Due to a couple of factors, it was unclear where WWE's Intercontinental title picture would go after Extreme Rules.
For one thing, all three of the men Miz had been feuding with over the belt moved into the Money in the Bank ladder match for the next pay-per-view (PPV), while the champ did not. Then, it was announced that the Hollywood A-Lister would begin filming his next straight-to-OnDemand classic, The Marine 5: Battleground, on May 31.
Especially after the latter news, fans began to speculate on Miz dropping the strap on last night's Raw, the final show before filming on his third WWE Studios outing as ex-Marine Jake Carter would begin. Turns out there was no need for speculation, as WWE's solution is for the Awesome One to take the title with him on location, but provide weekly updates on how it (and he) are doing via Facebook Live.
I LOVE THIS.
While an argument could be made that having the championship out of play for what I assume will be like four-to-six weeks makes it seem less important, I think the benefits far outweigh the risks.
This keeps Miz on-screen and extra-hateable while he's off doing his Hollywood thing. It builds the character in a way that fits the gimmick, and will hopefully build excitement for someone to kick his ass and take the belt later this Summer.
I mean, just watch him say he needs to "go get a little rest" and tell me you don't want to punch him in the face. That doesn't even get into the custom intro from his wife (and Marine 5 co-star) Maryse, the prominent use of the upside down WWE logo as his personal emblem and more.
And, there's precedent for this kind of heeling with that very belt, too. The whole thing has a 'Reality' Era Honky Tonk Man vibe.
The trick is they need a hot babyface to battle and likely defeat him to become a fighting champ, probably at SummerSlam. Luckily, the seeds were planted prior to his leaving, and Cesaro likely won't be winning the briefcase on June 19, so...
Another thing that works about this is it will make his and the title's return to either Raw or SmackDown after the split feel important. The Intercontinental championship won't have been just another feud WWE struggled to find time for on television. It'll hopefully be refreshed and ready to possibly even be the top prize for men on the show where it ends up.
Of course, this could all go horribly wrong. I wouldn't be shocked if the IC belt was an afterthought and Miz back to being mostly a talk show host by the Fall. But for now, it's a creative solution with a lot of upside.
What do you think, Cagesiders?