Highlights from The Miz conference call
I participated in a conference call on Wednesday with WWE star The Miz, who was on hand to help promote Jerry Springer’s appearance as guest host of Raw next Monday.
Here are the highlights:
On how much reality TV played a part in him achieving his dream of becoming a wrestler: “If it wasn’t for being on ‘The Real World: Back to New York’ 10 years ago, I would have never become a professional wrestler. I would probably be working at my dad’s Mr. Hero and flipping burgers for the rest of my life. I credit a lot of it to reality television just because it gave me the opportunity to have the feeling that I could follow any dream I wanted. After trying out for ‘The Real World’ and actually making it on there, it made me realize that I really wanted to follow my dream of becoming a professional wrestler.”
What he thinks of older wrestlers such as Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair still getting in the ring: “I obviously respect them. I’ve watched them growing up as a kid, but now I’m looking at them as I want their spot. I want to be remembered as a legend in the WWE. I don’t just want to be world champion or WWE champion, I want to be the poster child of WWE and wrestling, just like Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, The Rock, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin – I want to be in those names. To see those names still in marquees is incredible to me, but I want their spot.”
At what age it is appropriate to pursue a career in wrestling: “When you become an adult is when you should actually start thinking about becoming a professional wrestler. It’s a very, very hard sport. It’s demanding, a lot of pressure. ... If you are a kid and you really do want to become a professional wrestler, you should ask your parents first, and then find a great, great independent wrestling school that knows exactly what they’re doing and how to teach you how to become a professional wrestler, because it is a very, very dangerous sport. That’s why we basically tell kids, do not try this at home. But I also don’t like to discourage going for your dreams, because becoming a professional wrestler was definitely one of my dreams, and I always encourage kids to go after what they want.”
How much wrestling has changed over the years: “Right now we have guest hosts. Jerry Springer is guest hosting Monday Night Raw. That’s something I would have never told you would be happening 10 years ago, but right now we’re having guest hosts. It’s fun; the ratings are up 12 percent since guest hosts have come on. Since the 1980s and ’90s, WWE has been an evolution I guess you could say. It keeps growing and growing. It’s ever-changing. The superstars are changing. And by next year I plan on being the main event, the talk of the town and having more titles than just the United States title and the unified tag team title. So is WWE different from what it was 10 years ago, five years ago, one year ago? Absolutely."
The worst injuries he’s suffered in wrestling: “My first three months wrestling on the independent leagues, I broke my ankle. I basically landed on my ankle wrong and broke it. I’ve had bruised ribs. I get concussions quite a bit. Luckily we have the greatest doctors in the world that are able to tell you if you can go next week or if you can’t. There are injuries all the time, but there are doctors on call. If you watched ECW [Tuesday night], you saw that any time we bleed now, the doctor is right out there to make sure that we stop bleeding, because we are PG and we are kid-friendly.”
Who the up-and-coming WWE stars are that fans should watch out for: “I think I’m the biggest up-and-comer right now. Obviously, Sheamus is doing incredible because he is WWE champion and he’s done it quicker than I’ve ever seen anyone do it. Evan Bourne I feel like is the new Rey Mysterio. He has an incredible mind in and outside the ring. I can’t say enough about all the new up-and-coming WWE superstars. I mean, it’s not all about John Cena, D-Generation X and The Undertaker anymore. It’s all about the new up-and-comers, because we are going to take over WWE – and we are doing that right now.”
Whether his promo about being banned from the locker room was true: “Yeah, that was absolutely true. I got kicked out for eating a piece of chicken over a guy’s bag in the locker room, and I got kicked out for six months. I had to find a place to shower, to use the restroom, to change. I’ve had it pretty rough in the WWE just because I’m an outsider, and WWE is kind of like a close-knit family or like a fraternity. Once you’re an outsider trying to lurk in, they will haze you and haze you and try to see if you’re up for the task or if you’re just going to quit. I’m not a quitter. I’m more of a person that says bring it on.”
Whether there is any talk of getting involved in acting: “There’s always talk about that, and I just want to find the right movie, the right gig if you will, that will really set me off. I don’t want to just get thrown into something that I don’t believe in, that I don’t feel. So I’m just waiting for the right opportunity to do that. I’m taking the right way of doing it by doing acting classes as well as improv classes, just because I want to be better than everybody else. I want to be No. 1, and I know that you have to really work hard for it or else you’re not going to get there.”
What he needs to do to be a top guy in WWE: “It’s all the hard work that I’m putting in right now. You don’t just become the top guy. You work for it ... and hopefully that moment will come. I remember when ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin really had that defining moment. It was when he won the King of the Ring and he said, ‘Austin 3:16 said I just kicked your ass.’ So I guess I’m waiting for that defining moment that just sets me apart from everybody else. So time will tell.”
Photo of The Miz courtesy of WWE.com