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Ten minutes with WWE champ the Miz promoting Wrestlemania XXVII April 3

The-Miz-wwe-superstar-1Ten years ago, Mike Mizanin was a naive 20-year-old Ohio kid who antagonized his castmates on MTV’s  “Real World: New York.”

“I was an outcast,” he recalled in a brief interview today to promote Wrestlemania XXVII at the Georgia Dome Sunday. “I was dumb and innocent. I had no idea what was going on.”

There, he created his Miz character, the one he uses to this day in the wrestling ring, which helped turn him into the WWE Champion last November. He’ll be defending his title against John Cena Sunday.

“The Miz is Mike at volume 100,” he said. “The Miz is Mike on 50 Red Bulls.”

“I’m a jerk in real life,” he continued. “I can’t help it! It’s who I am. Getting to the WWE made me realize I could do anything I want in my life. It’s funny. It’s just an interesting ride. I’m glad I’m on it.”

The Miz has an Atlanta connection: in 2005, he spent six months in McDonough training with Deep South Wrestling and Bill DeMott in kind of a minor league wrestling training camp.

DeMott, he said, “was a rough and tumble rugged trainer. He had the old-school mentality. You’re literally physically in demand all the time. You’re always tired and beat up. And when you’re in the WWE, it only gets tougher. Your body will take a toll but you have to keep going and going.”

At the time, I interviewed him for Peach Buzz. “I’m trying to make it to the big leagues, like ‘Raw’ and ‘Smackdown,’ ” he said at the time. And he succeeded.

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The Miz won’t have any time to relax while in Atlanta. Besides doing media, he’s going to be at all the big events such as a charity golf outing, the Hall of Fame ceremony and two wrestling gigs – pay-per-view Wrestlemania Sunday and USA’s “Raw” Monday. “I’m the champ,” he said. “I’d rather have a plate full of things to do than nothing to do!”

How did the Miz get to this point? “I think it’s the little things that matter,” he said. “You not only have to be great in the ring but on the microphone as well. You have to do well on the pre-tapes, the interviews at the live events. You always have to show up on time. And I’m trying to dress the part. I won’t be seen in sweatpants or muscle shirts and fanny packs.”

He prefers colorful bright suits after going through several fashion shifts, including the “Affliction” style, fedoras and bandannas and long coats, then the Justin Timberlake look.

The Miz is looking forward to facing off against Cena. “He’s been the poster child of WWE for five years. I want to take down the poster child.” He knows that despite the fact he’s the current champion, he’s the underdog. “I think everyone always under-estimates me… everything happens for a reason.” (Okay, I know, I know. This is all scripted. But obviously, he has endeared himself to Vince McMahon and Co. Good for him!)

And he’s psyched to see Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who is set to host Wrestlemania and may get in the ring for some action. “He’s all about shock value,” the Miz said. “It could happen. If he does, I plan to beat him.” He’s not surprised Johnson has chosen to come back despite his busy movie career: “It’s his heritage, his family. He’s coming back to his roots.”

He doesn’t think the Rock will take the limelight from him. “If the Rock can get more viewers to see me, so be it. They’ll buy tickets for the Rock and keep buying them for me.”

Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi will pop up Sunday as well in the ring. “I love ‘Jersey Shore!’ ” the Miz said. “It’s my favorite show! You can’t beat that. Snooki is a sweetheart. I can’t wait to see her mash it up with the WWE Divas.” His favorite character: Pauly D. “He’s like me: loud and obnoxious!”

IF YOU GO

Wrestlemania XXVII

6:30 p.m.-11 p.m. April 3. $25-$1,050.35. Georgia Dome, 1 Georgia Dome Drive, Atlanta. 404-223-4636, wm27.wwe.com/, www.gadome.com.

More events and details here.

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, rho@ajc.com, AJCRadioTV blog

19 comments Add your comment

Jackson Knight

March 31st, 2011
10:19 am

Cause he’s awwwwwwwwwww-some!

wrestling?

March 31st, 2011
10:52 am

I’d rather perform a home vasectomy on myself with no anesthesia and a salt-encrusted butter knife with Oprah in the room, than watch wrestling.

Now thats funny right thur!

March 31st, 2011
12:29 pm

Tell us how you really feel wrestling! LOL

jw

March 31st, 2011
12:47 pm

come on – it’s a form of comic relief – no worse than any of the other “stuff” on TV -

Now your situation is different – as the late GREAT Gordon Solie would say – your Manus Hoodius will be wearing a crimson mask and we’ll be back when order is restored!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So Long!

Lugnut

March 31st, 2011
1:01 pm

You think wrestling is scripted and fake – you haven’t watched PMSNBC.

kludfhg

March 31st, 2011
1:18 pm

long live bruno sanmartino

GeorgiaWrestlingHistory.com

March 31st, 2011
1:30 pm

Nice piece on the Miz. Got to know him a bit when he was at Deep South. He’s a fun guy to be around.

For a complete detailed listing of all events going on in and around town, go to http://www.georgiawrestlinghistory.com/maniaweek/home.html

WAR EAGLE

March 31st, 2011
1:30 pm

The NBA Playoffs are more scripted than Wrestling.

keith

March 31st, 2011
1:32 pm

Lugnut says: “scripted and fake….you haven’t watched PMSNBC”.

Or Faux News, I might ad.

J-Money

March 31st, 2011
1:33 pm

FINALLY!!!!! THE ROCK HAS COME BACK TO ATLANTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I want to go!

March 31st, 2011
2:09 pm

im happy for Mike the Miz. great to see that staying determined and working hard will pay off! good for the Miz…my inspiration for the day!

sidenote…anyone giving away free tickets to wrestlemania???

Winkasdad29

March 31st, 2011
2:12 pm

I miss when it wasn’t “sports entertainment”. Wrestling was better when it was “‘rasslin’”, when it was “real”. My brother and I would watch and he’d say “aw, that’s fake!” I’d tell him to shut up. He finally got smart when he grew up.

I went to the first WrestleMania 26 years on this date in New York. It was a blast! Now everything’s too glitzy and too predictable. Also too expensive – it costs $59.95 to watch on PPV.

AJC: Ten minutes with WWE champ the Miz

March 31st, 2011
2:24 pm

[...] Read More? [...]

Veronica

March 31st, 2011
2:42 pm

Not a fan of wrestling but a fan of the ROCK’s physique!!! :)

2nd Cup

March 31st, 2011
6:30 pm

$1050? For a ticket to wrestling??? You’ve got to be kidding.

Colin Cowherd was right–wrestling fans are booger eaters.

Big Deal

March 31st, 2011
10:24 pm

And Colin Cowherd is the backside of a mule. He was obviously picked on when he was in school.

carlaroqs

April 1st, 2011
8:11 am

ummm, he really looks a lot like richie blais.

Brock

April 1st, 2011
1:34 pm

it doesn’t surprise me that there is a gay wrestling league. look at these douche puppets.

Glenda

April 1st, 2011
7:42 pm

Why pay an outragous price to see it in person, be stuck in a crowd of people, who probably have been drinking, and won’t be able to see very much. Order it on pay per view then you can see the action and the replays.