April 25, 2006
REAL NAME: Mike Mizanin
Born in Parma, Ohio, Mike Mizanin was captain of his high school basketball and cross country team, and also participated in basketball, swimming, student government and was editor of his yearbook. He was attending Miami University of Ohio, majoring in business, when he heard about auditions for an MTV reality show called The Real World.
While taking part in the tenth season of The Real World in 2001, Mizanin became disenchanted by some of the other cast members, forced to live together and under video scrutiny 24 hours a day. To cope, he created a "heel character" named the Miz. A far cry from his previous personality, Mizanin realized that the Miz would make a great wrestling gimmick
A year later he enrolled in Ultimate University wrestling school, in between appearing on several Real World spin-offs, including Road Rules. After his debut in 2003, Mizanin or "The Miz" as he was known, began wrestling for the California-based Ultimate Pro Wrestling, the wrestling organization associated with Ultimate University. On February 7, 2004, the Miz competed in UPW's Mat War's tournament, making it to the finals before losing to Tony Stradlin.
In October of that year, the Miz, reverting back to wrestling as Mike Mizanin, took part in the Smackdown Tough Enough contest. Although he would make it to the finals, Mizanin lost to Daniel Pruder. He was still signed to a developmental contract and, after teaming with Matt Cappotelli and later Chris Cage against the Highlanders in several dark matches, he was assigned to the WWE's Deep South Wrestling developmental territory.
While in Deep South Wrestling, the Miz began to reappear, as Mizanin took on Johnny Parisi and Kid Kash among others over the fall of 2005. As winter began, so did a tournament to crown the first Deep South Wresling Heavyweight Champion. The Miz defeated Eric Perez, Kid Kash and, on December 1st, 2005, defeated Mike Knox to become win the tournament and the title.
In early January, the Miz began to show more of his creative side than simply what he could do in the ring. He debuted his "Miz Cam" segment on Ohio Valley TV. Meanwhile, he was teaming with Chris Cage, both in Ohio Valley and during Raw dark matches and live events. Although Cage and Mizanin found themselves facing the Spirit Squad in many of these matches, they teamed to pull out a win over Gene Snitsky and Tyson Tomko during WWE live events in January and February.
Back in Ohio Valley Wrestling, the team of Cage and Mizanin defeated Seth Skyfire and Chet The Jet on February 8, 2006 to win the OVW Southern Tag Team titles, a championship they would retain against the Highlanders, former champs Skyfire and Jet, Tank and Chad Toland and the team of Chet the Jet and Rene Dupre before finally losing the belts to Mike Deuce and Domino after Mizanin dropped a March 19th singles bout to Deuce.
By April 2006 The Miz would appear on WWE’s Smackdown as though he was invading for his own show. As per storyline his show was cancelled and he was escorted out of the building, leaving a memorable impression on many fans. By May he was a backstage announcer interviewing wrestlers before and after matches. Eventually The Miz would get back into his reality show habits by co-hosting another WWE series, The Diva Search.
Although Mizanin proved entertaining as a host his real desire was to entertain inside the ropes. In September of 2006 he would become exclusive to Smackdown and be promoted as an undefeated heel. In December of that year at Armageddon his streak would come to an end at the hands of The Boogey Man.
In 2007 The Miz was drafted to Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). In singles competition he feuded with Balls Mahoney and was managed by Extreme Expose made up of Kelly Kelly and Layla. When Extreme Expose expressed interest in him he dubbed himself “The Chick Magnet”, “The Grand Miz-ard of Lust” and “The Monk of Mojo”.
It was also in ECW he formed a tag team with fellow Tough Enough alum John Hennigan, known to fans as John Morrison or Johnny Nitro. The pair would come up with outrageous skits proclaiming they were God’s gift to women and wrestling. Their brash personalities combined with their in-ring abilities landed them two Tag Team title reigns within the WWE.
After solidifying their reputation as arrogant, egotistical womanizers on screen they continued their rants on the net with their own web segment, The Dirt Sheet on WWE.com. In their segment they continuously make fun of other wrestlers, promoters, announcers and anything in pop culture.
However, in wrestling there is one tag team that will always come to mind when thinking of outrageous, childish antics, Degeneration X. In late 2008 the pair called out the legendary team made up of Triple H and Shawn Michaels in a battle of wits and skill. In the end Degeneration X would prevail. However, the constant skits knocking Shawn’s hair loss, HHH’s nose, their age and attributes would push the young stars as the top heels in the company and garnish them a 2008 Slammy for Tag Team of the Year.
The Miz’s rants and raves are not just for WWE.com readers. He has grasped the reach of the Internet through his website -- www.mikethemiz.com -- and his MySpace page -- www.myspace.com/mizhoorah.
On his page he explains the following: “The Miz is bringing out that raw, primal side. The side that has no judgements that is just you. It doesn't care what people think or how they'll react. The Miz steps up to that fear and shoves it right up someone's ass. Some people say 'Be yourself.' I say Be good. Be bad. BE MIZ.”- the Miz’s blog.
--- compiled by John M. Milner and Jaya Roopansingh