Normally when expressing the divergences in my perspectives from Kingly One's, I'd let the comment section serve as my medium for debate. But due to do the magnitude of this issue and my interest in it, I felt a full fledged article would be more befitting.
Throughout the article, you'll see excerpts from Kingly One's original piece. These I will attempt to figuratively tear my teeth into, ripping apart at its foundations before it's reduced to nothing but a decomposing husk of the point it once was.
Keep in mind that this is all in good nature and I have nothing personal against Kingly One, whose pieces I'm actually quite fond of. The spirit of debate fuels the writing of this article and I hope you readers will replicate that feeling, participating in the discussion through the comments.
If you haven't heard of The Miz quite literally climbing the ladder of success at Money in the Bank this Sunday in order to obtain the much sought after Money in the Bank briefcase, you must be living under a rock-or at least without cable or Internet access.
Reports of the match, rumors of the eventual cashing in, and opinions of its implications have spread like a righteous plague upon the Internet, ridding ignorance of the "Awesome One" and spreading word of his eventual ascension.
Bad biblical jokes aside, my personal feelings towards this development can best be summed up by (and then further elaborated upon, otherwise this would be a very short article) one word: fulfillment.
Almost one year ago, The Miz made the first steps to the plane he reached Sunday. In a television rivalry with John Cena, he expressed his distaste for the over-hyped poster boy of the WWE, hoping to create a niche for himself on Monday nights.
Despite being put down quite decisively by the Orange-Crap-Wearing Wonder, The Miz came back with a vengeance when he returned from a guest host banishment with a new look, beating Eugene, of all people, in a contract on a poll match.
Soon after, The Miz captured the United States Championship, simultaneously developing his character throughout his heated and revealing promos.
Which brings me to my first point against Kingly One: Michael Mizanin's character.
"Seemingly, if you want to be steadily and seriously pushed to the top of the WWE food chain...playing the most basic type of heel that garners cheap heat."
Though many critics have written The Miz's character off as nothing but a louder version of your typical heel, I've seen greater meaning behind his words.
In a promo done whilst walking towards the ring, The Miz described how in his earlier days he was forced to change in the hallway and was bullied specifically by John Bradshaw Layfield.
From what rumors I've heard of JBL's backstage antics, it wouldn't surprise me for that last statement to be true.
Onscreen, The Miz was treated as a joke, and the fans responded to him appropriately. Marks and IWC fans alike scoffed at The Miz and relished when he was reduced to eating worms or suffering through some other absurdly grotesque segment.
But as if being booked like an idiot wasn't bad enough for him, The Miz, like many before him, dealt with the IWC stigma of being trained almost entirely in WWE developmental, not coming up through the indies as an alleged "smark" would prefer.
All of this seemed to spell disaster for The Miz. Despite it all, he persevered and managed to attain an inkling of respect when he joined up with John Morrison, but even then he was outdone by his exponentially superior partner.
Miz might not presently be a particularly stand out wrestler, but his character creates a propensity for captivation among the fans, due to the underlying truisms. To now be at the cusp of a world championship reign truly reeks of the word "fulfilment."
"...wrestle like a handicapped Ashley Massaro while drunk..."
I admitted he is not a particularly inspiring performer, but note that I used the word "presently." Over the course of a few years he's gone from knowing only the most rudimentary skills to having begun to develop his own style and perceivably unique (from an average WWE fan's perspective) offense.
In the months leading up to his eventual cashing in (assuming they'd prolong the event for that long), it wouldn't surprise me for WWE to take initiative by prepping Miz for his main event spot with matches against more proficient ring technicians on Raw, such as John Morrison.
From those encounters (including ones at house shows), Miz could very well acquire the ability necessary to put on main event level matches after cinching the WWE Championship.
"What Miz worshipers would not do, however, is cite a match that shows, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Miz even possesses a scintilla of athletic ability to prove that he is deserving of having a world title shot—irrespective of how he received it."
I offer up his match with R-Truth over the vacant US Championship last month on Raw. As well as a singles match with Edge on Smackdown while he held one half of the Unified Tag Team Championship.
The one with R-Truth in particular showed his capacity to control a match. As the heel, he maintained control over Truth for the majority of the contest, wearing down his opponent with resting holds typically focused on the back or neck, fitting seamlessly with the majority of his move-set, which targets the same areas.
That alone shows decent knowledge of psychology and long-term planning for his wrestling; the complimentary relationship between his resting holds and signatures is unlikely to be coincidental.
"He has the most basic moveset imaginable."
Some of his signatures might seem basic, but allow me to make a comparison to a favorite of the IWC, Christian.
One of Christian's most avidly used moves is a reverse DDT, which is about as basic as you can get; yet the fans are still very receptive to the maneuver and issue a resounding pop for its use.
