At Survivor Series, Team Foley lost to Team Ziggler in the show’s heavily-hyped 10-man elimination match.
The finish came when Randy Orton fell to a super-kick from team captain Ziggler for the one-two-three. So, after months of sloppy and indifferent booking, Ziggler finally got his big win on pay-per-view.
Of course, in many ways the real story of the match was the character development of the newly turned Miz.
After spending years as a heel, the former Real World star has seemingly had a change of heart in recent times: he castigated WWE champion CM Punk for his cowardice in a segment with Paul Heyman, tried to be friends with bitter rival Kofi Kingston and even successfully campaigned to get himself on the ballot for the remaining spot on Team Foley at the pay-per-view.
Going into the bout, there remained questions about just how loyal he was to his team. Is it possible WWE was planning a swerve and would have Miz turn on his team? Certainly, his disgruntled behaviour on SmackDown after being giving an RKO only amplified this speculation. Going in, the issue of whether Miz would or wouldn’t turn added a tremendous amount of drama to the bout, making it one of the most must-see matches on the card.
Ultimately though, at the show in Indianapolis, Miz was the perfect teammate and didn’t turn. Coming into the match late, he eliminated Wade Barrett in one of the highlights of the card, before getting himself pinned by Alberto Del Rio (this left Orton alone with Del Rio and Ziggler).
While it would have been nice to see Miz last until the end and be the bout’s sole survivor—as well as serving to cement his new-found babyface status—the booking of him here was still flattering. And it guaranteed people will come out of the PPV talking about him more than they were before.
The crowd reaction to Miz was also warm—indeed the audience had been almost lukewarm to the bout until he got into the match, at which point they woke up and began giving the former Intercontinental champion huge cheers.
So, all things considered, it is good WWE didn’t deliver a swerve and have Miz cost his team the match. It would have served as a dampener on what was an otherwise terrific match.
Besides, on paper, The Miz turning babyface—for real—makes a great deal of sense. Miz has two significant movie projects lined up in 2013: The Marine 3: Homefront, the third instalment of WWE’s military action movie franchise and Christmas Bounty, a festive-themed TV film due to be shown on ABC Family. As PWInsider.com (via WrestlingInc.com) recently noted, WWE feels it would be far easier to promote these projects if Miz is working as a babyface.
Of course, it’s still too early to say for sure whether or not Miz can be a face. Indeed, he may simply be a more natural heel whom the masses just love to hate. However, with his performance at Survivor Series, his face turn got off to a very good start.
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