After having a breakout year in 2010, The Miz's stock quickly dropped throughout the course of 2011 and heading into 2012. He went from successfully defending his WWE Championship against John Cena in the main event of WrestleMania 27 to coming up short in a pre-show match for the United States Championship at Extreme Rules the following year.
Although Miz was able to score his victory in nearly four months in tag team action at WrestleMania 28, the win didn't do him much justice, as he was still being relegated to opening matches and to competing on WWE Superstars.
Following consecutive losses to Brodus Clay two months ago, Miz was abruptly on the receiving end of an RKO at the hands of Randy Orton while airing his grievances on Raw.
Shortly thereafter, Miz was effectively removed from WWE television in order to begin filming The Marine 3. As of a few weeks ago, it is believed that Miz has finally finished filming and is due back on WWE television at any point in the foreseeable future.
With only a week remaining until the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, it's always possible that he'll be inserted in the Raw Money in the Bank ladder match at the last minute since he is in fact a former WWE Champion, but it seems as if WWE won't be adding any more competitors to the matchup.
That being said, what does the future hold for The Miz upon his inevitable return to WWE TV?
It's no secret that Miz has been blatantly mistreated since dropping the WWE title a year ago, and for what reason? It might be due to the accident that occurred with R-Truth a few months ago, but that's no reason to punish one of the more profitable stars in the company.
Personally, I find that his character just doesn't have any direction at the moment and is in desperate need of a change. Whether it be a change in look, character development or even environment, something must be done to get this former reality back at the level that he should be competing at.
As part of the movie filming, Miz was forced to undergo a bit of a makeover to fit the character he was portraying in the film. If he is to return to the active roster sporting that same look shown in the picture provided, it could be an essential tool in getting him over as a fan favorite.
Granted, Miz has stated numerous times in the past that he has no intentions of ever turning face, but I believe it'd be the best thing for him right now. With his signature hateable haircut now gone, the fans might be able to finally accept the two-time United States Champion as a babyface.
Regardless of whether Miz turns face or not, one dream feud that I've honestly been highly anticipating for quite some time is now more possible than ever when he comes back. Once The Miz ultimately arrives back on Raw, there is no doubt in my mind that he should target Chris Jericho.
Following Miz's WWE Championship victory in late November, I noticed that a few of his mannerisms were reminiscent of those of Jericho's. From the suits, to the slow-talking promos, to the conspiracy angle, I was then able to draw numerous parallels between both of their illustrious careers.
When Jericho arrived on the WWE scene at the end of the milennium, there was immediate heat on him due to the numerous mistakes he made during his matches, not to mention the number of people he "buried" during his initial promo.
Miz, too, has always made a case to point out that very few people in the back supported him when he first joined the WWE in 2006 due to his background in reality television.
During his first reign as World Champion in the early 2000s, Chris Jericho's character was never built as strong as he should have been. His opponents almost always got the better of him heading into his title defenses, only for Y2J to barely escape with the prestigious prize.
When it came time to defend his title against his old returning nemesis Triple H, their WrestleMania encounter was overshadowed by Hulk Hogan and The Rock in the slot previous. From that point on, Jericho was never seen as a main event player again during his first tenure with the company.
Nearly a decade later, Miz was built almost the exact same way upon his WWE title victory in late 2011. Although he maintained possession of the strap for over five months, most of his title defenses were done in uninspiring fashion, while his only clean victories came over guys such as Jerry Lawler and Daniel Bryan.
Sure, he walked out of WrestleMania 27 with his title still intact around his waist, but it was done with the help of The Rock. Furthermore, their match couldn't outshine the Triple H-Undertaker matchup that occurred earlier in the evening.
The Miz hasn't experienced any real success since that night, but I'm sure that it's only a matter of time before he reclaims his spot atop the WWE. In order to achieve that goal, Miz must be once again built as a legitimate threat going forward, and having him target Chris Jericho is the perfect way to do so.
While I believe having Miz play the part as the determined babyface in this feud against the vile Jericho could work wonders, the roles could also be switched. Jericho has shown some fan favorite qualities in recent works, especially given his classic lines he delivered last week on Raw.
As Y2J slowly transitions into a more likable character, having Miz ambush Jericho upon his return would see him garner instant heat. It seems as if neither man has a definitive feud heading into SummerSlam, and this would be the best way to include both icons on the card.
If you can recall, Miz has already shown alluded to how Jericho claims the former reality star stole his material, as the two egomaniacs collided in an epic encounter a few months ago during a debate on Raw. Given Jericho's tremendous ability to put over younger talent, this proposed feud could not only make for exciting television, but reinvigorate the stale Miz and Jericho characters while also making the Miz relevant once again.
Thanks for reading, Bleachers, and be sure to drop a comment below with your thoughts on my proposed rivalry and whether it would be effective in benefiting both men. As always, your criticism and overall feedback on my latest piece is welcomed and greatly appreciated.
Visit my website at Next Era Wrestling, as well as listen to my SAVE US GSM radio show that airs every Thursday night at 10/9c for more of my thoughts and writings, along with WWE/TNA news, reviews, recaps and more.