Stylin' and profilin' with The Miz
It’s no secret The Miz craves the finer things in life: designer clothes, fast cars, good food and, perhaps most importantly, attention. But on a special edition of “Miz TV” during the historic 20th anniversary of Raw, The Awesome One humbly relinquished his spotlight for the legendary Ric Flair — a ring icon who holds the distinction of being the only Superstar to be inducted twice into the WWE Hall of Fame.
When United States Champion Antonio Cesaro had the audacity to interrupt Miz’s interview with the 16-time World Champion — which included a spirited “Wooo!”-off — the WWE Universe anticipated (and hoped) that a Figure-Four Leglock was in the Swiss Superstar’s immediate future. Surprisingly, it would not be delivered by “The Dirtiest Player in the Game,” though. (WATCH | PHOTOS)
After Miz leveled Cesaro with the Skull-Crushing Finale, Flair invited the former WWE Champion to apply his signature Figure-Four on the prone “Miz TV” invader. As Miz locked in the hold, Cesaro flailed in agony and “Naitch” reacted by enthusiastically bounding off the ropes performing an elbow drop on his own suit jacket. In Flair parlance, that’s a seal of approval.
“That moment was magical for me,” Miz told WWE.com. “I remember doing the strut as a kid, doing the ‘Wooos!’ and for Ric Flair, a legend, to say ‘hey, kid, do my move,’ that just brought back childhood memories, and no child ever grows up thinking it would happen to them.”
From a young age, Miz was drawn to Flair, whose elaborate attire, over-the-top microphone tirades and whatever-it-takes offense — including chest-igniting chops and the aforementioned Figure-Four — made him a cornerstone of the National Wrestling Alliance and World Championship Wrestling throughout the 1970s and 1980s. It wasn’t until 1991 and a rivalry with then–WWE Champion Hulk Hogan that Flair introduced himself to the WWE Universe, which quickly admired the brash competitor despite his tendency to bend the rules.
“Flair looked, talked and acted like a star, from his limousines to his jets to his partying ways,” Miz affirmed, no doubt inspired throughout his career by the “stylin’ and profilin’ ” WWE Hall of Famer. “In the ring, he was someone to be reckoned with and he always found a way to win. He wasn’t the biggest guy, but he was a champion because he knew how to win. And the Figure-Four Leglock got him so many victories.”
Though now synonymous with Flair, the Figure-Four was first made popular by the original “Nature Boy,” the first-ever WWE Champion, Buddy Rogers, in the 1960s. It’s been used by numerous elite competitors throughout wrestling history, from Greg “The Hammer” Valentine to Dusty Rhodes to Bret “Hit Man” Hart. It’s even been applied by Triple H and WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels as a fitting tribute to Flair, and its longevity is due in large part to its excruciating effectiveness.
(PLAYLIST: A SPECIAL LOOK AT THE FIGURE-FOUR LEGLOCK)
“The Figure-Four destroys your leg,” The Awesome One said with a grin. “It tears your leg apart. Your ankle, your knee, everything.”
With Miz going on to use the Figure-Four to pick up a key win over former WWE Tag Team Champion Primo on SmackDown, it’s clear the calculating Clevelander is considering adding the iconic submission hold to his arsenal for the long-term. (WATCH THE MIZ ON “BACKSTAGE FALLOUT”)
“I’d love to keep using it, as long as it’s OK with Ric Flair,” Miz said. “I think it is [OK], because he’s the one that actually told me to do it. I think of it as an homage to Ric Flair, and to keep his legacy alive, I’ll keep doing it.”
That statement might not bode well for Cesaro, who continues to target The Miz on his quest to demonstrate his superiority over Americans as their United States Champion.
“The best part of America is the people that live in it,” said The Miz, a former United States Champion in his own right. “To put someone Like Antonio Cesaro in the Figure-Four is, in one word, awesome.”