On WWE Monday Night Raw, I saw something in the crowd that I thought I recognized. In the front row, a guy rocked a T-shirt with a giant name tag on it. The camera was too far away to read the shirt, but I knew it looked familiar.
It was, of course, a Miz T-shirt, but my mind didn’t recognize it right away. I had to ask myself, "Whose shirt is that again?"
I shouldn’t have to remind myself who The Miz is.
I want to be clear: I was the guy who refused to become hysterical when The Miz started losing last year. I have a friend and fellow writer who is truly a Miz fan—he built the center of his WWE experience around The Miz.
He is one of the most positive guys I know, and even he began to grow negative toward the Miz's booking in late 2011 and early 2012.
By contrast, I saw it simply as booking. There was so much buzz about The Miz being in trouble that I took the stance that WWE was planting it, and that he would be OK. Sure enough, The Miz made it to WrestleMania 28, and he even scored the pin for his team.
So, I was right…right?
I’m not so sure. Miz has disappeared from WWE television, and not even a three-hour special brought him back. Truly, his T-shirt in the front row got more TV time than The Miz himself.
Yet, the announcement was made on WWE Monday Night Raw that The Miz would challenge Santino Morella for the United States title at WWE Extreme Rules. To be exact, at the WWE Extreme Rules free show.
Things I never thought I would say: Miz needs the United States Championship more than Santino Marella. Also: Santino Marella is more established in WWE than The Miz right now.
If the WWE needs someone to entertain The Three Stooges, who does it go to? Santino Marella.
If Brodus Clay needs a tag team partner not named Hornswoggle, who does he go to? Santino Marella.
If the WWE needs a guy to be the United States champion, it also goes to Santino. But does Santino Marella need the United States Championship?
Not like Miz does now.
How about this? Even Alex Riley got face time on Raw. Zack Ryder, the guy who is not getting his chances, is getting more chances than The Miz.
It is one thing to be on a losing streak; it is another not to be on TV at all. It is like fan reaction—wrestlers don’t care whether you cheer or boo. But what if you’re silent?
Not being on TV is the ultimate silence.
If The Miz becomes the U.S. champion...
Miz is the same guy who rose to fame by rockin’ the WWE tag team titles and the WWE United States Championship. He made both belts better for how he carried them. I believe he could do the same for the WWE United States Championship again.
I’m not here to tell the WWE that Miz needs to be a main eventer (even though he is one, in my opinion). I’m here to tell the WWE that he should become the United States champion.
Put a high-level guy like The Miz as U.S. champion, and he will make main eventers out of midcarders. He will bring prestige to the title not seen since the belt was truly the No. 1 contender belt to the World title.
And what about a program between The Miz and Santino Marella? Shouldn’t that be on television? WWE could officially kick that program off after Extreme Rules, when Miz emerges, in all of his arrogance, treating the United States Championship like it is the new, unified heavyweight title.
I’m not saying that it will happen, but I’m saying it should.
Miz needs this—maybe more than we know.