It has been said that the NFL is a "copycat league." Well, it also can be said that WWE recycles storylines, feuds, and angles. For example, how many versions of the infamous "Montreal Screwjob" has WWE done? How many Undertaker vs Kane feuds have we seen from WWE? Even John Cena's current "fired employee" angle has been done in WWE in the past.
There is nothing wrong with recycling storylines, but as a WWE fan, I wish the company would come up with more original ideas.
All this leads to my discussion of current WWE Champion the Miz, who cashed in his Money in the Bank privilege on the Monday Night RAW episode after Survivor Series, defeating then-champion, Randy Orton. I feel that, at this point in the Miz's reign, he is looking like a knockoff of the Rated R Superstar, Edge. I say this because I see a lot of similarity in how Miz's title reign is being booked, and how Edge's first WWE Championship title reign was booked.
Let's look at the Miz's first title defense, shall we? On November 29, 2010, the Miz defended his title against Jerry "the King" Lawler in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match. Lawler is a legend in professional wrestling, and it was on his birthday as well. During the course of the match, Lawler had knocked out both Miz and his lackey, Alex Riley, and then started to climb the ladder, and it looked like he was about to win the WWE title for the first time ever.
Well, unfortunately, it was not to be, as WWE announcer, Michael Cole got out of his seat and grabbed Lawler's leg. Lawler fought off Cole, but eventually, the Miz retained his belt.
Michael Cole over the past several months has been gushing, and fawning over the Miz, developing a huge man-crush on the guy, and that is pretty much why he went over to help Miz retain his belt.
The following week on RAW, Miz bragged to Alex Riley about how he is the most watched WWE champion in history. Well, I don't know about anyone else, but he reminds me of another opportunistic wrestler—Edge—at least the way he is being booked right now.
I realize that Edge is not the only one who has cashed in MITB, even though he was the first. However, let's look at his first title reign: He had a Live Sex Celebration with Lita on RAW, right after he cashed in MITB on then-champion John Cena at New Year's Revolution. The celebration was interrupted by both Cena and Ric Flair. The following week, Edge and Ric Flair had a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match for the WWE title in Flair's home state of North Carolina. During the match, Flair had Edge incapacitated, and it looked like Flair was going to win when Lita, Edge's lover, interfered and cost Flair the match and title.
Edge also said during this first reign. that he was the most watched champion in WWE history. At the houseshows this weekend in both Las Vegas and in Ontario, California, Edge cut a promo on Miz, pretty much accusing him of being a copycat.
While it is too soon to tell if Miz is going to be an Edge knockoff or not, I just could not help but notice the similarities between the two wrestlers' first title reigns. Both fought in TLC matches against aging legends. Both characters are/were portrayed as egomaniacs. Both had outside interference by their lovers/admirers in retaining their titles. Both men bragged about how they were the most watched superstar.
I know that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I do wonder why WWE appears to lack originality in their creative process. Why does it seem that they can't have Miz be his OWN character? I enjoy the Miz. I think he has a lot of talent. I don't see the necessity to have his character defend his title in the exact same way someone else did.
I think it is time for WWE to get out of its comfort zone, and come up with some new ideas, and do less of recycling old ones.