You may or may not remember Michael Mizanin from his debut on reality TV back in 2001 as one of the stars of The Real World: Back to New York. Well, the then 21-year-old television personality who had dreamed about becoming a wrestling persona called “the Miz” has officially achieved his goal, complete with a full-circle moment of creating his own reality show called Miz and Mrs.
Also starring his wife, Maryse, and their newborn baby girl, Monroe Sky, the Total Divas spinoff documents the family of three through their everyday lives. And although they’re now widely known as a WWE couple, it might be lesser known that the pro wrestling world is what initially brought the couple together more than a decade ago.
“In Marina del Rey [Calif.] in 2006, I walked in for my audition for the Diva Search, and Mike was sitting there, and he was one of the judges,” Maryse tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I had this perfect speech that I learned in the plane on the way to Los Angeles from Montreal because I couldn’t speak a word in English.”
As it turns out, it wasn’t her English that impressed the Miz. Instead, it was her native French that made him realize she was “the one.”
“She cuts this promo in French, and she gets up in my face,” Mike recalls. “I’m loving every second of it. This girl is it.”
But Maryse proved to be hard to get as they continued to work together for WWE.
While on the road, Mike would make simple overtures toward Maryse, such as inviting her out to group dinners. When the attempts failed to lure her, however, he went for something a bit bolder.
“We’re in Kansas City, and it’s two in the morning. I’m trying to get back to my hotel, and you call me on my phone [while you were driving nearby]. You said, ‘Pull over, pull over!'” Maryse recalls to Mike. “I kind of found myself in a parking lot of a ρorn shop.”
It was no coincidence.
“You might think this is a little weird, but I didn’t want to get in the friend zone. I wanted her to know where my mind was at,” Mike explains now about the suggestive spot. “But it worked, all right. We sat there in the parking lot and talked for three hours, with a person that doesn’t speak English. That’s an A-plus in my book as a first date.”
Mike continued his efforts to get to know Maryse in the following weeks, including by picking up a book that would teach him how to speak French (although he never quite mastered it, he admits). They wound up dating on and off for years — until 2013, when the pair returned together to Marina del Rey, where Mike hit Maryse with a life-altering surprise.
“[He] proposed to me in the same convention room where we had the first auditions,” she says.
Now the happily married couple has their hands full with a 5-month-old baby girl and a move from L.A. to Texas — all of which they’re showing on camera.
“More than half of my life has been on camera,” Mike says, “whether it was with the Real World, WWE, and now Miz and Mrs.”
Catch the summer finale of Miz and Mrs. on Tuesday at 10 p.m. on USA Network.
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
• Why WWE’s Nattie and T.J. call their relationship of 27 years ‘unorthodox’ and ‘nontraditional’
• Nev Schulman on sliding into his wife’s DMs: ‘Some women tend to like when you’re, like, direct’
• NFL legend Joe Montana and wife Jennifer share the secret behind their 30-year marriage — and why she turned down his first proposal