I came to play! There’s a price to pay!
WWE Backstage becomes the Most Must-See hour this week thanks to THE MIZ! But how is he feeling after fear and frustration boiled over?
Renee Young sits with this week’s panel.
Because of NCAA Basketball running into overtime, things are cut down just a bit. But never fear! Renee has Booker T, Christian and Paige here! And they’re ready to break in the New Year with champagne wishes, caviar dreams, and Booker’s beard gloss! It was a crazy week to open the New Decade, so for those of you “hungover in a dark room with a sleeve of saltines,” here’s…
Just the Highlights!
For SmackDown: Miz snapped on Kofi Kingston, not at all feeling the Power of Positivity. The Celtic Warriors, Sheamus, returned and literally put the boots to Chad Gable! John Morrison returned outta nowhere! The Fiend wrecked Daniel Bryan but the USOS returned to help out cousin Roman against King Corbin and his court (jester).
For Raw: Andrade Almas kept the United States Championship and TOOK Mysterio’s mask! But Mysterio came back for both later that night! The Big Show returned to help Samoa Joe and Kevin Owens KO Seth Rollins! Asuka talked smack but got rocked by Becky Lynch. And the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE World Heavyweight Champion BRRROCK! LLLESNARRR! Actually showed up so that Paul Heyman could announce not only that Lesnar would enter the Royal Rumble match, but as the number one entrant!
The panel discusses.
The WWE World Champion, in the Rumble, as number one?! Booker likes it! 2020 gets a proper kickoff with Lesnar and Heyman announcing this move. This can make someone’s career in the Rumble, or Lesnar could win and somehow fight himself at WrestleMania! Christian is on the fence, though. He likes what the Rumble is: the winner goes after a top title at WrestleMania. That doesn’t mean Christian thinks Lesnar wins, but it’s hard to say he won’t. Paige can’t be sure who could beat Lesnar in that match. She therefore doesn’t like it at all, it just seems predictable. Maybe something changes her mind, like Booker’s point. But Christian then asks the question: If Lesnar wins, does he get to handpick an opponent? Does he go after another champion’s title? There is no other one like Lesnar, so this hype is off the charts.
Booker pictures a scenario where Lesnar wins the Rumble, shockingly challenges The Fiend, wins and has BOTH WWE World and Universal Championships, then goes back to the UFC to win their Heavyweight Championship. There’s so much that could legitimately happen because it’s Lesnar that Booker is thinking from a promoter standpoint.
Renee asks if there is anyone from Raw, SmackDown and/or NXT that could step up and throw Lesnar out. Otis is Paige’s choice. Booker says after what Drew McIntyre said on Raw, that he has never had his shot at a world title, that motivation could be what is needed. Renee notes that McIntyre looked like a shoe-in for King of the Ring, and Booker says “King Drew” could still be coming. Paige teases Drake Maverick as going out as Mr. #2. Booker says Paige likes short superstars, but Paige says she’s not into the “Shorty G” stuff Gable is doing. Gable’s a good guy, just change the gimmick back.
The Monday Night Messiah got a big surprise.
Just when Seth Rollins thought he had the upper-hand with Authors of Pain by his side, Joe and KO had THE BIG SHOW! It was a disqualification finish but the GIANT punch ended the fight! “Wellll~…” What does everyone think of this? Christian doesn’t get the nickname. But he does like it. A leader should give himself a cool name. Renee jokes that Rollins already has 1000 nicknames! Well it’s about changing his persona! And he has his heavies, it just adds to the package.
Booker’s not really digging the new nickname. Seth Freakin’ Rollins is fine, Renee points out his tried and true “Architect.” Maybe Rollins will be known as the man with most nicknames by the end of his career. Either way, with AOP behind him, they are the buffer, and Rollins has gotten his hands dirty, so Booker likes where the story is going. But personally, Rollins didn’t need a nickname like this to get back on track. Renee points out they could not say it as much, either. Christian feels that it is still about adding to the transformation Rollins is in now.
