Mike Mizanin makes big splash with ‘Cannonball’

Rick's Reviews

Ricsi Diaz, Mike “The Miz” Mizanin and Simon Gibson host “Cannonball,” (Photo courtesy of NBC/Universal)

Mike “The Miz” Mizanin makes it very clear that he is “up for anything.”

He’s shown that over the years with helping usher in the reality show world with his ‘Real World: Back to New York” or his years as a professional wrestler with the WWE or opening up his married life to the world with the series “Miz & Mrs.” Even hosting a competition series fits into the diversity of work he likes to do.

Mizianin’s latest job is as a commentator for the new USA Network series “Cannonball.” The series, set to debut on the cable channel at 8 p.m. July 9, has nothing to do with the cross country race made famous through the Burt Reynolds movies or with massive belly flops in the pool. “CannonBall” puts contestants through a series of watery challenges from sliding off a 100-foot waterslide to rocketing off one of the world’s fastest drop towers. The last survivor goes home with a $10,000 cash prize.

Mizanin joins Emmy Award-winning host Rocsi Diaz and sideline reporter, Simon Gibson, to provide the play-by-play of each event.

“I enjoy hosting gigs,” Mizanin says. “I did MTV’s ‘The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars’ for two seasons and had a blast with that. So, I am always looking for different avenues.

“It’s almost like I want to see if I can do it and do it well. I love new things that make my brain go in a different way. This definitely did that because not only am I commentating on a sport that has never been seen, I am supposed to be the expert.”

The one thing Mizanin has never had trouble with is talking. He got so animated during the filming of the episodes he had to depend on Diaz to help calm him down a bit. His originality and zealousness were the two biggest factors for Mizanin being offered the hosting job.

“It was the first time I was told that they wanted less Miz and more Mike,” Mizanin says.

The way Mizanin approaches his duties for the show is to offer some insights into the challenges such as how fast a competitor is going when rocketing down the massive water slide. He mixes in a little humor that is always based on the situations – like a disastrous face plant into the water – and not at the expense of the competitors.

Mizanin loves talking about how a competitor can say in an interview before an event that they don’t know if they can go through with it and then watching them complete the challenge. He is certain that will resonate with the viewers because unlike a competition series such as “American Ninja Warrior” it’s not the most physically able that could win “Cannonball.” It’s a sport for all shapes and sizes.

The 10-episode first season was filmed in October at a dam outside Los Angeles. The massive structure was not only alluring for the competitors but Mizanin admits he also wanted to test out some of the watery challenges. He was told that would never happen because of the insurance risk.

A little thing like insurance was not going to stop Mizanin. After the last episode was filmed, the hosts were taken to the top of the 10-story water slide for a photo shoot. Mizanin and Diaz had secretly decided before they got to the top that they were going to use the waterslide to get down.

“They shut the water off as soon as they stopped taking pictures. There was no way I was going down the slide without water. I would have left pieces of me all the way down,” Mizanin says.

It was the producers and not fear that kept Mizanin from taking the plunge. He’s already shown he’s not afraid of much through his work with professional wrestling. He made his WWE debut in 2006, he has since gone on to hold multiple championship titles including the WWE Championship, Intercontinental Championship, and Tag Team Championship.

Along with work in the professional wrestling world and hosting jobs, Mizanin also starred in several films produced by WWE Studios, including: “The Marine 3: Homefront”; “The Marine 4: Moving Target”; “The Marine 5: Battleground”; “The Marine 6: Close Quarters”; “Christmas Bounty”; and “Santa’s Little Helper.”

As for how he finds the time for all the work he is doing, Mizanin says, “Honestly, I don’t know. It’s a lot of work but I try to juggle as much as possible. My brain is always going. Sometimes I wish it would stop so I could get some sleep.

“But as long as it keeps going and I am having fun, I am going to keep doing what I’m doing.”

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