One day, I made a promise to myself that I would accomplish my dream by doing whatever it took.
I wanted the replica belt I carried around to be the real thing, because I just was not satisfied with a piece of plastic.
I wanted to carry the same belt that my heroes carried around. I wanted to be in the same ring as the legends that I came to know and love growing up in Parma, Ohio.
So, I made sacrifices.
I was a multi-sport athlete. But basketball or track wasn't my passion, it was always wrestling. I was simply biding my time.
I left Miami of Ohio, a perfectly good college, even after I was told not to by my father.
I pursued my dream in every way I knew how, even if that meant making myself look like a joke at times. And it worked, I finally signed that WWE contract that I had fought to get my entire life.
Despite this, I was treated like the scum of the earth. I was green, I was young, I was annoying and nobody in that locker room thought I was going to last through the next set of roster cuts.
I was forced to dress in the bathrooms of arenas, after spilling crumbs of food on a fellow wrestler's bag. To make matters worse, this wrestler taunted me. He told me I would never amount to anything in this business, and most agreed.
I was forced to play on-screen roles that next to nobody succeeded in, like prancing around with a fedora and proclaiming to be the "Chick Magnet!"
I hosted what many believe to be the worst talk show in WWE history, infamously known as Miz TV.
I was humiliated at how things were turning out.
I did seem to do something right, as the fans voted me to face CM Punk in a match for the ECW Championship.
That gave me a glimmer of hope. It made me realize that if I kept going in this direction, maybe just maybe, I would break through the proverbial glass ceiling one day.
Then in 2007, I found a guy that I meshed with.
He had been around for awhile, and held about every mid-card title that was possible. He had always been labeled the future of the company, for good reason.
He had chiseled abs, with long brown hair. He wore fancy coats to the ring, reminding some people of a certain sexy-boy from San Antonio.
Now he was teaming up with me, the so-called Marty Jannetty of our team.
I didn't care, because I was finally getting a taste of success. I was a part of a great tag team that begun by accident, in an era that disapproves of tag team wrestling.
As all great things do, our partnership ended with one swift kick to his face. I was ready to go off on my own, and make a name for myself in the right way.
I was sent packing to Monday Night Raw.
I was being showcased on the highest-rated show in all of professional wrestling, and I was feuding with the top guy in the company, which taught me the true meaning of hard work. I wanted to be the guy from that point forward.
I entered a transformation from a wannabe to a legitimate threat for singles championships. During that transformation, I picked up an awesome catchphrase and changed all aspects of my look and mannerisms.
I knew this had to happen to be looked at in the light of a guy who can become 'the guy,' and my move to Raw was the perfect opportunity to do so.
A former-inmate-turned-WWE-Superstar and I had incredible chemistry.
He was, like myself, an up-and-coming commodity before. He played the diva athlete to perfection, and later the old scruffy veteran.
Our contrasting styles hit it off amazingly well—if only our feud would have lasted longer.
I also worked with a longtime WWE veteran. He is easy to get along with and always does what needs to be done. He is larger than most, but that never stopped him from giving everything he had in the ring.
Together, we were the tag team champions.
I topped off my breakout year with the ultimate prize in this industry: the WWE Championship.
To this day, they tell me I'm not worthy. That I'm too rehearsed. I'm too green to be competing on the main-event level in World Wrestling Entertainment.
But who are they to judge me?
I worked hard for my spot, and I've been labeled the future of this company by Vincent Kennedy McMahon himself.
I am the most must-see WWE Champion of all time.
I main-evented WrestleMania 27.
Pretty good for a guy who should have been cut many times over, now isn't it?
I am Mike 'The Miz' Mizanin, and without a shadow of a doubt, I am awesome.