Rollins aside, what about the Big Show returning outta nowhere? Did anyone expect that? Paige didn’t, but she’s happy it was him. She’s a big fan of his, but it wasn’t really what anyone thought. Of course, no one could be sure who it would be if it wasn’t Big Show, either. AOP are big but now they look small, so it’s a wash. Renee agrees, maybe this should’ve gone to a new star that needed the screen time. Booker points out Big Show is a staple of WWE, he’s been around for over 20 years just in this company, and of course was in WCW before. He does agree that a new star could’ve gotten this spot, but Big Show loves mixing it up in the ring. But when the music hit, it was hard to deny the pop!
Christian adds that “the wub” could’ve gone to someone new, but this was a surprise, as advertised. Christian doesn’t want a one-off from SmackDown or something underwhelming like Zack Ryder, no offense. But Big Show offsets KO and Joe and AOP, and there you go. His career speaks for itself, he’s strong, this “Fist Fight” is coming, it’ll be great. More on all the returns later on, but first we talk The Hollywood A-Lister flipping the script back to the original.
2020 is (Not) Awesome?
The Fiend’s mind games got in The Miz’s head and now he’s headed back to being Heel! Christian feels that this isn’t a “new” direction. Miz is frustrated and lashing out, so of course he’d be in a bad mood when someone wants to force him to be in a good mood. Paige says Miz is just so great as a bad guy. He had a good time being Good Miz, but now Bad Miz is back and it’s great. “He oozes that douchebagness” and revels in it. Paige loves Miz as a person but he just “oozes that a-hole.” Renee laughs at how weird that sounds. But she does agree that Miz flourishes as a Heel because he leans so heavily into it. Booker says that it was a good move to diss the pancakes, too. Miz cut his teeth in the WWE “the hard way,” with the locker room hazing and stuff. But Miz toughed it out, got some dirt on him, that is the Miz we’re getting again.
The Miz is live!
The most decorated superstar of the 2010’s is here in person, Paige praises him being able to do his wrestling entrance even here. Renee is pretty sure he does this just walking into his kitchen or something. Miz takes his seat on the panel and is excited to be here for the first time. He was waiting, but Renee says he’ll be back plenty now that he’s back in LA. Christian jokes that four other people had to miss this episode for Miz to be the guest.
But Renee gets to business, saying that after being on the road and on TV for the last 14 years, what is it that keeps Miz motivated to do all this? He did so much as it is. What doesn’t motivate him? As a WWE superstar, you always want to be the best. Whenever he sees a WWE related commercial and Miz isn’t part of it, he gets upset. Seeing Roman instead of Miz, and nothing personal to Roman as he does a great job, it just spurs Miz to work harder and be the face of whatever brand he is on. There is a mentality everyone needs to have to be big in this business, and Miz is confident he still has that.
Booker knows that Miz being here 14 years, sustaining his position, what is the secret? “Honestly, I just work hard.” Miz trains harder and works harder. He admits he isn’t the most talented, but he will work harder to outshine the talented ones. Renee has always seen Miz as all-day, every-day, she can’t picture him and Maryse just having a movie night. Miz jokes they were supposed to have movie night, but that was tonight and he’s here Backstage.
Paige has her own thing to note that while Miz has checked off all the major titles as a Grand Slam Champion, what is left on his bucket list? Just being the face of the company, a respected role model. Sometimes he feels he still isn’t being respected by peers and fans. For the last two years, he feels that he’s finally there. Young stars ask him for help with things now. Miz notes that it was so great for him to grow up under the generation Christian and Booker did, because he “got to learn from the best.” Them, Edge, Cena, HBK, HHH, the best ever taught him how to tell great stories and how to be a great superstar.
Christian notes that Miz moved from Real World to WWE, everyone knows the issues that happened there. When was it that Miz felt finally accepted? Not when he had his first WWE World Championship, that’s for sure. It was more Miz just staying. So many people thought he wouldn’t last three months, and Booker cops to being one of those people. Ouch. But Christian himself remembers thinking Miz would only get six months, and is proud to say he was wrong. Miz could tell no one else saw the genuine love for the business, just a “loud, obnoxious guy,” which Miz admits he can be. It is just his nervous energy that turns into that from fanboying around his heroes. Renee brings up Tough Enough and then Santa’s Little Helper, the film Miz and Paige both starred in, and you see that other layer. The “not douche” Miz showed himself and everyone started to like him.
