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 The Ravishing Russian
Height: 5'7'
From: Moscow

Lana, real name CJ Perry, grew up in wealthy family in Russia. At just nine years old, she attended an elite ballet school, where she became a professional dancer. She says that if she messed up they would throw shoes and chairs at her, making her life was much harder than the typical American teenager.

Lana grew up in one of the wealthiest parts of Moscow, having two cooks, three drivers, four maids, two nannies, and a gardener. Lana and her family also have a summer home in Latvia, as well as other homes and penthouses in New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles.

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WWE’s Lana: Ready to Show the Woman She Really is on Total Div...
 
Published by:
  2016/11/16
 

The WWE Universe knows Lana as the commanding beauty standing alongside the beast known as Rusev.

These same fans are in for an eye-opening experience as the “Ravishing Russian” sheds the trademark accent and opens her life up for the world to see on Total Divas. Lana, real name C.J. Perry, joins the cast of the reality series when it premieres Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 8/7CT on E!.

Plans for her to be on the show can be traced as far back as Season 2. At that point Lana remembers having only been in developmental for around six months. Even though initial interviews were done for it, Summer Rae ended up filling the open spot. Lana saw this it as a blessing in disguised.

“A month later I debuted with Rusev at Royal Rumble, and it would have been way too soon for me to come out as the Russian American that I am,” she said. “We had a great first year doing a lot of Russian patriotic, Vladimir Putin stuff on Raw. I think seeing my American family on Total Divas might have hurt the gimmick or confused the fans a bit. Then season four again they talked about it. I’ve always wanted to be on the show. I think it’s a great show. I think Total Divas has brought the women more mainstream and so many opportunities. However, I’ve always thought if I’m supposed to be on the show I’ll be on the show. It’s all about timing.

“Season 4 came and it was a big conversation whether they wanted the accent or didn’t want the accent. Did they want Rusev on the show because I was feuding with him onscreen because I was with Dolph Ziggler. The timing was always off. This was the perfect timing. It felt like it was okay for me to come on the show and fully be myself and not have to put on the accent or not.”

Despite her background as a dancer, actress and overall performer, Lana found the idea of Total Divas to be nerve-wracking. Now fans would see the woman behind the persona.

“You are going to see me for me,” she said. “And the truth is we all want to be liked as human beings. It’s human nature. We all want to be loved and accepted. Here I’m going to be vulnerable and let you into my life to see who I am. I have always protected my character, and Rusev has always protected his character. That said, I have always wanted to do interviews as myself like this because it’s who I am.

“Lana is 100 percent an extension of me, but just one side of me. I feel that’s what I get really excited about because on Total Divas you are going to see other sides of me. I feel it will also show I created this character. I grew up in Russia. I lived there for 13 years. I had crazy teachers who would yell at me and throw their bags at me at a Russian ballet school. That’s where I created this whole thing where I yell at Rusev when he isn’t doing well because that’s how they are.”

A big part of this season of Total Divas is the planning and wedding(s) of Lana and Rusev. The culture clash between the two becomes evident.

“Rusev is definitely the ‘Bulgarian Brut,’” Lana said. “He thinks Bulgaria is the greatest country in the world. I think maybe not. They may have some good feta cheese. He is like, ‘No, America is not as great as Bulgaria.’ I argue back, ‘But you live in America and you make a living in America and live in Nashville, Tennessee. You are going to see a lot of that conflict that you don’t see on Raw.

“On Total Divas you are going to see the American side of me, and my DNA is American. I grew up in Russia, so there is the discipline and that point-of-view. I appreciate America as the land of opportunity. It’s the land where you can see your dreams come true if you work hard. My parents are American. His parents are Bulgarian. So you are going to see this conflict a lot. When I had the Bulgarian wedding, I almost flew home and left just because there was some serious conflict. It was really hard. Those are the challenges that we have to work through. You will see when you tune into the show.”

There are also some lighthearted moments as Rusev can be funny. It’s his humor that initially caught the attention of Lana. She credits the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes for putting the couple together.

