These past few weeks, needless to say, haven't been particularly kind to The Miz.
After allegedly being blamed by the WWE brass for the under-performing Survivor Series 2011 buy rate, "The Awesome One" gave his detractors more ammunition during the Feb. 6 edition of Raw.
In a spot where The Miz was to presumably catch a flip-diving R-Truth, the former Real World star failed to do his part, which nearly resulted in a serious injury to his former tag partner.
While Truth only sustained a bump on the head and a sore neck from whiplash, The Miz was reportedly harangued backstage in front of his peers by Triple H.
With newfound enemies in high places, The Miz, it has been revealed, has another real-life non-fan in Alberto Del Rio.
In a recent interview with 95.7 THE GAME, a radio station in Northern California, Del Rio was surprisingly candid about his thoughts.
In response to the question of whether he gets along with most of his co-wrestlers off-camera, Del Rio singled out The Miz (transcribed by WrestleZone.com):
"I hate The Miz. This is not part of the show. I really dislike that guy. I've tried to punch him in the face several times, not in the ring, I mean outside the ring. He's like a little girl. He's always running away from me..."
Initially, it would seem that Del Rio was making facetious comments in character. A strong hint that it could be otherwise was that he made sure to differentiate between the WWE's scripted soap opera and reality.
Also, it's noteworthy that Del Rio, an on-screen villain, would publicly dress down another heel in The Miz.
From the standpoint of potential storyline motives, there are none unless the company plans on having the two men feud in the near future—a doubtful scenario. Thus, there very well may be real animosity between them.
Curiously, Del Rio wasn't finished and had more insults to chuck at The Miz:
"There's a big difference between The Miz and I. I'm a real athlete. He's just a loud, stupid little kid. He's one of those guys who was probably bullied when he was in school and that's the reason now that he's so loud and he wants to get attention from everybody."
Again, lending credence to the notion there could be actual heat here is that Del Rio made his points outside the confines of the WWE Universe.
By referring to himself as a "real athlete," for instance, Del Rio not only undermined The Miz's "kayfabed" image, but made it clear he had/has a bone to pick with him.
Moreover, Del Rio's derisive theory about why The Miz is the way he is—because he was "probably bullied"—pooh-poohs the company credo of anti-bullying (STAR campaign).
The real issue though—assuming Del Rio's comments were genuine—is The Miz's inability to command any respect whatsoever from his cohorts.
If the storm of company discontent continues to rain down on him, The Miz may soon find himself on the end of a "Skull-Crushing Finale" out the door.