The Miz captured the Intercontinental Championship Belt by defeating Roman Reigns at RAW 25. Clearly, the WWE has decided to give The Miz a push prior to WrestleMania 34. The Miz competed in the Royal Rumble Sunday January 28th in Philadelphia. A strong showing at the Rumble coupled with his recent victory to claim the IC Title has The Miz poised for a monster 2018 in the WWE. Rolling Stone Magazine named The Miz the WWE Wrestler of the year in its December 2017 publication.
I would not envision The Miz having a rematch with Roman Reigns at WrestleMania. I predict that Reigns will face the winner of the Triple Threat Match, Brock Lesnar. If I am correct on that assumption than who does that leave for The Miz to face at WreslteMania 34? I can envision a scenario in which Seth Rollins fills the void and challenges The Miz at Mania. The tag team of Rollins and Jordan is imploding and there is a rumor that Jordan is injured. Rollins would make an excellent feud partner for The Miz at WrestleMania and beyond.
A Walk Back Through Time: The Rise Of The Miz
Often times, the casual fan mistakenly thinks that a new WWE champion is new to the business when, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. The professional wrestling business is an extremely competitive and demanding business. The champions we all know and love are often the exception to the rule. Some wrestlers wait their entire career for an opportunity that may never come. Wrestlers may spend years refining and perfecting their craft before they get noticed let alone a title shot and things were no different for The Miz.
Michael Gregory Mizanin aka The Miz was born on October 8th, 1980. Although he is well known as a WWE superstar, he began his career following a very different path. He attained a degree of notoriety as a member of The Real World on MTV in the early 2000. His appearance on The Real World led to more television work on a variety of realty shows where he became a recognizable figure.
Mizanin first entered the world of professional wrestling in 2003 where he worked for Ultimate Pro Wrestling. In 2004 The Miz competed on WWE’s Tough Enough realty program vying for a WWE contract. Although he did not win the contract he was ultimately awarded an opportunity to work and train in Deep South Wrestling in McDonough, Georgia. Deep South Wrestling (DSW) was a developmental territory that worked in conjunction with WWE.
The Miz debuted in WWE as host of Smackdown in 2006. In addition to hosting Smackdown, The Miz served as a co-host on the Diva Search for both Smackdown and Raw. His realty television experience ushered in opportunities for him to work for WWE but mostly outside the ring. Michael Gregory Mizanin wanted more, ultimately he wanted to make a name for himself inside the ring.
From Realty Star To WWE Champion
Michael Gregory Mizanin won his first Championship, the WWE United States Championship, on October 5th, 2009. This championship, albeit a second tier championship, was far from his first attempt at obtaining a title belt. He had competed for this belt at a WWE pay per view the night prior to winning it. He was unsuccessful in his first attempt but showed resilience in winning it the next night on RAW.
By 2010, The Miz had become a dual champion, as he was the WWE United States and WWE Undisputed Tag Team Champions with Big Show simultaneously. At the time, WWE put both tag titles together and thus Miz walked around with three championships on his shoulders. He is still the only man to have held these titles together at the same time.
The Miz holds the distinction of being the first ever wrestler to win the Money in the Bank match while being a champion as he was, at the time the WWE United States Champion for the second time. The Miz would go on to also hold the Intercontinental Championship. The rise from Ultimate Pro Wrestling to WWE Title holder was a long and difficult journey. The Miz has a unique blend of in ring skills, an “A-lister” persona, and an ability to antagonize WWE fans that make him a fantastic heel.
No great wrestler gets to the top of the mountain by themselves, The Miz, is certainly no exception. He is accompanied to the ring by his support network known as The Miztourage which includes his wife Maryse, Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas. Axel and Dallas serve to protect and assist The Miz both inside and outside the ring.
The Miztourage allows for The Miz to continue to wrestle as a single’s competitor as well as engage entities such as the remake of the shield. This allows for the WWE to capitalize on his character in multiple formats from singles, tag-team, mixed tag-team, and six man tag-team events.
His wife helps perpetuate the mystique of The Miz as an “A-lister” with a background in television and movies with the beautiful wife always at his side. She has helped him inside the ring as well. The Miz and Maryse squared off against John Cena and Nikki Bella at WreslteMania 33. The match was more notable for Cena proposing to Bella following the match, however than the actual defeat of The Miz and Maryse.
What’s next for The Miz and The Miztourage?
The Road to WrestleMania begins at the Royal Rumble and this year is no different. With none of the major single’s titles changing hands I look for WrestleMania 34 to be an explosive event with multiple title changes. This year’s Mania is where a serious push for The Miz begins.
Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins eliminated The Miz from the Rumble, however, on Monday Night Raw The Miz defended his title by defeating Roman Reigns for the second time in 7 days. This would appear to end the Reigns v Miz angle. I look for a Rollins v Miz feud leading up to a title match for IC belt at WrestleMania 34. This program could easily be set up at WWE Elimination Chamber, now that Rollins has been added to the Chamber match where Miz also has a spot.
The rest of 2018 should be used to further push and develop The Miz to be the face of the franchise for the immediate future. The intangibles displayed both inside and outside the ring by The Miz are what the WWE desperately needs right now. The rise of the Independent wrestling companies as well as the growth of Ring of Honor, Impact, and New Japan Pro Wrestling demand that the WWE showcase their best superstars. I look forward to watching the rise of The Miz in 2018 and beyond.
Until next time:
“Keep it in the ring in 2018!”