WWE has a career-changing moment loaded into the cannon for Damien Mizdow, one that would be best fired at WrestleMania.
Mizdow breaking away from his mentor is an expected end to a story that has been playing out since the struggling star first became The Miz's stunt double. WWE now has a chance to properly kick off The Era of Sandow that Mick Foley once wrote would happen.
With the former Money in the Bank winner's popularity surging, the company has to make the most of it.
Cracks in the alliance between stunt double and self-proclaimed A-lister have already begun to form. The most recent foreshadowing of a split between them came on Monday's Raw.
Mizdow revealed that he has secretly been filming a documentary about The Miz's life. He announced that unseen cameras have caught The Miz cooking, sleeping and watching TV.
The Awesome One did not look pleased.
According to F4WOnline (h/t Wrestling Inc), WWE's current plan is for that movie to embarrass The Miz to the point that the duo breaks up, likely leading to Mizdow turning babyface.
That's the right move, the first step in what can be how WWE propels Mizdow out of the midcard. The next step should feature The Miz abusing his protege, drumming up empathy for Mizdow.
Think Alberto Del Rio pummeling Ricardo Rodriguez in 2013.
That served to make Del Rio look especially heartless and put fans more firmly behind the likable Rodriguez. The result would be magnified should WWE go in the same direction for The Miz and his human mirror.
The Miz manages to draw heat in a post-kayfabe period. His smugness helps him do that, as does his reality TV background. As hard as he has worked, some still view him as an outsider looking to cash in.
He didn't toil in bingo halls like Daniel Bryan or CM Punk did. He worked his way into the business with minor fame and via Tough Enough, WWE's now-defunct reality series.
Mizdow didn't get the hurried path to the top that The Miz received. He has long been in the "underrated and underused" category.
His career has been heavy with struggle. Mizdow worked his way through WWE developmental twice, with the company releasing him (then known as Aaron Stevens) in 2007, per PWInsider.com.
After seemingly nearing a world title reign, he suffered a loss to John Cena that halted his progress.
Even after softening him with a steel briefcase and Cena essentially only having one good arm to work with, Sandow (not yet transformed into Mizdow) failed to successfully cash in his Money in the Bank contract. The anti-Cena portion of the crowd called it a burial of an emerging star.
Diving into the Mizdow character, aping The Miz's actions in such devoted fashion, has had crowds chanting his name, demanding that he enter the match. The kind of energy that crackles around him now can't be wasted.
He is now poised to be a momentum-rich babyface.
Mizdow and The Miz's impending collision can't be relegated to Raw. It's a moment that belongs on a stage the size of the one WrestleMania offers.
Wrestling partnerships are made to be broken—and WWE can make a star out of this one ending.
This variation of the classic mentor-versus-teacher angle feels fresh. Mizdow is red-hot right now, getting the type of reactions that many of his peers have to be jealous of.
Fan Shaun Norton pointed out just how well-received Mizdow was at Madison Square Garden recently:
When he finally gets revenge on the man who mistreated him for months, who failed to appreciate him and who will eventually attack him, it's going to be cathartic.
It's felt like The Miz has been holding Mizdow hostage, refusing to tag him into matches. In a way, it feels like Mizdow being held back by WWE officials is playing out in symbolic fashion in the ring.
Mizdow stomping out The Miz in the glare of WrestleMania's lights would find him not only breaking away from a controlling overseer but breaking out as a singles star once more.
The future ahead of him glistens with potential. The man who was once on the verge of world champ status would get the biggest win of his career and set out to achieve what he couldn't do last time around.
That's a tale that would feel right at home at WrestleMania.