Following his Intercontinental Championship win at Battleground, The Miz has undoubtedly helped make the belt feel important again. Indeed, for the first time in ages, the title comes off as an actual big deal—it's not forgotten about or marginalized anymore.
How did The Miz turn around the belt's floundering fortunes?
Firstly, his current character is tremendously entertaining and probably the best thing in the midcard right now. It might even be the best new character of the year.
Cast in the role of an arrogant and delusional Hollywood wannabe, The Miz struts out every week on Raw and SmackDown to annoyingly remind the fans how hugely successful he is. He also wears some of the most absurd and lurid outfits ever and has an obsession with ensuring his face doesn't get touched or scarred in any way. The giant sunglasses are a nice touch, too.
Unlike other recent intercontinental champions, such as Curtis Axel and Big E, he radiates personality and charisma. The belt comes off as a bigger and more important deal simply by being associated with him.
The Miz also puts over the Intercontinental Championship in a way few current wrestlers ever do. He constantly mentions it in promos, speaks glowingly of it and appears genuinely thrilled that he has it.
He makes the belt sound like a bigger deal than it probably is.
Compare and contrast this with Dean Ambrose’s lengthy run with the United States Championship, during which he barely mentioned the belt or defended it much at all.
Another thing that differentiates The Miz from most wrestlers on the roster right now is the fact that he has a ton of mainstream appeal. He's not quite the massively famous star he portrays himself as on Raw or SmackDown, but he has done a lot in the entertainment industry.
The Miz, of course, was a cast member on hit MTV reality show The Real World back in 2001.
He has also made appearances on shows such as Psych and Pair of Kings and acted in several movies, including The Marine 3: Homefront and Christmas Bounty.
For all the criticism he gets, he is one of the more famous WWE names in mainstream entertainment.
And the Intercontinental Championship's status is helped by that. It's easy to forget, but the title used to be a big deal, a belt held by prominent stars. It wasn't always something just casually thrown on lower midcarders to the general indifference of the masses.
Say what you want about The Miz, but at least people seem to care about him and are happy to boo him vociferously whenever he is on television. He's not Kofi Kingston, who's held the belt so many times most fans have lost count.
Let's hope WWE management elects to give the star a lengthy run with the belt. Truly, The Miz and the title are a perfect fit for each other right now.