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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How a (reality) star was born on Monday's RAW

I have to admit something - even though I am still deep down a WWE fan, I'm probably one of the most jaded you'll find. If not for force of habit, I might've "lost interest" the minute I left the company.

If I had, I'd have missed quite possibly the best moment on Raw in a long, long time - a moment that could become one the most important of the 2010s: Monday night's promo between The Miz and MVP (check it out for yourself).

It doesn't even have anything to do with the content, per se. Yes, most of what they said was a shoot. But in the process of using that info as storyline fodder, both Miz and MVP showed more character depth than most of the roster has in months.

And it could be the moment that launches both men into the upper echelon for good.

For once, people now have a reason to care about Mike Mizanin as more than just the reality star goofball who puts himself over at everyone's expense and causes trouble everywhere he goes.

Now, the general public is seeing what those of us who have been behind the scenes at WWE already know - his road to success hasn't been easy.

Fans hated him. Superstars hated him more. His in-ring talent was limited. People resented him and where he came from, and used every little excuse they could to bury him.

He kept going, because he wanted to be a WWE Superstar. Love or hate the guy, I can tell you this much about Mike Mizanin: When it comes to desire, he's much more John Cena than Brock Lesnar, so to speak.

I know the feeling. I always wanted to be in the wrestling industry too. And even though my path took me down the journalistic route, I can identify with what Mike Mizanin has gone through to make "The Miz" a WWE Superstar.

After he delivered the promo of his life on Monday night, 15,000 Minnesotans did too, because they had no problem chanting along with his "I'm Awesome" catchphrase.

All because he finally showed his true colors.

And the truth is, he has worked hard and is leaps and bounds better than the guy who lost Tough Enough IV to Daniel Puder (remember him?) in late-2004. He's shown it in the ring by winning the U.S. title and both halves of the Unified tag team titles, though not when they were unified. He's shown it by finding success on all three brands. And he's shown it in his personality; when I worked for wwe.com, "The Dirt Sheet" was always one of our top-streamed videos of the week (and, to be honest, also usually the most entertaining).

He's built the sundae, so to speak - and now, this feud with MVP might just be the cherry that completes it.

Of course, MVP had a hand in that too. Ever since he became "fan-friendly," as he put it, he has been sorely lacking something. As a heel, his ego and his killer instinct were his entire character, but since moving to Raw he's been just another dude in the midcard shuffle. Now, he's back in the game.

But on a show that has relied on decade-old nostalgia as of late, the MVP/Miz brouhaha had me harkening back to a decade-old rivalry that actually was great for both parties: The Rock vs. Triple-H, circa DX vs. The Nation.

Miz could easily be The Rock - a guy who came into WWE with much fanfare but was hated by the fans until he developed a personality and/or catchphrase that made him cool.

Likewise, MVP could be Triple-H - a guy who came in as a "holier than thou" character, had some midcard success, and floundered a bit until he developed an edge.

Throw in a secondary title to feud over, and voila! A recipe for success.

That Rock/Triple-H feud - highlighted by a tremendous ladder match at SummerSlam 98 - generated a lot of buzz and made both of their careers.

If the Miz and MVP can knock one out of the park when they finally step into the ring, they could do the same exact thing.

Louie Dee
PWI Contributing Writer

2 comments:

Pro Wrestling Illustrated said...

Couldn't agree with you more, Lou. I thought that whole segment brought both guys to a new level (esp. Miz, he does a helluva JBL imitation). Not so sure I'm ready to christen MVP/Miz as the next Rock/Triple-H, but i see your point.
--Frank Krewda
Editor-In-Chief

Michael said...

This was easily the best part of RAW. I used to be one of the people who hated the Miz. He was a stupid character when he first appeared. Now he is the most interesting wrestler on the roster. He has done an amazing job. I hope WWE realizes what they have here.