Before Mike "The Miz" Mizanin made his indelible mark in the world of professional wrestling, the Midwesterner forged himself as one of the most unique personalities to emerge from "The Real World" and subsequently "The Challenge." Fittingly, after a years-long hiatus, the unforgettable MTV star is returning to his roots: The charismatic athlete will host this week's upcoming episode of "Middle of the Night Show." Three words: Are. You. Ready?
In honor of the 35-year-old's upcoming appearance -- you can get a glimpse at his "MOTNS" tenure in the sneak peek above! -- we're taking a look back at The Miz's most memorable moments on this very network. From his fight with fellow Big Apple roomie Coral to his victories on "Battle of the Seasons" and "The Inferno 2" battlefield, relive the goodness below -- and be sure to catch his homecoming this Thursday at 11/10c!
First moments getting real
Fresh off the casting special with everyone vying for a spot on "RW" and now-defunct sister show "Road Rules" (remember those?), the then-19-year-old felt right at home with his new roomies in the Big Apple -- and instantly clicked with fellow teen Rachel.
An iconic spat
Mike's comments about race -- and Coral's subsequent negative reaction -- sparked one of the most memorable feuds in the series' storied history.
"I'm the Miz"
The world got its very first taste of the teen's now-renowned wrestling character all the way back in 2001 -- and the rest, shall we say, is history.
An unbelievable 21st
The day started off positively for the "Battle of the Seasons" competitor -- a handshake from Timmy and a special candle from teammate Coral -- but everything quickly turned upside down. The birthday boy was unable to win a car during the “Hands On Saturn” mission, and he took the loss super hard. More specifically: He got obliterated and unraveled, but eventually C comforted him and snapped him out of his sad and drunken state.
Reigning supreme during that first final
Not only did the Real World team (M and C, Sean and Elka from "Real World: Boston" and Kelley and Danny from "Real World: New Orleans") walk away victorious with a $300,000 check, but Mike turned out to be the hero in the last competition because of his supreme puzzle skills.
A friendship questioned
After going strong for several years since their tough "RW" days, Mike and Coral hit a rough patch when he wanted to send the under-performing competitor into the "Gauntlet" -- and spare his then-GF Trishelle. The lovebirds' plan backfired, and it temporarily fractured the duo's bond.
An epic showdown
Let's just say if Mike didn't defeat Abram -- what a match-up of the respective team's MVP members -- we never would have seen the Road Rules vet spend some QT with Veronica and Rachel in the bubble bath... and eventually the steamy shower.
Time cut short
Everyone has to eat humble pie eventually -- and during "Battle of the Sexes 2," the reliable vet was ousted from the cutthroat game for the first and only time. Fittingly, his pal Coral had some nice words to say about his premature exit and added that she was going to "miss him." AWW THESE TWO AGAIN.
Nice guys do not finish last
In fact, they emerge in the No. 1 spot! During "Inferno 2," the remaining members of team Good Guys (Mike, Darrell, Jamie and Landon) defeated the much larger Bad Asses crew (Abram, CT, Tonya, Tina, Rachel, Derrick and Veronica) during quite the last showdown. The win was also bittersweet: This Mexico-based installment was Mike's last "Challenge" appearance to date, but at least it resulted in a much-deserved W.
+ What's your favorite Mike "The Miz" incident? Share your thoughts in the comments, and be sure to catch him during a brand-new "Middle of the Night Episode" on Thursday at 11/10c!