Last night the craziness of Wrestlemania weekend caught up to me and I fell asleep midway through RAW. In fact, the last thing I remember is The Miz coming out to challenge Zack Ryder for the Intercontinental Championship. Come to find out when I awoke, we once again have a new IC champion, thanks to the returningish (full time? just this once?) Maryse.
A lot of people are up in arms questioning the decision, wondering what the entire point of Ryder's win was if he was just going to drop the belt 24 hours later to The Miz.
Here's the thing, though: This (both Mania and RAW) was the best option all around.
Let's talk Wrestlemania first, and let's talk about the intelligence of the WWE powers-that-be. They knew that a lot of the Wrestlemania booking was not going to satisfy the vocal social media fanbase. Brock winning handily, Shane losing, Roman Reigning - All of those were not going to be popular choices.
So what did WWE do? They picked the one guy - In fact, he might be the ORIGINAL guy - that the IWC rallied behind, and they gave him an all-time Wrestlemania moment. In 15-20 years, when we think back to Zack Ryder, almost all of us will picture him atop the ladder, IC belt in hand, huge smile on his face.
That's all that matters. Once that moment occurred, there wasn't a whole lot of reason for Z-Ry to keep that belt.
Why, you ask? Who was Ryder going to face?
Seriously, who are the mid-level heels in WWE right now? Sheamus and the League of Nations? Baron Corbin, with his ATG trophy and one WWE victory? Bo Dallas? There is NO bigger Bo Dallas fan in the NAIborhood and even I know that's not going to happen.
Zack Ryder as your IC champion is a lovely notion, but a dead end street.
The Miz, on the other hand, has lots of options. He's someone for Sami Zayn to feud with. . . Or AJ Styles, once this silly "main event" business is over with. . . Or Apollo Crews. . . Or Dean Ambrose. . . Or Cesaro. . . Heck, even John Cena, who has never held that belt before, could be a viable option. . . None of those guys make a lot of sense feuding with Zack Ryder.
Embrace the Hate, friends. The Miz is the best choice to be IC champion right now. Bask in his awesomeness!
Full disclosure - I'm not even an hour through Monday Night RAW yet. Having stayed up until 11:00 (#NAIdraft 2.0), though, I am well aware of what is to come. Car doors flying (and hitting children, apparently), Titus being ace on commentary, a main even match that should cause me to lose my mind. I'm excited for all of that, and I encourage any of you Hall of Famers out there to share your own RAW responses here on NAI.
But today, I want to talk about the IC title picture. . . In a complimentary way.
Based on the Twittering I was seeing last night, I expected this match to be a train wreck, a travesty, a complete and utter waste of time. That wasn't what I got, though.
On Twitter, I called it "great", and while fellow NAIbor Chris (@ChrisToTheW) reminded me to put the segment in context, it still was very good. Now, I have no love for Ryback, I've made that abundantly clear. I also feel that Big Show needs to transition to an announcer role, pronto.
As for The Miz. . . Well, you know how I feel about him. He has been on a role as of late, and this spot on the roster is the perfect chance for him to get over, while getting booed. He's no longer getting "X-Pac heat", as most call it. People are actually enjoying the over the top ridiculousness that is Mike Mizanin right now - He truly is becoming the guy we love to hate.
Like one would expect, his work during this segment was great, if a little too enthusiastic, if you catch my meaning. I loved having him on commentary, distracting both talents in the ring, though I think we can all agree that the best Miz work of the night was done after the match, trying to find his way out of the ring, stuck between the irresistible force and the immovable object. From a purely physical standpoint, Miz has no business being in the ring with either Big Show or Ryback, which is going to make it even sweeter when he wins the IC title.
(Yes, that's my prediction, and I'm sticking with it. Either the Ryback experiment is done or he'll be a legit, size wise, challenger to Brock's WHC.)
It wasn't just Miz that made that match, though. We all anticipated that.
I don't think any of us counted on Ryback and Big Show being that decent in the ring.
Again, I won't say they were "good", even. That might be a stretch. However, they were serviceable. Ryback did the best he could fighting a 500 pound giant, breaking out his top rope splash once more, which I have to say, is impressive.
Big Show, however, struck me as the "star". He's taking lessons from John Cena, dusting off some older favorites (He should be using the Haas of Pain during every match, IMO) and breaking out new ones, like the powerbomb faceplant and the second rope elbowdrop. You had to take notice of that.
Sure, Big Show's time has come and gone, but I give him a lot of credit for still trying to improve in the ring. It can't be easy to be a 43 year old giant. Any effort he puts in, in my mind, is appreciated.
Long story short, folks, let's #PromotePositivity. We all might have better ideas of how to use the IC title, there's no question. But for what we've been given, that segment was pretty darn watchable. Take off the bias blinders and watch it again. You'll see what I mean.
What do YOU think? Be Heard.
My first independent column as DC Matthews. Well, technically I was "The Teacher", but. . . You get the idea.
In addition to the conversations Doc and I will be having about most things wrestling each week, we will also be sharing some more independent thoughts on the segments, matches or storylines that caught our attention. This week, I’d like to talk about a wrestler that I have recently begun to enjoy a lot, even though I’m incredibly ashamed to admit it. However, they say that admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, so here goes.
Hi. I am The Teacher and I. . . . Man, this is hard. I like. . .
I like The Miz.
After years of what seemed like trying to run from the fact that Mike Mizanin was a reality TV star before he was a wrestler, now it looks like WWE is embracing it. You could tell from the moment he made his return a few weeks ago, sneering to the crowd, “I’m baaaaack. Miss me?” The Miz believes he is a major movie icon who is gracing us lowly fans with his presence each week, which to me, makes him highly entertaining.
I love the ‘Movie Preview’ that shows up at the beginning of his Titan Tron video (though I think he needs some new, more Hollywood entrance music). I love that his sunglasses are enormous and that he rocked a scarf a few weeks ago. I love that he said his goal was to avoid hurting his ‘Money Maker’ and then put said face up on screen during his match with Sheamus.
I don’t know if The Miz is ever going to be a World Champion again, but I think he’s definitely one of the favorites for the Intercontinental title this Sunday at Battleground. At the very least, a Miz and Bo Dallas team would add some punch to a very stale tag division.
I am The Teacher, and I like the Miz.
Thus ends the lesson.