(Column I wrote for Gerweck.net)
I could be completely wrong about this, but The Miz could be the next great Intercontinental champion. The former Real World star became the 70th person to hold the title when he defeated Christian on the 1000th episode of Raw. He also became the 25th triple crown champion.
Some might say this is a demotion for the former WWE champion. However, some of the greatest wrestlers of all time held the IC title after a stint with the big boy belt. HHH, Chris Jericho, Pedro Morales are three who come to mind. Countless others made their reputation during their IC title reigns such as Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels.
The company made a big deal out of Miz’s title win and continued to do so on Smackdown when he went over on Christian in a rematch. This is something they haven’t done in years as it relates to the championship. Cody Rhodes’s hard work made the title relevant again but the Miz’s run will bring the championship back to its former glory.
Santino’s current run as United States champion is what it is. But let’s be real. The WWE has never found a way to make anyone care about that belt. Ask any real wrestling fan about their favorite US title memories and they will all be quoted from the NWA/WCW days. This is surprising considering how much of a patriot Vince McMahon is reported to be.
The greatest champions in professional wrestling are those who are able to elevate themselves and the essence of the championship they hold. The Miz is one of the few workers in the WWE who is good on the microphone and in the ring and getting better. He’s survived his share of locker room politics and never succumbed to the harshest criticisms. How many “future endeavored” jokes were thrown at him when his tag team with John Morrison broke up in 2009? Lots, and look where they are at today. Bottom line, we are in for a fun ride with lots of possibilities that should be entertaining for everyone involved.