Superstars who weren't supposed to make it

Page 3 of 9
September 28, 2012

The Miz

Sure, the natural response to former reality TV star The Miz being listed among “Superstars Who Shouldn’t Have Made It” may be, appropriately enough, “really?” After all, The Awesome One first spent time in the public eye as a cast member on the 10th season of MTV’s “The Real World,” and the television exposure gave him an immediate leg up on the competition in WWE’s “Tough Enough” series years later in 2004. (It was on “The Real World” that “The Miz” persona was first introduced to the masses.)

Though he lost in the “Tough Enough” finals to winner Daniel Puder, The Miz showed enough raw potential that WWE talent scouts had no choice but to sign him to a developmental contract after the show ended. The Miz’s uphill battle, however, was just beginning. For as much as his reality show cache may have benefited The Miz in terms of pop culture relevancy, it arguably worked against him as he strived to gain the respect of WWE’s most hardboiled veterans (many of whom undoubtedly saw The Miz’s frat-boy immaturity play out on national TV inside a house of seven strangers).

Forever battling the perception that he was a reality star who stumbled into a cherry position, The Awesome One stunned haters by accumulating a successful record once he graduated to WWE’s main roster. He quickly ascended from Tag Team Champion in 2007 to United States Champion in 2009 to Money in the Bank winner in 2010 and, eventually, WWE Champion later that same year. He reached the pinnacle of sports-entertainment — the WWE Championship main event of a WrestleMania — in 2011, less than a decade after his first professional match.

After John Cena ended his reign and it appeared that The Miz’s gloss was wearing off, The Awesome One rebounded and scored the Intercontinental Championship from Christian this year, becoming the latest entry into WWE’s elite Triple Crown club. No matter what his detractors said, The Miz ensured he would not be relegated to a career of “Real World” reunions and nothing more. (WATCH: The Miz wins the Raw Money in the Bank Ladder Match)

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