The epic decline of The Miz since WrestleMania 27 is well-documented. From defeating the face of the company for the biggest title in the industry at the biggest show of the year, to jobbing to rookies on Monday Night Raw, something needs to be done to salvage the career of "the most must-see WWE Champion in history."
After stealing the win for Team Laurinaitis at WrestleMania 28, I had high hopes for The Miz. Johnny Ace promised to reward him, but it's been over six weeks since he pinned Zack Ryder in Miami, and he's still laying down for The Funkasaurus.
With the right PPV booking, I think The Miz could once again rise to prominence. We know he has the ability to play with the big boys, and there's no reason for him to meander in the land of the mid-card any longer.
Here's how I'd book The Miz at the next five PPVs, to take his career from awful to awesome.
The Miz has laid down for The Funkasaurus twice as of late. Once in a singles match and once as part of a six-man tag match. I understand that Brodus Clay is in the middle of his first big push, a push that could make or break his career, but that's no reason to run someone like The Miz into the ground.
With plenty of room left on the card at Over the Limit, it wouldn't be hard to squeeze in a chance for The Miz to get some retribution. Early in the PPV, we could cut to a segment backstage where John Laurinaitis is getting ready for his match against Cena. The Miz could interrupt and throw a fit, saying that someone like Zack Ryder got a pre-PPV match, but The Miz is left off of the card.
The Miz could then remind Johnny Ace that he still hasn't reaped the benefits of helping make the Vice President of Talent Relations the General Manager of both Raw and SmackDown! Wanting to get rid of The Miz as quickly as possible, he agrees and tells The Miz to head to the ring.
Having lost several times to Brodus Clay recently, The Miz would be visibly worried when The Funkasaurus is announced as his opponent. During the match, The Miz could complain to the referee that Naomi and Cameron are causing an unfair distraction. While the referee's attention is on The Funkadactyls, The Miz low-blows Brodus and gets the cheap win. To save face, we'll let The Funkasaurus exact his revenge on The Miz the very next night on Raw with a clean victory, but The Miz would still have the PPV victory and would move on.
Having overheard some of the nasty things The Miz said about him to John Laurinaitis when demanding a match at Over the Limit, Zack Ryder confronts The Miz on Raw after his loss to Brodus Clay. The Miz is irritated, but still a little busted up from The Funkasaurus, and doesn't retaliate—at least not right away.
The following week, Ryder approaches A.J., hoping to mend both of their broken hearts by showing her how a real man treats a woman. The Miz notices this and hatches his plan to exact revenge.
Over the course of the next few weeks, The Miz also courts A.J., doing everything he can to convince her that Zack Ryder just wants to use her and hurt her like Daniel Bryan did. Given her continual state of instability, she is easily coaxed.
This leads to a match between the two at No Way Out, seemingly for the heart of A.J. Although it is clear to the WWE Universe that he is simply using A.J., The Miz ultimately convinces her to help him win the match, and A.J.'s crazy eyes are now set on The Miz instead of Daniel Bryan.
A PPV match between The Miz and Daniel Bryan at Money in the Bank practically writes itself. Yet to recapture a world title, Daniel Bryan does everything he can to get another shot. Unfortunately for him, the best he can do is gain a chance to earn a rematch, as he faces The Miz in a No. 1 Contender's Match.
Their story goes way back to NXT, where The Miz was Bryan's pro. There can be some great mic work around whether The Miz made Daniel Bryan or simply held him back. Both of them gained their first world title by cashing in their Money in the Bank contract, and some great mic work could be done around that as well. The footage of each man winning Money in the Bank would serve to push both their feud and the PPV concept at the same time.
A.J., still playing the part of emotionally unstable, is now completely infatuated with The Miz, who continues to take full advantage of her. He realizes that somehow, A.J. has been Daniel Bryan's Achilles heel in the past. The Miz convinces her to assist him against her ex-boyfriend, and thinking The Miz has her best interest at heart, she agrees.
Thanks to A.J.'s involvement, The Miz gets the win over Daniel Bryan, and earns the right to face CM Punk at SummerSlam.
Having used A.J. to gain his title shot and seeing no more use for her, The Miz informs her on the Raw following Money in the Bank that he's through with her. After she storms off, holding back tears, CM Punk approaches his SummerSlam opponent.
CM Punk reminds The Miz of what a basket case A.J. can be. He reminds The Miz of all of the drama that A.J. caused Daniel Bryan—how she lashes out at people unexpectedly—and puts the idea in The Miz's head that she seems to be even more unstable than before. CM Punk wishes The Miz luck, saying he "hopes" The Miz will make it to SummerSlam.
Over the course of the next few weeks, A.J. is an obvious distraction for The Miz. He is constantly looking over his shoulder. Whenever they unexpectedly cross paths, The Miz is visibly disturbed and does his best to get away from her as soon as possible.
When SummerSlam finally comes, The Miz gets the upper hand on CM Punk in one unethical way or another. Just when he's setting CM Punk up for the Skull-Crushing Finale, A.J. makes an appearance. The Miz drops Punk and hollers at the referee to make A.J. leave ringside. Punk recovers while The Miz is distracted, hits the GTS, and Punk retains.
A.J. has exacted her revenge, so she can move on from her involvement with The Miz, and he just headlined SummerSlam, so his status is elevated. He won't get another title shot at Night of Champions, but he will face his biggest challenge since 2010's Extreme Rules.
In this version of reality where CM Punk is still WWE Champion, Cena is long overdue for a title shot—he can't feud with Laurinaitis, Lesnar, and Lord Tensai for too long. Still being held back as much as possible by Johnny Ace, Cena is forced to face The Miz at Night of Champions to see who becomes No. 1 Contender. This also serves as the payoff The Miz receives from Laurinaitis for his contribution at WrestleMania 28.
It doesn't get any more "main event" status than a match against John Cena, regardless of your personal opinions of the man. Unfortunately for The Miz, this is not a WrestleMania 27 repeat, as Cena gets the victory and faces the WWE Champion at Hell in a Cell.
At this point, The Miz doesn't need to be challenging for the WWE Championship to be back near the top. After two consecutive pay-per-view victories over upper-mid-card talent (Brodus Clay and Zack Ryder), and three consecutive pay-per-view matches (all with WWE Championship implications) against bonafide main event stars (Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, and John Cena), The Miz has regained the prominence he once had.
At this point, he can break apart from any alliance with John Laurinaitis and turn face, giving him a swarm of new opponents to work with to keep his status near the top. He is a legitimate threat to anyone holding the WWE Championship, and there are no opponents that he doesn't have at least a reasonable chance of beating. Whether or not he is able to recapture a world title in 2012 isn't essential. Having previously headlined WrestleMania and now, placing himself as a permanent fixture in the WWE main event class, he is always considered a contender when it comes to matches like the Royal Rumble, Money in the Bank, or any other No. 1 contender or championship match. Combined with a successful face turn, his next championship reign could easily re-establish The Miz as "the most must-see WWE Champion in history."