Since debuting in the WWE, The Miz has had varying success both as a singles and as a tag team competitor.
The WWE has put a lot of faith in his abilities over the last few years, and to some degree, it has paid off for them. Nobody is taking anything away from him—he's talented in the ring, he cuts very good promos and he looks good on the magazine covers. That final reason could be the main reason why he has been successful in the WWE. But he just can't sell the “heel” concept, which is one of the fundamental concepts of pro wrestling.
When most wrestling fans think of past heels like Randy Savage, Shawn Michaels and Rick Rude, they remember that these guys were in fact “Bad Guys”—both in pro wrestling and in real life. They looked mean, acted mean and they were jerks, which is why the fans loved to boo these guys.
The Miz, on the other hand, does not look like a heel.
Guys like Savage and Michaels had rugged, manly beards, they never shaved—which added to their heel personas—and they looked like grown men. The Miz's face is so clean-shaven that he actually looks like a real life “Babyface,” like a 12 year old boy to be more precise.
Some heels had hairstyles that added to their heel personas. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, for example had his head completely shaved bald. He looked like a tough SOB with a style like that. The Miz's hairstyle is trendy, and it looks good on the latest issue of WWE Magazine, but it's not a good heel hairstyle at all. It makes him look like a complete geek.
Now, let's talk about a good physique for a heel. Take King Kong Bundy, for example. He was a very large individual, and when he entered the ring, his opponents were literally shaking in their boots. Now, bear in mind that not all heels were as large as Bundy. Shawn Michaels was a much smaller wrestler, but his chiseled physique sold him as a heel. He looked like he could handle himself in the ring.
The Miz really needs to up the ante on his physique and get rid of the sunless tanner. This isn't a Baywatch audition, it's the WWE. He doesn't give off that vibe that makes his opponents quiver when he steps into the ring with a physique like that.
The one thing that The Miz does have that is important for a good heel character is cockiness. Every time he grabs a mic to speak, the arrogance flows like water from a tap. He can talk a great game on how he is the best in the ring and how he's beaten the best in the WWE. That is lesson No. 1 on how to be a successful heel in the WWE.
The Miz has passed that lesson with flying colours, but if he wants to maintain longevity in the WWE as a good heel character, then he needs a complete repackage. Change everything about his look, his physique, his hair and his overall appearance. Fans have to believe a heel is a real life bad guy. If The Miz stays the way he is, then he will have a very short career as a believable heel in the WWE.