The Miz shocked the world at Elimination Chamber when he cashed in his contract for a WWE Championship opportunity on a beaten down Drew McIntyre. One of the most outspoken Superstars in WWE today, The Miz was all too happy to address the world’s media on a conference call this week. Of course, our King of the Ring, Andy Spoors, was on hand to listen to ‘the most must see Superstar in WWE today’ ahead of his first title defence on Monday…

You’ve become a father since you last held the WWE Championship and there are a lot of responsibilities that come with that role, so how are you balancing everything? 

The Miz: As soon as I became a father life changed and I think I speak for every single parent out there when I say, the toughest job that you’ll ever have, is being a father or a mother. When you have children, it opens a whole new part of your heart that you didn’t even know you had. A whole new love that you had no idea that you had, and I do everything for them.

The number one thing people are asking me, is what did you do when you won the double championship? I called my wife and I said did they see it? Did they see it? They are three and one! They don’t understand what’s going on but in my mind all I want to do is impress them, so I came home, and I showed them the title. They have no idea what this title means and what this title represents, but they got to play with it and hold it and someday I’ll get to show them the pictures of them with it when their dad was the guy.

So, my goal is to always make them proud, make my family proud and I will do whatever it takes to do that. I also know from being a WWE champion before what it takes to hold that title and what it means to not only myself but every superstar that is vying to become a WWE champion. I need to be a role model, not just for my kids, but for all of them. And it’s not necessarily being a role model, it’s being a person that says okay, when you’re WWE champion this is what it takes and if you’re not at that level you do not deserve that title. Everyone thinks that they deserve this title, but they don’t understand the pressures and stresses and even the audience don’t.

As much as I can sit there and say you guys don’t understand, it’s like when someone says you don’t know what it’s like to have kids and you’re like, ‘yes I do, I got dogs and I got cats!’ No, you don’t understand until you actually have kids, that’s when you get it. Once you have this title people do understand and I try to make sure that people do understand what it takes in the ring and outside of the ring to have this title. It means more than anything. Drew McIntyre was an incredible champion. Roman Reigns is an incredible champion and they deserve it and they know what it takes. They do what it takes and I hope that with this title I am able to take what they are doing and make it even more, because this is the most coveted title in all of WWE.

There’s been a lot of speculation around the storyline between yourself, Damian Priest and Bad Bunny. Could you see a scenario where you defend the title at WrestleMania 37 against Bad Bunny?

The Miz: Bad Bunny is an incredible recording artist. He is the biggest recording artist in the world. There’s no denying his talent in the music industry, but to be in a WWE championship match in the main event of WrestleMania, you need to earn your way to do that. You don’t just come into WWE and we just throw it at you. You need to earn it, especially with me. Maybe times past, they would sit there and say oh this is going to be it, this is who we’re getting. No. With this title, I want to make sure that the person earns the right to be a WWE champion, so Bad Bunny needs years in order to do that. As talented as he is, he does not deserve to be in the same footsteps…he does not deserve to be in the same ring as the WWE champion.

You mentioned Bad Bunny not having the right to take the title off you at WrestleMania, if you get past Bobby Lashley on Raw…

The Miz: If?

Sorry when you get past Bobby, there are two guys who haven’t had a WWE championship rematch and those are Drew McIntyre and Brock Lesnar. How would you feel about a triple threat against them in the main event of WrestleMania 37? 

The Miz: I am all about strategising. Trying to figure out what is best for this WWE Championship and, to be completely honest with you, sometimes the critics and sometimes the WWE universe doesn’t know what’s best for them. I do. I’ve been here for a long time! I’ve been here for 16 years, so I think in my opinion that people need to, or like I said with Bad Bunny, earn their way. This isn’t the WWE championship open challenge. I’m not just opening it up to just anyone, because not just anyone can hold this WWE championship. Can Drew McIntyre? Yes, he’s done it. Can Brock Lesnar? Yes, he’s done it. Can Bobby Lashley? Lashley right now is on fire, there is no one more dominant in WWE then Bobby Lashley and I know this.

