A new WWE 24 documentary premiered on Peacock/WWE Network this past Sunday. The subject was long-time WWE superstar The Miz.
The documentary begins with The Miz speaking about growing up in Parma, Ohio as an average kid who did not do well in school. He recalled a time when he had a terrible report card and gave it to his father. Rather than get upset, his father crumbled his report card and told him it was okay to be stupid and that he was not going to be anything growing up. From that moment, he would end up getting straight A’s in school. While in college, Miz remembers seeing a commercial for The Real World and sending an audition tape to them. Much to his surprise, he got a call back to be on the show. Skipping college and moving to New York, Mizanin says he felt uncomfortable until he did ‘The Miz’ character which his castmates loved more than his actual self. Once The Real World was over, he was not sure what to do. He debated about going back to college but did not want to do after his experience on The Real World. It was not until one night while looking at his The Rock action figure when he decided to be a WWE superstar.
To pursue his dream, Mizanin would move to California to join the UPW promotion. For the first three months, Miz said it was physically, financially, and emotionally straining but he stuck through it. He tried to gain WWE attention but was not able to until he got called for a tryout on Tough Enough. He remembers Bill Demott running down people but impressing him when it was his turn which helped him become a contestant and would end up finishing runner-up. While he did not win, WWE would offer him a developmental contract at Deep South Wrestling. Once there, The Miz would become the first-ever Deep South Heavyweight Champion.
Later on, he would receive a call from John Laurinaitis who informed him that Vince would like to see him. In that meeting, Vince says he had a vision of The Miz being the Ryan Seacrest of WWE. This would lead The Miz to become the host for the Divas Search contest where he met his future wife Maryse for the first time. The Miz would recall an incident where he botched a Divas Search segment and thought he was going to be fired. Instead, Vince pulled him aside and gave him advice on how to do better next time.
In 2006, The Miz would make his in-ring debut on Smackdown. He could feel resentment from the locker room since he came from a reality TV show and was someone who admittedly rubs people the wrong way. Some people thought The Miz was using WWE as a stepping stone for a potential Hollywood career. He speaks about the fried chicken incident where he split some crumbs on someone’s gear bag. Initially, he thought it was a joke until the situation escalated to the point where he was kicked out of the locker room. For several months, Miz would get dressed in different parts of the arena, even having to use the public restroom where fans noticed him. After seven months, he was allowed back into the locker room after asking permission from The Undertaker to return.
The Miz would then be paired with John Morrison who was initially hesitant to work with him due to his reputation but later clicked after riding together. Together the two would become Smackdown Tag Team Champions and even create a digital skit show called “The Dirt Sheet”. After a tag team run with John Morrison, The Miz would be drafted to Raw, and start a feud with John Cena. He would go on to have a match against Cena at the Great American Bash which resulted in him getting squashed. Being upset at his lack of offense, The Miz recalls Arn Anderson giving him advice that it takes time to develop. The Miz credits Cena for helping him and learning what it takes to be the caliber superstar he needed to be. This would lead to The Miz changing his appearance and in-ring style. Later that year, he would defeat Kofi Kingston to become the United States Champion. To help get better at promos, The Miz would ask to cut promos at live events and volunteered to do any media appearances.
After cutting one of his memorable promos on Raw, The Miz would gain momentum, winning the Tag Team championship again, and then the Money in the Bank briefcase. While there were thoughts of him becoming the first superstar to fail at cashing in (including himself), The Miz would beat Randy Orton to become WWE Champion in November 2010. He mentions the Angry Miz girl whom he described as everything that captured the feeling of those seeing him as champion.
Months later, The Miz would head into Wrestlemania 27 as the WWE Champion but almost forgotten due to The Rock returning and feuding with Cena. He recalls the segment in which he dressed up as The Rock although he doubted it would work. However, the segment was successful to where he received a call from his hero The Rock. At Wrestlemania, The Miz would successfully retain his championship, although he suffered a concussion mid-match after getting tackled over a barricade and hitting his head on the concrete floor. The Miz would say he does not remember anything from that match and does not look back at it because of how out of it he looked after the concussion.
A couple of months later, The Miz would lose the WWE championship and was not sure how to get back to the top. Fluttering through the card, there was a point where The Awesome One believed he would be fired. He did find some success by winning the Intercontinental Championship and winning the Tag Team Championship with Mizdow. However, The Miz says he would get out of his rut after being paired with his wife Maryse and winning the Intercontinental Championship the night after Wrestlemania 32. The Miz credits having his wife by his side helping him bring back his confidence.
Speaking on his relationship with Maryse, The Miz says they did not start dating until two years after the Divas Search. He recalls having a conversation with Maryse while sitting next to her on a plane and wanting to have someone like her in his life. After years of dating, The Miz would propose to her at the same hotel in the exact conference room where they did the Divas Search. Maryse says they balance each other well and challenge each other a lot. As for his children (they have two young daughters), The Miz says when you have kids, it opens up a new part of your heart and wants to capture as many moments as he can with them.
In 2016, as the Intercontinental Champion, The Miz would be drafted to Smackdown. He would speak about his famous Talking Smack promo which started after not being used on Smackdown that day. The Miz felt like the championship was being thrown in the garbage and wanted to make it important. Bryan spoke about using words that were said to The Awesome One as a way to set him off. The Miz would say when Bryan said he wrestled like a coward, it set something off in him. Maryse added that it was not planned or scripted and was not sure if both men were going to fight. Miz believed Bryan was going to punch but instead saw former Smackdown GM walked off which infuriated him more. Bryan says while he does not like The Miz, he respects him and thinks he is underrated as a wrestler.
Years later, The Miz would again hold the Money in the Bank briefcase. Choosing his moment, he would have another successful cash-in to become a two-time WWE Champion earlier this year. After winning the championship, The Miz recalls staring at the title, having spent nearly ten years working back to that position. While he felt like many people were not happy about his win the first time, he felt like he earned the respect of his peers the second time around. While he did lose the championship to Bobby Lashley eight days later, many felt like The Miz cemented himself as one of the best heels ever.
Heading into Wrestlemania, The Miz started a feud with Bad Bunny which he saw as a huge opportunity. Many of his peers felt he was put in the position because he can always get the job done. The Miz says after main eventing Wrestlemania ten years ago, he did not think he would still be here but feels fortunate to still be here. He knows he would not be here if not for everything he had experienced throughout his career. The documentary ends with The Miz saying he knows his time is numbered but will do everything to be the best superstar, entertainer, husband, and father he can be.
Aneil’s Take: I think The Miz is a superstar who does not receive enough recognition for what he has accomplished in this business. During his fifteen-year career, he has become a two-time WWE champion, eight-time Intercontinental Champion, two-time Money in the Bank holder as well as eight-time Tag Team Champion. Like John Morrison said, I think you can find inspiration in Miz’s story as someone who many wished to fail but instead pushed back and let his work ethic dictate his success.
I believe The Miz is so good at what he does whether it is doing media promotions, cutting promos or having a solid match, he is overlooked. I remember being so happy for him back in 2010 after winning his first championship because no matter what the doubters say, if you put your mind to it, you can achieve your dream. I also enjoyed seeing The Miz interacting with his family, especially his daughters who you can clearly see he loves so much.
For me, The Miz is someone you love to hate which is why I believe is one of the top heels in history and a locked in Hall of Famer.