John Morrison has paid an incredible tribute to his WWE partner The Miz, revealing the fight the Most Must See Superstar has gone through to earn respect in the business.
Morrison is once again back in the WWE fold following a recent return after eight years away.
The 40-year-old has been thrust straight into a programme alongside Miz, with whom he was a former tag team champion back in the late 2000s.
Miz may now be one of the mainstays of the company and one of their hardest workers and performers, but the former multi-time intercontinental champion has hardly had it all easy – maligned early in his WWE days for his reality television background and a perceived lack of natural wrestling ability.
To say he’s blossomed since then would be an understatement, with the 39-year-old boasting a hugely impressive, glittering career both in the squared circle and in the movie industry.
His reuniting with Morrison has provided a unique opportunity for the two – and their fans – to reflect on years gone by, with the Shaman of Sexy being particularly candid when discussing The Miz and his backstage battles with Mirror Sport’s own Matty Paddock.
I’d love to get your thoughts and reflections on the career The Miz has had, particularly in the time you’ve been gone. In the nicest way, he’s had a chip on his shoulder for many years and feels he’s perhaps not had the respect many of his colleagues have earned – you must feel proud at what he’s achieved and where his career has gone?
Absolutely, it’s crazy to think who he is now, versus who he was when he started and how far he has come in his career.
I think one of the keys to his success is that he has always been really authentic, and authentically himself. Most people would have a chip on their shoulder but, with Miz, it’s obvious! [laughs]. He’s always just a little bit more outspoken and a little bit more abrasive than a lot of guys in the back, because of that – when he first started, he rubbed people up the wrong way.
So, you realise that that’s not who he is as a person, that’s just how he interacts backstage and who he is on camera. That’s the superb quality about him – he’s perfect for professional wrestling, because, first of all, he makes people notice [him], and he gives a definitive personality of a personality. It’s polarising, and there are a lot of people who get rubbed the wrong way immediately. In wrestling, there’s nothing worse than indifference, and it’s really hard to be indifferent to The Miz!
So while he rubs people the wrong way at first, when you get to know him – and this goes for our fans, people watching him on television, people going to shows as well people in the back – you realise that, underneath all that, he’s a real good dude. He’s a loyal friend and I consider him a friend of mine.
Do you think he sees that he has that respect now? He’s incredibly popular with fans, especially European crowds, so I’d suggest that even if he wouldn’t admit it himself, he probably has reached that level…
You know, I don’t think you could say that he doesn’t see it now, because of all he has accomplished and everything he’s done in his career. He has to see it. But I don’t think he’ll ever lose that stubbornness; you know what I mean?
When we’re riding in the car, we’re talking about projects, wrestling and ideas constantly, and his mind never really turns off. So I don’t think that has to do with whether or not he sees the respect, because I don’t think he’s fighting for respect like he was ten years ago. He’s fighting for the next thing, and that’s part of why he’s so successful. He’s like a shark, you know what I mean? When a shark stops swimming, it dies – and The Miz never stops swimming!
And in respect to both of you and where your careers are at now – without wishing your years away! – do you find you’re both, as relative veterans in a younger WWE/NXT locker room, in a position where wrestlers will come to you for advice.
I think in both of our cases, absolutely. When I was coming up, I would ask people for advice, and the same is true for him and I now.
I don’t usually offer unsolicited advice because, for some reason, that’s something that really bugs me. I’m there for anybody who asks, and people do – and people ask [Miz] for advice, too.
You can catch John Morrison in action on the highlights of WWE SmackDown today (Saturday 22 February) at 10:30am on Channel 5.