After over a decade without a world title to his name, The Miz has finally returned to the top. Not in the traditional way. But, in the manner he’s accustomed to.
WWE Champion Drew McIntyre fought his heart out, successfully defending his gold in this year’s Elimination Chamber match. Not many go the distance, and walk out retaining their gold.
Miz took advantage of the premature celebration, after Bobby Lashley showed up to brutalize the fatigued champion.
The exact same scenario played out last time. Cashing-in on a beaten down Randy Orton, to win his first world title.
Miz had successful title defenses against Jerry Lawler and Randy Orton, in the months that followed. His more notable defense came against John Cena, at Wrestlemania 27’s main event. A rare and respectable feat in its own right.
After dropping the title to Cena, the following month, Miz entered the world of wrestling purgatory. He continued to be a prominent contender for years to come. But whenever he flirted with a potential world title shot, the glass ceiling crashed on his head.
For the majority of the 2010s, Miz became really familiar with the Intercontinental Championship. With a scent of a United States Championship run somewhere in there.
Under the mentor-ship of Nature Boy Ric Flair, Miz got much needed momentum. Fate had other plans, when it smacked Miz in the face, after some Wrestlemania moments. Like winning the gold, and then dropping it the next night.
Becoming a Hollywood star, the “A Lister”, didn’t change anything. Miz’s career found solace in that world. Fellow purgatory superstar, Dolph Ziggler joined in, to compete for Miz’s gold. At least Miz can proudly say he scored a hat trick, when he lost the title to all three Shield members, on different occasions. Winning it back was merely a badly drawn tally mark on a school’s worst chalkboard.
This time around, it seems like Miz’s fortune has changed, now that he’s WWE Champion. Still, he’s facing another obstacle. The world championship landscape has changed dramatically, from when he was holding the gold.
McIntyre is going to be on Miz’s tail for a while, for starters. Then you the likes of Keith Lee, who has never won a world title. Reaching the top comes with a prize, accepting the target on his back.