The Miz
The Miz spots his fans. Photo by Julian Mark

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Michael Gregory “The Miz” Mizanin, a reality TV star turned pro wrestling champ and, perhaps, the human personification of Axe Body Spray, gave his fans something to shout about at Mission and 21st this morning.

And his fans were ready for some shouting. A good 45 minutes before the wrestler’s appearance at the Cricket Wireless shop, they were already there, in force. The line was 50 yards long and many of the people standing, sitting, or slumping in it had been here a good while.

“I got up at 4 a.m.,” said Ed Trejo of Monterey. “I never met him. That’s why I’m here.”

Trejo says he’s drawn to The Miz because he’s not athletic. “But he has success! He’s not a beefy guy like the others; he doesn’t do flips or any crazy shit.”

The Miz, it seems, is relatable.

Ed Trejo of Monterey got up at 4 a.m. to meet The Miz in the Mission. Photo by Joe Eskenazi.

That’s what James Brown, Jr., his brother Tony Brown, and friend Joanna Espinoza think, too. They one-upped Trejo by getting up at 3 a.m. to drive in from Escalon, in San Joaquin County. Espinoza brought along a DVD of The Miz’s movie, The Marine 3 (There have been six of these WWE-produced films, and The Miz has helmed four of them). James Brown asked Espinoza how much she paid for this, but she couldn’t remember. She did, after all, get up at 3 a.m.

James Brown, Jr. said he was skipping out on school at the Manteca Young Adult Program to be here. His brother, however, said he was just missing sleep, and Espinoza forewent a morning watching TV. The allure of The Miz for them? “He’s a good actor,” said James Brown, Jr. “He’s friendly,” said Espinoza.

James Brown, Jr., with belt, his brother Tony, and Joanna Espinoza hauled all the way from Escalon for today’s meet-and-greet. Photo by Joe Eskenazi.

At a shade after 10 a.m., The Miz himself pulled up in a black Cadillac SUV. The crowd responded, chanting “Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!”

This is The Miz’s thing, it would seem. His fans took videos of him, and he took videos of them. “Keep it going! Keep it going!” the wrestler told his fans.

He then walked into the Cricket Wireless, and commenced to meet his sleep-deprived public.

Cricket workers seemed taken aback when asked if The Miz actually used Cricket Wireless. They glanced at each other for a few moments before a particularly enterprising worker said, “It’s safe to say.”

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Managing Editor/Columnist. Joe was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left.

“Your humble narrator” was a writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015, and a senior editor at San Francisco Magazine from 2015 to 2017. You may also have read his work in the Guardian (U.S. and U.K.); San Francisco Public Press; San Francisco Chronicle; San Francisco Examiner; Dallas Morning News; and elsewhere.

He resides in the Excelsior with his wife and three (!) kids, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

The Northern California branch of the Society of Professional Journalists named Eskenazi the 2019 Journalist of the Year.

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  1. A middle nameGregory is used intead of the first name Mike which is clearly more recognizable to fans. Are you trying to get more content views with this weird tactic?

    1. Thanks for pointing out that we misread his middle name as his first name. Which is all we did; no diabolical conspiracy theories necessary. The way garnering readership on the Internet works is that you use terms people are familiar with, and search for, rather than terms they are unfamiliar with, and don’t search for.

      The error has been corrected.



  2. While he was a Cricket wireless. His wife Maryse Mizanin was at the laundromat on 20th and South Van Ness. Seemed nice and was killing time with $1 washers while her husband made the big bucks.