I had a chance to interview WWE Champion Mike "The Miz" Mizanin. He was doing promotion for the WWE's house show at the Verizon Center on December 30th. I interviewed Miz while doing talk radio in Baltimore nearly seven years ago. He was doing a bar appearance with other former cast members of The Real World. I have a very vivid memory of him telling me his passion for professional wrestling & his confidence he would be a WWE Superstar. It was a surreal experience interviewing him on Thursday and realizing how much he had excelled at his career while mine has remained very much the same. But I digress....
The one thing I wanted to make sure to address was John Cena. The Miz really started establishing himself during his anti-Cena campaign he conducted nightly on Raw after his split from his tag partner John Morrison. Miz reflected on that period in his career:
"I knew, I knew, that was my opportunity. They had given me the ball and I had to roll with it, and I remember the first time they told me I got to do something, cut a promo on Cena and I had a couple liners that I wanted to use and a lot of the people were like ‘nah you cant use that that’s too much, that’s too much’ and I was like no you don’t understand this is it.’ Or they would say use it next week use it next week, no I will think of something better next week. I remember because it was the first time someone ever made fun of WWE Films Movie and it was basically like, something along the line was, you’re always saying ‘you can’t see me, you cant see me,’ you’re right I cant see you because you’re movies aren’t in theatres long enough.
So it was one of those kinds of things, like, those things where people were like ‘Ohh, ive never heard anyone make fun of,’ I like to be an originator, a person that that comes up with stuff that people aren’t saying. And so that’s what kind of opportunity I had with John Cena. I mean I created a rap, you know, I did everything and anything I possibly could to get him in the ring, I had a blast with it, it was fun and I really do think it was a stepping stone for me, and at that time I was not ready for John Cena. But now, now that I have a year and a half under my belt and uh, been through wars and battles in the WWE I think I am better than John Cena because I am the WWE Champion."
I recommend you listen to the interview a decide for yourself whether or not this is a shoot or just an extension of the The Miz' in ring persona. It was interesting that he viewed that program as the launching point of his current success. His answer is to the next question was priceless:
Chad Dukes: "I’ve interviewed Cena a couple times, he’s a good dude, I know how hard he works. And that’s a guy you say look I want to be John Cena I want to put the promotion on my back. But , do you guys in the locker room, he did a movie called The Marine, and ever since then he’s kind of thought he is a marine, do you guys ever break his balls about that?"
The Miz: "Oh, all the time. It’s so funny, one of the times I would cut promos on him, he started off as this dork wearing tights, then he was like a "wanna-be" vanilla ice, then he makes a movie and he’s all of a sudden the marine, and its pretty funny now. He’s kind of a brown-nosing corporate dummy, if you will. That’s the way I always saw it. But Cena is one of the hardest working superstars in the WWE and he’s a force to be reckoned with and he’s the face of the company now, and I want to take that from him. As WWE champion, I want everyone to think, when they think of WWE they think of The Miz. They don’t think of John Cena. So I have a long way to go, but if I work really hard and as long as I work very hard, I will get what I want.
I've interviewed Cena a couple times. There is no cooler dude to talk to. With that in mind, The Miz said what every wrestling fan over the age of 16 is thinking. The fact that he seems s comfortable attacking the face of the organization is highly entertaining. I really believe his extensive background in reality TV is benefiting his wrestling career immensely. We have all heard rumors of the scripted nature of these reality shows. During this interview, it is difficult to tell whether or not Miz is in character or not. We muse assume that is a skill he aquired while playing "himself' for all those years on MTV. It's an added dimension to his persona that serves him well. If he gets a call from Connecticut after an interview like this, he can simply say he was keeping the kayfabe going. Do we all believe that's what's happening?
The Miz is currently not working an angle with John Cena. He didn't know I was going to ask about The Marine. I believe he means what he said & I think he should be lauded for it. Heat derived from true emotion is the best kind in this business. Ask Matt Hardy, Amy Dumas & Edge. The Miz also deserves credit for seeing an opportunity to advance his own career even if it meant taking the WWE's golden boy down a peg. It seems like he learned a valuable lesson that day he attacked Cena's film career & that lesson is serving him well.
Check out the interview on YouTube after the jump.