A wrestler with one of the most unique success stories in existence, if you’re a fan of the WWE’s The Miz, odds are, you know quite a bit in regards to this wrestler’s past. Indeed, given that he is such a larger than life personality, his antics in regards to his professional journey thus far have been hard to miss. Moreover, although his rise to wrestling greatness may have seemed abrupt, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, believe it or not, the once wide-eyed hopeful seemed to be on a journey to becoming anything but his dream of a WWE champion.
Nevertheless, a once arrogant, passionate, yet misunderstood reality star, Michael Gregory Mizanin literally matured and came into his own while the world was watching. Leaving a bit to be desired when he first introduced himself to audiences, by the end of his reality TV run, Mike had acquired an array of fans and supporters who would continue to root for him in all of his professional endeavors. Relatively straight laced with an edge of epic proportions, even celebrity psychics likely had trouble predicting the trajectory of Mizanin’s career. However, once again setting his sights on his dream of being a WWE superstar, Mike made his professional wrestling debut and officially made “The Miz” a reality in 2006. Nevertheless, this brief overview pales in comparison to the detailed ins and outs of his journey thus far. The following is 15 fairly unknown facts about one of the most interesting journeys of a professional wrestler to date.
15. The Miz and “The Real World”
Based on a true story, either you know the history of The Miz or you don’t. For those who are unaware, you may be surprised to know that the character “The Miz” actually originated on reality television. Appearing on a historic season of The Real World: Back in New York, Mizanin was a part of the explosive 10th seasons (which was likely enough to land him in the reality TV history books in and of itself). Just a wide-eyed pro-wrestler hopeful in those days, he entered the house as Mike Mizanin, a fairly reserved young man who certainly had some growing to do. Initially treated as an alter ego to Mizanin, The Miz was considered an additional housemate as he was almost the exact opposite of Mike in real life. Moreover, as the season went on, the audience got very acquainted with both Mike and “The Miz.” No one knew it then, but this would actually turn out to be notorious notating the birth of one of the greatest wrestlers of our time (maybe). Nevertheless, appearing on this one show alone did not lead to immediate wrestling success.
14. He has a Softer Side
In addition to The Real World, The Miz also appeared on MTV’s The Challenge which is a show that marries Real World and its former counterpart, Road Rules for a showdown that ends in hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash prizes. A great show to let his inner wrestler soar, his antics and effort on this show certainly did not disappoint. Getting into his fair share of hookups, scandals, fights, defeats, triumphs, and more, Mizanin certainly showed he was ready for the dramatic antics such as those that are associated with the WWE. However, the most impressive things about his appearance on the show is when he showed even big scary wrestlers have hearts. Trying his hardest to take care of his friend and partner, Coral, in one episode in particular, Mizanin channeled his inner Miz and went the extra mile to protect her in a water-related mission, as she had a phobia. In addition to that, the two definitely had a complicated past, which made his efforts to protect her all the more heartwarming. As one of the most touching displays from the Miz to date, fans of the show were all but pushing for a spin-off for this duo following this episode.
13. The Miz Wasn’t “Tough Enough”
Armed with a new sense of confidence as well as reality celebrity status, The Miz believed he was ready for the big leagues. A show that was specifically designed to groom young wrestling hopefuls, Mizanin and his fans were just sure this would be his big break. Although he had an excellent run, won over some fans, and essentially solidified himself as a bona fide professional wrestler, this was not the big break that he had hoped for. Nevertheless, it clearly worked out for him in the end. Despite coming in second place in the competition that offered a million dollar prize as well as the coveted contract with the WWE, Mizanin turned out to be the most notorious contestant to ever compete on the show. Mizanin will go down in history as the first, and so far only, “Tough Enough” contestant to win the WWE championship and subsequently compete in WrestleMania.
12. The Miz & the WWE Diva Search Competition
As a prerequisite to his induction into the WWE, Mizanin actually hosted the 2006 WWE Diva Search competition. A show geared towards uncovering and employing talented, attractive co-eds to join the WWE, Mizanin was a perfect fit for the show giving his love of the sport and background in reality television. Moreover, in the midst of a dwindling and disappointing host position on another WWE show, Smackdown!, once again, Mizanin found himself fighting for a spot on yet another WWE reality show. To no avail, his sporadic and random appearances slowly decreased in frequency until they were nonexistent. However, lucky for Mizanin, the powers that be at WWE had taken a like to him and decided to give him a shot as the host of the WWE Diva Search competition. Alongside his beautiful co-host, Ashley Massaro, Mizanin became the official host of the annual diva search for both Raw and Smackdown! Nevertheless, it was a rough start for Mizanin as he notoriously botched several lines during his first appearance on the show.