So, I am prepared and I am ready to take on whoever at WrestleMania in the main event for this most coveted title in all of WWE. Whether it be Brock Lesnar, whether it be Drew McIntyre. Yes, they are definitely viable candidates, but they need to earn it and to earn it you need to be here and one of those poor people are not here. So, we’ll see what happens, this is what I love about WWE, you don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know what is going to happen on a week-to-week basis because that’s the best part, cliff-hangers. We love stories that we don’t know what’s going to happen and I’m going to throw wrenches all over the place, so you tune in each and every week. 

What’s so special about this title, from all the all the other titles you’ve held in your career? 

The Miz: What’s so special about this one besides the fact that it made me the first ever two-time, Grand Slam champion in the history of this business? Hogan was unable to do it. Shawn Michaels wasn’t able to do it. Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Drew McIntyre weren’t able to do it. I am the first and not only that, this title whether anyone wants to say anything else, it is the most coveted title. It is on the flagship show of Monday Night Raw. These are the values that you must display as a champion and I think I represent that as a WWE champion. It means a lot to me to know that my heroes, the people that I grew up watching, loving and admiring held this prestigious title and it’s my duty to make sure that I am up to that. I know I was up to the challenge, but I raised the bar for the people of the past and for the people of the future that hold this WWE championship. To be honest, I don’t think we’re going to have much of a future, because you’re going to see this face with this title at all times. 

Bobby Lashley is part of the Hurt Business, but you only have John Morrison on your side. Do you plan to create a faction to complete with the Hurt Business and, if so, who would be the members?

The Miz: Wow great question. As far as a faction is concerned, I don’t necessarily need a faction. I looked to John Morrison because John Morrison is a person who can elevate me as a talent. I elevate John as a talent and we have just such an immense chemistry with one another that we’re just unstoppable. I mean, if you watch Monday Night Raw, the entire show is basically us. And why? Because we can handle the time, we can give you must see entertaining TV each and every week and we can give you layers upon layers of story. Our characters are larger than life and as far as the Hurt Business is concerned, Bobby Lashley needs five people in his group. He needs to be out if he needs that many people to elevate himself. I don’t need that, I’m the WWE champion for a reason, so I don’t need a faction.

The reason why John Morrison and myself are together, is because we are elevating one another, Bobby Lashley needs MVP, Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander. If he needs this person and this person to elevate him to get into the WWE championship conversation, then I think we have another problem on her hands. He is talented 100%. There is no one more dominant in all of WWE and you’re hearing this from the WWE champion himself rather thnn Bobby Lashley right now. I will strategise and I will make sure that he does not get this WWE championship, because I am going to the main event of WrestleMania with this title and I’m walking out at the main event of WrestleMania with this title, like I did 10 years ago. 

How much have you changed in the last 10 years since your first WWE Championship reign? 

The Miz: I am a completely different human being. A different superstar. I think differently, I’m more confident, I’ve always been a person and I pride myself on learning. Being a sponge, taking everything in and utilising it for my advantage to make sure that once I have something like this, I am ready for it when I get it. When the opportunity presents itself to have this title, you better be ready, and I am more ready than I’ve ever been in my entire career. I am in the prime. I am in elite level status, when you think of in the ring, on the microphone my presence just elevates everyone around me. So, I think that these 10 years of holding the WWE championship, being able to understand what it takes and then going through the trials and tribulations, all my failures, that I have had since I’ve been WWE champion, have taught me how to become a success now. I’ve learned a lot from some of the best Superstars, that a lot of the Superstars today haven’t been able to be in the ring with and now it’s my duty to elevate everyone that is in WWE, that steps in the ring with me and showcase exactly what it takes to hold this prestigious title. 

A lot of people believe your last main event at WrestleMania was overshadowed by The Rock and John Cena’s feud starting during your match. How did you cope with that situation?

The Miz: I used it as fuel for my fire like I’ve always done. I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder. There’s always been negativity towards me, whether it was when I first came into WWE, whether it’s when I got the championship. Let’s think about my career. When I first came to WWE nobody wanted me there, not the WWE Universe, not the critics, not the WWE locker room. Everyone wanted me out. They hated me! Could not stand me as a human being, as a WWE superstar, and then I get the WWE Championship maybe four or five years later. Nobody in the locker room wanted me to have that. Nobody. Especially the critics. I remember my Twitter feed, it was literally all negativity, 100%.

