When WrestleMania XXVII comes to Atlanta this Sunday, a somewhat unlikely superstar will be headlining the event. Since he was WWE Champion for only a few months, and obtained that title in a rather unscrupulous way, former reality show star the Miz is probably the last person you might expect to see at the top of the bill for WWE's biggest show of the year. But, in true Miz fashion, he's not only confident that he'll defeat WWE poster boy John Cena to retain the title, he's also certain he'll become the new torchbearer after a WrestleMania that features many other fresh faces in prominent roles. He discusses his main-event match, war of words with Cena and WrestleMania host the Rock, and his choice of ring attire.
How are you today?
I'm doing fantastic. I'm the WWE Champion, of course I'm doing great.
I posted on Facebook today that I was interviewing the Miz and immediately got responses from females requesting that I ask you about your manties. Have you always had such reaction from female fans?
They're almost Speedo-like, if you will. I've never called them manties. That feels very froufrou. But they are my ring attire.
I've always had a lot of haters and a lot of fans. Ever since I was on "The Real World" a decade ago, I've been hated and I've been loved. It's been nonstop and becoming WWE champion has just surplused it, and literally anytime I go out to eat or go to the airport, TMZ is always there to stop me and ask me the most ridiculous questions you possibly could think of. It's cool. It's what I've always wanted. It's like a dream come true. I'm the WWE Champion. I'm the person that should be talked about and I think John Cena should pass the torch at WrestleMania after I beat him.
You began your WWE career in the Atlanta area at now-defunct Deep South Wrestling, becoming its first champion. Did you ever imagine then that you'd be returning to Atlanta to defend WWE's grandest prize on its grandest stage?
You always have dreams that you can one day become the WWE Champion. I've always thought I could do it, but you never really believe that it could happen. You think, "It's going to happen. I'm working hard for it," but you see all these things that happen, these bumps in the road, that suddenly don't allow you to get to where you need to be and it starts to get to you. At one point, I literally thought I was going to be fired from WWE, and now to be the WWE Champion really is surreal.
People were saying that the verbal sparring between Cena and the Rock was overshadowing your part in the main event, but now the three of you are embroiled in a verbal war. How do you think that will affect your match?
Let's face it, the Rock is the host of WrestleMania, not wrestling in it. He's not doing what we do, so I'm not really sure how the Rock plays into all this. I think the Rock basically wanted to make a statement that he's still an icon and John Cena still wants to say he's the poster child and yadda, yadda, yadda. I think both of their days are numbered. John Cena's been here for how long now? He needs to learn how to pass the torch and I'm going to teach that to him at WrestleMania XXVII in the main event while the Rock is being the Ryan Seacrest of WrestleMania. I think the Rock can still be that Ryan Seacrest character, but the fact is, I'm the star, I'm going to be main-eventing.
It seems like every time Cena seems to be getting the best of you, you find a way to show him up in recent weeks. I'm guessing you have special plans at WrestleMania, as always.
I always get the upper hand with John Cena. I won the WWE Tag Team Championships with John Cena, then I made John Cena lose them. It was exactly what I wanted to happen, and, basically, I'm in control, I'm in the driver's seat and John Cena is just along for the ride right now. The ride has been kind of bumpy for him and it's going to get a lot more bumpy once we get to WrestleMania. Let's face it, John Cena is not looking at me as a threat. He's worried about the Rock trying to make him look stupid when the real problem is me. I'm the one with the title, not the Rock, so Cena just needs to realize that. I think I've put that in his head over the past few weeks and he's starting to turn his head more toward me rather than the Rock.
Do you really want Cena to pay attention to you instead of taking advantage of the distraction the Rock is providing?
I want all the attention on me. That's just the person I've always been. I've always wanted to be the person everybody's talking about, that all the talk shows, interviewers and magazines want to talk about. And if someone tries to overshadow that, I'm going to get their attention and get them to turn their heads toward me.