11. Undefeated Streak
In addition to that, once he actually managed to land a contract with the WWE, his career was off to an excellent start. Following his long, difficult journey into the league, Miz actually did realize a level of success right out of the gate. Although it was fairly short-lived, Miz did enjoy a period of time as a new and undefeated pro wrestler. Following his stint as host of the WWE Diva Search Competition, Miz was finally given a chance to bring his wrestling dreams into fruition. Beginning his career as a villain, Miz was not very well liked by fans, that likely came secondary to being so awesome. Completing his first three months as an undefeated newbie, Miz’s luck ended when he was defeated by the Boogeyman at the Armageddon showdown. Although many speculate that his early days were the highlight of his career, others are hopeful that his short, undefeated stent is a sign of the vast potential that will continue to manifest itself throughout his pro wrestling career.
10. He Has a Fairly Impressive Acting Reel
Given that he began his career in reality television and clearly had dreams of appearing on the big screen, it should come to no surprise that both Mike and The Miz have been making their rounds in the acting world. In addition to his array of MTV reality shows, Mizanin has since appeared on TV shows such as Fear Factor, Destroy, Build, Destroy, Pair of Kings, The Soup, and more. Moreover, he has also appeared in films such as The Campaign, The Marine 3: Homefront, Queens of the Ring, Christmas Bounty, Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery, The Marine 4: Moving Target, Santa’s Little Helper, Scooby-Doo! And WWE: Course of the Speed Demon, and The Marine 5: Battleground. As mentioned, he did not play his notorious character in all of these roles. Nevertheless, in some of the roles he was the Miz to a tee. Thus, further etching the character’s likeness into the pop cultural history books.
9. Stolen Roles
Speaking of his acting history, one of his most coveted acting roles, the film series The Marine, was actually awarded to Mizanin by default. In 2012, the starring role in Marine 3: Homefront had already been awarded to Randy Orton. However, (unfortunate for Orton) after searching into the actor’s past, it was discovered that he had a checkered past with the US Marine Corp and was dishonorably discharged. Luckily for Mizanin, given his past in wrestling as well as the military-style missions he took part in as a part of MTV’s The Challenge, he was more than prepared to step into the role. Many argued that Orton, someone with actual military experience, should have been given a second chance (given that the infraction in question occurred some 13 years prior). Either way, forever the villain, the role still belongs to Mizanin, who continues to star in the film series. The rest is pro wrestling history.
8. His Last “Hoorah”
Given his history of appearing on shows such as MTV’s The Challenge, this next factoid makes more sense than many had believed. When he first began his career as a wrestler, Miz made a major faux pas in regards to selecting his catchphrase. A phrase that had likely become a regular part of his vocabulary during his days at MTV (as much of the cast could regularly be heard yelling out the phrase during those super difficult, military-style missions), his first catchphrase, “Hoorah,” didn’t go over too well with the WWE crowd. Coming off as loud and obnoxious rather than strong and powerful, the phrase seem to both distract and annoy the crowd. Moreover, even the announcers hated it as JBL, who was on commentary at that point, took the time to point out how ridiculous the catchphrase was. It seems he got the memo. Although this clearly didn’t end his career with the WWE, this was certainly the last “Hoorah” for the annoying catchphrase.
7. He was Once a One-Day Champion
Although he has become quite the decorated champion over the years, this was clearly not always the case for Mizanin. In fact, two of his titles lasted for just one day. The first of which, during WrestleMania 29 when he defeated Wade Barrett. A great show for fans, however, the title was never intended to last. Simply a planned defeat to excite fans before the season began, Barrett regained is title on Raw the very next night. Moreover, fans were baffled as to why this happened to begin with as the move did little to nothing for both Barrett and Mizanin’s career. In addition to that, at the PPV Night of Champions that aired September 21, 2014, the Miz defeated Dolph Ziggler. Although Barrett also won his title back the very next night, this actually did do something for Miz’s career as a wrestler; the feud lasted all summer and culminated during the notorious battle.
6. He Was Once Fired and Banned from Wrestling
A season that was notoriously littered with terrible storylines, the summer of 2009 was definitely an interesting time for the Miz. Following a simply disastrous segment on “Raw” between Miz and longtime rival, John Cena, at this time, the only purpose of the segment was to set Miz up for his big loss to Cena, as has been the typical outcome between the pair. Like clockwork, Cena once again won the battle and left the Miz and his wrestling legacy in the dust. Due to his defeat, Miz was effectively banned from the Staples Center, fired from Raw, and banned from SummerSlam. However very short-lived, a masked Miz reemerged just one week later under the moniker “The Calgary Kid” and beat Eugene in a match over a WWE contract. Once unmasked, his true identity, and awesome new catchphrase was revealed to the audience. Moreover, he was also fired once again in 2011, as a part of his storyline with R-Truth. It seems the WWE has since conveniently forgotten about these instances.
