The Miz: Why Awesome One's Face Turn Has Been Mishandled by WWE Thus Far
While The Miz was able to develop into one of the WWE's top heels, complete with a WWE Championship reign and main-event win over John Cena at WrestleMania, it was clear that his heel character had run its course. The WWE did the logical thing by turning him face, but it has fallen flat to this point.
Although blame can be thrown around quite easily when it comes to The Miz's face turn, the biggest issue is the way that he has been booked. Miz has been face for roughly a month, and although he has been given a decent amount of television time through Miz TV segments, he hasn't yet been put in a feud.
It's almost as if the WWE has no clue how to utilize him. He has called out the likes of CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler, only to be beaten down by The Shield and Big E Langston respectively. Also, from a wrestling perspective, he took on 3MB at TLC and on the following episode of Raw, so Miz is essentially being treated as a lower mid-carder at the moment.
Has the WWE botched The Miz's face turn thus far?
The Miz came off much more natural as a heel, and perhaps that's because his actual personality is closer to that. Even so, I believe Miz has what it takes to be a great face. He is usually good on the mic, he has plenty of charisma and he has been great for the WWE in outside endeavors. His face run simply hasn't gotten off to a good start, though.
When it first became apparent that Miz was about to turn face, my hope was that his character would mirror Chris Jericho as a face. Jericho played to the crowd, but he kept his sarcastic attitude and just directed it toward the heels rather than the fans.
Miz has tried to do that. However, he's corny as a face, whereas he was generally funny as a heel.
With that said, I'm not too concerned about The Miz finding a comfort zone when it comes to being a face. He has been a heel for his entire career, so there is bound to be a transitional period. He just has to avoid the cheesy jokes and focus more on taking his heel persona and tweaking it ever-so-slightly. He already has the fan support, so it shouldn't be a tall task.
The real issue is the creative team's misuse of The Miz. He is a former WWE Champion and has already reached the pinnacle of the company, so there is no reason for him to be working his way through the ranks by beating jobbers like 3MB. Miz is an established guy and should already be an upper-echelon face alongside the likes of John Cena, Sheamus, Ryback and Randy Orton.
Rather than solidifying Miz in that manner, though, the WWE has basically put Miz on the back-burner. The obvious move would have been to have Miz challenge Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship. Big Show's feud with Sheamus has run its course, and Miz would have been perfect to step in, as it would have earned him instant recognition as an elite face.
I realize that if he isn't going to feud with Big Show, then there aren't many options, but 3MB isn't the answer. One potential rival that has been bandied about is United States Champion Antonio Cesaro, but that would be an awful choice as well. Either Miz would lose the feud and look even worse, or he would win the U.S. title, which would be a major step in the wrong direction.
Miz used the United States Championship as a springboard to the WWE title in the past, but he is well past that point. His Intercontinental Championship run was inconsequential, and the same would be true for the U.S. title. Basically, it seems as though the creative team made the big decision to turn Miz face without having any real plans.
It would have been preferable to keep Miz heel until a main-event spot opened up, but the WWE jumped the gun. Miz is in a state of flux without a credible heel to feud with, and that could ultimately render his face turn a failure.
There are six weeks between TLC and Royal Rumble, though, so perhaps there is still time for him to get into the world title picture. Six weeks is a long time for Big Show and Sheamus to continue feuding, and Miz could inject some new life into that program. A Ziggler cash-in ahead of Royal Rumble could even lead to Miz moving up to the world title scene as well.
Face turns are at their best when they lead directly to something worthwhile, but that hasn't been the case for The Miz. Hopefully the situation is rectified before it's too late, or else Miz may be stuck in the mid-card permanently.
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