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February 11, 2010

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.” the-miz.jpg

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

Posted by Kevin Eck at 5:30 PM | | Comments (22)
        

Comments

Have you heard the rumors that the Survivor Series is going away? Apparently they feel that as a PPV its not cutting it and since they don't actually use the survivor series theme anymore they feel they can just change it. Doesn't seem right to me. They should just find a way to make the survivor series interesting. Any thoughts?

RESPONSE FROM KE: I have no problem with them changing the name. It used to be a pay-per-view of all team elmination matches, but that has long since changed. A new name was overdue.

Its not often in the WWE that you get to see a struggling young rookie over the course of a few years grow into a Tag Team Champion then become a "mid-card champion" while reinventing his character and constantly improving in the ring and on the mic. He needs no "push" as he has not been on WWE's top ten list of talent who they want to "push" He is just stepping up more and more giving the WWE no choice but to keep him in the spotlight.

I'm going out on a limb here but it reminds me of HBK or Bret Hart's career path. By struggling in tag divisions to make a name for themselves then transitioning to singles matches to becoming Intercontinental Champions and finally becoming World Champions, HBK and Bret have shown they have depth and talent. This is what it takes to be great. They may not be mainstream household names like Stone Cold, Hogan or Flair but they are legends in the pro wrestling world.

I'm not sure if the Miz will be a mainstream household name either but if he keeps improving in the ring and on the mic he will be a future World Champion. The same could be said about Morrison and in the ring not many would disagree but the total package of ring ability, mic skills and character development would have to go to the Miz in my opinion. Only time will tell but I bet the Miz will be "Awesome" for years to come.

Noone like the miz i think he needs to turn a least a lil bit babyface to be taken seriously.

He would get my vote as most improved wrestler for 2009.

Hazing should not be tolerated.

Great comments from Mike, he seems like a true professional. Hard to believe a few months ago, I couldn't stand him and wished he was gone, now he's one of my favorites. He really plays his character well, because I thought he was naturally cocky, but he seems very down to earth

It's hard to say this, but I'm very impressed by The Miz these days. I hope his time with the tag titles is productive, and he successfully defends both belts for awhile.

That phrase "I get concussions quite a bit" is very worrying. Brain injuries will accumulate quite quickly and can lead to very serious problems at a relatively young age. I don't really see how the WWE can run the kind of touring schedule they do and still claim that they take injuries like concussions seriously.

Re: RESPONSE FROM KE: I have no problem with them changing the name. It used to be a pay-per-view of all team elmination matches, but that has long since changed. A new name was overdue.

Don't you think they could come up with some creative way to bring back/save the elimination style matches. Maybe something like all the survivors are put in a scramble type match with the winner being number 1 contender?

While reading this interview, I was anticipating at some point you'll get this answer "Because I am Miz and I am AWESOME." Didn't happen.
I think he's one of the most charismatic guys in WWE right now. He truly is awesome.

And oh yeah, I just want to confirm whether Miz really has a facebook account? Because somebody is pretending to be one.
Kevin if possible, can you tell which wrestlers really do have a facebook account?

RESPONSE FROM KE: The Facebook thing is tough. Some are obvious fakes. I was "friends" with WWE's Tiffany (Taryn Terrell) a while back, but some of her posts were highly suspect. So I ran into her in Baltimore after a Smackdown/ECW taping and asked her if she was on Facebook. Nope, she said she's only on Twitter.

The defining moment for Austin to become main event was the Hart Austin match at Wrestlemania 13. The 3 most memorable Mizmoments are the winning of the titles with Morrison and creating the dirt sheet, the promo about the chicken on January 11, and his win over Kofi to become US champion.

I can see that he is probably not very well liked by his peers. He comes off as very arrogant and just childish in this interview.

to be honest i could`nt stand the miz. but since departing from john morrison he has really become a more reallistic character and i hate to admit tis but i think 2010 is his year!!!!

The Miz has grown on me. He has great one liners. I am interested to see how it goes with the MizShow or ShowMiz.

I'll add one more voice to the chorus... I am a Miz fan.

NEVER would have believed it would happen, but his tag-team work in ECW and his singles work since have made a believer out of me.

Great intensity... and that recent promo he cut, complete with the spot-on JBL impersonation, was absolutely one of the best I've seen from anyone currently on the WWE roster.

Kev,

My thought would be to put the Elimination Chamber matches on the Survivor Series PPV. It's a different format, but the same kind of premise. Seems a shame to kill off one of the "Big Four."

Miz seems to really be "getting it" though. I think he's building to a big payoff when he turns down the line.

You must have read a different interview, Ricardo.

I have a very healthy jelousy towards the miz. Like many wrestling we make up our own characters and wished one day we could be wrestlers our self. He is in my opinion the Fan's wrestler... the future and true People's champion.

It seems like a much different Miz interview than his usual ones. I don't recall him praising specific wrestlers, giving ratings stats, or being as direct and friendly to interviewers. He's not trying as hard to self-promote.

I don't know if it means he's a bit more accepted, focused on being a champ, well-coached, or some combination of all.

I followed the Miz since his tag days with JoMo. Both of them just seem to have great talent and incredible ability. The Miz was always a good talker and now he has the ring skill to back itup. It will be interesting to see who wins a world title first between him and John, but there both going there for sure.

Too often do fans attack younger/fresher performers today. No one will ever be like "The Rock" or "Stone Cold" Steve Austin because as fans, we're too attached to those names. Even when guys like Bret Hart, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, or Steve Austin were in their rookie years, just trying to make a name for themselves, people doubted their abilities. In fact, everyone thought it was Jim Neidhart who was the start of the Hart Foundation, not Bret Hart. At the same time, everyone thought it was gonna be Marty Jannetty, not Shawn Michaels. Right now, the Miz is evolving as a character and he's proving himself to be a very capable performer with few injuries that prevents in-ring action (like Batista) or over-the-top ego when it comes to jobbing (like Triple H). Miz definitely has a future in the business with the rate he's improving, maybe even a legend someday.

Thanks Kevin for the info.

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About Kevin Eck
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck blogs about professional wrestling.
E-mail Kevin.
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