The Miz Talks PGA Tour 2K21, WWE ThunderDome and More in B/R ExclusiveAugust 20, 2020
In an exclusive interview with Bleacher Report this week, WWE Superstar Mike "The Miz" Mizanin discussed his involvement with the PGA Tour 2K21 video game, as well as his career as a professional wrestler.
Miz is an avid golfer, so he jumped at the chance to have a hand in the rollout of the PGA Tour 2K21 video game, which is set to be released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and other consoles Friday.
The Miz said that his love for golf and previous relationship with 2K played a role in him becoming a spokesman for the game:
"Ever since 2K started doing WWE's game I got really involved with everything with them. We formed a relationship there and they know I love video games. I enjoy playing them, I enjoy being in them, and they know I love golf. Honestly, I golf almost every day. I live on the golf course and so I'm always trying to get my game better, lose as [few] balls as possible, but sometimes that's not an option when you're at a hard course. It's kind of good that PGA Tour 2K21's coming out on Friday because I can lose less balls and not have to worry about actual balls because I get to play on a video game rather than playing outside. ... Literally it was kind of a win-win for everybody. They know me from WWE with the 2K, so it was just one of those things."
Miz was featured in a commercial for PGA Tour 2K21 that dropped Tuesday along with cover athlete Justin Thomas, rapper ScHoolboy Q and actor Chris McDonald, who played the villainous Shooter McGavin in Adam Sandler's beloved Happy Gilmore movie.
Since Miz is one of the best pro wrestling heels of his generation, it comes as little surprise that McDonald's involvement in the commercial was part of what drew him to the project.
In addition to PGA Tour 2K21 hitting shelves Friday, WWE is debuting an exciting, new concept on Friday's episode of SmackDown called the WWE ThunderDome.
WWE is moving SmackDown, Raw and pay-per-view events from the WWE Performance Center to the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, for the foreseeable future, and Miz is looking forward to seeing what WWE does with the place:
"Dude, they are going all out. I haven't seen this thing yet, but from the talks of everyone in production, this thing is gonna be state of the art and something you've never seen in WWE or anywhere else. This is the only place you can see it. It's got video boards, pyrotechnics, lasers. There's cutting edge, there's graphics, there's drone cameras that will literally change the WWE Universe's way of viewing a WWE experience. It's insane and it all happens this Friday at Amway [Center]. I can't wait to see what is involved, I can't wait to see drone cameras and how they're done. WWE is always first-class, they are always state of the art, they are always the first people to try something and then everybody else steals it off of them."
Over the past several months, Miz has primarily been teaming with his close friend John Morrison. They have enjoyed a great deal of success together with a SmackDown Tag Team Championship reign, and they previously challenged Braun Strowman for the Universal Championship as well.
Currently, The Miz and Morrison are involved in a rivalry with Big E, who is receiving a singles push since his New Day teammates Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods are out with injuries.
Miz knows Big E well, and while he acknowledges that it is difficult to know who is popular and who isn't when there are no fans in the stands, he believes Big E has what it takes to be a top guy:
"Honestly, I'm as interested as every fan out there because—especially in this time, in this era—right now we don't have an audience. We're used to 20,000 people in the WWE Universe, and you can gauge a person by the audience's reaction to them. We don't get that reaction anymore. Our reactions are through Twitter, through hearsay here and there, so you kind of can't get a gauge. But, honestly, I think Big E's singles run has been a long time coming, and I think people want to see him succeed. How he will do, if it's up to me I think he's going to do very, very well. Obviously, he beat me and he beat John Morrison in singles competition, but he has a good head on his shoulders, he knows this product, he loves this product, and New Day is a hot team. I'd love to see what happened with Kofi [winning the WWE title at WrestleMania] happen the same with Big E. Obviously it's gotta be different because I feel like Kofi's was very fan-driven, very big in the audience reaction of it. You can't hear the audience reaction for Big E, but if there's someone who can figure that out, definitely Big E can."
Miz has also worked with Money in the Bank contract holder Otis quite a bit in recent months. The Miz isn't as certain about Otis' future and believes he needs more seasoning, but he also suggested that he could be a big success.
"As far as Otis is concerned, whenever you have the Money in the Bank briefcase, this is an opportunity of a lifetime. This is something that changes your career, and I speak from experience. I had the Money in the Bank contract, I was the one everyone said was going to lose. I was gonna be the first person to lose the Money in the Bank contract, and I wasn't, I didn't. I cashed in, I won the WWE Championship, and it changed my career. It changed the trajectory. I've been able to have bragging rights ever since I've done that. It's been 10 years since I've won the Money in the Bank contract and I'm still talking about it to this day. That's the kind of impact that this can have.
"Now Otis, nothing against him, but he's very new. He's very new to SmackDown, he's been here for what, one to two years? You need to go through the battles and the wars to become a WWE or Universal champion. He's got a big, big workload to fill. There's a lot of work that's involved, a lot of things that ... the fans don't understand, that only a Superstar that is in that moment understands. So there's a lot of pressure that's involved. Can he do it? Absolutely. Do I hope he does it? Yes. But will he do it? I don't know."
If anyone knows what it takes to work your way up to the top in WWE, Miz is that guy. He started as a contestant on Tough Enough and slowly progressed to Tag Team champion, United States champion, Mr. Money in the Bank and then WWE champion after cashing in on Randy Orton.
Miz then went on to main event WrestleMania 27 in a winning effort against John Cena thanks to a helping hand from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
The Miz has since become an eight-time Intercontinental champion as well, making him one of the most successful champions in the long history of the prestigious title.
Miz has essentially done it all in WWE and the entertainment world, but with two new television shows in production through his MadRoe Productions company in addition to the already successful Miz & Mrs on USA Network, it is clear that The A-Lister isn't slowing down any time soon.
Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).