince McMahon’s locker room.
But when he’s on his own, no one cares. It’s just not happening.
However, Miz as a tag team wrestler is a much different story. He is another person, a guy that seems right at home in his role. For me, The Miz looks more comfortable in a tag team environment than he does in any other role he has ever had.
The tag team gimmick is The Miz’s domain. Whether it was with John Morrison, Big Show, or R-Truth, The Miz killed it every time. And the crowd usually responded to him during those tag team runs much more positively than at any other point in his career.
Why is that? Are fans to believe it was all due to the work that his partners did, that Miz is not responsible for any of the success that his three tag team combinations had in the company? Is that the popular theory among the WWE faithful?
If so, I for one am not buying it. The Miz has done nothing but work hard from the moment he came to the company. His reality TV career may have put him on the map, but it did him no favors with the WWE fans that really wanted nothing to do with him. They didn’t even want to get him a chance.
But Miz kept at it, he kept getting better and eventually established himself as a relevant and respected WWE Superstar.
As a tag team wrestler. The truth is that’s just how it is.
And so what? Who cares if The Miz has a much easier time of getting over in a tag team role than he does in a singles role? The only thing that should matter to anyone is that this guy works hard to entertain the crowd. His job is to make the best of every opportunity he has and to be the best on camera every time he’s on camera.
This is not to imply that Miz’s tag team reputation diminishes him at all. I submit that there is no shame in beefing up the mid-card of the largest pro wrestling company in the world. The fact is that Miz does everything asked of him and of all the guys in the WWE locker room, he is one of the very few that is rarely ever spoken of in a negative light.
Is he the top guy in WWE? No. Will he ever be the top guy in WWE? Maybe, maybe not. But The Miz has a place that he can thrive in and more importantly, he can do what he loves to do. And the fact that his place is in a tag team that will see him rise to the occasion once again is not just a good thing. It’s pretty awesome.
Tom Clark is a WWE Featured Columnist & Consultant for Bleacher Report, a Contributor for JBL’s Layfield Report and a Contributor for Whatculture.com
Follow Tom on Twitter @tomclarkbr
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