4 Potential Opponents for The Miz's WWE Intercontinental Title
The Miz is currently on a phenomenal run with his best year in the WWE from an in-ring perspective. Who could be the next challenger for his IC title?
The Miz has had one of his best years in the WWE. It all started the night after WrestleMania when the Miz defeated Zack Ryder for the Intercontinental title. From there, the Miz would go on to produce stellar matches against the likes of Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, and Cesaro. Later, the Hollywood A-lister would be paired with his wife Maryse and that move alone would catapult Miz to the top of the WWE food chain.
He would defeat challenger after challenger thanks to Maryse’s innovative interference every time. However, through all this, Miz has evolved into one of the best heels on the roster. He would lose the title to Ziggler at this year’s No Mercy PPV. However, Miz would reclaim the title soon afterwords, just in time for Survivor Series.
TLC was the final chapter in the Miz-Ziggler feud and now that the champion is done with the challenger, who else could step up to face the Intercontinental champion? Miz has elevated the prestige of the title way more than what anybody would have thought a year ago. Having a strong list of challengers was crucial to that. Hence, he still needs to fend off challengers to retain credibility to both himself as well as the IC title. Who should step up against the Miz now?
4. Apollo Crews
The idea of Crews challenging Miz for the IC title isn’t really exciting for a lot of fans. Crews lacking that connection with the fans is one of the main reasons for the same. However, he is one of the finest athletes on SmackDown and deserves a better spot on the card. Crews has largely remained as a directionless babyface ever since getting called up to the main roster.
Creative could still build him up and have him face the Hollywood A-lister. The match could be good with some great spots thanks to Crews’ exceptional athleticism. However, over the program could be just okay. There is nothing exceptional about it and moreover, the heel-face dynamic is not as strong as it needs to be here.
Perhaps, Crews could go back to the canvas and rethink his identity and character. A short stay at NXT could help him to realize his own strengths and full potential. Given enough direction and reason, Crews could make a great singles champion. Not to mention, he already has a history with the Miz. Expect WWE to go down this road at some point in the future.
Kalisto vs Miz for the IC title could recreate the spark the feud between Rey Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio had. The heel-face dynamic is really strong here and the fans really get behind Kalisto. Moreover, Kalisto has proven before that he can work a singles title run well. He is no stranger to big matches and singles titles.
The best part is Kalisto is burning hot after a great chairs match against Baron Corbin. Though the luchador lost the match, due credit has to be given for the guts and the innovative he showcased throughout the match. A match between Kalisto and the Miz would be fun to watch as well as great in terms of in-ring action.
Put in Maryse and this feud has all the ingredients to last through a couple of PPVs and title matches. A program with Miz would elevate Kalisto as a bigger mid card star and might even pave the way for future title opportunities. Unlike Apollo Crews, creative could pull the trigger on a Kalisto-Miz feud right away and make it work.
2. Baron Corbin
WWE often pulls a face vs face match from its hat, but rarely do we see a heel vs heel. Baron Corbin facing the Miz for the IC title is a fun idea. Corbin is known to be a Lone Wolf and literally cost SmackDown Live the cruiserweight division. Corbin has not aligned himself with either the good guys or the bad guys.
He has also improved drastically after being called up to the main roster. Corbin came on top of Kalisto in their much talked about chairs match at TLC. The match as a clear statement to WWE creative. It shouted out that both Corbin and Kalisto deserve bigger and better things on the WWE. With a little more work, Baron Corbin could be the next monster heel of the WWE.
As noted, a heel vs heel match wouldn’t often play out as smoothly as it should. If that be the case, creative could always revisit the idea of a Kalisto feud and have a triple threat match for the IC title. WWE can tease a number of outcomes and have Miz come out of each title defense in his own sneaky way. Regardless, Corbin deserves a proper long-term feud and possibly a shot at the title.
1. Dean Ambrose
The most logical contender for the IC title has to be Dean Ambrose. He could potentially be done with challenging AJ Styles for the WWE title. Ambrose would put his body on the line at TLC and yet again fail to capture the title, thanks to James Ellsworth. This past week, a frustrated Ambrose squared off against the IC champion thanks to Daniel Bryan.
WWE fans would witness a great match from there. The spots were great and the heel-face dynamic was strong here. Above all, the performers had great chemistry and brought out the best in each other. Miz had a great run with the title largely because of the class of challengers he faced. Dean Ambrose could add even more credibility to that list with ease.
The problem with the idea is that SmackDown does not have a top babyface except for Ambrose. In his absence, one would have to wonder who would face AJ Styles. Hence, the Miz might be safe from the Lunatic Fringe for now. However, creative could always go back to their spark from last week’s SmackDown and rekindle the rivalry then and there.
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