The Miz has been the highlight of SmackDown for weeks now, his willingness to sacrifice being the cool bad guy for the most hated man on the roster a refreshing twist on the modern wrestling villain.
He generates incredible heat and has delivered the most passionate and intense verbal performances of his career. Better yet, his in-ring performances have been as good, if not better than they ever were. Not only is he generating heat far and above any other heel in the company, he has found new life as an in-ring performer.
Five years ago, after a failed main event run and a demotion to the midcard, it looked like Miz's opportunities at a sustained headlining run may be out of the cards. Now, the brand extension has breathed new life into his career, allowing him the opportunity to reascend the ranks.
Tuesday night, he earned "biggest winner" status thanks to an electrifying promo involving Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan, then teamed with AJ Styles in the night's tag team main event against John Cena and Dean Ambrose.
While he ate the pin courtesy of Cena, it was a hint at things to come.
Miz is poised to make the jump to the main event, a big fish in a small pond. Whether he is rewarded for his hard work with another championship run is a question left for another time.
Winner: Dean Ambrose
After dropping the WWE Championship to AJ Styles at Backlash, Dean Ambrose planted John Cena with Dirty Deeds to close out Tuesday's broadcast, drawing a chorus of boos and suggesting he may be on his way to a heel turn.
For two years, The Lunatic Fringe has been one of WWE's marquee babyfaces, but over the last few months, he has devolved into a one-dimensional persona rather than the refreshing change of pace he initially was.
The tease of a heel turn is the surest way to keep Ambrose interesting. He lost a ton of momentum as champion, a phrase that should never be uttered about any Superstar. His edge disappeared. Reintroducing that sense of danger to the character will do wonders for him, especially in the wake of the negative feedback from fans at Backlash and Tuesday night's show.
Loser: Apollo Crews
If being kept off of the Backlash card and enduring a pre-show loss to Baron Corbin was not bad enough, Crews was attacked prior to his rematch with The Lone Wolf, laid out like a common jobber. His assault was but an excuse for a showdown between Corbin and new SmackDown star Jack Swagger.
Yes, Crews has become an afterthought to Jack freaking Swagger.
Remember the time he debuted at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn and was to be the next big thing? Do you recall the hype that went into his Raw arrival?
That has been erased by poor booking and a lack of creative direction. Now, he is lost in the shuffle on a show that has found meaningful ways to utilize The Ascension and Heath Slater, making him the undisputed biggest loser of the September 13 episode of SmackDown.
Winner: Alexa Bliss
The breakout star of Sunday's Six-Pack Challenge followed up that performance by defeating Naomi, Nikki Bella, Carmella and Natalya to earn a shot at Becky Lynch's SmackDown Women's Championship.
Long one of the most underrated stars in NXT, Bliss won over the audience in Baltimore at Backlash with her overall presentation—from the homage to Harley Quinn to the facial expressions and body language, to her in-ring game. Given the opportunity to perform in a match longer than the five-minute sprints she experienced on NXT television, she proved to be a more than adequate worker.
Now she has the opportunity to silence critics, prove her doubters wrong and fight for the gold she was deprived of in NXT.