Nobody respected me, nobody liked me, nobody wanted me to be a WWE champion. Then going on to main event WrestleMania and having The Rock and John Cena and everyone thought that was a storyline. I don’t know if you remember the promo I cut, but when people started to say that, it got into me. Whenever that happens you give me a microphone and I will not only make you believe that I am the champion, that I am representing this company, that I am the man. I am the one that you should be talking about, I am not a second-rate Superstar. I’m THE superstar and I made people believe that and I walked out of WrestleMania the WWE champion as a bad guy mind you. That doesn’t happen in the main event of WrestleMania, but I did that. Now did The Rock help? Sure! But remember I’m a master strategist, I’m always thinking far ahead of everybody else to make sure that I am the success because I know what it takes. 

How much do you miss the fans that boo you? 

The Miz: You know, as much as they do boo me and chant ‘you suck’, you have to miss the WWE Universe. There is just some sort of electricity when they are in the arena or the stadium cheering or booing you. There is nothing quite like it in all of entertainment and that’s what sets us apart from everybody else, but I think WWE has done an incredible job. We have won awards and are state of the art. I mean this just goes to show the production team that is behind WWE, everyone is basically I don’t want to say copycatting us, but they’re taking what we have done and utilising it for their benefits. I think the ThunderDome has given us an audience even if it is through virtual experience it still feels like the fans are there and I enjoy that. But I really cannot wait until we have a live audience again, I can’t wait till we get back out there and get to perform in front of the audience all over the world. I mean that’s what we love to do, we love travelling, we love going to different countries and showcasing exactly who we are and we are the best entertainers in the world. 

If you had the chance to defend that title at WrestleMania against a dream opponent who would it be past or present?

The Miz: You know I’d really like to give John Morrison the chance at a WWE Championship. He’s earned it, there’s no one more talented. I look to who can elevate me to be the Superstar that I am inside and outside the ring. He’s the brother that I’ve never had and I think he deserves it and that’s why I have been so against Bobby Lashley going for the WWE Championship. It’s nothing against Bobby Lashley, he is a tremendous talent, but I think you need to earn the right to face the WWE Champion rather than just giving it over or handing it out. Now granted, I made the deal with them sure I did. But once you become champion things change and you start to understand and Bobby doesn’t understand this coz you never been WWE champion. He doesn’t understand that the risk, the stress, the pressures, the things that a champion has to entail. I just want to make sure that when I have a match this person is ready and if they’re not ready they’re not getting this title and I don’t think anyone is ready for this title and I think even if John Morrison goes up against me at WrestleMania, he’s not winning the title. I am your WWE champion for a reason. 

What do you think a perfect WWE champion should stand for?

The Miz: He should represent this title with honour, with prestige, with respect. This title has been held by the best of the best, the list goes on and on of superstars who have fought their blood sweat and tears to make sure that respect honour and prestige stays intact for the most coveted title in all of WWE. And my job is to make sure that I not only respect the people of the past, but I make sure that this title is elevated but the superstars of the future. In my opinion there won’t be a future for the Superstars. I will elevate everybody, but this title will be retired with me and that is in my opinion, but you never know what is going to happen in WWE. 

What do you regard as the big turning point for you behind the scenes and who’s been your biggest supporter? 

The Miz: There is no one that supports me more than my wife. Whenever she is outside the ring and being my manager, she motivated me. She made me better. Whenever you have a beautiful wife and she’s staring at you and you’re in Speedos you kind of stand a little taller to be honest. You kind of pump up your body a little bit more you want to impress her you want to show off. But also, if I’m really talking about it, you know who else? Vince McMahon. Vince McMahon has always been a big supporter of me, I think he enjoys my work ethic as well as my talents. I think he sees the ability that I have and is able to showcase me in WrestleMania, PPVs, commercials or whatever WWE needs.

I am a guy that can do it and can do it to an elite level talent. Be a main event calibre superstar and represent this company like it should be represented. We are not just “rasslers” anymore we are the best entertainers in the world. There is no one that can entertain an audience whether it is live, whether it’s through a virtual ThunderDome better than WWE Superstars. I’m incredibly thankful to be able to have the job I have. I love what I do, I have a passion for it and so yeah, I think Vince McMahon as well as my wife or my two biggest supporters.

 How much do you miss the fans in the arena and especially around the world?

