MTV’s reality TV shows, including Real World, Road Rules, and The Challenge, have featured several cast members who have become stars in other entertainment.
Among them are comedian Theo Von, actress Jamie Chung, and professional wrestling star Mike Mizanin. Each of them has built successful careers following their time on reality TV.
Mike, who got his start on The Real World before joining The Challenge for several seasons, has gone on to become a well-known WWE star and champion.
He’s still friends with some of his former Challenge castmates, including Theo, who hosts a popular podcast in addition to his comedy tours.
Theo recently spoke with wrestling legend Hulk Hogan, and The Miz came up during the discussion.
That led to Hogan dropping a massive compliment about the former reality TV star and his career in WWE.
Hulk Hogan praises The Miz for his wrestling work
Earlier this week, former wrestling champion Hulk Hogan appeared on This Past Weekend w/ Theo Von to talk about his legendary career and life.
At one point, Hogan mentioned he dreamt of doing better than his parents as a kid and started telling everyone in his town he was going to become a wrestler.
Around an hour and 16 minutes into their conversation, Theo brought up how that sounded a lot like his friend, The Miz. That prompted Hogan to praise the current wrestling star.
“That brother is keeping this art form alive,” Hogan said, adding, “Every time I see him, I tell him how much I love him and what he’s done because he understands this business.”
Hogan said there are only a handful of wrestlers he feels that way about currently, and Miz is definitely among them. Theo brought up that Miz used to tell everyone on reality TV he was going to become a wrestler, and they all thought he was “crazy.”
Check out the full interview below to see more of what Hogan had to say about his career.
From MTV star to future WWE Hall of Famer
The Miz’s aspirations to become a wrestler were first seen during his MTV debut on The Real World: Back to New York in 2001. He regularly cut promotional bits as his character, The Miz, and had his castmates laughing at his antics.
He then made a winning debut on The Challenge with Battle of the Seasons in 2002 alongside castmate Coral Smith. He followed that up with two appearances in finals for The Gauntlet and The Inferno.
While he didn’t reach the Battle of the Sexes 2 final, he’d go on to win in his final season of MTV’s show, The Inferno II.
He got into another reality TV competition with the fifth season of WWE Tough Enough in 2004 on USA, where the company was trying to find its next talent. Miz wasn’t the season’s winner but was signed to a developmental contract by WWE two years later.
Fast forward to 2023, and the 42-year-old has won almost every championship. He’s a two-time WWE Champion, eight-time Intercontinental Champion, and four-time WWE Tag Team Championship.
Miz also made history as the first two-time Grand Slam Champion for WWE due to winning many of the championships in his career. He’s also received praise from many of his colleagues, including his former tag team partner, John Morrison.
He hasn’t forgotten where he got his start, either. Miz returned to host reunions for Battle of the Exes, Invasion of the Champions, and Dirty 30. Miz also hosted the spinoff Champs vs. Stars and Champs vs. Stars 2.
More recently, he returned as part of the six-part documentary series, The Challenge: Untold History, released on MTV in 2022.
Miz’s MTV transition to WWE gave an early prime example of believing in yourself, persevering, and working hard toward what you want in life to achieve it. He’s since become one of many major celebrities born from reality TV and among future WWE Hall of Famers.
The Challenge Season 39 is TBA for MTV. The Challenge: USA 2 premieres Thursday, August 10 at 10/9c on MTV.