It hasn’t even been two months since his explosive arrival on Dynamite, but Miro is already fitting into AEW like he’s part of the furniture! However, even by his own admission, we’ve barely scratched the surface on what Miro will do in All Elite Wrestling!
In an exclusive interview with Inside The Ropes‘ Lead Writer Gary Cassidy, The Best Man told us how he’s enjoying creative freedom in All Elite Wrestling so far, why Chris Jericho is one of the greatest of all time, the one thing he’d change about his AEW debut, why Jon Moxley better watch his back – and which wrestlers resemble video game characters!
Hello, everyone, welcome back to Inside The Ropes and a Happy Miro Day to you all! We were wondering who to interview on this fine day and, luckily, we found The Best Man for the job! It’s All Elite Wrestling star Miro!
How are you today?
Wow. That was probably the greatest introduction I’ve ever had. You plugged in every single thing that I do, which is very admirable for you, man. Thank you very much for doing that lovely entrance.
I’m glad you liked it because this is where it all goes downhill when I start asking the questions! First things first, my favourite thing about Miro in AEW is, for me, you are a blank canvas. You were in one company for ten years, you’d never been on television in a wrestling format otherwise, and now you’re somewhere else. There are a few familiar faces but change is always a mix of exciting and sometimes scary. How are you fitting in?
I’ve had a lovely the first few months. It’s just been such a fresh air, you know, just to be able to perform and an experiment, if you must, or just go out there and just do you, man, at the end of the day. And it’s been a great opportunity to do that because everything is up to us. Nobody’s writing your stuff, per se. Nobody’s like pushing you in a certain direction. It’s all about what you want and and how creative you are. And the collaboration that you can make with Kip or with Tony Khan, or any of these things. And it’s been working so good, man, I’m just loving my time there.
I want to ask about that debut. I loved it because I’m the kind of guy, I set low expectations, I thought, “Ah, it’s never going to be Miro,” then it was!
I was delighted to see you. Some people were annoyed though about the way you debuted. Some people wanted you to come in and just destroy everyone. Some weren’t happy about silly things like the nickname, the clothes, and it being a wedding angle. Looking back on it, how do you feel?
If I could have found a pink Mickey Mouse shirt, I would have probably wore that! That’s why I’m not happy.
If I could have found the pink Mickey Mouse shirt, I would have gone out with that – because I don’t care what you think about my clothing. I don’t care what you think about my gimmick. I don’t care about any of these things because, quite honestly, I don’t care. I am The Best Man, man. You’ve got to understand that I’ve been pushed down for way too long that, all of a sudden, for me to start listening to fans – or to not even fans, because those are not fans, those are just critics – because fans just enjoy what you give to them. Critics are completely different.
I think what we have done – and it’s not just the fault of wrestling, but just as a society, we want the quick turnaround right away – right then and there. We don’t like waiting for episodes to come week to week. We don’t want to wait the 30 minutes. We don’t want to even wait for the ads. We don’t want to wait for 30 second ads – because we just want the final product right then and there.
But if I had come to AEW and become champion on day one, there were going to be 90 other million people who were going to be like, “Oh, well, look at this. He’s just another a former WWE guy just coming in and taking the title. And look, we have Hangman Page and the Bucks, and everybody else is just waiting for their opportunity.”
So you have that. So, if you go by making fans happy, that’s just impossible. That’s why I’m going to do me, because I know how to do me better than anybody else.
You don’t need a title, because you have the best title there is – your Television Title! (Which is a monitor Miro may or may not have permanently borrowed from WWE)
I have it somewhere here. I think it’s put away but I do have my TV Championship here!
For anyone who has heard you talk about that, or watched you on Twitch, on AEW, you’re just being you – and that’s best thing! Another big part of that was you changing your name and you’re using your real name – or at least an adaption of it. Was there ever any discussion or thoughts about you using a different name or are you using your real name by design?
No, but the only thing… When I was joking about when I was in WWE, I was like, “When I leave here, I’m going to be Rusev with a double F!”
But then I thought, “This is just so petty because this is not me,” and I really wanted it to be me because I believe we perform best when we feel most comfortable – and I just feel most comfortable just being myself.
