7 Ways The Miz Has Failed as a Babyface
Photo courtesy of WWE.com
Six months ago, the Internet was filled with wrestling fans talking about how badly The Miz needed to turn babyface.
At the end of 2012, they got their wish.
The Miz turned face late last year, just like so many wanted him to, and yet, the consensus seems to be that his run as a good guy hasn't exactly worked out so far. In fact, he's widely considered to be a flop in his new role.
It's been a bit surprising to see just how different the face turns of The Miz and another former WWE champion, Alberto Del Rio, have gone. While ADR is performing well in his role and even carrying the World Heavyweight title, The Miz is doing exactly the opposite.
But just how and why is The Miz not working out as a good guy?
Let's take a look, with seven ways The Miz has failed as a babyface.
7. The Super Awkward Pairing with Ric Flair
There have been many WWE pairings throughout the years that, for whatever reason, simply didn't work out.
I think it's safe to say that we can add Ric Flair and The Miz to that list because their on-and-off pairing is easily one of the worst in WWE history.
It seems as if the WWE wanted Flair and The Miz to have a mentor/protege relationship, as evidenced by Flair passing on his legendary figure-four leglock to Miz. But the few interactions these two have had have seem incredibly forced and ridiculously awkward.
While many fans could see why Flair might be paired with someone like Dolph Ziggler, the idea that The Miz is "the next Ric Flair" in a way just doesn't work. Their characters don't mesh well, their chemistry is off and, of course, The Miz has struggled to even execute the figure four properly at times.
The WWE clearly wanted so badly to pair Flair with a rising star to help him get over, but it obviously made the wrong choice by choosing The Miz.
The relationship between "the most must-see WWE champion in history" and "The Nature Boy" just doesn't click, and it's one of many reasons why The Miz's face turn hasn't clicked either.
6. Poor Promos
A big reason why The Miz became WWE champion in late 2010 and went on to headline WrestleMania 27 was his ability to work the mic.
During the course of that year, The Miz had developed into one of the WWE's best mic workers, and he was someone who was able to cut promos who both drew heat and generated interest in whatever feud he was in the midst of.
But now? The Miz seems to have regressed big time on the microphone.
Over the last couple of years (but especially recently), The Miz's once awesome promo skills appear to have taken a step backward. They're still good and are better than most, but since he turned face, his promos don't seem to have the impact that they once did.
While The Miz will always be an above-average talker, he's failed to cut any really memorable promos sine turning face. Even despite being involved in two midcard title feuds, the few promos he has cut haven't been the earth-shattering ones some might expect to see.
The Miz makes too many jokes (a la Sheamus), isn't intense enough and, like his relationship with Ric Flair, just seems off these days.
Until he's able to get his promos back to the level they were at a few years ago, he may struggle mightily to make it back to the top of the card.
5. Failing to Do Much of Note
One of the biggest problems The Miz has had since he turned babyface is that he hasn't really done much of note in that role.
Look at what happens when many other stars turn heel or face. Usually, those turns are followed up by some sort of major angle or feud, like when Alberto Del Rio quickly went on to win the World Heavyweight Championship just a few months ago.
The Miz, on the other hand, hasn't accomplished much since turning face. He's just sort of there, without any real sense of direction or importance.
He's only had a couple of feuds (neither of which have been particularly great), he hasn't cut any memorable promos and, perhaps most importantly, he's still in the exact same position on the card that he was in before he turned.
Although you would think that a face turn would reinvigorate The Miz and get him back to the top of the card, the turn has, in actuality, failed to do much of anything for him. He's no better off now than he was just five or six months ago, which is something that isn't true for someone like Del Rio.
While many turns help a superstar get to the next level, The Miz's turn has kept him at the same one.
4. Tepid Crowd Reactions
Crowd reactions obviously play a huge role in pro wrestling, and it may be The Miz's lukewarm crowd reactions that are holding him back.
Like most superstars, The Miz may get big ovations from the crowd in some places and minuscule pops in others. But overall, the crowd reactions he's received since turning babyface have been pretty tepid.
Whether he's cutting a promo, hosting MizTV or especially when he's wrestling a match, The Miz simply isn't getting the type of crowd reaction that the WWE was probably hoping for.
