WWE’s Mike “The Miz” Mizanin found himself in the thick of the 2021 Royal Rumble last night. He then fairly quickly found himself over the top rope and onto the floor. Miz, who along with his tag-team partner John Morrison was eliminated by rising NXT star Damian Priest, actually blames rapper Bad Bunny for the failure.
For those not caught up on the latest pro-wrestling pay-per-view, Miz (the character) tried (storyline) networking with WWE’s special guest Bad Bunny on Sunday ahead of the Men’s Royal Rumble Match. Bunny, who was at Tampa Bay’s Tropicana Field to perform his song “Booker T” (yes, named for former WCW/WWF wrestler Booker T) was not particularly interested in such a partnership.
The sheer disrespect (Miz’s comedically exaggerated thoughts, not ours) set off the heel character played perfectly by Mizanin. Seething, The Miz smashed Bad Bunny’s entrance-ramp-adjacent DJ setup to pieces with his Money in the Bank briefcase. Bad Bunny, the good guy in this scenario, would get his revenge — and land a dive off the top turnbuckle — moments later.
Despite being highly decorated in his now-lengthy WWE career, Mizanin (the real person) is perfectly fine playing the butt of the joke — so long as he’s entertaining fans and maintaining his value within Vince McMahon’s sports-entertainment organization. The “Real World” alum didn’t always feel that way, however.
“I used to be, like: ‘Well, Cena doesn’t ever do that. Orton doesn’t ever do that. I used to do this a lot,” Mizanin told TheWrap. “Now, I kind of understand. I don’t want this to sound arrogant or egotistical but I’m one of a kind. We’re all one of a kind. And just because one person doesn’t do something or another person doesn’t do this or do this or do this — doesn’t mean I can’t.”
“I’m very versatile, where I can make you laugh, but I also can make you believe that I can whoop any single person that is in that ring at any given time,” he continued. “There’s a balance. I’m able to understand that balance, give that balance, and whenever I am in a serious type of situation, I’m able to make you understand that it’s serious to me. Just because I’m joking around, making you laugh, being a goof, does not mean I don’t have a serious side.”
Mizanin says it took him “a long time to figure that out,” adding: “A lot of people are one-trick ponies. I’m not.”
No, he’s not. He’s also not a one-job-pony, if that’s a thing in the (mini-)equestrian world.
We already mentioned Mizanin’s “The Real World” past and touched on his career as a reality-show star. Mizanin also took over the titular role in “The Marine” movies from John Cena, and has hosted shows from MTV’s “The Challenge” to USA’s “Wipeout”-like goofy competition series “Cannonball.”
Mizanin’s IMDb page is longer than many mainstream actors we speak with.
Now 40, Mizanin, who during an interview will switch seamlessly from earnest answers to cutting in-character promos, says he’s never been so confident in what he brings to the table (which sometimes includes breaking a few tables).
“Even when I was WWE Champion, I didn’t have the confidence I have today,” he told us. “I know exactly what to do, when to do it, how to do it.”
“I’m probably the only person that can get away with doing any type of stuff like this,” Mizanin said. “Because I’m that good at it.”
OK, so the confidence thing checks out.
Always the promoter, Mizanin then got us back on track by issuing a warning to Bad Bunny, who fans should expect to drop by the WWE Thunderdome tonight on “Raw.” Suffice it to say, Miz (the character) believes the rapper should join forces with him and Morrison, or hit the bricks forever.
Though he pulled off a pretty good dive last night despite slipping a bit on the top rope, Bad Bunny should bring his backup in the former of Booker T. And the DJ should probably just leave his equipment at home this time.
“I had so many DJs last night [reach out to] me going, ‘My stomach is still hurting from that,” Miz told TheWrap. “I bet you every DJ out there was like, ‘Bad Bunny needs to learn [to] respect WWE Superstars.”
We have a feeling that the lesson in respect may go the other way this evening. But, even when The Miz loses, Mizanin wins. And he knows that.
“Raw” airs Mondays beginning at 8/7c on USA Network.