The Miz joined Busted Open with Dave Lagreca and Doug Mortman. Here are some highlights from the interview.
On the perception that he’s the ‘reality TV guy’: “I think now more than ever, especially with Flair being in my corner and kind of mentoring me, I think now I have the biggest microscope on me because it’s like, wait a second, this guy is still an outsider. I still consider myself an outsider.
“It’s not that I haven’t gotten over it. I feel like the fans haven’t yet, as in, the older fans. The kids, sure. The kids have gotten over it. They don’t even know that I was on the Real World. They know me as Miz from WWE. But I feel like guys your age probably, still, no matter what, will always have that chip on their shoulder about me, no matter what. I mean, when I was main eventing Wrestlemania I guarantee everyone was like, ‘well why is this guy doing it, why is The Miz getting these opportunities’?
“Any time a superstar is main eventing Wrestlemania, if you’re not jealous, mad, angry that you’re not in that spot, then there’s something wrong with you and you shouldn’t be in WWE.
On main-eventing Wrestlemania 27: “My take on that Wrestlemania was I was getting an opportunity of a lifetime. I was getting my childhood dream. I wanted to be that guy in the main event of Wrestlemania and I was getting that opportunity. Was I nervous? Was I scared that I was going to fail? Absolutely. I think anyone in that position would be. But I was also very confident in myself, knowing me, I will work harder than anybody, I will do whatever it takes to be successful in this industry and make sure that people say, ‘you know what? That was awesome.’ And I don’t remember my Wrestlemania moment because I was concussed. I got tackled off of a table onto the concrete and I don’t remember anything, I do remember being victorious, but the moment that I will always have with me is this moment. And right before I was coming out, they did this amazing video package of just my entire career, of people telling me that I wasn’t going to make it. It was just an incredible video. I do my entrance, I get into the ring, I hold the WWE Championship up, then Cena’s entrance happens. During that entrance, I’m black, nobody’s seeing me, nobody’s looking at me, I see my ten best friends sitting in the front row. The friends that I watched in my living room, Wrestlemania after Wrestlemania, all watching me in the main event with my WWE championship and me looking at them and going, ‘we did it.’ That is my moment. No one will ever be able to take that away from me and that was what it was all about.”
On whether the push was too fast or too soon: “I don’t think it was too soon at all. I think I was hot right then and there. I was at my pinnacle, if you will, and it all came to point when I won the WWE Championship and retained it at Wrestlemania. But do I ever think I’ll be it again? Absolutely. Every year I’m working hard to basically be in that position and sometimes you get it and other times you don’t. It’s timing, it’s luck, it’s skill. So many things get involved to being in that main event. You have to peak at the perfect time, and sometimes you’re not peaking at the right time. Sometimes you’re peaking when mania isn’t around. But that’s when you want to peak. You’re training for it, you’re dieting, you’re working hard in the ring. Every time we go out there on Monday Night Raw, I’m thinking of new ways that I can possibly get this audience to either love me or hate me. It’s so hard. But the thing is; you love it. Because you want people like you guys, on Busted Open radio, talking about it the next day. Whether it’s good or bad, I don’t care, as long as you’re talking about me, so be it.
On being on the mic so often and having to be focused: “I always look at myself as I’m a bumbler. My mind works way faster than my mouth does. You might not realize it, a lot of people don’t realize it, but I’ll be like, ‘man, I bumbled that word.’ When you’re on commentary, I didn’t realize how hard it was until I did the 3-hour Raw with Michael Cole and I didn’t realize how valuable a commentator Michael Cole is. Let me tell you something, being there, seeing him go play by play and telling the stories, every story that he has to know in and out, and just going and going, its incredible to watch him and be a partner with him. I didn’t ask for the job on Main Event. Do you know how I got this job? So, I did that 3-hour Raw, and the next week Main Event was starting. They were like, ‘well, the guy that we want to do it won’t be there this week, can you try it out?’ And I was like, ‘sure, no problem.’ So, I did it. The next week comes, ‘he’s still not here, he’ still doing a charity event, can you do it again?’ ‘Sure, no problem.’ Did it. The next week Michael Cole goes to me, ‘congratulations, you got the job.’ And I went, ‘what? I didn’t realize I was auditioning for the job.'”
On being cheered now despite virtually no character change: “I have Google Alerts; anytime someone talks about me on the internet I get the feed, so I’m always reading up and people saying things. My favorite is this, and people on the internet have been saying this for about a year now, ‘Miz needs to change to babyface; he needs to be a good guy; he’s the same character as a bad guy; he’s saying the same things.’ So then I change to a good guy and now guess what they’re saying? ‘He needs to go back to being a bad guy.’ The thing about it is, I’ve always looked at myself as a good guy. Even when people proclaim me as a villain I’ve always said, ‘you know what? I’m not a bad guy. The reason why I do the things that I do is because I want to win and I know I’m not bigger, I’m probably not as technical as some people, but I will cheat to win. I will do whatever I possibly can do to win,’ and now I’m still that same exact person and I’m still cocky and arrogant but now I feel like I’m their cocky and arrogant person. And I’m doing it to people that they hate even more than me, which I didn’t even know that could be possible.”
On working with Ric Flair: “Ric Flair has been very, very hands on with me since day one. Ric Flair has always been person that I’ve looked up to, that I’ve respected in this business. He’s done it all. He always takes me aside and says, ‘listen, here’s an easier way to get into the figure 4, here’s a way to make it work better for you,’ and the greatest thing about Ric Flair is he still wants me to be me. He doesn’t want me to say, ‘the Ric Flair Woo, I’m going to Woo. Ric Flair does struts, I’m going to strut.’ He’s like, ‘be your own superstar. This is what worked for me. What is going to work for you as a WWE superstar?’ That’s something that I’ve taken and really put out there. I’m going to be The Miz and I’m going to do things the way Miz would do.”
On his role in Wrestlemania this year: “I am excited to see Wrestlemania 29 April 7 at MetLife Stadium as well and I’m hoping that I am a valuable part. If they do give me the opportunity to have a match or to have a MizTV or to have anything on that show, I want to be the person that’s talked about the next day on Monday Night Raw. Granted, there’s huge, huge talent there. You have The Rock versus John Cena for the WWE Championship. Swagger versus Alberto Del Rio, who are amazing talents, going for the World Heavyweight Championship. As of right now, this card is building to be one of the biggest cards you will ever see and it’s going to be absolutely incredible and I can’t wait to be a part of it and I know I will be a part of it because I’m just too big not be.”