On screen and in the ring, WWE superstar The Miz comes off as an arrogant heel who thinks the world owes him everything. And while Mike Mizanin, the man behind the persona, is one of the most confident wrestlers in the company, he is anything but the over-the-top and self-serving jerk character he’s been using to work crowds for more than decade now. That side of The Miz, one that is rarely seen, is put on full display in the latest episode the WWE 24 special on Peacock highlighting the ups-and-downs of his career.
Released in April 2021, just weeks after he helped turn Bad Bunny into a bonafide superstar at WrestleMania 37, The Miz walked viewers through the path that got him to the top of WWE, as well as the struggles he's faced throughout his life. From his days as an annoying and overeager member of The Real World to making a name for himself in the world of professional wrestling, The Miz’s story is surprisingly engaging and full of heart.
Mike Mizanin Created The Miz While On MTV’s The Real World
Mike “The Miz” Mizanin is an open book throughout the duration of his WWE 24 special, but one of the biggest revelations from the early goings of the documentary happens when he discusses his experience on MTV’s The Real World in 2001. Throughout filming of the season, Mizanin wasn’t making friends with any of his housemates, as the two-time WWE Champion revealed:
Nobody liked me, and I was so uncomfortable in my setting and uncomfortable in my own skin. I didn’t even know who I was. Then I started creating this character called The Miz.
As soon as Mike Mizanin began letting “The Miz” out more and more around his roomates, tensions eased and he quickly became a favorite, not only in those in the house but also with fans.
After The Real World, The Miz Decided Wrestling Was His True Calling
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Mike Mizanin after The Real World wrapped and the Parma, Ohio, native found himself at a crossroads once he returned home. One night while sitting on his bed and contemplating his future, Mizanin looked up at The Rock’s action figure that his cast-mates had bought him and told himself he wanted to be a WWE superstar.
What’s really fascinating about this is the fact that The Miz didn’t rely on his fame or his name from MTV to jump directly into the biggest wrestling company in the world. Instead, he moved to Los Angeles, put himself through wrestling school, acting classes, and improv groups to hone his craft and prepare himself for the next step. And while it wasn’t immediately successful and he failed to win WWE’s Tough Enough competition, The Miz impressed the higher-ups enough to earn a developmental contract in Deep South Wrestling.
Vince McMahon Initially Saw The Miz As The ‘Ryan Seacrest’ Of WWE
One of the biggest moments in The Miz’s WWE 24 special comes when he talks about his first meeting with Vince McMahon. Expecting to hear the WWE Chairman tell him he was being brought up to the main roster and become the next great WWE superstar, The Miz was shocked to hear McMahon say he saw him as the “Ryan Seacrest” of WWE. Though it wasn’t the big break The Miz expected, starting out as the host of Friday Night SmackDown in the summer of 2006 at least meant the future “A-Lister” had found his way to WWE programming.
The Miz Met His Future Wife Maryse While Hosting The WWE Divas Search
Not long after he was brought up as the “Ryan Seacrest” of WWE, The Miz was given the opportunity to host the Divas Search, a weekly competition to find the next big women’s wrestler. Little did The Miz know but he would meet his future wife (and Miz and Mrs. co-star) Maryse during the audition stage. At one point in the WWE 24 documentary, The Miz and Maryse (who’s French Canadian) both look back on the day they first met and how he suggested she cut a promo in French after she struggled to find the proper words in English. The rest is history.
The Miz Was Banned From The WWE Locker Room Early In His Career
One of the stories that has always followed The Miz throughout his career is the one about how he was kicked out and banned from the men’s locker room very early on in his career. And while, in the past, this story has been shared by dirt sheets and wrestling message boards, The Miz went into great detail about the incident during WWE 24. Basically, not long after joining the main roster, the rookie made the mistake of dropping a small piece of chicken on another wrestler’s bag. The wrestler, who wasn’t named (though it was previously confirmed to be Chris Benoit) took offense to this and kicked The Miz out of the locker room.
For seven months, The Miz was forced to dress in the hallway or public restrooms, encountering fans on multiple occasions, until he talked with the Undertaker, who, at the time, was the leader of the locker room. After asking Taker if he could return to the locker room, the WWE veteran gave him permission and all went back to normal.
The Miz Suffered A Concussion During His WrestleMania 27 Main Event Match With John Cena
The WrestleMania 27 main event should have been The Miz’s time to shine on the Grandest Stage of Them All, but thanks to the ongoing feud between John Cena and The Rock, the special guest host, the WWE Champion was relegated to a smaller and largely overshadowed role. The Miz doesn’t touch on this during his WWE 24 special but the story he does tell makes you feel any more sympathetic towards the WWE superstar.
Partway through the big match, John Cena tackled The Miz off the timekeeper’s table onto the cement floor in the crowd, knocking him out in the process. With the help of Cena and The Rock, The Miz was able to finish the match and retain his WWE title, though he does not remember anything that happened after the fall and doesn’t like watching the footage 10 years later. In the backstage footage shown in WWE 24, you can see The Miz struggling to make sense of the situation and his concussion, making it all the more traumatic.
The Miz Explained Everything That Went Into His Epic Talking Smack Moment With Daniel Bryan
In August 2016, The Miz and Daniel Bryan had one of the greatest confrontations in modern WWE history, but instead of in a ring, it all went down on an episode of the SmackDown Live post-show Talking Smack. One of the most engaging sections of WWE 24 focuses on everything that led to that moment — The Miz and the Intercontinental Championship being left off that night’s show, Daniel Bryan serving as the General Manager after suffering what was believed to be a career-ending injury, the perceived dislike by each WWE superstar — and how the two turned the segment into must-watch TV.
Partway through the worked-shoot (when a scripted promo is made to look real), Daniel Bryan said The Miz wrestled like a coward, which triggered something in the IC Champ and caused him to blackout in anger. And even though The Miz doesn’t remember what happens next, he went on to cut one of the best and most heartfelt promos in recent memory, one that still gives wrestling fans chills down their spines five years later.
These are just seven of the revelations we learned from The Miz’s powerful WWE 24 special on Peacock. Clocking in at 77 minutes, the documentary is full of great stories about The Miz the character and Mike Mizanin the man. From opening up about his fear of losing his job on multiple occasions to talking about gaining the respect of his peers and idols, like in the case of The Rock, this engaging and emotional special is worth the price of a WWE Network on Peacock subscription alone.