They are big and they are bad. As the champions of the World Wrestling Entertainment's Raw brand get ready to rumble in Abu Dhabi for the first time this weekend, tabloid! introduces you to one of its star performers: Michael Gregory Mizanin, a.k.a. The Miz. or, as he might prefer, The Awesome One.
How did you come up with the name "Miz"?
My last name is Mizanin. My friends always used to call me Miz. I created the Miz character on The Real World back in New York, which is a reality show that was popular in America. Basically, I was the outcast of the show, nobody liked me and so I said, you know what?... I'm gonna make people like me. So I just told people off and I used to call it Miz. So people can't get mad at me, they get mad at The Miz, my character that I brought.
Who do you want to make "irrelevant", besides your current nemesis, R-Truth?
I've already made people "irrelevant". If you really think about it, anyone who's been paired with me were made into main event superstars. John Morrison, Alex Riley, The Big Show, R-Truth, the list goes on and on. And then what happens when they go away from me? They become "irrelevant". Where's Alex Riley right now? He hasn't been on Raw [the WWE flagship show] in like a month. Then you got John Morrison. Where is he — fired. See ya, bye, ta ta! Future Endeavor, bye bye. Big Show, loses the World Heavyweight Championship match in 45 seconds. Congratulations, you're a giant. You're 7 foot tall, 400 pounds and you can't even beat a little Daniel Bryan? Grow up kid. Then you got R-Truth, which I will soon make "irrelevant" very, very quickly.
For those who don't know, describe your finishing move.
It's the "skull-crushing finale", and it is basically a full-nelson. I swipe your leg and I hit your skull into the mat, hence, "skull-crushing". And it's the last thing you'll ever see, "finale".
A lot of people said you wouldn't make it in this business. How did you do it? How did you become a WWE superstar?
People always ask me, "How did you make it to be a WWE superstar because nobody wanted you here." You know, the first three months I was here, people wanted me out, people wanted me fired. But hard work, dedication, and basically having the will to allow people to tell you you can't do something but rising above it. And not like John Cena "rising above hate" either. That's generic. This is the real deal.
How long do you think you're going to do this?
Until it stops being fun, and I can't imagine it never being fun.
What's the best about being a WWE superstar?
Gosh, there isn't just one best thing. From the travelling, I get to go amazing places like Abu Dhabi, I get to go to Qatar. I went to China. I've been all over America, all over South America. I've been everywhere I've ever wanted to go and dream of and even in places that I really don't want to go, you know. But I've still been there and it's incredible to have performed in front of tens of thousands of people, whether they're booing you or cheering you.
I've gotten to do movies, I've gotten to do TV spots. I've gotten to do everything I ever could have dreamed of, WWE has given me. So, yeah, there's too many things. Now is there hard stuff I hate about it? Travelling 17 hours is definitely not a good thing. It's not fun, you know. Sitting there and watching the new remake of Footloose isn't my idea of fun, but I did it. Good for me.
Name your top three wrestlers of all time.
Ultimate Warrior, The Rock and The Miz.
Some superstars have transitioned to Hollywood. Are you planning to do movies?
I did a movie. I just filmed a cameo in a movie that will be coming out in August. So definitely look out for that, because I'm amazing in it. I'm a method actor. I'm like Christian Bale and Daniel Day Lewis all wrapped into one. I really feel my characters, I really get into it.
As you can see I'm The Miz right now but when I leave here, I just tone down into Mike. But you know, you always got to feel your character and really understand him and where he comes from. Just the art of acting, you got to understand these type of situations.
Is it tough sometimes when you have to be in character when you just want to be yourself? Does it get tiring?
Every job gets tiring, but you just go through with it because of the fans. The fans really bring it out of you. Like sometimes you literally are so tired. Like, I just flew 17 hours and you just want to sleep and I guarantee when we fly 17 hours out here again we are going right to a show and do a show and be "on". But that's the great part of WWE. We're like a family, we push each other to basically the best we possibly can be and put on the best show we possibly can. And so all three nights, February 9, 10 and 11, we're going to put on the greatest show ever and it's going to be great.
Any parting words?
I want you all to remember out there February 9, 10 and 11 you are going to watch me live and in person beat people up because I can. You want to know why? Because I'm the most must-see WWE champion of all time.
I am the person that people look at and go, ‘Oh my God, it's The Miz. He's a genius. He's the man.' Because I'm The Miz and I'm awesome.
Don't miss it
WWE Presents Raw World Tour is on at the Zayed Sports City International Tennis Complex, Abu Dhabi, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7pm daily. Tickets, priced Dh300, Dh600, Dh1,000 and Dh1,200, are available at zsc.ae.
Did you know?
The show also features CM Punk, John Cena, Kane, Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth, Kofi Kingston, Zack Ryder, Mason Ryan, Chris Jericho and many more.