Join Matthew Roberts as he takes a look at WWE Home Video’s new release, a look at the storied career of The Miz.
Reviewing DVD’s and BluRay’s isn’t always an easy life. Sometimes you have to watch things that aren’t necessarily top of your personal wish list. So it is with The Miz – A List Superstar. Don’t get me wrong; I respect The Miz in terms of his efforts to forge a career in the WWE when everything seemed to be against him. When he’s not working against Shane McMahon I enjoy watching his matches. But seven hours of the Miz? That might be a little too much for me.
But I’m nothing if not objective and treat every release on its own merits. And there is a lot to enjoy on this compilation.
Although the main focus on the set is the matches, they are linked together by a new sit-down interview with the man himself. He’s candid (or at least as candid as you can expect on a WWE release) and if at times it all seems a little bit too much “in character” for my liking there are some genuine insights into his career, especially in the early days. If nothing else, you too will finish this with a respect for the Miz and his journey.
The set brings us 15 matches, presented in chronological order.
Development territory matches from Deep South Wrestling (against Mike Knox) and Ohio Valley (against Rene Dupree) aren’t the best from an in-ring perspective but are enjoyable to watch in terms of getting an early look at a man who would go on to be the WWE Champion as a work in progress. It’s also a fascinating “what if” in some senses as Knox and Dupree’s WWE careers are long since over. From there Miz makes it to the main roster where Vince McMahon sees him as the “Ryan Seacrest of WWE” but despite his disappointment (Miz, a long time wrestling fan, saw himself more as an Ultimate Warrior or Hulk Hogan) he does what he has done for most of his career; made the most of an opportunity.
We kind of ignore his lack of real success in the early days to jump to his team with John Morrison. In an age when YouTube shows weren’t ten a penny the two pitched an idea to Stephanie McMahon and got the go ahead to do the “Dirt Sheet”. Allied with great improvement in the ring this enabled Miz to get a firm foothold on the main roster. A fun match which pits the two against Shawn Michaels and Rey Mysterio is the only example of their work we get and from there we get transported to Miz’s 2010 Money in the Bank win. Miz himself admits he was probably the last person who people expected to win that match and surmises that that’s perhaps why he did. After a brief interlude for his NXT (the old NXT that is) rivalry with Daniel Bryan (which includes a great match from the Night of Champions 2010 ppv between the two), Miz climbs to the top spot in the company courtesy of his cash-in against Randy Orton.
Of course the fact that Miz “headlined” WrestleMania 27 is brought up next; there is no denying that it’s one hell of an achievement and, after all, CM Punk never did it. But the fact that Miz was the third wheel in the John Cena/The Rock dynamic is never really mentioned here. The Miz/Cena match from that show is obviously here too; it’s not very good at all. But still, you can never take away the fact that Miz was in the last match at Mania. Whatever the reasons, that’s an accolade that is awarded to a very select few indeed.
That Miz’s run on top hardly set the world alight is somewhat magnified by a tale that his father’s favourite moment of the Miz’s was a promo with Pee Wee Herman and that we then get to the Miz “bringing prestige” to the Intercontinental Title. Whether you feel he did or not is a matter of personal opinion; what I will say is that the matches that highlight this period on the set are generally entertaining (and Miz admits that the elevation of the title was as much to do with his opponents as it was with him). He defeats Christian at Raw 1000, takes part in a good four way match with Cesaro, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn from Extreme Rules 2016, a high octane Ladder match against Dolph Ziggler from TLC 2016 and, skipping forward, a match with Roman Reigns from the Raw Anniversary show in 2018.
In between this is a look at Miz TV which perhaps whilst never bringing us a moment up there with the best of Pipers Pit or The Barber Shop has provided some memorable moments over the years.
A very brief look at the Miz and Maryse’s feud with Nikki Bella and John Cena splits up the matches (it’s a missed opportunity not to include some of the vignettes) before we get to the Mixed Match Challenge Final between Miz & Asuka and Bobby Roode & Charlotte Flair. The MMC concept split opinion but I thought it was a lot of fun (at least for the first run around) and it’s nice to see the final here. From there it’s the return of Daniel Bryan to the ring as these two great rivals clash at SummerSlam 2018 in a very good match. Miz becomes a father before we get to two matches involving Shane McMahon. I left my seat in Chase Field to go and grab a hot dog and a beer when Shane and Miz defeated The Bar at the Royal Rumble 2019 to lift the tag team titles so I wasn’t going to watch it through here. Similarly, I hated Shane Vs Miz from Wrestlemania 35 this year enough the first time around to bother with it again here. That, by the way, is not a knock on the Miz’s efforts in those matches at all but a sign of my utter contempt for Shane O’Mac as an in-ring performer in 2019. My only saving grace is that more and more fans seem to be coming around to my way of thinking with Shane.
Fans of the Miz will love this set. It stretches the breadth of his career and if not totally all-encompassing it does a good job of summing up the success he’s had and if it ignores some of the down-times, well so be it. It is a set in celebration of Miz after all. Those of you who, like me, respect the Miz without necessarily thinking he’s one of THE best ever will find plenty to get their teeth into on here as well. Love him or hate him there’s no denying he’s made a name for himself.
Format Reviewed; DVD
Photographs courtesy of Fetch and WWE
Thank you to our partners, WWEDVD.co.uk and Fetch for providing our review copy of The Miz – A List Superstar which is out Monday 15 July on DVD. You can buy your copy from WWEDVD.co.uk by clicking here .
You can find me on Twitter @IWFICON.