The Miz is a heel.
Kids, parents, even the Internet treat him with disdain. He's not Bray Wyatt or Bo Dallas, who is cheered in spite of heel tendencies. He's a Hollywood A-lister whose narcissism and obnoxiousness make him a target.
To wrestling fans, he's a male Kardashian.
The level of inherent skill it takes to create legitimate animosity in today's wrestling landscape cannot be undersold.
Following his Battle Royal win at WWE Battleground, onlookers reacted accordingly:
I propose we kill the term "X Pac heat." 1. Pac was awesome. 2. That concept now belongs to the Miz. Screw the Miz. For real. No more.— Jonathan Snowden (@mmaencyclopedia) July 21, 2014
Subscribe to the Network...this way you only have to feel sad about $10, not $60 when The Miz wins the battle royal #WWEBattleground— Justin LaBar (@JustinLaBar) July 21, 2014
DeRosa (@MartyDeRosa) July 21, 2014
The Miz is that rare breed of today's wrestler who draws authentic heel heat from casual and hardcore fans alike. Usually too jaded to despise a heel, the Internet Wrestling Community tends to embrace villains who are great performers.
But just as these cool heels rise in popularity, they are becoming doubly ineffective in what they're supposed to be doing: drawing heat.
The typical jaded fan has too much pride to admit he or she is being sucked into the act. Therefore, when they jeer a heel as they are supposed to, they mask their animosity by calling it "X-Pac heat." You know? Because they don't really hate The Miz—they just actively want him to go away.
Good. That's how they should feel. Go-away heat is much better than no-away heat.
Following his Intercontinental Championship victory, The Miz trended on Twitter. If fans were truly indifferent toward The Miz, he wouldn't be talked about enough to trend on Twitter, which is something Curtis Axel (who receives no-away heat) did not do.
In today's era of cheering the heels and booing babyfaces, bad guys should aspire to X-Pac heat. At least it shows they care.
X-Pac heat defines the vitriolic reactions for innovative villain "Superstar" Billy Graham. There was nothing tongue-in-cheek about how much people hated him. They legitimately wanted him to go away, sometimes at the expense of a riot, according to Kevin Eck, formerly of The Baltimore Sun. Nonetheless, Graham drew money as a foil for the popular, but comparatively bland, Bruno Sammartino.
Babyface heat for heels is a prevailing problem for WWE, with its latest example being Bo Dallas.
According to PWInsider.com (h/t WrestlingInc.com), Dallas has been booked opposite Daniel Bryan and El Torito in order to get him over as a heel since WWE officials feel nobody is really booing Bo.
This is a problem officials won't have to worry about with The Miz. His success angers 12-year-old fans who passionately follow the script and brings out the 12-year-old fan in adults who feel they are too smart to do the same.
Dallas seems to be on his way to similar heel effectiveness per WWE's strategy. Recently, a WWE Hall of Famer was so wound up by watching SmackDown, he went out of his way to post a blog on Facebook. In it, he said Dallas makes him "[want] to vomit."
That Hall of Famer? "Superstar" Billy Graham.
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