Mike “The Miz” Mizanin got his start on The Real World: Back to New York in 2001 and went on to compete on five season of The Challenge. However, he’s now returning as the host of The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars, an eight-week miniseries pinning 10 Challenge vets against 10 celebrities.
“MTV is where it all started for me. I remember being a 19-year-old kid watching The Real World: New Orleans,” Mizanin told Us Weekly exclusively, adding that when he saw the casting announcement for another season he went for it. “I thought, ‘Why not?’ It changed my life forever.”
The Miz competed in his last challenge, The Inferno II, in 2005 and he won. Afterward, he left to pursue his dream of becoming a WWE Superstar — and that’s exactly what he achieved.
“Everyone told me, ‘You’re coming back.’ I said no, I’m gonna be a WWE Superstar. That is my goal,” he said. “Now MTV has given me the opportunity to be the host of the show. I couldn’t see myself going back. I love the game. It was so much fun, but the drama just takes its toll on your brain. I don’t want to deal with that, I’d rather be the person that stir the pot!”
“I have a lot of friends that always tell me that they can beat me at The Challenge. They say, ‘I can take you on any day, it looks so easy.’ WWE Superstars come up to me all the time,” Miz explained. “Apollo Crews says, ‘I can do that. I can be on The Challenge. I can dominate.’ I literally say, ‘I don’t think you can.’ Heres why: It’s not just physically demanding, its not just mentally demanding. You have to be a strategist!”
On Champs Vs. Stars, comedians, musicians, top athletes and reality stars are all competing. Terrell Owens, Shawn Johnson, Riff Raff and The Bachelorette alum Josh Murray are all part of the cast.
“These are the most dominating champs that we could find and we put them against stars that really think they have what it takes,” Miz told Us. “Not to mention, these games are awesome. The drama that unfolds is incredible. This is what Johnny Bananas does. He knows how to ruffle feathers!”
As for The Miz, when he’s not wrestling or hosting, he’s prepping for a daughter with his wife, Maryse Ouellet. He’s even been trying to teach himself how to braid hair in his spare time — by practicing on his own. But will he let his daughter go on The Real World or join the WWE one day?
“I will let my daughter do whatever her heart wants. I will support her and guide her and give her all the knowledge that I have because I want her to succeed in whatever she loves,” the soon-to-be father told Us. “If her one love is to be on The Real World, why would I deny her that? It gave me everything that I wanted. As far as being a WWE Superstar, that was my dream. If that is her dream, I’m going to support her in that and give her all the guidance I possibly can so she can be successful in everything she puts her mind to.”
The Challenge: Champs Vs. Stars airs on MTV Tuesday, November 21 at 10 p.m. ET.