Twitter Tuesday: The Mizon March 29, 2011 at 5:05 am
Heading into Wresltemania 27, I can safely say that one of the best matches (from the entertainment angle) is John Cena vs. The Miz for the WWE Championship. It’s hard to deny that those guys are two of the biggest names in the business right now, and not just from a wrestling standpoint but from the entire media universe. Cena is, sadly, one of the biggest names and probably the most annoying person in wrestling if you’re actually a fan of wrestling entertainment. But The Miz? He’s one of the few reasons I’ve been watching wrestling at all this year.
In fact, last November (November 22, 2010 to be specific) I had become so fed up with the WWE that I got up and stormed out of the livingroom in the middle of Monday Night RAW. I don’t remember what had triggered my reaction, probably John Cena or Randy Orton being John Cena or Randy Orton again, but for whatever reason I’d had all I could take. I grumbled something about ‘sick of wasting my time on boring stories tailored for children’ and left the room.
In less then an hour I’d run back in and was singing the praises of the WWE for FINALLY giving the WWE Championship to The Miz!! I was revelling in the audiences disgust – specifically the “Angry Miz Girl” – and cheering profusely that the WWE had finally done something smart. In one moment, they’d risen the bar on RAW, moved the focus from two of the most annoying members of their staff, given true fans a reason to believe again, rallied the children they cater too behind a new villan, and given one of their better entertainers a push he had long before earned.
You see, The Miz was about to become a household name and give the WWE some attention it had recently lost to the UFC and MMA. Do you remember when WWE superstars were on Letterman and hosted Saturday Night Live? When they were at awards shows and on SportsCenter? There was a time when these guys weren’t ‘wrestlers’ but actual entertainers – and Hollywood and New York wanted their draw because they brought attention. For the past couple of years there have only been two stars with that type of non-wrestling-fan pull: John Cena and Chris Jericho. John Cena is loved by kids between the age of 8 and 12. Jericho is normally a big fan favorite but has been cast as a dull, stingy heel for the last few years – a move I argue (regularly) is STUPID because it kills his marketability. While there are other ‘stars’ in the WWE, few of them manage to carry eyes from the squared-circle to the red carpet.
The Miz is the one young upstart wrestler who can do it though. Why can he do it? Because… he’s The Miz and he’s AWESOME!
…okay, seriously, here’s why: The Miz is pre-programmed to make the transition because he already made it once. Mike (The Miz) Mizanin began on MTV’s Real World in 2001, and from there became a reality show mini-star. After his season of Real World, he moved on to several of the Road Rules/Real World Challenges – live five of them. During those appearances his nickname and persona of ‘The Miz’ was born and eventually stuck.
In 2004, Mike made it into the fourth season of WWE: Tough Enough – a compitetion to give upstar wanna-bes a chance at a WWE contract. He ended up in second place, thus not winning a contract, but he earned one anyway and was sent to the WWE’s farm system to train and learn. Four seasons of Tough Enough have produced some lackluster WWE and TNA wrestlers, a WWE show announcer, an American Gladiator, and an MMA competitor. Oh, and also ONE WWE Champion: The Miz.
When The Miz finally made it the big leagues, it was originally as the “host” of Smackdown. Yeah, he wasn’t even allowed to wrestle at first. However, his personality and skill on the mic got him time on the screen and eventually earned him his way into the ring. From there, he became one half of the Tag Team Champions a few times, the United States Champion, won the Money in the Bank Ladder match, and then cashed that in to become the WWE Champion.
…okay, young John Cena fans cover your eyes so you don’t read this next part… covered? Okay. *ahem* Wrestling is a show not a sport. Winners, stories, etc are all planned out. The “good” and “bad” guys are picked out months in advance. I realize this. Everything The Miz has won was scripted. However, you’d have to be as silly as a member of the Cenation to think The Miz didn’t earn his accolaids. He went from being a reality show semi-celeb to the WWE Champion. That takes hard work, dedication, showmanship, and (yes) some talent.
It’s that rare combination of athletic skill and entertainment value that The Miz has that has turned him into the “Must See Champion.” Yes, must-see! In fact, I’d say he was “must see” long before he was the champ. Over the last few years, while he’s been busy wrestling, he’s also made appearances on Bravo’s Battle of the Network Reality Stars, a reality show themed episode of Fear Factor, short lived game show Identity, much more successful game show Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, Sci-Fi’s Ghost Hunters, Cartoon Networks awful show Destroy Build Destroy, and an episode of Food Network’s Dinner: Impossible where he stole the show and the desert table. That’s a lot of shows pre-championship. A LOT of shows.
Since he’s been champion, he’s appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Conan with Conan O’Brien, british morning show Daybreak, the Austrailian Kid’s Choice Awards, G4′s Attack of the Show, a recorded skit for Jimmy Kimmel, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he shows up at the Nick’s (american) Kid’s Choice Awards next month. Oh, and did I mention he’s going to be the lead in a new action movie coming out in 2012 called Stainless Steel. I don’t know a lot about it, but I’m willing to bet it’s way better then The Marine. …just sayin’.
So, even though the match this Sunday is John Cena versus The Miz I think it’s easy to agree that as long as the WWE keeps The Miz in the limelight everyone wins. Now, do the smart thing and click on the follow tab for @MikeTheMiz and get to cheering for a real people’s champion. Afterall, when someone asks “why aren’t you on The Miz bandwagon” in three years I’d hate for you to have to answer “because I couldn’t see it.” *smirks*