The Miz: A-List Superstar
Running Time: 341 Minutes
Number Of Discs: 2
Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
Released: July 15 2019
(Thanks to Fetch Publicity for arranging this review.)
The Miz has had a very unique career in WWE. As a former reality star who finished second in Tough Enough and toiled in developmental for years before being introduced to fans as a comedy character who they couldn’t take seriously, the fact that he was able to become a serious performer and win the WWE Title, and even main event WrestleMania, was remarkable. But his inevitable decline led many to assume his best days were behind him, only for Miz to defy the odds once again with a revival in the mid-2010s that saw him regain his standing as one of the company’s most consistent acts. Though he is in something of a slump again right now, nobody would bet against Miz becoming a headliner once more, and possibly winning another heavyweight title. All of this is covered in the form of a two-disc profile, showcasing Miz’s biggest moments via a selection of matches spanning more than a decade.
Two matches from developmental open the set: a bout against Mike Knox from the forgotten Deep South group, and a showdown against Rene Dupree from OVW. Following his debut as a host, Miz would appear on SmackDown and be totally buried by JBL; his switch to ECW was seen as detrimental to the brand itself, but soon his odd-couple team with John Morrison began making serious waves by lifting gold and putting on entertaining matches. One such bout is included here, as the duo face Rey Mysterio and Shawn Michaels in a fun Raw encounter with a surprising outcome. At that point, it was assumed that when the team split, Morrison would easily outperform Miz as a singles competitor, but people were in for a shock: after a false start when Miz was crushed by John Cena following a storyline akin to Goldberg-Chris Jericho from 1998, Miz slowly evolved into Raw’s most valuable mid-card heel with the potential to scale even greater heights. He did so quite literally in the next match included here, a very good Money In The Bank Ladder match from the first MITB PPV as Miz earned himself the red briefcase. He also entered a feud with Daniel Bryan, which included the best bout of his career up to that point, a United States Championship battle at Night Of Champions 2010.
By now, it was a matter of when, not if, Miz would become WWE Champion. In our next featured bout, he turned this into a reality by cashing in the case at Randy Orton’s expense to the delight of Michael Cole, his biggest supporter on commentary. Miz held the strap for over five months, which included main eventing WrestleMania XXVII against Cena in the peak of his career. Unfortunately, the bout isn’t particularly good, and the finish is poorly booked (since WWE decided to use the WM XXVII main event to set up the headline attraction for Mania XXVIII), but regardless of the circumstances (and the champion suffered a concussion during this contest as well), Miz did indeed win a WrestleMania main event, over golden boy Cena no less. Once he lost the gold, a slow slide down the ranks happened, though he regrouped in the last match of disc one, where he became Intercontinental Champion against Christian at Raw 1000.
Still, Miz was floundering compared to his 2010-2011 exploits, and a 2013 babyface turn almost made him completely irrelevant. Repackaged as a Hollywood big-shot from 2014 onwards, the Awesome One reminded fans of his skills on the microphone with a greater emphasis on his talk show Miz TV, from which we get a random episode here involving Roman Reigns. After an enjoyable storyline involving a stunt double in Damien Mizdow, Miz used the 2015-early 2016 period to rebuild himself as a valuable heel, delivering great promos and underrated performances in the ring, for which he was eventually awarded with another IC Title reign the night after WrestleMania 32, with his wife Maryse returning by his side. Miz was beginning to heat up again, as evidenced by the first bout of disc two, an excellent four-way against Cesaro, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn from Extreme Rules. Over the next few months, he would enter a fine feud with Dolph Ziggler on SmackDown, leading to their Ladder match at TLC that ultimately decided the rivalry with Miz coming out on top, though it was really Miz’s career-best Talking Smack promo at the expense of the then-retired Daniel Bryan that truly made people remember just how valuable Miz was.
After a segment on his quarrels with Cena and Nikki Bella heading into WrestleMania 33 (despite their many spats and variety of heated promos down the years, Miz and Cena never did create strong in-ring chemistry), we jump forward to Raw 25 in January 2018, when Miz – by now considered one of the better Intercontinental Champions ever – regains the gold once more from Roman Reigns at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, along with his subsequent cameo in the other host venue for the historic show, the Manhatten Center. The finals of the Mixed Match Challenge see Miz and Asuka win the inaugural tournament against Bobby Roode and Charlotte Flair, before we come to the much-anticipated rivalry between Miz and the now-returned Daniel Bryan. Their featured SummerSlam battle is a strong effort, let down only by a somewhat quiet audience. The DVD ends by focusing on his storyline with Shane McMahon, firstly showing the duo winning the SmackDown Tag Team Titles against The Bar at Royal Rumble 2019, before giving us their inevitable showdown under Falls Count Anywhere rules at WrestleMania 35.
This DVD demonstrates just how much Miz has contributed to WWE since the mid-2000s. Having been dismissed initially as an artificial performer and several times later on as a failed headliner, Miz has managed to prove people wrong again and again, and is one of the few WWE stars that is almost bulletproof when it comes to wins and losses. He’s still only 38 now, and his ring style (once deemed a suitable criticism) potentially allows him to wrestle well into his mid-40s, while his topnotch verbal skills both in a wrestling environment and on the talk show circuit set him up nicely as a company ambassador for many more years. His reality show appearances, including his own Miz & Mrs show with Maryse, enhances his star power further, as do his occasional movies for WWE Studios. From the laughing stock of WWE to a future Hall Of Famer, Miz has carved out quite the career for himself, massively surpassing all expectations, and with a penchant to surprise, his best days as both an actual wrestler and as a featured act may yet still be ahead, despite his reduced profile as of July 2019.
Summing this DVD up, then, there have certainly been better compilations from an in-ring standpoint, but when it comes to charting a wrestler’s highs and lows, The Miz: A-List Superstar is great evidence of how the Awesome One has defied all odds and carved his place in WWE history, despite some aspects of his career being omitted here.
Overall Rating: 7.5/10 – Good