Once again, WWE is trying to make Babyface Miz happen

Apr 2, 2023; Inglewood, CA, USA; The Miz during Wrestlemania Night 2 at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 2, 2023; Inglewood, CA, USA; The Miz during Wrestlemania Night 2 at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

Over the last decade and a half, The Miz has become a valued member of the WWE roster. While you can rightfully quibble over his in-ring work, which has hovered between “passable” and “why is this man wrestling on national TV?”, the man has remained a consistent presence on the main roster thanks to his mic skills and acting range (relative to most pro wrestlers).

However, Miz’s lengthy tenure with the promotion hasn’t been without some questionable booking decisions. The two misguided reigns as WWE Champion best exemplify these baffling choices, but those pale in comparison to the countless attempts to turn him babyface despite his seamless ability to antagonize the audience.

WWE thinks that the fourth time will be the charm.

Why is WWE trying to turn The Miz babyface again?

The fourth crack at making Miz a good guy started on the Oct. 30 episode of Raw, when the former Intercontinental Champion hosted current IC titleholder GUNTHER on “Miz TV”. After “The Ring General” belittled his career, Miz fired back as he usually does by rattling off his accomplishments in the company.

Now, Miz recounting his achievements isn’t a new phenomenon, but this time, he did so with a clear intent to endear himself to the crowd. Then, GUNTHER answered this with a 3-on-1 attack alongside his Imperium stablemates, setting up a future match between him and Miz with Miz as the protagonist.

WWE made this a reality the next week when Miz won a Fatal 4 Way to earn a shot at the Intercontinental Title. The win also netted him a beatdown from Ivar, the man he pinned to win the match, sending another message to the fans that, indeed, they should be cheering for the “A-Lister”.

And who knows, maybe the WWE fans will embrace Miz in the protagonistic role, but history suggests that they won’t do so easily. When Miz debuted for WWE back in 2006 as a babyface (because Vince McMahon thought his reality show notoriety would make him a natural one), he struggled to connect with fans. Ditto for when he turned and became Ric Flair’s protégé in 2012.

His most effective face run came in 2019, but even then, he was used as a springboard for Shane McMahon’s inexplicable main event push. The fans gave up on him after several losses to Shane, and he was back on the heel side.

While WWE’s bad booking failed Miz in each of those instances, his strengths (and weaknesses) as a performer don’t help ingratiate him to the fans. His snarky, obnoxious personality makes him easy to dislike, and his lack of a crowd-pleasing moveset gives people little reason to perk up for his comebacks. Plus, his replacement-level selling and bumping makes him a less-than-ideal babyface in peril.

These issues have hastened the expiration date on all of Miz’s babyface arcs, so why should we expect anything different this time around?

Perhaps Triple H and the rest of the creative team have some fresh ideas for this version of Miz that will lead to several fruitful years of him as a fan favorite. And if it doesn’t work out, they can slot him back into his cozy heel spot.

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Still, they’re taking quite the chance hoping that someone that the fans will suddenly love someone that they have spent years loving to hate.