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Is The Miz the worst WWE champion ever?

The Miz cashed in money in the bank and won the WWE titleNot all former WWE champions have the distinction for legends like Hulk Hogan, Bruno Sammartino, Ric Flair, and Bret Hart. There have been some questionable choices since the birth of the WWE championship in 1963, none more than newest champion The Miz who could go down as the worst in history.

The wrestling world was stunned when The Miz cashed in his Money in the Bank on WWE RAW and defeated Randy Orton for the WWE title. The win came at an odd time, the night of the John Cena firing. The Miz winning the title stunned me for so many reasons, most being that at a time when business is on the decline I find the choice of The Miz to be one of the worst to be world champion and help boost business.

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The Miz has become something of an Internet darling among “smart” wrestling fans over the last year. I have watched wrestling for over 30 years and I don’t get this one whatsoever. The main appeal of The Miz seems to be his promos. Again, I don’t get it. Whenever I watch The Miz cut a promo it seems rehearsed, deliberate, and at times mind numbing. This wit and entertainment that these fans are seeing in a Miz promo is something that has eluded me for the last two years.

In looking back at the list of 102 different WWE championship reigns I truly think that The Miz could do go down as the worst champion in WWE history (at least through 102). Granted the WWE has done a tremendous job of devaluing all of their titles over the last decade. But if the measuring stick of a world champion is a pro wrestler that will draw money in main-events than I think this one is a big F. I just don’t see a lot of excitement being generated by anything The Miz will do to boost or even sustain business.

It isn’t entirely the fault of The Miz. Look no further back than to April of 2009. In April of 2009 the WWE had the chance to turn the corner with The Miz. If there was even a chance that The Miz would become a future world champion, the WWE all but blew it here. The Miz was elevated to the main-event to feud with John Cena. Over the course of four months The Miz feuded with John Cena and lost every single match, even winding up banned from WWE RAW.

Fast forward 19 months later and The Miz is the WWE champion. Why was that such a failure in April of 2009? Because since entering the WWE, The Miz doesn’t have any decisive wins over a top WWE superstar. Sure you can count Randy Orton but that was tainted. The Miz hasn’t been protected anywhere close to what Jack Swagger or even Sheamus were before became the champion. The Miz is seen as a paper champion and nobody is buying tickets to see a paper champion.

The Miz is also 6’1″ and 200 pounds or so we are told. The Miz is one of the smallest guys in the WWE. Being a smaller wrestler and a WWE champion does work. Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, and even Ric Flair were undersized, yet wrestled a style that while acknowledging this made them believable. Rey Mysterio and Daniel Bryan are two of the smallest guys on the roster. Yet they make up for that for a more athletic wrestling style that actually enhances their lack of size. The Miz does not, nor does he wrestle a style that makes his lack of size seem believable. Quite frankly the guy looks like a bit of a joke at this point wrestling as the world champion on WWE RAW.

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There is also the reality TV background. To me, every time I see The Miz on television I think Real World. On the Real World he came off as a big geek. In one episode he was even beaten up in a fight. I understand that it isn’t 1976 and you don’t need your wrestling champions to necessarily be tough guys. At the same time, how well would John Cena or Randy Orton draw if there were videos all over the Internet of those guys getting beaten up in a fight? Compound that with The Miz’s wrestling character and you have a world champion that most people in the crowd think they can beat up in a fight.

The timing of this couldn’t have worked more against The Miz as well. The Miz beating Randy Orton for the WWE championship should be the biggest story in the WWE. It isn’t. The title switch comes on the same night as one of the most emotional angles of the year. Over the next several weeks the WWE universe will be focused on John Cena vs. Wade Barrett. The Miz will be playing second or maybe even third fiddle. Perception will become reality when it comes to the new world champion.

This reminds me a lot of CM Punk’s first world championship run. Casual wrestling fans didn’t take him seriously and he came across as something of a paper champion the entire time. Punk got a lucky win, didn’t have any credible wins to his name at that point, and was the background of another angle. It is truly amazing that the WWE made the same mistakes a couple of years ago and yet are repeating the same flawed formula in 2010 with The Miz.

This isn’t meant to be an all-out bash The Miz blog as it is more a reflection of the lack of the WWE’s preparation in getting The Miz to this point. Vince McMahon is regarded as a wrestling genius, but this genius has had more new WWE champions flop over the last several years than have succeeded. The Miz may succeed at another time but it won’t be now.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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