Whatever it is that the WWE is trying to do with The Miz, well, it just isn’t working.
Last December, the company pulled the trigger on a babyface turn for the “most must-see WWE Champion in history,” a turn that fans like me had begged to see and expected to work out really well.
But nearly six months into The Miz’s babyface run, the verdict is in: The Miz has been a terrible babyface so far.
His failures as a babyface aren’t all his fault, though. While part of the problem has had to do with The Miz himself, a lot of the blame can be put on the creative team.
Ever since The Miz went good, he’s done next to nothing to differentiate Miz the face from Miz the heel. In fact, aside from a few minor changes (like teaming with faces or putting down heels instead of other faces), he’s the same brash, arrogant and obnoxious guy that once made him a top heel.
Quite simply, The Miz just hasn’t adjusted well enough to his new role. But you know what? Neither has the creative team.
Instead of genuinely getting behind The Miz by putting him in major matches and entertaining storylines, the creative team has done exactly the opposite. His feuds with both Wade Barrett and Antonio Cesaro left a whole lot to be desired, and he’s gone from WrestleMania headliner to wrestling on two consecutive PPV pre-shows.
What’s even worse, however, is that the babyface version of The Miz is more of a talk-show host than he is an actual wrestler.
Seriously, how many MizTV segments have we seen since The Miz turned face? It’s got to be at least 10, but may even be more like 15 or 20.
You have to wonder what the creative team is thinking with that philosophy. Is that really how you want to get a guy over as a babyface? By making him wrestling’s version of Jimmy Fallon or Jay Leno?
Yes, the WWE is considered “sports entertainment” these days. But wrestling is ultimately still at its core.
The Miz could be the greatest wrestling talk-show host ever (he isn’t), but that wouldn’t matter much because he wouldn’t be getting over where it counts: in the ring. That’s where a babyface Miz will live or die—not hosting some lame talk show that largely only furthers feuds that he isn’t even involved in.
That’s also where the WWE has went so wrong with The Miz.
When Alberto Del Rio turned face at essentially the same time that The Miz did, the creative team quickly pushed the hell out of him and had him win the World Heavyweight Championship only about a month later.
When CM Punk turned face in 2011, he became the focal point of WWE TV, a constant fixture in the main-event picture and the face of the WWE Championship scene.
But when The Miz turned face, nothing really changed for him.
What is preventing The Miz from succeeding as a babyface?
His face turn happened because he was totally stuck in a rut as a heel, and yet, he’s already stuck in a rut as a babyface. He’s stale, less entertaining and has somehow transformed into someone who talks about five times more often than he wrestles.
That would be OK if The Miz was a part-time veteran like Mick Foley, who appears every once in a while to help build up feuds between today’s biggest stars. But The Miz is a 32-year-old full-time WWE superstar, and it shouldn’t be his role to add to feuds between other guys on the roster.
He should be building up his own feuds and doing so in the ring and on the mic—but not on some terrible, overdone talk-show segment that hardly anyone pays their money to see.
The longer that a babyface Miz goes without having a substantial direction and without having a meaningful feud, the worse his babyface run will get…if that’s even possible.
After all, the Miz’s babyface run has been downright awful so far, a result of what should have been a great new role quickly going bad.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!