I had not thought about this until I read Graham Matthews’ story on Bleacher Report. If The Miz drops the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania 34 to either Seth Rollins or Finn Balor, will the title still have the same kind of importance as it has round arguably one of the greatest mid-card champions of all time?
I don’t need to stress how great The Miz is in the ring and with the microphone as he has prove week after week and year after year how his work is underappreciated. But the charismatic superstar has brought prestige back to the Intercontinental Championship, much like John Cena made the United States Championship an important part of WWE’s title picture.
“The title’s recent resurgence can be largely contributed to The Miz, who has done more to make the prize feel coveted than anyone else in the past decade,” Matthews wrote. “He has held the strap more often than not for the better part of the last five years, and thus it’s only appropriate he enters WrestleMania 34 as the defending champion.”
Can Rollins, who has been as impressive as any WWE star in recent weeks, or Balor, who is popular but not as flashy as either veterans, carry the mid-card torch? Do they show excellence in the ring, but lack the verbal skills to make an Intercontinental Title match must see television?
The Miz’s shtick has been to be over the top enthusiastic and a solid ring veteran to match. Rollins has the charisma and the ability to put on a five-star match. He showed for months he could be a good world champion and one of the most hated and beloved heels in WWE. Balor is still getting his footing and should get a solid push while learning to deliver a better promo.
The idea WWE came up with such a solid triple-threat match at WrestleMania 34 speaks to the value of each competitor and how The Miz has elevated the title to mean as much, if not more than the Universal Title Brock Lesnar will defend against Roman Reigns in New Orleans.
“Whether he will walk out with the title in tow, however, remains unknown. Miz will have the odds stacked against him when he faces Seth Rollins and Finn Balor in a Triple Threat match that will likely steal the show,” he added.
The fact Lesnar is not out each week defending his strap or competing in the ring has helped to boost Miz’s stock to the nth degree.
Now that Rollins has established himself as potentially the go-to performer on Monday nights thanks to a gauntlet match that saw him perform with Roman Reigns and John Cena for over more than an hour, the comparisons to former WWE icons like Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart and Tito Santana are warranted. While he will never be as solid in the ring as that trio, his ability to carry a card is very real.
The same holds true for The Miz.
“Miz’s work as Intercontinental champion essentially speaks for itself. Currently in his eighth reign with the title, he has taken on all comers and successfully elevated the strap to a level it hasn’t been at in quite a while,” Matthews said.
“Even before he regained the gold at the 25th Anniversary of Raw back in January, the Intercontinental Championship was already on the ascent thanks to Roman Reigns. Fans feared he would treat the title no different than he did the United States Championship in 2016 by rendering it an obsolete prop.”
There is no doubt the match at WrestleMania 34 in a little over two weeks will tear down the house. Fans will see a well-developed match, which should lead to more of this superstar triangle. In the end, however, leaving the title around Miz’s waist may be best for everyone concerned.
The Miz is the best performer on Monday nights. Taking the title off his shoulder won’t stop that, but it might tarnish the Intercontinental Title. The current champion has done everything he can to bring legitimacy back to the mid-card. I’m just not sure the other two opponents in this match can do the same thing.