What can The Miz do for an “Awesome” encore?

Does the WWE Universe still have any doubts as to whether The Miz is “Awesome” again?

Considering he spent a sizable portion of his summer preparing for his feature film debut in WWE Studios’ “The Marine: Homefront,” The Awesome One putting up a strong effort — let alone defending the storied Intercontinental Title — against Rey Mysterio at The 25th Anniversary of SummerSlam is simply awe-inspiring. ( MORE | PHOTOS) And yet, it serves as the latest chapter of the reigning Intercontinental Champion’s return to prominence in summer 2012.

As self-centered as any Superstar to ever step into the squared circle, The Miz may be the first to boast about his own talents to anyone willing to listen. He might say that any WWE Universe members not named Michael Cole lack appreciation for what he’s accomplished in WWE, or that he deserves more credit for maturing from a grappling gadfly into a decorated champion.

In recent months, however, The Awesome One has made some substantial evidence to back up his point. His charisma and comfort in front of the camera made him a fitting choice to lead the cast of “The Marine: Homefront.” His reputation earned him the opportunity to challenge Christian for the Intercontinental Title at Raw 1,000, and his talents led him past the Canadian competitor and into becoming a WWE Triple Crown champion. And now, his resiliency and will to win helped keep the odds in The Miz’s favor before The Ultimate Underdog could mount an upset at The Hottest Event of The Summer.

Since he’s joined the ranks of WWE Hall of Famers Shawn Michaels and Edge as one of the few Intercontinental Title holders to retain his championship gold at SummerSlam, what else does The Miz need to do to prove his mettle in WWE? Why does he feel the gaze of the cameras won’t stay focused on him? How can the pompous champion convince the WWE Universe that he alone deserves their praise and adoration?

So, is The Miz “Awesome” again? Beating a worthy competitor like Mysterio at a legendary event like The 25th Anniversary of SummerSlam should help further re-establish his in-ring credibility, but only The Awesome One can decide what will make for a suitable encore.

And in the end, there’s only one thing Miz truly wants, anyway: to have the entire WWE Universe waiting to see what he’ll do next.

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