This is an interview conducted by Louis Velazquez with Mike “The Miz” Mizanin in 2004
Real Name: Michael Gregory Mizanin
Ring Name: The Miz
Height: 6′ 1″
Home: Parma, OH
Years in Wrestling: 1 yr. 8 months
Current Affiliations: UPW
Past Affiliations: NA
Ultimate Goals: contract with WWE
Website Links: www.themizareyouready.com
Favorite Color: black and blue
Favorite music group: Right now, Trapt
Favorite Movie: Swingers, Old School, Forrest Gump, Dumb and Dumber
|Be good. Be bad. Be MIZ.
That’s the saying… Why you ask? I created a character called The Miz because of a feeling I get.
This month on the cover of UCW’s Pro Wrestling Online magazine is probably one of the next WWE stars to enter the ring, Michael Mizanin, better known as “THE MIZ”, he is one of the star attractions of the Ultimate Pro Wrestling Promotion run by the legendary Rick Bassman and has gone from the Wrestling World to the Real World and his future is looking brighter and brighter.
Louis Velazquez: Miz, thanks for taking time out of your obviously busy schedule to participate in this Q&A session with us.
MIZ: Not a problem, anything to support what you’re doing.
Louis Velazquez: Thank you Miz that’s always good to hear, so let me ask you something, what got you interested in Pro Wrestling?
MIZ: Ever since I was a little kid I’ve loved to watch wrestling but never thought I was big enough to do it. I tried out for a show called The Real World. Trying out and making it onto this show was a dream for me as corny as it may sound. I remember in 7th grade sitting there watching The Real World San Francisco and saying to myself that some day I ‘m going to be on this show. 8 years later I followed that dream to become part of the cast of The Real World 10. While taping I felt that nobody really liked me and wouldn’t accept me for who I was. So I created The Miz, my alter ego, and started telling people off. The cast started liking The Miz better than they liked Mike so did the fans. That ended and I went back to Parma not really knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I had to get out of Parma. I started paging through my high school year book and that brought back memories of my friends coming over to my house every Sunday to watch wrestling. Remember back in those days there were usually a paper view every Sunday between WWE, WCW, and ECW. I realized that day that I wanted to become a professional wrestler. I moved to Los Angeles and started attending UPW’s Ultimate University ever since then I’ve been addicted. The Real World made me realize I can achieve my dreams if I try hard enough so that’s what I’m doing.
Louis Velazquez: Miz, I have to say that you are one intense person and you have a lot of drive, that is what makes you different from most, this is just what I see, those are the qualities needed for success. So when you finally got to step into the Ring how did you feel?
MIZ: I was nervous as hell. I didn’t know what to think. I saw all these guys taking bumps and I had no idea what to do. I never wrestled in high school so even chain wrestling was new to me.
Louis Velazquez: I can understand that totally, Well one major benefit of being guided by Rick Bassman is that you are taught the the ropes beyond taking bumps, who actually came up with your gimmick?
MIZ: I came up with The Miz on the Real World. Everybody would pick on me in the house nitpicking mostly and I
never liked to hurt people’s feelings. Until one day I went off and had no idea what I said because I was in the zone but from then on I gained respect from everyone in the house.
Louis Velazquez: That was the first gimmick that you had if I’m not mistaken right?
MIZ: Yes, That was the first gimmick. However, I do remember dressing up like different wrestlers when I was a kid.
Louis Velazquez: You have been wrestling for about a year and a half, have you worked with other promotions beyond UPW?
MIZ: Not really, I’ve mainly worked with UPW.
Louis Velazquez: You’re obviously a bright guy and I’m sure that you do other things beyond wrestling, can you share that with us?
MIZ: I go to colleges and speak to students about issues that face them in their everyday lives. I take my experiences off the Real World and try to take what I’ve learned and spill it to them. It’s a great job because it helps get me comfortable in front of big crowds. I also do a lot of charity work with Elizabeth Glazier Pediatric Aids Foundation and The Hollywood Knights.
Louis Velazquez: Miz , that’s fantastic, I alwasy believed in this, when you do good it comes back at you ten fold, and I’m sure that’s what’s going to happen with you, Let me ask you something do you see yourself eventually making it to the corporate structure of the wrestling world, namely the WWE? Or are you content where you are now?
MIZ: I definitely want to become a WWE superstar. It’s a dream I want to achieve and hopefully with hard work and dedication I can fulfill it.
Louis Velazquez: I think that you are well on your way to getting there, you have the tools and the desire and I am sure that the bright scouts of the “WWE” will be grabbing you sooner than later, just call it a hunch. Miz, so you have other aspirations that you hope to reach through wrestling?, do you see yourself going into acting in the future?
MIZ: I’m really looking at wrestling right now. Acting is always there knocking but wrestling is so much better.
Louis Velazquez: Well, don’t shut the door completely because that can only help your wrestling carreer reach new heights. I want to ask your opinion on something, over the past decade wrestling has change a lot, the envelope is constantly being pushed which is forcing today’s workers to perform more extreme moves, what are your feelings on this?
MIZ: I use what I have and that’s a very high intensity level. I want to stay in this business for a long time as well as be as healthy as I can. Some times I feel people use more extreme moves because they have to. I never saw The Rock or Hulk Hogan ever go to the top ropes and by no means am I saying I’m like The Rock or Hulk. I’m just saying it can be done.
Louis Velazquez: That’s very true, maybe a lot of the younger wrestlers will start to realize that so that they can have longevity in th business, Do you feel that the Indy scene is starting to develop more of a following nowadays, especially with only one major promotion in Wrestling?