I can play any role, don’t get me wrong but I feel like, as human beings, we’re not waking up every day being bad. We don’t just go to the store, thinking, “I’m going to look mean and I’m going to be bad.” We don’t do that. So I came in and I had nothing but good intentions. I was a nice guy! As you said, I had my Mickey Mouse shirt. I just wanted to have fun because, after so long at one place, I just wanted to go out there and live for the moment. The next thing you know, you know, Kip is there. I give him a wedding present. I give him this arcade. I don’t know if you seen that, but I gave him this arcade…
I love video games because I grew up a video games fan, and I learned a lot from video games just for life’s sake, not just for anything else.
I was talking about this the other day. I don’t know if you remember, I don’t know how old you are, but when you’re a kid growing up and you had Genesis, Sega or Nintendo, you couldn’t save these games. So, on one sitting, you better beat this game because you can save anything! That teaches you, as a kid, all these difficulties you might meet. You just have to push through them. You’ve got to learn how to be better. Instead, now… I’m not saying the games are easy now, but all these games you save and you come back and you get another try and another try, and another try. Back in the day, it was not like this, man, and I feel like I learned hustling and not giving up since I was a kid from video games as well.
So there we are, we have this cabinet – far away from the ring, far away from the ring. So I’ve been wrestling for quite a few years now, and I decided, you know, there’s the ring, there’s the area outside the ring – you can fight there, fine – then you have a barricades, then you have 20 people watching around the ring, and then you have another 15 yards, and then it’s the arcade.
The next thing you know, they go and break my s**t!
Now, I may be a nice guy, but once you damage – on purpose – a personal property, and not just a personal property, it’s a gift. It’s a gift for the man’s first wedding. He’s in love, man! And you’re going to break that. Well, that’s not going to go unnoticed or unpunished. It’s very unfortunate it had to come down to this way, but like I said, we don’t just wake up mad all the time. I was a nice, happy guy, but this definitely was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
People will see a meaner Miro in AEW going forward as you’ll have to take that anger out! We mentioned how long you spent in WWE before joining AEW. Of course there are some familiar faces – but there are a lot of new faces too and a lot of differences from where you’ve been before. What’s been the big difference for you?
The biggest difference, as I said, the creative freedom, the freedom. The freedom is different. It’s there, but also the talent that we have in AEW is just unmatched, the styles that we have in AEW is unmatched. We have styles from all over the world. We don’t have one particular style, we don’t have one formula. We have every individual bringing their style of fighting, of performing, of wrestling. And we put that in AEW and we create the greatest professional wrestling show on Earth.
We mentioned there being familiar faces, there are a lot of new faces you haven’t worked with too. I know you’re a big gamer, I know you love Championship Manager. I want you to put on your Champ Manager hat here. We want to find the next up and coming star. The diamond in the rough. Who should people be looking out for in AEW?
Wow! So the other good thing about AEW is that we give opportunities to everybody. You don’t see the same people on TV every week. One day, you see Dr Luther main-eventing the show. The next, you see the whole bunch of different guys. You never see this in other promotions, because we give opportunities to everybody to shine…
But who is the one man that is the diamond in the rough? That’s really hard to say because there’s just too many. But we all know how good Ricky Starks is. We all know how good Kip Sabian is. We all know how good, clearly, Hangman is. Hangman is a fantastic guy! I’ve never worked with him, just watching him.
But even people that people maybe forgot how good they are, like Colt Cabana! He’s so good man, he’s been himself for so many years and maybe people don’t notice that, but he’s so good at what he does. And Matt Sydal, Serena Deeb. Like… Who else? I said Ricky Starks. There’s so many. The Bucks. There’s so many talented people under one roof and everybody wants to do great that night. We don’t save anything. We don’t say, “Hey, let’s save it for the pay-per-view” or, you know, “Let’s save it for this.” It’s all right then and there. You give it all that night, and I think that’s what makes everybody so special.
I guess, as a Real Madrid fan, you’d say everyone is a Galactico! So, you were recently a free agent. There have been rumours that Brock Lesnar is a free agent and some wild speculation that he might show up in AEW. Would you like to see Brock Lesnar in AEW?
I mean, Brock is great. Brock, whatever he goes, he’s an entity, right? He’s THE show himself. He can be his own show himself, but I think… Would we benefit from it? I absolutely think we would. Do we need him? Absolutely not.
You’ve been getting the blame of something recently and I don’t quite know why, so I want to ask you about it. Your wife, Lana, has made acquaintance with an announce table several weeks in a row. I’ve read comments saying, “It’s because Rusev left, it’s because Miro is in AEW!” What are your thoughts on that?