The Miz: I want to go to each and every one of your countries and represent the WWE Championship like it should be represented. I want to see you guys in person, I want to talk to you in person and have amazing interviews where we can just be one-on-one and just talk for hours on end about what it takes to be a WWE champion and what I’m going to do for different countries. I love the audience’s reaction towards me. I don’t know how many of you have actually been to live events, but whenever you speak a certain language, I always try to learn the language and cut my promos in the language of the countries that we are in. The reason I try to do that is because I respect you. I know what you guys do and I respect our audiences all over the world and understand that we are broadcast in many different languages. So even if I can’t pronounce certain words correctly, I try because I think other countries deserve that amount of effort from their WWE champion. 

If you could go back 10 years and give advice to The Miz that first won the WWE Championship, what advice would you give him now as a champion in 2021?

The Miz: That’s a great question. I get it quite a bit. What would you tell your past self? I think a lot of people get this question a lot in their lives. What would you tell 10- or 20-year-old Mike? 30 year old Mike? To be honest, keep doing exactly what you’re doing. Listen, learn, don’t just hear someone when they tell you something. Listen, absorb it, understand what they’re trying to get out there and then go and do it. Make sure that you get all the tools you could possibly need to prepare yourself. These are the things that I do, so the reason why I say I would tell myself to do exactly what I did, is because I’ve always been a person that I prepare for opportunities that aren’t even there right now. I’m preparing right now for opportunities that could present themselves, so I am ready when that opportunity presents itself, so these are things that I just always do as a human being and hopefully whenever I say something like this it gets out there and other people can learn from that as well. 

It felt like a lot of fans wanted to see you in that title picture again around 2016 and the brand split. Then the work you did on SmackDown, everybody wanted to see you and Daniel Bryan for the title. Do you feel like that was a time where you should have been back in the picture?

The Miz: You probably always feel that but the work was really speaking for itself at that point. I mean honestly, I think there was a time when I was going to go for it and things change in WWE like that. I could be sitting here right now as three or four-time WWE champion if I look back in my career at how many times I felt like I was in the mix and I was ready. People were in my ear saying it’s probably going to happen and it just doesn’t, so you don’t know. I wasn’t sure this was going to happen, me being WWE champion. As much as I can be egotistical and arrogant in all honesty, whenever you have the Money in the Bank contract there is a little side of you that goes on to be the one that cashed in and lose this.

I just know it’s going to happen, especially when you have Drew McIntyre and Roman Reigns as champions. I mean these guys are unstoppable! They’re an unstoppable force. They go through these incredible matches, I mean I saw Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens match and I was like goodness they’re just tearing each other apart and Roman still left standing in the end! Like how am I supposed to cash in if this guy is still standing in the end of this type of match. Then you look at Drew McIntyre going through everything in the Elimination Chamber and still standing. Bobby Lashley had to come out and beat him up again and he still kicked out of my DDT. You just don’t know and so to sit here with the WWE championship it’s incredible for me, it really is, because I have been told many times in 2016/17/18, there was a bunch of times where it’s like oh we’re almost there. Then I get drafted or something else would happen and certain things happen, and the juggling is always happening.

Sometimes you’re there and it’s like I just have to work harder have to be better, have to do better, keep elevating myself to get to that to that moment and here we sit in that moment. Took a little while, but it’s kind of incredible in 2010 it was 100% negativity from the critics, from Twitter, from all the fans 100% negativity. “You shouldn’t have it!” “You suck!” “You’re the worst!” 10 years later it was half and half. It was, “You suck, but we respect you” or it was “He deserves it, he should have gotten it two years ago!” and others were like, “This is the weakest champion we’ve ever had!” To be honest, I look at this as fuel for my fire, to prove these people wrong, to showcase exactly the talent that I have. Maybe they don’t see, then maybe I can enlighten them. If you look at interviews with ‘Angry Miz Girl’ who was my biggest hater. Could not stand me. 10 years later, I saw an interview with her that she said she loves seeing me with the title and enjoys it and there’s no bigger fan than her and I was able to turn that person’s mind and that’s what I plan on doing with this title reign. 

I guess we know what’s coming on Monday Miz, but what can we expect from Monday Night Raw? 

The Miz: Expect the unexpected that’s all I’m going to say. 

Tune in to Monday Night Raw on BT Sport to find out if The Miz can once again overcome the odds and walk away as the WWE Champion against Bobby Lashley.