WWE Main Event: Was the End of Miz's Title Reign Rushed?
It sure has been an unusual couple of days in the career of The Miz. The former WWE Champion came into this week as the current Intercontinental Champion, but was forming a heated rivalry with Kofi Kingston. Kingston had been impressing in the tag team division for most of the past year, including stints as a tag team champion with Evan Bourne and R-Truth at different points. Kingston has had individual success, but had been removed from it for quite a while now. This budding feud with The Miz was Kingston's way to get back on track in singles competition.
After getting the best of Kingston in a segment hosted by guest star Larry King, Kingston was getting a title shot against The Awesome One on WWE Main Event, the newest show from WWE. Unlike other unbranded shows, such as Superstars and the old format of NXT, Main Event was being billed as a program with big stars in high-quality matches that will have an impact on ongoing storylines. Kingston facing The Miz was going to be the first title match in the show's history, which only began just a few weeks ago.
The Miz would host his talk show, Miz TV, to discuss the title match forthcoming with Kingston on Main Event, but would get himself into a preview of that match live on RAW. Kingston would become victorious in a great match, but ultimately won in a fashion that still has wrestling fans talking. The Miz was bouncing off of the ropes and walked right into Trouble in Paradise, the devastating kick from Kingston. Usually, this kick is set up from a groggy opponent coming to his feet, but this was an instance of the move literally coming out of nowhere. It sure felt like that too, due to the gash left on The Miz's skull.
How appropriate it was to see a man who has a finisher named the Skull Crushing FInale to have an open wound on his head simply from a Kingston kick. The cover occurred right after to end the match, but the concern was for The Miz. How bad was that cut? Were the incoherent babbles from The Miz to the medical staff signs of a concussion from the superstar? It had social media talking in the moment. The question that a lot of fans seemed to take away from the match was whether or not the title match on Main Event could still happen.
Not only did that match happen, but Kingston won the Intercontinental Championship on Main Event, which aired last night. Matches for Main Event are taped on Tuesday nights, meaning that The Miz had roughly 24 hours to recover from that stiff kick from the feet of Kingston in order to compete in the bout. The Miz was cleared and competed, but the audiences outside of that live crowd would have to wait to see the match.
WWE wasted little time in informing fans of the results from Tuesday night's tapings. In a move that seemed to be a way to beat the dirt sheets to the scoop, WWE released the breaking news on their website in a way to spark interest in the result and hopefully gain viewers to watch the great match. The same treatment has been done in the past, notably when a world championship changes hands unexpectedly on SmackDown. Two recent examples of such an event happened when Randy Orton won the World Heavyweight Championship over Christian in 2011 and when Jack Swagger cashed in Money in the Bank on Chris Jericho to win the same championship just days after WrestleMania.
WWE attempted to build Kingston as an underdog and his title win as historic. Kingston has actually been around on the main roster for the past five years, debuting on the ECW brand in 2007. His title victory on Main Event actually marked the start of his fourth reign with that championship in his career. This can also be combined with his two reigns as United States Champion. Kingston is now a six-time champion in the midcard, so it is hardly shocking to see such a good performer win titles he has already won.
It all seems to push this storyline to a screeching halt before it could really get started. The Miz was making points about Kingston's career and how his accomplishments have been relatively unmemorable. This feud seemed to be the way back to relevance for Kingston and a push forward for the native of Ghana. Kingston is only 31, but his lack of having his charisma shining has limited his success. The Miz was able to keep his job seemingly on his charisma as his in-ring skills improved. To avoid Kingston going down the road of an Ahmed Johnson, Kingston needed some personality.
Did The Miz losing the title to Kingston seem too quick?
Giving Kingston a title shot without a match to earn number one contendership is kind of confusing. It also was unusual to see a non-title match just two days before the title match was set to air. The injury to The Miz was also not expected, but could have been used for storyline purposes. An injured Miz could come out to the ring and say that he cannot defend the title due to the reckless treatment he was given from Kingston. Main Event will survive if Kingston faces a replacement, while The Miz milks the heat from changing a scheduled title match.
It would all lead to The Miz ducking Kingston and his title shots until Hell in a Cell, when Kingston could get his hands on The Miz once again, have an incredible match like the one The Miz and Kingston had on Main Event, and make that moment more special for Kofi. It seemed like a title change was in the works, but seeing the triumph of Kingston on a pay-per-view setting with a chase built in would only make it feel better.
Even without the injury happening, it almost seemed like WWE was trying to get the championship off of The Miz as soon as possible. Even though it hasn't been a topic of a lot of speculation, can this be WWE's way of removing a title from a superstar prior to serving a Wellness Policy violation? It happened a lot like that for Jeff Hardy who lost the same championship back in 2007 and disappeared for 30 days to serve a Wellness Policy violation. Waiting to begin serving suspensions has been seen by R-Truth last year, who was a tag team partner of The Miz at the time.
Again, this is not to say that The Miz is going to be suspended for anything or that he has done anything wrong. The Miz could even be getting some time off as he draws closer to the release of his movie, The Marine: Homefront. The Miz may not even be taking time off and it could just be that his time as champion was simply over with after 85 days. It does seem clear, however, that a lot of the reason for what has been going on is to help elevate Kingston, who just turned 31 a few months ago.
The Miz has that star power as a former world champion and headliner of WrestleMania. The Miz can be that elusive superstar that finally gets Kofi Kingston over the hump and onto the next step. Kingston knows how to handle himself as the champion and can have that thing around his waist for a good couple of months. This is the first time Kingston holds the Intercontinental Championship in its throwback design of the traditional title. Perhaps that look can bring the luck that the original title did by automatically putting the champion outside the doorstep to the main event.
This feud with The Miz and Kofi Kingston does not seem to be over just yet, likely going for the remainer of 2012. The hope is that if Kingston generates buzz in this spot, that it doesn't adversely affect The Miz and send The Awesome One spiraling down the road of Jack Swagger as a young ex-world champion without guidance or a purpose in storylines. Hopefully, rushing the title off of him and using his position to elevate a fellow superstar will line up something from WWE for The Miz that will be, as he says, awesome.
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