Renee asks Miz to step out and shoot on what he does or doesn’t like from WWE, Raw, SmackDown, etc. Miz’s favorite thing right now is Otis and Mandy Rose. Paige is all aboard with that, too! Otis on TV makes Miz smile, he can’t help it. There is a charm and charisma to him and Mandy. Even when Otis was passive aggressive last Friday over the fruitcake. Paige loves it, too. Who else does Miz want to see pushed? Elias has what it takes to be a top talent. Miz says that people complain about “they’re not getting enough TV time.” If you have even 30 seconds of TV time, you can make an impact. Elias always makes an impact, no matter how much time he has. He can handle himself on the mic and in the ring, and Miz has told Elias himself that whatever you get, you do it and your talent will shine so that you’ll get your moment.
Booker shifts gears to talking things like “Randy Orton posterizing guys with that finisher,” the RKO. Did Christian help or hurt the Skull Crushing Finale that one time? That tongue, and then the face plant! That’s a sell! Miz and Christian feel that was a great moment. Edge even texted that night, it was probably #Raw1000 or something, and Edge messaged Miz, “That was the best match I’ve ever seen you in.”
Renee plugs Miz & Mrs season 2 and we get a highlight reel! The A-Lister couple is getting bigger, crazier and funnier, back in LA! The new season is 1/29/2020 on USA Network! That waxing was “the region,” by the way. People make jokes like that, the 40-Year-Old Virgin “KELLY CLARKSON,” but doing it down there, women can relate but men don’t know what that’s like. Miz knows now so he applauds women doing bikini waxes. He thought he lost his boys. And to hype up season 2, expect to laugh, to love the Mizanin family, and to learn the before and after of Papa Miz at WrestleMania 35 when he became the meme of the year! Papa Miz will boast about it, too! And of course, there’s Monroe Sky, the biggest star. And much of this season will be the second pregnancy that led to Madison. Mark your calendars and set your DVR’s!
Pro-wrestling and dramatic weddings are as traditional as PB&J.
Macho Man and Ms. Elizabeth, “OOOH YEEEAH~!” Edge and Lita making out. Lana and Lashley making out. HHH calling Stephanie McMahon “a lying b*tch!” Of course, Kane attacked during Edge’s wedding. And Lana got thrown into her own cake. HHH shoved Stephanie down and wrecked the altar. Hopefully the real-life couple of Charlotte Flair and Andrade Almas will be more careful about their wedding plans, because #SheSaidSI! On top of that, Nikki Bella is now engaged to Dancing with the Stars partner, Artem Chigvintsev, so congratulations to them, as well.
The Miz talks real-life romance in wrestling!
Obviously he and Maryse met thanks to the WWE and are the Most Must-See Couple in wrestling. They kept it secret for so long, which was hard with so many people always around. But marrying Maryse was the best thing Miz has done. She’s beautiful inside and out, and being the mother of his two daughters, she is even more beautiful to see in action. Renee also knows Maryse knows how to slap. Booker T and Sharmell was a great combination on screen, too, and it was the most fun he had. He knew he had a keeper, so he did his best to keep it a secret. But when it’s right, it’s right, and now it’s been 15 years.
Miz notes he fell for Maryse the moment he saw her in the parking lot of the Diva Search contest. She didn’t speak English, they were stuck next to each other on a plane, all she’d respond with was “Oui” or “Non.” But after that, they got to talking and were ready to head out again late at night, and Miz immediately felt she was the woman of his dreams. He went and got himself a French book to learn the language so he could talk to her. Didn’t work, but he still got her!
This of course brings us to perhaps the most polarizing story in recent memory, and how it isn’t over by a long shot.
The love triangle is now a love square?
Bobby Lashley and Lana publicly flaunting their affair in Rusev’s face, Rusev’s aggressive retaliations, and Lana’s obsession with herself were highlights of the first phase, which resulted in a Ravishing Divorce AND Wedding! But then the plot twist: Lana was also cheating on Rusev with Liv Morgan! A brawl broke out, Lana was smeared with cake, and Renee loves her some soap opera drama. That twist was Shyamalan levels. But what did the others think?
