As 2016 was drawing to a close, a feud between The Miz and Dean Ambrose started brewing. It got off to an interesting start, as it has broken the fourth wall by tying in a personal relationship with a professional one. During a post match interview between WWE commentator Renee Young and The Miz, Young commented to The Miz that he may be obsessed with Ambrose, to which The Miz commented that she’s the one that’s sleeping with him. Young slapped The Miz and the interview quickly came to an end. That led to continued incidents of The Miz taunting Young, and his wife returning the favour by slapping Ambrose. What exactly happened, and was it necessary? This is an example of WWE’s ongoing efforts to combine real stories with the fictional world of wrestling. What this has led to is a conflict between two men who, a year ago, no one would have to be on the same level.
For anyone that was not aware, Ambrose and Young have been seeing each other for a couple of years, and this has begun to be documented on the Total Divas program. It goes without saying that Maryse will stand by The Miz regardless of his actions. Why did the writers chose to go in this direction and what exactly does it mean? It certainly gives the storyline a real feel to it, as it involves members of the reality television show. This has also been present in Natayla’s recent statements to Nikki Bella as well.
For Ambrose and The Miz, this follows soon after they were part of highly contested and competitive feuds with AJ Styles and Dolph Ziggler, respectively. Miz has been seen in a very different light since his impassioned speeches directed towards Daniel Bryan, beginning on Talking Smack. Despite Ambrose recently capturing the Intercontinental title, this feud isn’t necessarily based on a need to win a championship, but rather the need to defend the honor of someone you love. If this was a feud that had happened earlier in the year, it could be argued that it was a slight against Ambrose to battle The Miz since he seemed to be headed in the direction of the WWE Championship. The difference is that now ‘The A-Lister’ is seen as a ‘must see WWE superstar,’ something that couldn’t be said earlier in the year.
By taking the real-life relationship between Ambrose and Young and making it a focal point of the feud, it meant the company wasn’t going to go in the direction of The Lunatic Fringe simply wanting to become the Intercontinental Champion. While the championship can only be elevated by Ambrose holding it, making it the focus of Ambrose’s pursuit would be somewhat pointless, unless it reflects his desire to take away the one thing outside Maryse that means the most to Miz.
The Miz has continued to show that unless something of value is at stake, he won’t take part in the exchange. For example, unless Dolph Ziggler put his career on the line, he wasn’t willing to defend the Intercontinental Championship. What does this say about him? We know his character is a weasel that is easy to hate. The question is, what would he want from Ambrose that is of any value to him? If the writers have anything to say about it, it could have something to do with Renee Young. Young has been one of the most liked on-screen personalities since coming to the company.
Having her as part of the storyline, and where it could go, has to make some fans nostalgic. For a number of fans, this storyline has the potential of becoming reminiscent of the feud between Randy ‘Macho Man‘ Savage and ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair, with Miz playing the part of Flair and Ambrose playing the part of Savage, with Young becoming a modern-day Elizabeth. While this theory may be blasphemous to some, it really could have a fresh feel to it because of the parties involved.
For anyone unaware of the Savage and Flair story, it had the often overprotective and jealous Macho Man put in a position where he would stop at nothing to protect the good name of Miss Elizabeth. Flair had images of him and Elizabeth ‘spending time together,’ in what today we would call photoshopped pictures, but that was less evident back then. Elizabeth was embarrassed by the accusation, and during the feud would often be off camera as the Macho Man was being interviewed. While something of that nature may not necessarily work today with Ambrose, Young and The Miz, embarrassing Young and trying to make her look unprofessional does appear as a plausible way for the company to go. If we recall how crazed Ambrose was when he set out for revenge against Seth Rollins, imagine how crazed he could be one if the person that he is as close to as anyone is disgraced.
We normally see Ambrose come off as uncontrollable, and even though he has shown a soft side for James Ellsworth, it gets even more personal when it involves Young. We saw Ambrose affected personally when he and Roman Reigns were betrayed by Rollins, but that was clearly scripted. It is different now, as the real relationship between Young and Ambrose is well documented.
As noted earlier, while feuding with The Miz might have been seen as a slight on Ambrose, it really shouldn’t be. The addition of Maryse to the side of The Miz has really elevated the value he brings to the brand. He is so incredibly over as a character that in some ways it reduces his in-ring deficiencies. This feud with Ambrose helps him, and really doesn’t hurt Ambrose either. It would be safe to assume that Ambrose will get the better of The Miz when all is said and done, and so far he has given his recent capturing of the IC Title, but more twists in the booking may come. What if, for example, the writers were to throw fans a curve and in some way Young sides with The Miz? Perhaps she would do so in an effort to get under the skin of Daniel Bryan, who she co-hosts Talking Smack with.
Despite losing to AJ Styles, Ambrose is set to make this feud successful. Meanwhile, The Miz has shown what he can do during his compelling program with Dolph Ziggler. Does this feud need to happen? The short answer is yes. Unlike Miss Elizabeth, Young has been established as a television star as well-being a part of the Total Divas show, and now there is another outlet for fans to see her. Elizabeth was much quieter in her role as a valet, while Young has had the responsibility of not only conducting interviews, but leading preview shows for pay per views as well. Involving both Maryse and Young in this feud allows the company to push the envelope a bit. That doesn’t mean a match between the two, though. A straight head-to-head between Maryse and Young clearly goes in the favor of Maryse as she is a former women’s champion.
It is also a feud that needs to be carefully crafted. It doesn’t have to have moments of Young attempting to put herself in harm’s way while coming to the aid of Ambrose; that isn’t something fans want to see. Could having the integrity of Young put into question mean she may have to relinquish her role, as a backstage interviewer and commentator?
They are blurring the line between the reality television of Total Divas and the scripted nature of normal WWE program. Regardless of who comes out victorious, it is a feud that could lend itself to some interesting storytelling.
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