Even more, most IWC fans profess how deserving Christian is of main event status, even with several signatures a child could do.
I wouldn't say The Miz's repertoire is made up of anything that mundane, so it's unfair to say that he has the most basic move-set in the WWE.
"...he has no ring presence whatsoever."
Throughout most of his matches, he taunts to the crowd, smacks around his opponents in a degrading fashion, and shouts at the referee -- all of those are actions encompassed within the wrestling attribute, "ring presence," of which Kingly One claimed Miz had none.
Before someone claims those are all fundamental heel tactics, think about Jericho's well known and adored use of the phrase, "Ask him!" That too sounds simple to use, but as a wrestler, I know how truly burdened one is by so many variables in a match.
A wrestler must remember planned spots, proper forms, and breathing techniques for bumping, how to realistically sell and struggle in various situations (pins, resting holds, etc.), and must maintain communication with the opponent when needed-and they're still expected to play to the crowd.
Matches are very complex. What might seem like a cheap taunt actually shows a strong understanding of the fundamentals, which then enables a wrestler to branch out into the higher levels of working a match.
From how I see things, these "higher levels" are exemplified in two ways: advance technical abilities or exuding ring presence. For those whom master both (Shawn Michaels), greatness awaits.
Now Kingly One, there is a point where we do come to a consensus and I know this from an older article of yours: John Morrison is the future of the WWE and for him to have been overlooked for so long is a travesty.
Though Morrison is an excellent wrestler, he is severely lacking in its opposite number; ring presence. And, unfortunately for John, that attribute is what's favored on Raw, hence the use of guys like Randy Orton and John Cena, who are far from technical geniuses but really know how to incite crowd participation.
"What’s worse, though, is the fact that he is incapable of picking a finisher that doesn’t scream, “Hey! I don’t know any good moves, but I can do this pathetic maneuver!”"
On that notion, Judging Miz's finisher by the damage it can inflict in real life application, it's more effective than an RKO (could you really imagine that working on someone in a fight?), the Pedigree (a move that is more the opponent bumping than Triple H actually doing something), and the Attitude Adjustment (a glorified back bump).
Its effectiveness is vastly superior to the aforementioned finishers. Realistically speaking, one man pressing his entire weight upon another, simultaneously sweeping away his primary object of support (the legs), would lead to a disastrous impact.
In fact, my World History teacher once described an incident at an inner city school he once taught at. When a rowdy student attacked a teacher, he did his best to subdue him. In this instance, he put him in a full nelson, but due to the student's reaction, they fell in a forward sweeping motion, very similar to the Skull Crashing Finale.
The boy's nose was crushed.
As for the originality of the move, I haven't seen anyone use it in the WWE in quite sometime and it's more unique than, let's say, a bicycle kick or, as Sheamus calls it, a "Brough Kick." A move that looks about as effective as a common big boot, but used as a finisher? Now that's laughable.
I've seen the Skull Crushing Finale countered in various ways, so when we discuss its versatility, I’d say those examples prove it’s good enough so that it can be reversed several times to lead up to the finish of a high profile match.
"If Miz cannot have an entertaining reign with the WWE United States title where he puts on some convincing and great matches, what makes people think that things will suddenly change as soon as he is handed the most prestigious championship in wrestling today?"
Obviously he has little control over how he's booked, so you can't blame him for not putting on many remarkable matches throughout his reign; he simply wasn't given many defenses to begin with.
"Controversy" was once a hot word in the WWE, particularly when Eric Bischof was around. Even now we still hear the occasional elusion to the concept, but what does it really mean to professional wrestling?
It means to have calamity ensue over their storylines. Obviously that includes onscreen reactions, but when it extends to the fans (particularly the Internet fans); it creates unrest, and thus a greater interest in the product.
What do you do with the source of that gain? You promote it.
The Miz is controversial in kayfabe for having a boisterous character, and to the IWC fans because they question his wrestling prowess.
Why, just this past Monday night, along with Sheamus, Evan Bourne, and R-Truth, The Miz played a big role in a beautifully done near cash-in segment, with a preceding promo that accentuated the career hurdles I mentioned earlier.
Pushing Michael Mizanin likely means greater viewer interest in Raw's affairs, which might sound manipulative, but hey, WWE is still a business-they need to make money somehow.
Whether you think me gullible or what have you, I will continue to happily tune in on Monday nights, and remain fully vested in the ongoing rise of Mr. Money in the Bank, The Miz.
Like my work? Enjoy fiction? Then I encourage you to check me out on Blogger.com for my newest series, The Great Ascent: http://thegreatascent.blogspot .com/
Also, if you want to see Jim Ross call one last match, read Chris O'Connall's article on a petition he created: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/406124-an-open-letter-to-wwe-regarding-jr-calling-his-farewell-match
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