Christian loves him a good wrestling wedding. You don’t know what’s going to happen, just that something’s going to happen. There needs to be segments like this for just pure entertainment. Yes, being a wrestler, Christian loves wrestling. Purists love wrestling, but you need layers to connect to audiences so fans can connect to characters. Bobby Lashley is a physical specimen, has had great matches, but for Christian, he never got the responses from fans that reflected that. Until now. Now there is investment and that is why this story was needed. Renee loved Lashley telling Lana to shut up and how she looked after that. Paige felt it was great, too, but what she loved that Liv got in on it! Give Liv a chance! It has only been a couple weeks, you gotta give it time. Liv did her part well, she will get better at it and can take it somewhere. Buckle up and enjoy the ride!
Kofi Kingston is literally a Royal Rumble highlight reel!
Backstage has a compilation of all the amazing ways Kofi and the New Day kept things going in the Royal Rumble match. Handstands to steps, armchair pogoing, Big E being an Electric Chair, Kofi tightrope walking the barriers! Kofi hanging onto the posts, standing on Xavier Woods, what more will we see from Kofimania in Houston?
Time for a Hot Tag!
Paige starts off by talking the Sassy Southern Belle’s sudden turn! Lacey Evans feuding with Bayley and Banks is working, but it shouldn’t be long term because Paige just adored Lacey as a Heel. But using family and patriotism is a great way to turn someone, and Lacey is a great athlete either way so Paige wants to see where this goes. There’s so much to still talk about, as Lacey’s daughter stole the show that one night.
Speaking of show stealing, Aleister Black VS Buddy Murphy Round 3 is happening next week on Raw! Murphy used a blindside attack and a chair-plated knee strike to take Aleister down. A great TLC match and plenty more to give, Christian gets the hot tag to say that these two have great chemistry. But there is a point where Murphy has to win to make it keep going. But the attack was a great way to extend. There is flash, innovation, but sometimes a punch in the face is more effective than anything else. Sorry, Christian, you’re in overtime. Christian says Murphy doing cross leg copycat is redundant when AJ Styles did Orton’s pose later on.
Speaking of that feud, Styles won a match using Orton’s moves. Booker says that is a great move to send a message and build character. Styles has honed his craft, he can do his style any time he wants but this is good story for him and Orton. “This right here is money in a main event anywhere in the world.”
Sheamus, John Morrison, The Usos, Big Show, oh my! Now Miz had a lot to do with Morrison’s return, what can we expect from #JoMo this time around? Wait can we still call him that? Miz says on JoMo’s behalf that it is okay to call him that. Morrison is one of the best in-ring talents WWE has right now, and ever has. Morrison taught Miz a lot when Miz was new. That tag team they made was a lot about Morrison taking Miz under his wing, and Miz feels they were the greatest tag team of the early 21st century. #BeJealous! Did no one watch the Dirt Sheet? The Usos returning was big, too, and Booker is proud to see his former students back. Usos teaming with Roman is going to be great. Paige notes that it is always nice to have that refreshed feeling. They were gone but now they’re back and fans are with them again.
Do you believe in Crossfit Jesus?
Perhaps the most common New Year’s Resolution is to get in shape, but Seth Rollins doesn’t need to make that resolution. Mostly because he always works out hard in the gym. Backstage got to tag along with his New Year workout, and discovered that Rollins wants to help everyone get in shape, just like him.
Rollins says that he got into crossfit about a decade ago in order to amp up his workout. It hooked him right away from getting his heart racing, just like his in-ring style. Coach and Deadboy Fitness co-founder, Josh Gallegos, says the relation of crossfit and pro-wrestling is that high intensity within a span of 10 to 12 minutes. A great wrestling match and a great crossfit workout are about the same. It just translates well into the sport because you learn about efficiency and safety of your movements.
The way Deadboy Fitness got started was really just all the direct messages about Rollins’ workout routine and people wanting to try it for themselves. So Gallegos and Rollins made it a paid program, and it has helped blend both wrestling fandom and crossfit community. As a wrestling fan himself, if Gallegos had the chance to do a workout with Shawn Michaels or Bret Hart, all his heroes, he would’ve!
