Making a Face

The Miz was so perfect as a Heel — oozing arrogance with his little preppy vests and douche-bag haircut.  He always bragged about his Awesomeness, and we hated him because we couldn’t refute that claim.  Something about his smug face makes you just want to kiss him rough and then slap him.  And he was so cruel to the Baby-Faces and Fan Favorites, forever attacking them from behind — making me think that he has a lifetime of experience as a bully and cheap-shot artist.

But then it came time to film the Marine 3: The Homefront, the next installment of the popular film franchise that celebrates our kick-ass military heroes.  Prior Marine movies starred Baby-Faces John Cena and Ted DiBiase Jr.  As the currently reigning top Face in the WWE, Randy Orton was initially chosen to star in Part Three.  But rumors surfaced that Orton went AWOL when he was in the marines and served time in a military prison, so he had to step down out of respect for our proud military veterans.

So who else on the WWE roster is the right age to be a marine, and has the charisma and acting chops to seem authentic in the film?  Who has that All-American look, and the intelligence to learn the lines and speak clearly?  The Miz was the best option they had, but there is just one problem — The Miz is a nasty, arrogant Heel, and NOBODY wants to cheer for a damn Heel bastard to defend freedom and destroy our terrorist enemies!

So if they want people to buy the Marine 3 (which is going to be released straight to DVD this spring), then the Miz needed a quick “Face Turn” — a conversion from villain to good guy.

But how can a tiger change its stripes?  How can they quickly re-package the Miz and sell us a kinder gentler version? Lets look at the subtle cues and poses in this recent match which cast the Miz in a heroic light, teaching the fans that we ought to cheer for him, not hate him any more.

The match opens with Miz applying a series of Armbars, which is the facey-est hold ever invented.  Ricky Steamboat and Brad Armstrong used like a half-dozen Arm Bars per match.

You may also note a new haircut on The Miz.  Gone is the douchey pointed faux-hawk, replaced with a high and tight trim that an ex-Marine might wear.

The fact that Miz is battling big, ugly, pain-averse Tensai is further evidence that The Miz is now a good guy, because Heels almost never strive against other Heels.

Only popular Baby-Faces wrestle against the really scary, ugly monster type Heels.  Certainly any wrestler will appear physically attractive and loveable compared to the beast he is in the ring with. (This effect is similar to the way decent-looking women always hang around with at least one wookie.)

The announcers’ job is to help sell the heroism, bravery, and intelligence of the Face, repeating key phrases about “heart” and “resiliency” that are always applied to heroic figures.  To hear how the verbal commentary encourages fan-love for The Miz, check out this match on YouTube.  Here are a few examples of their verbal fluffing:

  • “The crowd here on Superstars loves seeing the Miz.”
  • “Very smart move on the part of The Miz.”
  • “That says a lot about his heart, his desire, as well as his resiliency, to kick out of a maneuver such as that.”
  • “You’ve gotta give Miz credit — he just kicked out after he got rammed again by the Mac truck!”
  • “You can NOT doubt or question this young Superstar’s resiliency, his charisma, and his ability inside the ring.”

The most important body part on a Face is his face — which is frequently filmed up close to encourage us to feel his emotions, to convince us of his authenticity, and to make us fall in love with him.  There are far more close-up shots of The Miz now that he is a Good Guy than when he was a villain.

And the best way to condition the fans to love a Baby-Face is to torture him.  Showing his face contorted in agony, the unrelenting pain bringing tears to his eyes (and perhaps our eyes) breaks our hearts and forces us to feel sorry for him.

And everybody loves a winner, so of course Miz is able to apply his finisher and score a victory.  Hardly anybody has ever beaten big Tensai, who was initially presented as being indestructible, so this victory is especially heroic and laudable.

Gone is the post-match swagger, the smarmy smirk of victory.  Instead The Miz offers up a demure victory pose, the pain on his face reminding us that he was lucky to gain this win.

If you’re still not in love with The Miz — if you’re still not planning to purchase The Marine 3, The Homefront — then check out the new victory pose The Miz has adopted recently.  He gets really Baby-Facey and Joe Six-Packy by sitting with military members at ringside.

A man is judged by the company he keeps, and who can not respect and honor our brave military warriors?  The fact that these soldiers are willing to hug The Miz and be photographed by his side informs us that he can’t really be a Bad Guy.  Maybe he does have a Heart of Gold after all, and is worthy to star in The Marine 3.  Maybe after the movie is released this spring, The Miz can go back to his more comfortable role as a mean prick.

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One Response to Making a Face

  1. RayAtL says:

    This was some excellent analysis from you, Arsenal … Been a Miz fan from way back but have not kept up with this current look… Hot haircut!
    (And it’s interesting that FreightTrain — or whatever he’s been called — is back from Japan — I could do with the tattoos and let him regroup his bear look from the past…)