I intentionally held off on reviewing Sunday night’s SURVIVOR SERIES pay-per-view because I knew that the big story coming out of that show would be John Cena’s decision as referee in the main event. I also knew that that story wouldn’t be properly concluded until last night’s RAW. (I also didn’t review the PPV sooner because, well, I didn’t see it. Oops).
And I was right! Last night’s RAW told the world exactly where the Cena/Nexus angle is going. After John Cena gave a goodbye speech, an excellently touching one I might add (his tears were real and that pushed the quality of the whole thing right to the top), we were led to believe that that was that. John Cena was gone. But come on. Anybody who’s ever watched wrestling knows that that’s NEVER the case (unless your Shawn Michaels and you’ve done literally everything there is to do in your career and you’re just happy to retire and be with your family). Cena’s not going anywhere. He’s the top guy in the company. He sells the most merchandise. He’s still young and healthy. This is an angle. His tears were real. His words?.....not so much.
So of course Cena would show up later in the night to screw Wade Barrett out of the WWE title as his final defiant act in WWE. And of course we all know what that means: Barrett will want revenge so he’ll agree to bring Cena back for one last match. If Barrett wins, Cena’s gone. If Cena wins, Cena’s back. The next PPV is TLC. I read on another website this morning someone hypothesize that Cena and Barrett will have a TLC match with a contract with those exact stips hanging above the ring. I’m going to go out on a limb and agree with that could-be fortune teller. It’s the next logical step in the story.
Speaking of story, by the end of RAW the Barrett/Cena saga was bumped down a peg to the number 2 spot in WWE’s storyline totem pole. In its place now stands the NEW WWE Heavyweight Champion: The Miz!
That’s right true believers, young Mike Mizanin is now World Wrestling Entertainment Heavyweight Champion. Let that soak in………………………….
………..marinated with that idea?
………..cool. I’ll keep going.
Whenever a new champion is crowned one of the first things I do is head over to the TITLE HISTORY section of WWE.com. I like reading the blurb they post about the title change. I enjoy seeing the pictures they choose to commemorate the moment. More than anything else though, I like looking at the list of past champions and seeing the name of the new title holder and thinking about whether or not they’ll be able to stack up properly in time amongst the other names.
Ric Flair. Hulk Hogan. Bret Hart. Andre the Giant. The Undertaker. Shawn Michaels. Stone Cold Steve Austin. The Rock………………..THE MIZ.
The kid from REAL WORLD X: BACK TO NEW YORK who almost got beat up by a girl because he was ignorant about black people is now forever placed alongside LEGENDS of professional wrestling. I admit, it takes a second to get used to, but it makes sense. The Miz is one of the most over heels in recent memory. Certainly he’s the most hated bad guy in WWE right now (Wade Barrett is great but without the Nexus angle I don’t think he’d have as much heat). The Miz knows what he’s doing. He knows exactly how to get at people, how to make them hate him. That’s the key to being a great heel: Make the people want to pay to see you get your ass kicked. At the moment, no one does that better than The Miz.
There have already been some naysayers online saying that he doesn’t deserve it, that he’s a joke. Some have pointed to Roddy Piper’s promo last week where he named names like his own, Curt Hennig, Jimmy Snuka, and others who never got the chance to wear the WWE Title…and now The Miz is champion.
I can see that point but at the same time, those names became legendary through the years and especially so once they were no longer active. But ask yourself, if Mr. Perfect came into WWE now, and within 3 years won the WWE Title, wouldn’t you be having a similar reaction? Hennig was great during his time, one of the best. It really is a shame that he never won the belt, but that’s just the way it goes. Miz however, right now, is on (dare I say it) equal playing field to Curt Hennig in his prime. I don’t mean in terms of in-ring work. He’ll never get that good. Most guys won’t. But in the terms of being an in-the-moment, in-context champion, Miz deserves every bit of this.
When he came into the company he was a joke, literally. He got zero respect from the fans, from the announcers, from the wrestlers, nobody. He was just the “guy from the Real World.” His first official job in WWE was as host of Smackdown! Host! He wasn’t even a wrestler. But over the years he’s put in work and paid his dues. We’ve actually seen his evolution over the last 3-4 years from joke host, to chick magnet feuding with Balls Mahoney, to tag team specialist, to mid-card staple, to WWE Champ.
If the Miz hasn’t earned it, then I don’t know who has. Watching his growth over the years has cemented his credibility in my mind. I think Miz makes more sense as champion than Sheamus did when he first won the belt. He definitely makes waaay more sense than Jack Swagger.
It takes time to establish yourself as a legend. For a lot of the guys on that Title History list, it took decades. Same goes for the guys listed by Piper last week. But at one point every one of those guys was just another name on the roster, waiting for their chance to be handed the ball. Now is The Miz’s chance, and something tells me that in a few years, his name will look right at home on that Title History list, right next to all the legends that came before him.