Deadboy Fitness does an event now where they invite fans to try crossfit for the first time. They were just in Crossfit South Brooklyn the day before WrestleMania so that Rollins and Gallegos could hold “Day with The Dead Boys.” Fans get to meet Rollins and participate in this controlled workout environment. They push the fans and everyone has gained an even greater appreciation for both fitness and Rollins as a person. The fact many come out of the event feeling so accomplished and proud of themselves is rewarding to Rollins and Gallegos. These life-changing stories are incredibly inspiring for everyone involved.
The panel discusses.
Renee agrees, that is such a great thing for Rollins and Gallegos to do for these fans. They, Cesaro and other superstars getting things done for the fans is great. Renee notes that Booker’s been working out again, so is he perhaps coming out of retirement for the Rumble with The Beast? Booker gave everyone a timeline because it’ll be in Houston. The countdown is literally ticking in the corner, the WWE has less than a day to respond! Booker says he’s never one to say, “Hey, put me in.” That’s a surprise to Miz. But Booker gave his ultimatum, Renee wants Vince to do the right thing! Miz is pretty sure that 48 hour countdown will go to 49, “CAN YOU DIG IT, SUCKAAA?!” But Miz says they’re not calling until the last possible minute. Booker is anxious, every text notification he checks his phone.
But one person wanting to see Booker in the ring is Dash Wilder of the Revival. At a house show, Dash did his best “Dasharooni” in a match with Lucha House Party to send a message to Harlem Heat. Miz says that’s almost as bad as his Mizarooni. Booker speaks on The Revival continuing to call him and Stevie Ray out. “These two suckas want me and my brother, we ain’t hard to find.” The OG brothers will break off a piece! #PromoSchool! If you want some, you better be bad enough to take some!
This just in: a special Miz related Tweet!
Yung Gil has his Miz and Morrison action figures standing by a screenshot of the ol’ DIRT SHEET! The good ol’ days. But what Twitter Troglodyte is getting the smack down up next?
Social Media SmackDown!
The Miz delivers killer promos, who is he going to verbally destroy tonight?
ERIKNAQUIN14 says The Miz “sucks and has for entire career in WWE every since he was a douche from the real world.” Well if Erik hated Miz on the Real World, and hated him in the ring, then he’ll love him on Miz And Mrs! He’ll go from a Real World house to a MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR MANSION! He is The Miz, and he is still… AAAAAWESOME!
But wait! Lacey Evans tweeting outta nowhere! “Renee Young, can you zip it, sweetheart.. And let Paige keep putting me over. #YaNasty” Renee says she was being nice! Don’t think she forgot about that sassy fan! Paige does love Lacey, so don’t @ us! We Backstage chillin’ in 2020! Gottee!
What a fun episode! Miz is great whether he’s good or bad, and especially when he’s real. I’m just upset that NCAA Basketball bled into the time slot for this, we didn’t get Renee running down the schedule. But that aside, good to hear Miz talk about his experiences, and it was sweet to hear the love story of him and Maryse that has led to such a great part of the WWE Universe now with Miz & Mrs. I also would love if Miz and Morrison reformed The Dirt Sheet tag team to get into the SmackDown Tag Division. The discussions were great, but I think Booker’s going too hard on thinking Lesnar could become a multi-sport triple champion whatever. But I do appreciate he is all aboard Lesnar and McIntyre throwing down. Also great plug for story of Booker possibly returning with Stevie Ray for Harlem Heat VS Revival at Rumble for a hometown match.
It makes for interesting timing that while we have Rollins going so hard being Heel, we see the real-life work he is doing with Deadboys Fitness to help people in their lives. At the same time, if it was earlier, it might’ve negated his turn back to Heel. Or not, since he’s just so good and things are separate anyway. Good to know that not everyone is on board with this “messiah” nickname. I could take it or leave it myself. But I do get Christian’s point that it needs to mark this new phase for Rollins’ character so he was going to get a new nickname of some kind. What they need to do is make Architects of Pain canon, that’s just a natural fusion of names.