I don’t book their shows, I have no idea. All I know is that she’s most likely tougher than anybody else on their roster because clearly that’s the first time in history that’s been done. And every single time, she gets the f**k up and keeps going, you know. She doesn’t say, “No.” She doesn’t say, “I don’t want to do that.” She doesn’t sell.
She’s going out there and doing her job, and doing her job to perfection. Because you can see, in that ring, when she gets that time, you can see who’s who and who’s been working, and who’s been sitting on their a***s the whole time. And I’m so freaking proud of CJ, man, because she’s proven that she’s most likely the most talented and underrated person in the whole entire wrestling community.
Yeah, we got to see a bit of that last week in a match against Asuka, which I hope we get to see again. But back to AEW. Chris Jericho is a man I recently spoke to and he said he’s having the most fun of his life in AEW. What do you think of what Jericho is doing in AEW right now?
I think he’s having the most fun of his life! [Miro laughs]
You can just tell… Just being around him, you can just see that this is it for him, that he’s not thinking of going anywhere else. He’s not thinking about anything else. He’s just 1,000 percent dedicated to AEW. He’s giving it all out there – but he’s not saving it all for himself. If you notice, the people that he’s been working, he’s been wrestling against, he had angles with, it’s all people that he’s trying to bring up.
You know, he’s not trying to bury people, per se, he’s trying to bring talents that people haven’t heard of, bring it up, let them see what they have and go from there. I feel like you don’t see that in veterans all the time. Chris, the more I think, has got to be one of the greatest of all time, just by the time he’s put in, the stuff that he’s done – that he keeps doing – innovating the game every day. I think Chris is definitely one of my top GOATs of all time.
Definitely! Hard to disagree there. Before you joined AEW, you had said that you were done with wrestling and you were going to become a professional gamer. I mean, you are a professional gamer, so you were right – but it was almost a big loss to wrestling because we thought you might never return to the ring again. Was that ever a serious consideration? Did you ever think, “I might just not wrestle again”?
No. Wrestling is my life, man. I love wrestling. Ever since I got released, I fell back in love with wrestling.
Wrestling, it can be so different, it can be so diverse, it can be so many different things – but I think what we’re trying to do with what I was before was the same old, same old, and I was so tired of it. I was so tired of busting my a**, hitting a certain wall and going right back down. I didn’t want to do that anymore.
I wasn’t sour towards the business. I was just like… Maybe I was hurt by a lot of it. But seeing how AEW… Because, as you said before, I haven’t worked in any other company. I did Knokx Pro when I learned how to wrestle with Rikishi and Gangrel. But besides that, I haven’t seen any much wrestling, so I had this tunnel vision that I thought everything outside of it was wrong, but I was the one that was wrong the whole time because wrestling is so much more fun, man. Wrestling is freedom. And that’s the thing that people don’t understand. Wrestling could be so much freedom and having that, going to work every single day – happy.
I don’t even know what I’m doing, but I know I’m going to be there and it’s going to be up to me. It’s not going to be a man who is going to write me a four-page promo that’s going to change six times in the next five minutes. It’s not like seven producers telling me how to bump and then I can’t go over the top rope or I can put my fists up or I can look at the people, or I can do that. None of that. It’s the freedom, man. That’s why all the wrestlers want to go to AEW because it’s the freedom of you to perform.
It’s like if you’re a poet and you’re given, “You have four words to create a poem, go.” Can you create as good of a poem as you can if you have all the words? No. And that’s what I’m saying. Why would you want to shortchange your product? Why would you want not to do good? And I could not personally deal with that. So, for me, the best thing was to leave.
I know you love wrestling, I know you love gaming. So I want to play a game with you finally that merges both your careers and some fantasy booking. I have five names written down of video game characters. I want you to name a wrestler who could play that video game character in a film!
Ooh! That sounds exciting!
First up – Sonic The Hedgehog!
Sonic the Hedgehog. Oh, man. So, you know, I just played Sonic the Hedgehog 2 the other day on my stream and I lost to the last boss – which was really upsetting -but who would Sonic the Hedgehog be? Fast, agile red boots. Blue… [Miro laughs] Man, who could that suit the most? He’s but at the same time, he’s like a funny, lovable guy… Gosh.
This is not that easy.
Let’s loop back as the others are easier. Maybe I started with the wrong person.
Maybe! You started with the blue guy, that kind of throws me off!
We can loop back. Next is Ryu from Street Fighter!
