Just days after his wedding, Mike Mizanin was back on the mat for World Wrestling Entertainment.
“My honeymoon was in the Elimination Chamber,” said Mizanin, better known in the WWE as “The Miz.”
The Miz made former WWE Divas champion and model Maryse Ouellet his Mrs. in the Bahamas this past Thursday with about 90 people in attendance, including many WWE performers.
“I wanted a wedding where I could actually be able to talk to everyone and just hang out and have fun,” Mizanin said in a phone interview this week from Green Bay, Wis. “It was beautiful and wonderful and perfect.”
It’s attention that he hopes will give him a boost as he tries for a spot in “WWE WrestleMania XXX,” which Mizanin calls “the Super Bowl of wrestling,” April 6 in New Orleans.
“You always try to find your way into that main event category,” he said. “It’s a little bit of everything (to get there). It’s doing everything the WWE needs to do, and hopefully the fans catch on and say, ‘Hey, this guy works harder than anybody. This guy has the talent and the ability, whether it’s on the microphone or in the ring.’ ”
In WrestleMania XXVII, he defended his title against John Cena, who is also on the card for a WWE return to the iWireless Center in Moline on Sunday night.
The Miz is following Cena’s lead into acting. Mizanin replaced WWE star Randy Orton (who also will be in Moline on Sunday) as the star of “The Marine” movie series, with “The Marine 3: Homefront” released last year. He’ll begin filming a fourth installment in a few months.
Mizanin said his TV background, including MTV’s “The Real World” in 2001 and subsequent seasons of “Real World/Road Rules Challenge” works to his advantage.
“I love basically showing my improving talents to everyone,” the 33-year-old said. “When you come from a reality show like ‘The Real World,’ you’re used to being on TV and being on camera. People think that’s all you’re supposed to do. You’re not supposed to have a talent, you’re not supposed to have a talent or anything. I just want to punk them all.”
He was on the MTV competition series “Tough Enough,” where the prize was a WWE contract. Mizanin was the first runner-up, but he was signed by the company for a developmental contract, working his way up to the A-list of wrestlers.
Growing up in the Cleveland suburb of Parma, Ohio, Mizanin loved to watch wrestling, particularly stars such as Hulk Hogan.
“When you’re a kid, you don’t really believe you can be a WWE superstar. These guys are 6-foot-7, larger-than-life role models,” said The Miz, who is 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds.
But being on “The Real World” showed him he could do whatever he wanted.
“It gave me the confidence I needed, a little boost, a little kick in the butt,” he said. “Sometimes that’s all you need.”
The Miz has been pegged as both a wrestling hero and a villain through the years, and he said it doesn’t matter to him which side he’s on.
“I do it because I want to entertain that audience the best that I can,” he said. “I want reaction from that audience. They can boo me, they can cheer me. I don’t care which one it is. I just want that initial reaction. That’s what it’s all about, entertaining those families that are our fans.”