At one point in The Miz's career, he was an outcast in the WWE locker room. Now, he is one of the top heels on the roster and a mainstay in the Intercontinental Championship picture. As a guest on the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast recently, he discussed how he feels more stable in his career than ever before.
"I think I am at a confidence level now that I never had before in WWE. I have always been confident, but this is at another level that I know what I am doing, where I need to go, and what I need to do," he said. "There was an interview that I actually listened to with John Cena where he says that he is an elite-level athlete; he is elite and he needs to make people elite whenever he goes up against them, but I was like, gosh, as much as I hate to give him credit where credit is due it is exactly right.
"When you are an elite talent, you cannot allow anyone that comes into your 'eliteness' and take you down. You have to make them rise to your level. What I would do normally is, I'm not sure if I would go to their level, I would just let things be. Now I don't let things be."
As he gained more experience, The Miz also gained knowledge and figured out new ways to appeal to the WWE Universe. He cited his feud with Baron Corbin in the buildup to Survivor Series as an example of using non-traditional methods to get fans to care about the rivalry.
"I know what I am doing, I know how to get people to talk, and to listen, and how to make something really memorable, and that is what I set out to do," he said. "This thing with Baron Corbin on Survivor Series. I knew we were going to have zero TV time to do anything because he is on SmackDown Live and I am on Raw. We had a match; Intercontinental Champion vs United States Champion. This should be a huge monumental match, and we were getting no TV time. Literally, he came off to me on social media. People would laugh and say, oh, it's social media. Believe it or not, a lot of people watch social media. I have 1.5 million people on Instagram, 2.5 million people on Twitter, that is how many people are watching whatever I do. Sometimes my friends who don't catch Raw, won't know what I am doing through that, but we literally created a buzz of our match on social media and people are excited about that match than some of the matches that have been televised."
The Miz was also asked about his growth over the past six years. This year, he reignited a feud with John Cena after engaging in a rivalry with Cena in the early part of his career. The Miz said he's now more confident and comfortable with being part of a program with a superstar of Cena's caliber.
"So, six years ago I wouldn't say that I wasn't ready, but I didn't have the confidence that I do now," he said. "It's a learning process, and now I know that even when you don't have a title, or you're not in a main event caliber program, you have to remain 'main event level' and always not allow anything to hinder that. That is where I am at now."
If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast with an H/T to WrestlingINC for the transcription.
Source: Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.