All right. Ryu from Street Fighter. Boy! We’re think about discipline, we’re thinking about martial arts. We think about, “Oh, God, he’s good.” That’s got to be John Cena if he’s anybody else! He’s the good guy of everybody. He’s the good guy of good guys. And you think Guile but Guile is not him. Guile is Cody! Cody is Guile.
That’s a great comparison! Next one – Lara Croft, Tomb Raider.
Tomb Raider. Man, I love that character, I’ve played so many games, the Tomb Raider, Lara Croft. You think looking to anybody but but Angelina Jolie is kind of like, “Oh, really?” [Miro laughs]
I think my wife could be a great Lara Croft, because I’ve seen her wear the Halloween costume and she looks really good at it. But also she’s flexible. She’s doing all these movies with shooting and she does all of these, like, crazy roles and stuff like that. I think she can do a great job at it.
Kratos – God Of War.
Ooh, man. That’s a great character. That’s a great character. Just from look-wise, you think right away of one man that he kind of wanted to look like him.
In real life, who could be him? The hair, strong, relentless. I don’t know, I think I can pull out a great God of War. All I’ve got to do just shave my head and I’m there.
I’ve got the… [As Kratos] “Oh, boy! Come here, boy!”
I can do it.
Sub-Zero from Mortal Kombat.
Oh, man. Sub-Zero! So very quick story. I just went and shot a video. It’s a great project for TNT and AEW, and I shot it with Director X – who is like one of the most famous directors.
We went into this arcade store – Keg and Coin. It’s like a mom and pop shop. The owner claims, which I’m going to put him to the test in a couple of weeks, he dresses as Sub-Zero and plays people in Mortal Kombat II. And if you beat him, you win a certain reward – so I’m going to put this to a test in a couple of weeks.
But until then, I would give Sub-Zero… He’s got the slide, he’s got the freeze… He’s got the jumping kicks. Who does a good slide? I’m trying to think of who does a good baseball slide. Somebody who has a good slide attack.
I like Ben, I like Neville for it… Neville [Now known as PAC] can pull off all these crazy manoeuvres. I’ve seen him break his leg on a baseball slide, so I know he’s not going to do that again. I’m pretty sure he mastered that. But unfortunately, Ben is in your country somewhere. Hopefully he’ll come back soon and I get to beat him up – because he tore my bicep so I have a personal agenda against him!
Maybe I’m calling him out. I don’t know.
Well, this is going on the Internet so hopefully we end up with that dream match!
Finally, back to Sonic the Hedgehog.
Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic the Hedgehog… He’s got to have a good tag team partner, he’s got to have a good Tails. Who has a good tag team partner?
Kip Sabian has a pretty good tag team partner.
[Miro laughs] I can give it to Kip! I can give it to Kip! In this case, I can be Knuckles. If he’s going to be Sonic, I’m not going to be Tails. I’m going to be Knuckles because Knuckles is a badass.
And then The Butcher is going to be the bad guy.
Oh, yeah. The Butcher would be an amazing Robotnik. He would be better than Jim Carrey!
He’s already got the moustache. He’s jacked. He’s big. He’s got a metal band. Did you know that?
Yeah. Every Time I Die!
Every Time I Die. I listened to his album the other day and it was really good, man. I really, really love that stuff. He’s so… And that’s what I’m talking about. Being multitalented. This is what we’re missing in our business. He’s a multitalented guy. Kip is a multitalented guy. I’m a multitalented guy… Whereas you see Jon Moxley? He’s a dinosaur, and I’m here to take out all the dinosaurs, man, because you can’t be just good at one thing now. Now it’s 2020. You’ve got to be good at a lot of things. If you’re just good in freaking professional wrestling, then I’m going to come and take you out when the time is right.
Most definitely. Thank you so much, Miro. I’m let you go and beat The Butcher, or Robotnik, in Sonic 2 as I know we’re keeping you from some gaming. Thank you so much. It’s been an absolute pleasure and I can’t wait to see what you do in AEW.
Thank you, man. Thanks for having me. Thank you to everybody at Inside The Ropes. I know I’ve be listening and hearing about it all the time, and I know you guys are really popular, and really good. So thank you for your honesty, thank you for reporting the right stuff. Thank you for not going out there making up stuff. I appreciate you all – and I’m pretty sure we’re going to do this once we win some gold!
You can watch Miro on AEW Dynamite every Wednesday at 1am via Fite TV.