The Real Deal
After appearing on several different TV shows and earning a following of young reality TV fans, Mike "The Miz" Mizanin is confident that he will have no problem winning over the sports-entertainment world. Find out what the SmackDown Superstar thinks about his celebrity status, growing up as a wrestling fan and his plans as a part of WWE.
WWE: We had to push back our afternoon interview an hour because you were sleeping. What was "The Miz" doing last night?
Miz: I was literally out until 8 a.m., and you woke me up. I was hanging out with a number of friends, all of whom happened to be girls. They were college girls, and had a lot of spirit.
WWE: So it can be noted that "The Miz" knows how to live large.
Miz: Whether it's messing with people or helping folks out, it's always while having a good time. How hard is my job? All I have to do is go out, drink and have girls flash me. It's a rough life, but somebody's got to do it. I'm down for the challenge every time.
WWE: Did you grow up a fan of wrestling?
Miz: When I was a kid back in the late ‘80s, I was a huge fan. I had all the action figures. It was so surreal to me to see these huge, colorful guys on TV each week. I used to love Ultimate Warrior and the Rockers. I would be Marty Jannetty and my friend would be Shawn Michaels when we had tag team matches in the basement. Later, when I was in high school, we used to get all the pay-per-views. I was a huge fan of The Rock, and all my friends were Stone Cold fans. It was always a big deal when they faced each other. I never really thought I could get into the business, seeing how big they guys were.
WWE: What was it like when you ended up meeting your idols?
Miz: I remember the first time I met Shawn Michaels. It was just weird. I was kind of nervous, I mean, what do you say to a guy you have looked up to all your life? Finally, I went up to him and said hi. It was a quick hi, and I played it off cool, but it made my day. I also met Hulk Hogan backstage at an event. He actually recognized me from The Real World, and once again, I played it off cool even though I was freaking out inside. We actually talked a lot about reality TV. I like to think that I was training him for his own show, but he probably knew what he was doing the whole time. He's the Hulkster. He can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants.
WWE: What did you learn from your time on The Real World?
Miz: It taught me that I can do whatever I wanted as long as I put my mind to it. That's when I started to pursue my dream to become a WWE Superstar. The first time "The Miz" made a public appearance was during one of The Real World episodes. It was a way for me to let out my aggressions and emotions. As soon as he appeared, the housemates started to respect me. I started jumping on people, powerslammed them onto the bed and just caused a lot of havoc. Of course, I was usually wasted when this happened.
WWE: You ended up making it all the way to the finals of Tough Enough, but eventually lost to Daniel Puder. How did it feel to be named runner-up?
Miz: It didn't feel too good, let me tell you. I wanted that contract so badly. I knew that Puder was a good guy, but I really felt that he didn't want it. He was after the money and fame more than the career. And I wanted the career, so it kind of sucked that he won. But after getting to the finals, I knew that I would wind up receiving a contract, which was the ultimate goal. And as for Puder? He was a great self-promoter, but "The Miz" was a little better at getting to SmackDown. You can be good, you can be bad, but there's nothing like being "The Miz." HOO-RAH!
WWE: Do you consider yourself a celebrity?
Miz: I have never considered myself a celebrity, but a company once hired me to be part of a celebrity charity basketball team when I played with Ashlee Simpson and Hilary and Haylie Duff. They're great girls. I was actually invited to Hilary's birthday party.
WWE: What do you buy a Duff sister as a gift?
Miz: I bought her a shirt with a picture of me on it. It was the worst picture of me. I think one of my eyes was closed in it. It was hilarious, and she thought it was the greatest gift. But she has never worn it, though.
WWE: Even if you don't consider yourself a celebrity, you still know how to crash celebrity parties. Do you have a favorite?
Miz: I have been to the Playboy mansion at least seven times. I have been in the Grotto. I've fed the monkeys. I've been a bad boy in the all-mirror room. I'm talking a room with mirrors from top to bottom. Everywhere you looked, you could see yourself. I was in there with a beautiful woman and took advantage of the situation. Every angle was covered. I also crashed a US Weekly party where Paris Hilton ended up on stage dancing on this pole lip syncing one of her songs. It was the worst sight ever.
WWE: Have you, shall we say, taken advantage of your notoriety at the clubs?
Miz: I used to do bar appearances where my job was to go to a club and host a party. It was the easiest job because I got paid to drink. So, as I'm hosting the party, I would observe who was the hottest girl in the club, and of course, I want to talk to her. Sure enough, by the end of the evening, the hottest girl would come up and talk to me and make passes at me using the crappiest lines. So I basically felt like a girl being hit on by ugly fat dudes.
WWE: If you could hook up with any of the Divas, who would you choose?
Miz: I think everybody wants a piece of Candice Michelle after that Go Daddy commercial. Ashley is pretty hot. I dig her style. And Mickie is great. Psychos are my favorite girls, because they make everything more interesting. Obviously, her trying to make out with Trish is a plus in my book.
The above was originally printed in the July 2006 issue of SmackDown magazine.