The following is an excerpt from an article on SGVTribune.com, focusing on The Miz:
While his face may be known to WWE fans worldwide, many might remember him from the popular reality television series, “The Real World.” It was while filming the show’s 10th season, Mike “The Miz” Mizanin developed his WWE persona.
“On the (show), I was kind of an outcast, no one really liked me. So I created this character called ‘The Miz’ that would literally say whatever was on the top of my head,” Mizanin said Thursday while promoting tonight’s show. “So I started to tell people how I felt and I just would blame it on ‘The Miz.’ So yeah, ‘The Miz’ was created on ‘The Real World.'”
After the show finished filming and the cast went their separate ways, Mizanin began working on his next endeavor.
“Once I got back from ‘The Real World,’ I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and I’ve always loved the WWE, so I said, ‘I’m going to be a WWE Superstar,'” he said.
Mizanin searched the web for independent wrestling schools and found one in the Los Angeles area – Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW). It was there that he began training for life as a wrestling superstar – working in his in-ring skills and circulating around the independent wrestling circuit making a name for himself – all while still participating in a number of “Real World/Road Rules” challenges.
Three years after starting with UPN, he learned the WWE was holding auditions for its own reality series, “Million Dollar Tough Enough.” Mizanin auditioned and made the show.
“I tried out. Made it. Didn’t win. But impressed the execs enough that they gave me a (development) contract to go to the Deep South (and train),” he said. “I stopped doing reality shows, took a payout, went there and hoped for the best.”
And the best did happen.
Since his debut in the WWE, the 6-foot-1-inch superstar has captured the WWE Tag Team and the World Tag Team Championship belts with John Morrison. After parting with Morrison, The Miz went on to win the United States Championship and later the Unified Tag Team Championship belts with The Big Show.
In July 2010, he won a ‘Money in the Bank’ match, which guaranteed him a WWE title match. And in Nov. 2010, he cashed in that contract during a live telecast of Monday Night Raw, facing the WWE’s current champ Randy Orton, and won.
“(There were) so many emotions that went through my head (when winning the belt). When I first won it, when the 1-2-3 happened, I couldn’t control my excitement, it was just exuding,” he said. “Once I got the title, it kind of went to an ‘oh my god’ moment, it takes your breath away,” he continued. “And when I was up on the second rope, I remember raising the belt going, ‘Oh my god, I’m raising the WWE Championship as the WWE Champion.’ And I felt myself choke up, I felt myself getting teary eyed. And I was like, ‘Wait a second. You can’t do that. You’re the WWE Champion.’
“Then I went out of the ring, (Alex Riley) was there and we both celebrated together. Feeling his excitement made me feel even more excited,” he said. “So that’s kind of the first three minutes of my WWE Championship (reign).
Check out the complete article online at SGVTribune.com.