Throwback Thursday – Mike “The Miz” Mizanin

Born Michael Gregory “Mike” Mizanin on October 8, 1980, The Miz caught the public eye when he appeared on MTV’s The Real World: Back to New York in 2001. During an episode of The Real World Mizanin began to display an alter ego of sorts known as “The Miz” who was angry, combative and cocky. (He often carried WWE title replica belts around and acted better than his cast mates. It wasn’t until later that he would realize the potential this character had as a wrestling gimmick.

The Miz would not settle for acting the part of a professional wrestler so he joined Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW) where he trained and debuted under his alter ego’s name “The Miz”.

In 2004 The Miz entered the fourth season of Tough Enough and made it to the final round of the competition where he faced Daniel Puder in a “Dixie Dogfight” boxing match which Puder won due to the crowd support for him. Later, however, The Miz would be offered a developmental contract and would train under Bill DeMott in Deep South Wrestling before transferring to OVW.

During OVW is the first time we saw an episode of Miz TV and the character began to grow.
In March of 2006 vignettes and promos began, announcing that The Miz was coming to Smackodwn but in his storyline, on the night of his debut, April 21st, he was banned from entering the arena by “network executive” Palmer Cannon and was escorted out of the arena. He would return to Smackdown! as the host of the show on June 2nd, 2006. Most weeks he would announce the card for the night and conducted a few interviews backstage but he was not involved every week. He also hosted the Diva’s Search contests along with Ashley Massaro before returning to Smackdown as a hell and beginning his in-ring career with a win over Tatanka.
After this win he, along with commentator Michael Cole, began to note whenever possible that he was “undefeated”, though he only wrestled five matches over the next two months. He would feud with Layla, the winner of the Diva’s Search who blocked his advances and, as revenge, The Miz joined with Kristal to help her beat Layla. Soon, however, Miz and Kristal found themselves being stalked by The Boogeyman. This began a feud in which the Boogeyman ended The Miz’s winning streak at December’s Armageddon event.

After a brief absence following his loss the Miz returned with his interview segment Miz TV and would host these shows regularly throughout his career in WWE. In 2007 the Miz was drafted to ECW and would start a new “chick magnet” gimmick after receving attention from Extreme Expose (Layla, Brooke and Kelley Kelley.) Extreme Expos√© then became managers for The Miz and would feud with Balls Mahoney after Kelly Kelly began to fall in love with Mahoney on screen.

On the November 16 episode of SmackDown, he became one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions with John Morrison when they defeated Matt Hardy and Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP) in a title match, which gave The Miz his first title within the company.

The Miz and Morrison would go on to host The Dirt Sheet and have quite a successful run as tag team partners (and champions) before the pair split when The Miz was drafted to Raw in the 2009 Supplemental Draft and he turned on Morrison.

Following his arrival on Raw The Miz challenged an injured John Cena to a match but, due to injury, Cena was not there and Miz would announce himself the winner via forfeit and did this unti The Bash where Cena defeated him. After another loss to Cena, the stipulation of the match meant that The Miz was banned from the Staples Center Raw and Summerslam events. However, the following week Miz wrestled as “The Calgary Kid” with a mask on and won a Contract on a Pole match against Eugene, getting him back into the mix. When he took the mask off he cut a promo and debut his catchphrase “Because I’m The Miz and I’m Awesome.”

Miz would go on to win several high-profile matches and titles including the United States Championship, a win over John Morrison (who was still a Smackdown star made Miz the only member of Raw to win an inter-promotional match at Bragging Rights. His Survivor Series team would be John Morrison’s team and he would go on to win the tag team championships with Big Show as his partner.

Miz would mentor Daniel Bryan on WWE NXT only to see his rookie eliminated and then to be attacked by Bryan a week later.

In July of 2010 at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view The Miz won the titular match and the contract for a WWE Championship match that he could use anytime in the next year. The Miz would attempt to cash in his contract but was always interrupted, thus he never used his contract. He feuded with Daniel Bryan and lost his title to him at Night of Champions.
On the November 22 episode of Raw, following Randy Orton’s retaining the WWE Championship in a match against Wade Barrett the Miz cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to become the new WWE Champion making him the first person from Tough Enough to win the WWE Championship. He would retain his title until the Extreme Rules pay-per-view where he lost the title to Cena.

Later in the year The Miz would team with R-Truth, attacking various superstars and claiming there was a conspiracy in the WWE keeping both of them out of the main event picture and began referring to themselves as “The Awesome Truth”. They would team together for some time until Truth had to be written off-screen due to a Wellness Policy violation.

The Miz would go on to continue his character’s cocky, arrogant ways, hunting titles and looking for any opportunity. Most recently he began referring to himself as a “Hollywood A-Lister” after filming The Marine 4: Moving Target. Damien Sandow would soon join forces with The Miz as his “stunt double” and The Miz, playing the part, was arrogant and cruel to “Mizdow” and thus garnering support for Mizdow from the fans.

(The Miz and Mizdow)

The¬† pair would split up at the Royal Rumble after losing to the Usos and, when the Miz tried to take Mizdow’s place in the rumble, Mizdow turned on his “boss” and entered the match.After The Miz won the match to retain the “Miz brand” he filmed Santa’s Little Helper before returning to stir the pot while interfering in big matches such as the WWE Intercontinental Championship match between Ryback and Big Show.

Miz is now also hosting “Tough Talk” a Tough Enough follow up show on the WWE network, Tuesday nights right after Tough Enough airs.

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