It was quite the ride for Mike Mizanin, who achieved his dream of becoming a WWE Superstar when he signed with the company in 2004. He spent years in developmental and on the “Tough Enough” TV series, but eventually made it to the main roster in 2006.
He suffered bullying at the hands of some former WWE superstars, including a former WWE Champion and Hall of Famer, as well as having run run-ins with a now-disgraced WCW and World Heavyweight Champion.
Despite repeated attempts to rid themselves of The Miz, he overcame all the adversity he faced to become a huge star in the company, wrestling for nearly two-decades and winning two WWE Championships in the company.
The Miz is a nailed-on WWE Hall of Famer once he retires, but it would not have happened if he hadn’t overcome the bullying that forced many other WWE stars to quit the business for good.
The Miz Was Bullied Out Of The Locker Room
Early on his WWE career, The Miz kicked out of the WWE locker room by one of the most experienced men on the roster.
During some time in 2006, a young Miz was eating chicken in the WWE locker room when he was accused of eating over another wrestlers bag, getting chicken crumbs all over it.
The Miz at first thought it was all a joke, but after sensing the seriousness of the situation, apologized profusely. He denies to this day that he did not spill the chicken, and the accusation was merely even more bullying that he suffered (more details on the bullying later on in the article).
During a WWE 24 documentary, The Miz revealed all about being bullied out of the WWE locker room.
“One day I was eating a piece of chicken in the locker room. Someone comes in and goes, ‘Dude, you’re eating over my bag. And his bag was right there. I was like, ‘Oh, no, no, no.’
He goes, ‘Dude, you just got stuff all over my bag.’I go [shakes head]… I still don’t think I got stuff on his bag, but I was [saying], ‘I’m sorry, I apologize.’ Another person walked in, ‘Oh, you got stuff on his bag? How could you do that? Unbelievable.’ And I thought they were joking.” The Miz said,
“It was almost like I was taking the chicken and just throwing it in the locker room and just smearing it all over the place and all over the stuff. That’s what I felt like, and I’m appalled.”
“I am like, ‘I am so sorry, I did not mean to do it. I’m just trying to do the right thing here.’ And he goes, ‘You are not allowed to dress in our locker room. I think you should just stay out of the locker room,’”
That “someone” has previously been confirmed to have been former WWE Superstar Chris Benoit, who was a key part of the Smackdown locker room in 2006. He forced The Miz to leave the WWE Locker Room, leaving him to find his own area to change in.
In the same documentary, Zack Ryder (who now goes by Matt Cardona on the independent scene) revealed that word of The Miz’s transgressions made their way down to developmental (something Kofi Kingston also confirmed. They revealed that The Miz was forced to use the same bathrooms as the fans, while Mark Henry revealed The Miz would change in corridors and janitor’s closets backstage.
Speaking on the same WWE 24 Documentary, The Miz revealed the embarrassing times that he was recognized while going to the bathroom, including a child waiting outside his stall for an autograph before the show.
“When I had to use the restroom, I had to go out into where the audience would use the restroom. I would hear kids go ‘Dad, I think I just saw The Miz go into that stall’ ‘Oh Okay son, wait for him!’. And I’m sitting there going ‘Oh my God, I’m using the restroom right now and this kid is waiting for me outside it, and I have to perform in ten minutes.”
“So, I’d get out and you’d hear the rumblings like ‘Hey, The Miz is in the bathroom!’ and I’d be like ‘Oh my God, this is so humiliating’ – but I went through it”.
The Miz spent months out of the locker room, being forced to change in hallways and closets in an attempt to find some privacy for his pre-match routine.
He was eventually invited back into the locker room by The Undertaker months later (some tellings of the story indicate that it was up to six months after the match). The Deadman was said to have found The Miz changing on his own backstage, querying what he was doing before inviting him back into the Smackdown locker room.
This was months after Benoit’s death, and after The Miz was at a loss at how to get back in to the locker room – without Benoit their to invite him back, it seemed like he’d be banished forever.
Before he was part of this interview on WWE 24, The Miz referenced this event in a WWE promo in 2011. However, due to Benoit being persona non grata in the WWE following the horrendous events surrounding his death, he was replaced by JBL in the story.
Who Bullied The Miz?
JBL has admitted to “hazing” The Miz during his time in the WWE, and many other wrestlers have come out to claim that JBL bullied The Miz.
While Chris Benoit kicked The Miz out of the locker room for eating chicken over another wrestlers bag, he was not considered to be a bully by The Miz.
In fact, Benoit was very fair with The Miz. As a locker room leader on Smackdown, Chris Benoit had to be seen as making an example of the “A-Lister”, and did not want to have to punish him at that time.
Matt Hardy has confirmed that JBL was the one bullying The Miz in the WWE, although he was not the man who had him kicked out of the locker room.
Speaking on The Extreme Life Of Matt Hardy, the current AEW star confirmed that JBL bullied The Miz during his early days in the WWE, making his life a misery, doing things like hiding his wrestling gear, or insulting him every day.
“He [Miz] said ‘Man, I just want to say again thank you so much. When guys like JBL hated me and, he [ JBL] would come he would tell me every day ‘I sure can’t wait to see your exciting match tonight Miz’ very sarcastic every single day.”
“He [Miz] would say you know ‘and they would do stuff with my gear or hide it or kick me out of the locker room’ whatever it may be when he first got here [Miz] already said ‘you were always nice to me’. he said like ‘You didn’t have to be you’re like this already like that legend and you’re like always so nice to me so thank you, I always appreciate that.'”
The Miz actually wrestled Chris Benoit twice in 2007, just months before Benoit’s tragic death. Benoit won both of those matches, and you can see below to watch a clip from their first match.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.