Editors Note: The following is written by official Fun Police Member, Bob Sacamano
As you can probably guess from my previous writings I am a big fan of reality TV. I am also a big fan of the underdog story. This article combines the two. Ten years ago the Real World decided to go back to New York for its tenth season. One of the cast members was a man from Parma, Ohio called Mike Mizanian. A simple college student that had lived a sheltered life.
Here is the bio that MTV released for Mike Mizanian for that season – “Mike grew up as an only child with divorced parents in a predominantly white middle-class neighborhood in the suburbs of Cleveland. He found a sense of family within his college fraternity. He is slightly sheltered due to growing up in a conservative part of the country and has never actively interacted with gays and African Americans. While growing up, he says that his father was a racist. MTV describes him as a “fireball of energy” and a “chick magnet [who] is still naive about relationships, and has a deep need to be loved.””
During the course of the show of Mike had constant fights with castmate Coral about race and homosexuals. He eventually came around by the end of the show and was loved by everyone. The real memorable moments of Mike on the show was his love of pro wrestling and his made up character, “The Miz”. He would run around with a fake championship belt and cut killer promos similar to the ones the Rock was doing. He was the lovable goof that loved pro wrestling.*
Mike went on to appearing in the Real World/Road Rules Challenges where he soon became a regular. He appeared in six of them, winning two.
Once again, he was just the lovable goof that loved pro wrestling. He and the rest of the cast started referring to him as The Miz. And wouldn’t you know it, the Miz got a chance to try out for the WWE as a cast member of the Fourth Season of “Tough Enough.” Where he was the ultimate underdog on the show.
He was the smallest, had the worst body, didn’t look like a WWE Superstar, and for all intensive purposes a goofball that was only there because he was already somewhat famous. Surprisingly, the Miz made it to the finals only to lose to Daniel Puder, who was only around the WWE for a few months before being released.
The Miz ended up getting a developmental contract where he worked for Ohio Valley Wrestling. He started to fill out his body to look like a pro wrestler. Probably because he still had some name recognition the WWE hired him to be the host of Smackdown!** Still not a wrestler but his foot was in the door.
He eventually started to wrestle and was not getting over with the crowd in any way shape or form. The Miz then got his big break being a tag team partner with John Morrison. The two went on to win the Tag Team Titles but everyone agreed that John Morrison was the real star and the Miz was just riding his coattails.*** They had great success but like all tag teams in Pro Wrestling there was the great falling out. The two broke up and went their separate ways. Everyone assumed that the Miz was done as a single wrestler and that he would fade to oblivion.
But you know what, the kid didn’t fade away, he thrived. He started a gimmick that he was AWESOME and took off. He won MITB and cashed in his chance and beat Randy Orton to become WWE Champion, which he held for 134 days.
Now I know what you are thinking that this is all scripted so really, what does it matter. There is an art to being a wrestler. You have to go to school, be trained, have a certain look, and have the “It” factor. When the Miz started he had none of these qualities. All he had was a desire to be a pro wrestler and a never give up attitude. He worked hard to make his body look like a wrestler and to become a better in ring performer.
Next week the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500 list will be announced. This is their list of the top 500 Wrestlers of each year. Past winners have included wrestling legends such as Hulk Hogan, Sting, Bret Hart, Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Shawn Michaels just to name a few. Well next week there will be a new name added to the list and it will be The Miz. Yes that is right, the naïve sheltered kid from Parma, Ohio has just been named the Best Wrestler of the year.
If it can happen for the Miz, it can happen for anyone. Maybe a 6’5” 275lbs guy that has the gimmick of being an evil attorney can make it. I don’t know. I’m just thinking out loud here.
Giants closer Brian Wilson agrees
* Sounds like half of my friends from high school and college including the Editor of this site. (editor’s note: hater’s gonna hate)
** This is the Friday Night WWE Show whose name comes from the Rock’s catchphrase “Laying the Smackdown on your jabroni ass.”
*** Some people call this the Rockers scenario. The Rockers were a young highflying tag team from the late 1980s and Early 1990s that consisted of Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty. Michaels went onto become arguably the greatest Pro Wrestler of all time and Jannetty is probably working at your local 7-11.