The Miz Was A Worthy WWE Champion And Played His Role To Perfection On WWE Raw
This Is A Miz Appreciation Column
First and foremost, it was fantastic to see Bobby Lashley FINALLY capture the big one on last night's WWE Raw.
One of the highlights of 2021 so far, for this scribe anyway, has been the progression of the Bobby Lashley character on Monday nights. Gone are the days where WWE were forcing The Almighty to do things he clearly wasn't comfortable doing. Gone are the days where he was expected to cut 15-minute promos. Gone are the days where WWE tried to humanise an absolute monster of a man who mere mortals like myself couldn't possibly relate to - even if I tried really, really hard.
Bobby Lashley hurts people these days and he doesn't say too much while doing so. He's exactly what he should have been all along in a WWE ring.
Of course, at this time we must give a huge shoutout to MVP, whose presence, along with the rest of the Hurt Business, has allowed Bobby to showcase his strengths and hide his weaknesses.
It's taken some time, but 5,639 days after his WWE debut Bobby Lashley is your WWE Champion. I personally can't wait for one of the WrestleMania 37 main event matches, where Bob will undoubtedly be slapping an unholy amount of meat with another large man or two.
However, as great as it was to see Lashley eventually have his hand raised at the culmination of an unadulterated slog of a Monday Night Raw, this column is being written to show some appreciation to The Miz.
Because basically, the reaction I've seen towards his WWE title reign has forced me to stand up for the guy.
Yeah, take that!
I must concede, I wasn't a fan of the way WWE gave the Money in the Bank to Otis, and then gave it to Miz. I wasn't a fan of the way Miz kinda sorta cashed-in once before WWE handed it back to him on a technicality.
But outside of those apparent shortcomings on creative's part, I believe the sentiment towards the now-former WWE Champion has been harsh.
Let's take ourselves back to Elimination Chamber, where large sections of the vocal fanbase were upset that Miz won the title from Drew McIntyre - not because he is a heel, mind you...
And to be honest with you, as harsh as I believe that question to be, I can see where they were coming from.
Simply put, late 2020/early 2021 Miz isn't as hot as he once was. That's not his fault. WWE focussed on other roster members throughout 2020 - but I guess the point still stands.
To me, however, (and of course my opinion carries no more weight than yours or your pals') you can't deny that Miz's work from 2014/15 onwards warranted another go around with one of the top two titles in WWE today.
You look at the Mizdow days; his seemingly endless Intercontinental Championship reigns that really pumped the prestige back into a bewildered title; the Talking Smack promo and subsequent programme with Daniel Bryan; the John Cena/Nikki Bella feud that alongside Maryse, provided some of the best vignettes WWE made during the last decade; The Miztourage days; the Shane McMahon programme that brought George into our lives; and finally, the two hits with John Morrison that rocked the music world to its very core last year.
Yes, The Miz had cooled off a tad compared to previous years, but a worthwhile WWE Champion he certainly was here in 2021.
The other main reason for this column: "What was the point in giving The Miz a title reign if it was only going to last a week?!"
WWE creative gets a lot of criticism these days and sometimes it's warranted. However, on this occasion, I want to believe that WWE have an end goal for the WWE Championship and want to get there the most logical way possible.
The end goal mentioned there, in my opinion, is to see Drew McIntyre get the WWE title-winning, crowd-popping victory he didn't get at WrestleMania 36.
As great as Drew did in the moments after the win against Brock Lesnar last year, almost reaching through our television screens in gratitude for sticking by him in the midst of a global pandemic, you couldn't help but feel sorry for the guy. Obviously, it could never have happened under the circumstances, but the mind does wonder what a packed Raymond James Stadium would have looked and sounded like following the same result.
But to get to the apparent end goal here in 2021, The Miz is the MVP... alongside MVP, who is another MVP in this WWE Championship picture, of course.
Rather than having Lashley, or maybe even Sheamus, defeat Drew clean like WWE have done with so many other roster members with a modicum of steam behind them, Elimination Chamber was used, Miz was used, and now Lashley is presumably heading into 'Mania as Champion.
Miz was the perfect remedy to the problem in front of WWE. No matter how weak The Miz looks... ever, he always makes it work. He's always entertaining. He's always value for money.
For me, what has played out over the last couple of weeks was a far more palatable solution to the problem that was Drew holding the title heading into Elimination Chamber, but the end goal being Drew getting a crowd-popping title victory on the biggest night of the year.
Drew hasn't come out of this scenario with any kind of damage attached to his name. He's still as protected as he was before - even if Universal Champion Roman Reigns ensuring that he defended his title after a Chamber match does make the Scottish Psychopath look a bit silly in the grand scheme of things.
This was the logical way to get to the apparent end goal - and WWE went and did it. (My goodness I do hope that's the end goal or this column looks really silly, doesn't it?)
And as good as Lashley was last night, The Miz's performance was fantastic too.
No, I didn't like the countdown timer, and then the postponing of the match - but Miz had you in the palm of his hand. You wanted to see Lashley beat the piss out of him, didn't you?
Miz is good, isn't he?
In an industry that has so many 'that doesn't work for me, brother' stories, just seemingly witnessing a Superstar being selfless for the benefit of others is nice. We all like team players, don't we?
Do I expect Miz to be ecstatic almost 24 hours after his second WWE title loss? No. Would I have liked to have seen him get a proper run with the title where he actually felt like a bonafide champion? Hell yeah! I'm sure Miz's time will come once again in relation to a world title in WWE. Hopefully, the company are in a position to put him first, rather than others... reading that sentence back is weird, mind you. There's just so many Superstars who you want to see with the big title over their shoulder.
Following SmackDown, I wrote a column about how Apollo Crew's new character is potentially a sign that WWE's creative process is changing and the days of, for example, Roman Reigns being pushed and pushed and pushed no matter the audible reaction in arenas are coming to an end.
Maybe we're on the brink of seeing more Superstars, like Lashley, focus on their strengths and cover up their weaknesses. Lashley's reign does make you wonder...
I'm rambling now. I just think there's no much intrigue around WWE's storylines at the top-level these days. There's so much to love on both Raw and SmackDown.
But back to The Miz. He was a worthy champion in 2021, and he played his role in the seemingly inevitable Drew McIntyre WWE Championship win at WrestleMania 37 to perfection.