When a heel Superstar turns babyface, he can often quickly go from being drowned in boos to showered with cheers. Alberto Del Rio, CM Punk and Sheamus have all done that over the last few years.
The Miz, however, doesn't generate much of a reaction these days, and you know what's always been said about reactions in pro wrestling: It's when the crowd doesn't care about you that you really have a problem.
Though not always the case, the WWE crowds, for the most part, just don't seem to care as much about the Miz as they should.
That's certainly not a good sign for The Miz because being booed or cheered, no matter if you're face or heel, is OK. But generating little to no reaction is not.
3. Challenging for and Failing to Win Both Midcard Titles
If you're booked to look like a failure, then that's exactly what the fans are going to perceive you as.
The Miz is living proof of that.
Since he turned babyface at the end of last year, The Miz has picked up remarkably few notable wins. In fact, his face run so far has been marred by a lot of losing.
The Miz was involved in a lengthy United States Championship feud with Antonio Cesaro, and despite multiple opportunities to win the title, he never did. Now, The Miz is chasing Intercontinental champion Wade Barrett even though he just lost a title match against Barrett on last week's Raw.
In other words, The Miz has challenged for both midcard titles and failed to win either one.
It's bad enough that The Miz has looked like a loser in both of his midcard rivalries so far. But when you consider that both Barrett and Cesaro lose cleanly and consistently these days, it makes him look even worse.
The face turn was supposed to reinvigorate The Miz and help him rise up the card. Instead, it's turned him into someone for the WWE's midcard heel champions to beat.
How can The Miz succeed if all he does is lose the major matches he participates in?
2. More MizTV Segments Than Wrestling
All of the other stuff we get on a wrestling show that isn't actual wrestling (promos, backstage skits, talk shows, etc.) is fine and often necessary to build feuds and storylines.
But it becomes a major issue when a superstar is known more for hosting a "talk show" than for what he's done in the ring, and that's exactly what's happened with The Miz.
Since The Miz turned face, the WWE has, for some reason or another, decided that The Miz would be better served hosting MizTV what seems like once a week than he would be competing in a ring.
That's a philosophy that makes no sense and has, not surprisingly, come back to bite The Miz in the butt.
I know I'm not the only one who feels like The Miz has had far more MizTV segments since turning baby face than he has actual wrestling matches. That is not how you get someone over as babyface, especially when he still acts sort of heel-like on the show.
Though things like talk shows can add to Raw or SmackDown when done in moderation, they can easily be overdone. At this point, MizTV has been done to death.
Instead of the WWE actually, you know, putting The Miz in TV matches consistently in order to help him get over, the creative team has decided to have him host MizTV week after week after week. It's a plan that has obviously backfired.
Rather than help The Miz get over, all MizTV has done is expose his weaknesses as a babyface and reverted him back to his old days as the "Ryan Seacrest of the WWE."
1. He Hasn't Changed
"'I will do whatever I possibly can do to win,' and now I'm still that same exact person and I'm still cocky and arrogant but now I feel like I'm their cocky and arrogant person."
That's a direct quote from a recent interview The Miz did with Busted Open radio (via prowrestling.net). That's also a really big problem.
The Miz himself says that he's "still that exact same person," and that's a huge issue here because he can't be the exact same person anymore. He's no longer a heel, so he can't be the exact same character he's been throughout his career because that character isn't very likable.
Yet, that's exactly what The Miz has done.
Whereas Alberto Del Rio became more loyal and humble when he turned face (showing concern for Ricardo Rodriguez, ditching the fancy cars, etc.), The Miz has made virtually no adjustments to his character.
The thing is, he can't afford to do that because his heel character was so unlikable that he was going to need to make some substantial changes to get the vast majority of the fans to genuinely like him.
Although The Miz gets decent pops here and there, he mostly gets only a slight reaction, and that's because he hasn't changed his character whatsoever since turning face. In some cases, a superstar might be able to do that, but The Miz obviously can't.
He needs to do something, anything that makes him come across more like a face than a heel, because he's still way too heel-like. He's arrogant and obnoxious, which are two characteristics a babyface shouldn't have.
The Miz must change this ASAP, or his failing face turn may never turn around.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!