The Internet can be an odd place to discuss anything, including professional wrestling. This time around, the “controversy of the week” was the news that Cody Rhodes will take on The Miz on WWE Monday Night Raw. Fans were “outraged” at the idea of Rhodes taking on The Miz as if this is a backward step in his presentation to the fans. In reality, The Miz may be the perfect individual to continue Rhodes’s return to the WWE Universe.
WWE tweeted out the planned match this past Friday, building to their one-on-one contest coming Monday. Fans were quick with their hot takes, discrediting The Miz along the way. However, the reality is that The Miz is one of the most-consistently well-booked performers on the WWE roster.
In the past two years, The Miz has been involved with two of the biggest WrestleMania moments in 2022 and 2021, teaming with Logan Paul and facing off against Bad Bunny and Damian Priest. Within that time frame, he’s been one-half of the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions, held the Money in the Bank briefcase, and was the WWE Champion that bridged the gap to Bobby Lashley’s first championship reign. The Miz is trusted to deliver in moments where sports entertainment and professional wrestling cross in the most integral of ways.
“I can be anywhere. I’m the person that they’re like, ‘hey, we’ve got this,’ and if they give it to me, they know it’s going to be gold,” The Miz said recently when speaking about his place in the WWE. He’s right, and he’s being trusted to help further Rhodes’s return to the WWE.
There’s a loud contingent of fans that want Rhodes to immediately go after Roman Reigns. While this is an understandable feeling, the outcome of such a decision wouldn’t be what those same fans want. Reigns is in the middle of a historic run and are, due to WWE’s inability to effectively book, one of the only stars on the roster. If Rhodes was to be placed against him right now, he’d probably be on the losing side of that angle, and the “fans” would once again break out the pitchforks in anger.
If it is going to happen, Reigns versus Rhodes is a SummerSlam-level main event. The build to that moment should be methodical, and not thrown together one week after Rhodes’s return to the WWE. If that were to be the case, fans would be tired of the multiple rematches, long-winded promos, and non-finishes that are customary in WWE booking. Patience and predictability can be good things in professional wrestling booking.
It goes without saying, can the WWE mess up the momentum that Rhodes is currently riding? Yes, they certainly can and bettors should almost put money on it. Rhodes’s return at WrestleMania has 3.4 million views to date, so it’s clear that fans are interested in what is next for Dusty Rhodes’s son. WWE needs to make sure they take the same time and consideration in Rhodes’s booking like they did with Reigns in his return. Is Cody as big of a star as Roman? No. Could he become a huge star for the WWE? Yes, he could. But WWE has a lot of work ahead and they do not have the track record to immediately get that trust.
Still, this does not denigrate The Miz’s position and legacy as a WWE performer. He has a combined 20 title reigns during his WWE tenure and will probably have more before his time is done. He’s consistently helped performers step into bigger moments and improve their position on the roster. The same will be said for Cody Rhodes and this is a good first matchup for his return to the company.