The Miz has had a largely up-and-down experience as a face, with some shining moments, some dull moments, and some cringeworthy episodes that made people give up on his face turn. Through all of that, this feud with Bray Wyatt has easily been the best thing that Miz has been involved in as a face—including the superficial torch-passing from Flair to Miz.
Miz has dabbled in quite a few feuds this year with few of them doing much of anything for either him or his opponent(s)—Wade Barrett, Fandango, the WWE Authority figures/the Shield—a clear sign that WWE creative had nothing substantial or useful for him. This feud with the Wyatt’s, however, has seemingly invigorated him, or at least revitalized creative’s approach to writing his character. While taking on Bray Wyatt, Miz is showing the heart, edge, and the fearlessness that fans tend to admire in faces. This feud can actually do for the Miz what his face run hasn’t accomplished: that is make fans deeply interested and invested in his character. Miz could then re-emerge as another key player in a WWE that’s in need of depth in the ranks of their faces.
This is the first face feud for the Miz that has generated sustained fan interest, and that’s because the feud is actually pretty decent. At this point, feuding with the Wyatt’s is a good rub for midcard faces, as the midcard faces will get the exposure that comes with being paired with the captivating Bray Wyatt and his goosebump-inducing family, as long as the feud is booked well. Sure, Wyatt will win the feud, but in a weird twist of fate, the Miz (the vet) would benefit most from squaring off with Bray (the relative rookie). With the way that the Miz’s face turn has gone, this feud can generate interest back in him and his general character.
The Wyatt’s continue their strange, eerie ways and the Miz continues to develop this defiant, plucky face persona that he’s cultivated since he decided to avenge his beating from Randy Orton. Bray’s leg injury has actually made the feud interesting. In the wake of this injury creative has produced good writing (the Dungeon of Doom-like Smackdown segment where Miz was chained to steel structures in the back) and the wrestlers filling in for Bray have produced good wrestling. This feud has evolved from being a feed-in to facilitate Kane’s return to an honest, standalone feud. There won’t be a match between them tonight with Wyatt’s injury, but after Smackdown, they can create another effective segment that allows the feud to progress nicely and organically.
While his name is synonymous with the structure in wrestling lore—No fan over 25 can think of Hell In A Cell without thinking of the first HIAC between Undertaker and HBK in 1997 that brought about the debut of Kane—Kane will not be returning at HIAC, because keeping him off the PPV makes sense. A return at HIAC 2013 for Kane would effectively short-circuit the Miz, who could use all the momentum that he can get to spark interest back in his face character. Kane’s return would make him Bray Wyatt’s main target, and Miz is actually doing fairly well in that role right now. With Wyatt not being 100% yet and his feud with the Miz being interesting, let’s see if Miz and Bray can continue to create compelling television and help the Miz progress into the face star that he is supposed to be.