Mike "The Miz" Mizanin has to be one of the most underrated wrestlers on the entire roster.
Indeed, the criticism heaped on him over the past couple of years seems awfully unfair considering he is still one of best all-around performers in the company. He's also managed to achieve more success outside WWE than most do.
With this in mind, let's look at 10 reasons why the WWE Universe should start to appreciate the star just a little bit more...
It appears you can throw in announcing on to Miz’s list of talents. While he’s still not exactly Jim Ross, Miz has improved greatly as a commentator on WWE’s Main Event show in recent times. He’s enthusiastic, easy-going and well prepared. He and Michael Cole also have an appealing chemistry together, too.
Besides, how cool is it to have a commentator who isn’t afraid to get physically involved if he has to?
Almost every top name on the current WWE roster seems to have stepped out of line at one point or another. Whether it’s getting caught by the Wellness policy—sometimes more than once, unprofessionally lashing out at fans on Twitter or suffering the indignity of having their mug shots posted all over TMZ after being arrested—there have simply been too many incidents to count.
Hey, these guys are just human. They make mistakes like everyone else. Even the usually well-behaved John Cena has been embroiled in a scandal or two in his time.
The Miz’s track record, however, is remarkably unblemished. He’s kept out of trouble during his time in the limelight, not embarrassing himself or the company he works for.
In contrast to his womanizing on-screen mentor Ric Flair, he's also managed to stick with the same woman (former WWE Diva Maryse Ouellet) for several years.
Wow. Who knew a former reality television star would end up being one of the most level-headed, grounded wrestlers in the company?
OK, so he's not exactly The Rock or anything, but Miz has managed to draw as an actor in WWE Studios' The Marine 3: Homefront. As The Numbers.com notes, the movie shifted an impressive 153,226 copies in its first month on release in North America. It also made the UK DVD charts and has proved to be a rental hit, too.
For a low-budget straight-to-DVD action movie, this is very good.
OK, so wrestlers aren’t really known for their good fashion taste.
John Cena dresses like he’s in third grade. CM "I secretly want to be an MMA fighter" Punk appears to own nothing but baggy Gracie hoodies and Mick Foley has seemingly been wearing the same outfit for 20 years.
In contrast to these fashion disasters, The Miz has to be one of the best dressed men on television. Just how many flashy, great-looking suits does he own anyway? This is partly why he’s one of the few in the company who comes off like a genuine star. The man makes the effort.
Considering how questionably he used to dress, we can probably attribute this to his fashion-savvy girlfriend Maryse (the former Diva runs her own jewellery and clothing business in L.A.).
Hey! Maybe she should start giving Foley and Cena style tips too?
While Cena's work with Make-A-Wish usually gets most of the attention, Miz's work with anti-bullying organization Be a Star over the past few years has also been deeply admirable.
The former WWE champion is a natural, enthusiastic talker who's clearly great with kids. Never once does it feel like he's merely going along with things for PR reasons. Like Cena, he genuinely seems to care about the good work he does.
Thanks to his time on The Real World, as well as his blossoming acting career, The Miz remains one of the few wrestlers in WWE with any real mainstream appeal. Really, out of everyone, only John Cena and The Rock are more likely to be recognized by non-wrestling fans.
At a time when WWE desperately needs to move away from the hardcore base and appeal to the mainstream more, this makes him a huge asset.
With his strong, vibrant personality, The Miz is as charismatic and watchable as ever. Indeed, if anything, he's gotten far more likable since he dropped the faux-mohawk, started dressing nicer and stopped acting so much like a hyper-active 12-year-old.
As anyone who saw The Marine 3: Homefront can tell you, The Miz is a shockingly decent actor. He's a smooth, polished talker who knows how to deliver his lines in a fluid, natural manner and never comes off as wooden or laughably bad (Kaitlyn, take notes).
This also helps to make his promo work far more believable and compelling: the material might not be the best, but he makes it work.
One thing that Miz does not get nearly enough praise for: his perfectly solid in-ring skills. OK, so he's not Kenta Kobashi circa 1995 (who is?), but he's still very good.
Alas, it seems many fans have been conditioned to believe that if a guy didn't come from ROH or isn't killing himself every night with wacky bumps, he's not very good, and Miz remains woefully under-appreciated in this area.
But his track record speaks for itself. Who can forget his fantastic match with Christian in July 2012 (one of the best WWE television bouts of the year)?
Or his brilliant pay-per-view contest with Jerry Lawler in 2011, which will arguably go down as Lawler's last great wrestling match?
Him and Dolph Ziggler also tore the house down last year in a tremendous Main Event bout which still remains one of the best matches the Ion show has ever broadcast.
His recent bouts with Wade Barrett and Antonio Cesaro have also been very enjoyable, serving as a highlight of Raw and SmackDown.
Something Miz's critics may not want to acknowledge: Miz TV is actually a big ratings draw.
Last December's infamous Miz TV/CM Punk lie detector skit also managed to deliver surprisingly good numbers at a time when Punk was struggling mightily to gain viewers as champion (numbers from F4Wonline via WrestlingInc).
WWE is right: Miz TV really is must-see television.