5. An Unqualified NXT Pro
Debuting in 2010, one of the main ideas of the NXT Pro was to pair pros with rookies in order to help make a series of more fierce WWE competitors. A laughable pairing to wrestler fans everywhere, somehow, Miz got paired with Daniel Bryan. Although a display in the misguided nature of WWE politics, Bryan had been wrestling for a decade at this point and Miz was a mere four years in, Miz took the lead and Bryan was tasked with playing the role of the apprentice. Comical to say the very least, however, there were likely very valid reasons for the WWE making this pairing. If nothing else, Miz’s larger than life personality is one of the reasons he has become one of the most successful pro wrestlers of our age. Although things such as charisma and stage presence aren’t easily taught, it seems that the WWE was hoping they could transfer that kind of charisma via osmosis.
4. Miz Loves the Kids
Despite the fact he is not favored amongst most adults, the Miz seems to have a soft spot for the children. With a longstanding working career with children-focused brands such as Nickelodeon and Scooby-Doo, the kids continue to line up to view things including the wrestler. Appearing on shows such as Pair of Kings, The Kids’ Choice Awards, and more, it seems that Miz’s softer side includes both his ex-cast member, Coral, and his adoring kid fans. Fitting, as the wrestler continues to mature, he has already married the love of his life, Maryse, who has recently told the world that Miz is extremely interested in having his own set of tiny wrestlers in the near future. Nevertheless, given that his wife is also a part of the WWE festivities, it may be difficult to juggle child-rearing with the ring, at least in the near future. However, whether this will bring on a new, more adult set of soul crushing moves and maneuvers in the ring, remains to be seen.
3. His Beef Has Spilled Outside of the Ring
Although the Miz has been fairly consistent in regards to his performance in the ring, there was a time or two in which he dropped the ball. However, no incident was more notorious than the situation with R-Truth. Fighting in a six-man match to determine which of them would be allowed to compete in the next PPV event, things got a bit out of hand. After being clotheslined out of the ring, the Miz was in the perfect position to catch Truth following his somersault out of the ring…or so it seemed. For reasons unknown, rather than breaking the wrestler’s fall, Miz stepped to the right leaving Truth to tumble down to the ground falling on his back and knocking his head on the floor. Although it didn’t seem intentional, fans and members of the WWE were furious at Miz’s failure to catch Truth. Notoriously, once the match was over, WWE heavyweight, Triple H purportedly ripped Miz a new one in front of a group of his friends and colleagues. Ouch. Luckily, R-Truth sustained no serious injuries from the fall.
2. He Ranked Number One In Terms of Hottest Eligible Wrestlers
As if that wasn’t enough, Miz also received some accolades in regards to his physical appearance. No stranger to the modeling world, his appearances on MTV helped to solidify him as some of the hottest wrestling real estate on the market. In particular, Miz was voted as the Pro Wrestling Illustrated most eligible bachelor in 2011. Actually ranking number one on the list of 500 single, hottest pro wrestlers, this one is probably the best Miz has earned throughout his career. Despite the fact that many are not fond of his personality, it seems that the ladies are right on board with his heartthrob status. Regardless of appearing in the midst of some of the hottest beefcakes on the planet, The Miz quickly rose to the top and even graced the cover of Pro Wrestling Illustrated rocking his skimpy little uniform. Pro wrestling chicks (and some dudes) have kept the cover as a keepsake and continue to swoon.
1. He the First Person to Simultaneously Hold the United States World Tag Team and WWE Tag Team Championship
Despite his series of obstacles, shortcomings, jeers, and negative press, The Miz did go on to make quite a few accomplishments in regards to his professional wrestling career. Perhaps the most impressive feat being the fact that Miz is presently the first and only WWE wrestler to simultaneously be the United States Champion as well as one-half of the Unified Tag Team Champions (along with wrestling veteran, The Big Show). Regardless of the criticism and negative reactions from many, it seems The Miz earned both of the titles fair and square and so far, continues to be the first and only to do so. If nothing else, the story of the Miz should serve as a beacon of hope to wrestling enthusiasts everywhere that no matter where you come from, how corny your catch phrases are, or even if the people like you, you may be able to become a viable member of the WWE and even take home a combination of accolades that even your idols aspire to acquire.