WrestleMania Preview: Shane McMahon vs. The Miz

In a match that was announced mere days after Fastlane, Shane McMahon will face-off against The Miz, as a result of a rivalry that has rapidly grown in animosity. To some, the naturally heelish nature of Miz makes them scratch their head a little. For someone that was synonymous with cowering and running away to now be coming out and defending the honor of his family seems somewhat strange, character-wise. However, when we think about the life changes The Miz has gone through it does make sense. He is no longer the Alister that is thinking only about himself, now he is all about his family, and in particular his father. The storyline can resonate with some, particularly those that may be, or have been, estranged from their father. Miz and his father aren’t estranged, it has always seemed like he has had to work for his dad’s approval. For fans that have ever seen programs on the WWE network involving The Miz and his parents, you could always see how his dad had a different response to what happens to him than his mother, whether it was laughing at the Miz while Randy Orton beat the hell out of him in front of them, or calling him ‘barely there’ in reference to when he worked for his restaurant flipping burgers.

While the match was only announced a few weeks ago, it could be argued that the build toward it began as far back as WWE’s Crown Jewel in 2018. Fans will recall that when The Miz was allegedly injured and unable to compete against Dolph Ziggler, it was Shane McMahon that offered to step in and compete on The Miz‘s behalf. The result was not only a win by McMahon but a claim to be the ‘Best in the World.’ From there The Miz began a quest to not only congratulate Shane on his victory but to claim to be the 2/3rd owner of a trophy that he would share with McMahon. That was then followed with The Miz’s countless attempts to form a team with him, and claiming to be ‘The Best Tag Team in the World’. Shane wasn’t without his reservations, as many would be when it came to The Miz. Too often we have seen The Miz prove himself as selfish by turning on his partner. So it became a case of The Miz having to prove himself to the boss. He had to show McMahon that he had his back, and indeed he did.

As 2018 turned to 2019, an opportunity to compete for the WWE Smackdown Live tag team championships came about, and it turned out to be a championship win. The win led to a celebration as it was a dream come true for both Miz and Shane McMahon. Tied to what was mentioned earlier, The Miz had dedicated this championship to his Dad, whom he wanted to make proud. Shane claimed to have always ‘dreamed’ of being a tag team champion, and that was the lead in to convince Shane to team with The Miz and give the Alister a chance that many thought would never happen. When they teamed up against The Bar, that set the stage for the next part of the story being told with McMahon and Miz.

While it is an accomplishment to capture the tag team championships it is another thing to defend them, and in the Best Tag Team in the World’s first title defense, The Usos captured the championships leaving The Miz and Shane McMahon back at square one. What was interesting to note was the sincere remorse The Miz felt, when it would have been easy to be somewhat sceptical considering his history of being less than trustworthy. However, The Miz was accountable to his partner, saying the loss was on him and that he didn’t just disappoint his tag team partner but his father. Keep in mind that soon The Miz will be a father for the second time, so that can be seen as contributing to a change in character.

The next avenue The Miz sought in order to redeem himself was to recapture the SmackDown Live tag team championships along with Shane. The Usos granted them a rematch at Fastlane, despite automatic championship rematches no longer being automatic. The match itself was remarkable and both teams gave it their all. Once it ended it was clear that all of the scepticism toward The Miz that was around in the build to his teaming with Shane was proven unfounded. As it turned out, the fingers were being pointed at the wrong person, as McMahon revealed he was tired of thinking of others and attacked his tag team partner after their match. He not only beat up Miz but put his hands-on his father at ringside.

The week after the announcement of this match, The Miz gave another passionate promo where he said ‘Hard work wins when talent doesn’t work hard enough’. He certainly proved that he wasn’t going to allow what happened to him and his father to fall by the wayside. The Miz is now competing with a whole new direction. While over the past few years he has shown a different level of passion, he is now fighting for the honor of his father, as well as his frustration at being deceived by someone that has always shown honor. Fans have seen a side of The Miz that reflects a pure heart. However, that pure heart is out to seek vengeance. Whether it’s a group of security guards, a collection of wrestlers or Shane McMahon himself, nothing will stand in his way as he is set to put ‘the boss’ in his place. As he has often said, Shane may own the company, but he doesn’t own The Miz.