There may be no one in wrestling currently who is both more feared and more envied than the current AEW TNT Champion. Wielding words every week through vignettes and interviews, Miro has taken on a new form. This Redeemer character he portrays has been inside him all along. Shooting barbs about destiny and divine right, not to mention casual brags about his hot wife, he has reached a level that he never has before. This isn’t of his own doing. Who would have thought that all Miro needed to become God’s favorite champion was a little creative freedom and someone to believe in him?
It speaks to a larger more encompassing trend in All Elite Wrestling, but that’s another feature for another day. As Miro marches into All Out, he does so with a confidence and swagger that is only growing with every successful title defense. It remains largely a mystery to me as to how TNT title challengers are determined (I honestly dig that), but not a one has pushed the Redeemer to his limits as the next one surely will. The difference here though is that he chose Eddie Kingston on his own. He sought out the original sinner of All Elite Wrestling and welcomed him into a literal clash of the professional wrestling titans. According to the champion himself, he cannot be held responsible for his own actions, but has he bitten off a little more than he can chew this time?
In his mind, I have no doubt he doesn’t believe he has. No matter where this confidence has come from, Miro walks on with a rage that is God-given, or so he believes. That’s all that really matters, right? He was a monster before, but with an unflappable disregard for the well-being of those in his path and a will to violently forgive all who betray his God, how can he be stopped? The thing to remember is that he doesn’t believe he can be stopped. No one can step to him and escape with their life, at least in the way it existed before their reckoning.
That’s what this truly is when all is stripped away, isn’t it? Much like Bane claims to be to Gotham in The Dark Knight Rises, Miro is AEW’s own reckoning, “here to end the borrowed time you’ve all been living on.” The way things have been done, the way opportunities have been given, the way that fun and games have been attached to All Elite Wrestling since its inception – that’s all over. Miro walks on with an army behind him. Not literally of course, but someone who looks like him, fights like him, and believes he is backed by a vengeful God wielding himself as his own divine weapon…is an army all his own, and God help any who stand against him.
This though, isn’t about being saved. This is about taking what needs fixing and fixing it. One by violent one. Leaving a trail of bodies in his wake, Miro enters All Out with an aura about him that seems built by fate. Everything he does and says within this persona seems important. A laser focus on his given mission, even when “joking” about his double-jointed wife, and a starving rage boiling directly underneath the surface of the man we’re all drawn to but are also afraid of.
That’s the true beauty of the Redeemer. We find ourselves drawn to him, almost cheering him on in his crusade against an establishment his God as deemed evil. Almost. Right when he has us in the palm of his hand, he decapitates yet another fan favorite and stares into the hard camera with such a staggering hypnotic frenzy of truth and sobering reality. It’s a brilliant depiction of a psychopath unleashed. The truth is that the scariest segment of Miro’s reign may yet be upon us as he descends more and more into instability and madness.
Honestly, I’m here for all of it. He’s been a weekly highlight on a show that has been consistently very good for a long period of time. As much as I adore Eddie Kingston, it doesn’t feel like the right time to pin the Redeemer. Perhaps I’m just not ready to give up the ridiculously good vignettes or the confident warnings to the locker room and wrestling world in general. Hell, can you blame me?
Most of all though, as evil and crazed as we are meant to believe Miro is – a literal beast unleashed by the almighty – I cannot get over how special this time has got to feel for the man who was consistently overlooked prior to arriving in All Elite Wrestling. It wasn’t for a lack of ability or dedication though. He repeatedly got himself over and placed himself in position for pushes and stories that never seemed to manifest. That has to wear on a person. It has to grind them down to levels of frustration difficult to comprehend. So, what does someone like Miro do when the proverbial glass ceiling continues to be lowered until it’s all but crushing him? Well, he told us when he debuted, didn’t he?
It’s baffling to consider that the Redeemer has been inside Miro this whole time, along with a host of other landscape altering ideas and iterations of unencumbered violence. In many ways, he’s walked into All Elite Wrestling and donned a mask, the very one he was always meant to wear. Who doubts him now? God help you if you do, right? That’s the gimmick, but something tells me that bits of his heart are intertwined within. Sure, not the violence and psychopathic persona, but the confidence and dedication required to live through what he has in this business doesn’t exist within everyone. He’s harnessed it and put in forth into existence in ways he can be proud of. That’s what it is all about.
There is not doubt that he faces his biggest challenge come Sunday at All Out – a man who would rather die inside that ring than give up. I’m not sure the cameras even have the capability to capture the intensity that will be present as the two men stare at each other prior to the bell ringing. We may not see it clearly, but you can bet we’ll feel it. All of us.
On Sunday, the titans of violence clash, and only one will walk away. Whose side will you stand on?
Choose carefully. For there is enough forgiveness to go around.
This is the word of the Redeemer.