MIZ: I couldn’t really tell you. I know since I’ve been working in the indy scene I’ve been watching more Indy shows but that’s only me.
Louis Velazquez: Fair enough, well ff you could change anything about wrestling what would it be?
MIZ: Giving me a WWE contract. I like to keep things as is because everything works itself out at the end.
Louis Velazquez: Miz, lets stray off the Pro Wrestling path, tell us more about the real you, your likes, dislikes, your ultimate goals in life both business and personal.
MIZ: Okay me in a nutshell, I travel a lot for speaking engagements at colleges, appearances at bars, and charities. I really like American Airlines because there’s more room in coach. Great idea by them. I love going to movies. I go to them by myself all the time. Boy do I sound like a dork huh?
It’s relaxing and I like to be entertained. I love competition. Give me any sport and I’ll do my best to win. I love trying new things. There’s not too many things I hate. As for goals, I think everyone has the same goal of being successful and happy. Finding that special someone that makes me get butterflies until the day I die.
Yeah I’m sappy and romantic. I would love to become a WWE superstar and do it as long as my health allows me.
Louis Velazquez: Hey Miz, those are the ABC’s of you and don’t fool yourself most guys are dorky at times. So tell us about your training routine, how often do you lift weights? How often do you get ring time?
MIZ: I lift basically 4-5 times a week. I switch my routine all the time. The key to working out is eating right. I’m trying to gain weight right now so I eat 5 times a day with 2 protein shakes. It’s hard and strict but it must be done. I also do some sort of cardio 3 times a week whether it’s biking, running, jumping rope, etc. My thing about working out is always keeping it interesting and not getting into the same thing. I always want my muscles to be sore the next day. I get into the ring about 2-3 times a week for 2 hours. It’s nice and I learn something new every time I step in.
Louis Velazquez: There goes that intensity but with reasoning behind it. If you had to pick one person, who would you say that you pattern yourself after?
MIZ: No one really. Just being 100% Miz. I’m a huge mark for myself.
Louis Velazquez: Nothing wrong with that, hey at least you’re honest about it, And, lastly, do you have any inspirational words or stories to share with your devoted fans?
MIZ: Follow your dreams and do what you want to do. People are going to tell you you can’t do it but keep your frame of mind. You don’t want to look back on your life and say I wish I would of….Like Nike Just do it and if it doesn’t work out at least you tried.
Don’t get scared and good luck. I wish you the best.
Miz thanks again for taking time out to do this Q&A session, it was really interesting, we will be following up with you especially when you make your way to the WWE. Good luck with everything and keep that intensity going.
When I conducted this interview in 2004 I knew there was something special about The Miz, he had a personality that was made for entertainment, not just the WWE but in general. He had a goal and never drifted from it, now he did not only achieve his goal of being a true WWE Superstar but he’s also becoming a Hollywood sensation and an NFL Fantasy Football legend. This is why I enjoy putting the spotlight on those talents that no one is paying attention to yet but I know that they will one day. Stay tuned to the UCW Radio Show & UCW Magazine
‘The Miz’ aims to be first ‘Real World’ WWE Superstar
by Phil Speer
ANAHEIM, Calif. – Dec. 8, 2003 – Several competitors from Ultimate Pro Wrestling, a Southern California-based promotion, were on hand at RAW today. One of them was Mike Mizanin, already a familiar face to many fans because of his days on “The Real World 10: Back to New York” and subsequent “Real World/Road Rules Challenge” shows.
Mizanin, now 23, would often morph into a wrestling persona on MTV’s “The Real World” because he’s a lifelong fan of WWE.
“In high school, I used to throw parties for the pay-per-views,” said the 6-foot-1, 215-pound Mizanin.
Mizanin was just a regular kid from Parma, Ohio, when he moved to New York for five months in 2001 to film the tenth season of “The Real World.” When he made a few naive comments that offended some of the roommates, he became enemy No. 1 in the house, at least among the women (he eventually won them over).
As something of a defense mechanism, he began “cutting promos” on them as if he were in a wrestling ring, often carrying a WWE Championship replica belt to help solidify the character.
“I just called the character ‘The Miz,’” he said.
At the time, Mizanin had no intention of breaking into the sports-entertainment business. But after filming wrapped on “The Real World” and “The Real World/Road Rules Battle of the Seasons,” which was shot just after, Mizanin realized he didn’t have a career path in mind.
“I was just sitting in my house in Parma thinking about what I wanted to do,” he said.
He added, “People always told me I was too small (to be a wrestler). … Finally, I just said, ‘I’m going to do what’s in my heart.’”
He got on the Internet looking for a wrestling school, finding two that seemed promising – UPW and Ohio Valley Wrestling, which is WWE’s developmental territory, based in Louisville, Ky.
“I saw OVW was in Louisville and UPW was in L.A.,” and that – the nice weather – became the deciding factor. So Mizanin packed up and headed to UPW, where John Cena and John Heidenreich once trained. Mizanin has been there for over a year and a half now. He’s also filmed two more seasons of the “Real World/Road Rules Challenge” – “The Gauntlet,” which is currently airing on MTV, and “Inferno,” which just wrapped production and is scheduled to begin airing early next year.
Mizanin said he gets paid almost nothing to appear on the “Real World” series (unless, of course, he wins the competitions), but he does the shows to gain exposure and to get word out that he’s interested in a career in sports entertainment. For instance, he often wears “The Miz” apparel on the show.
On a similar note, he’s been speaking on college campus, and he’ll often break into his wrestling character during the speeches. He’ll say, “You guys mind if I do a promo?” And the crowd will cheer approvingly.
One day he hopes that crowds at WWE arenas will do the same.
Mike “The Miz” Mizanin