“I was notorious at NXT for having constant pitches and ideas,” she remembered. “I was that girl who would come in every day to Dusty Rhodes with a 10-page pitch for characters and posters of character development. I had a lot of ideas. My third day and first promo class I started speaking Russian. He pulls me to the side and says, ‘Baby, I want you working with Rusenoff.’

“I finally realized that was the Bulgarian I actually met the night before at a tanning salon. We started working together. I think I motivate him. He always jokes, ‘You are the brains of the gimmick. You have the promos and I take the bumps.’ I would have him come over every day basically coming up with different skits and things. It was a lot of fun. We’ve always had a lot of fun. That’s the most important thing.”

Lana is grateful to Total Divas’ staples Nikki and Brie Bella for helping her along the way. She refers to them as mentors.

“I always go and ask them questions,” she said.

“There are times where I get so stressed out. They can relate because they came from a modeling background as well. They weren’t on the independent scene or come from a wrestling family like Nattie. They’ve helped me with being able to transition from Raw and SmackDown to having the reality show cameras on me. They encourage me to keep practicing and wrestling because the day is going to come that WWE is going to say, ‘You’re wrestling tonight.’ That’s why I’m training because I do want to be an in-ring competitor, but it’s about timing.”

Natalya is another Lana cites when it comes to being there for support. At the same time, she describes their interaction as a love-hate relationship.

“She is a veteran I look up to because she is an amazing story-teller and in-ring competitor,” she said. “I will go to her for advice, but I kind of drive her, crazy and she drives me crazy as well. You see a lot of that on the show. She helped me plan my wedding, which almost turned into a big disaster. You’re going to see a lot. We always make up in the end … even though there are times I want to pull her hair out.”

Early on in the Total Divas season, Lana is in her debut match at WrestleMania in front of more than 100,000 in Dallas. She is a big proponent of counting your blessings and how being a good person can manifest your destiny. In her eyes, the sky is the limit for the future.

“I would always joke around that my first match will be at WrestleMania. Sure enough that is what happened. That’s where you see me on Total Divas. It’s really exciting. I don’t know how this will impact the Lana character. It’s all entertainment, and we are here to put smiles on people’s faces. I think I’m an example of that. Here I am as a Russian American, but I play a bad guy and speak in a Russian accent. It shows how we are characters and extensions for ourselves. I hope it brings more awareness to the brand and what we actually do.

“I think I will surprise people. I think I’m a lot quirkier than what people envision. I’m a little eccentric. You are going to see another side of me, so I really hope everyone tunes in and watches. I look forward to taking viewers on this ride. Anything can happen.”

Total Divas premieres Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 8/7CT on E!

Interview Link

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Lana discusses her magical wedding to Rusev
 
Published by:
  2016/07/31
 

Lana and Rusev are a true WWE love story. The Ravishing Russian and The Bulgarian Brute tied the knot after a year-long engagement on Friday in Malibu, Calif., and WWE.com caught up with Lana the next night to discuss the ceremony, the circus’ involvement in it (no, seriously) and what the newlyweds plan to do next … hint: It involves another ceremony!

WWE.COM: Lana, congratulations to you both! It’s been about 24 hours, how are you feeling?

LANA: I’m just so grateful to have had such an amazing, unforgettable wedding. I always wanted to get married on the beach. I grew up on the Baltic Sea in the former Soviet Union, so it was my dream to have my ceremony on the sand. And Malibu worked out perfect. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, it wasn’t humid, it was just the perfect weather for a wedding. I literally couldn’t have asked for a better situation.

WWE.COM: How would you describe the feel and vibe of the ceremony?

LANA: I didn’t want something too traditional. Most people just have a bunch of perfect roses. I wanted an eclectic, unique [ceremony] with bright flowers, wild sunflowers in there and wonderful, beautiful roses, because I feel like my life is this big, unique, eclectic thing. I’m not a traditional person and it’s hard to describe me in one word, so that’s what I wanted my wedding to reflect — just this huge melting pot.

WWE.COM: Did any Superstars play wedding planner and have a hand in helping you put ideas together for the ceremony?

LANA: Yes, Nattie actually helped me with a lot of different ideas. This might come as a surprise, but NattIe is very traditional [laughs] and while helping me plan the wedding she wanted all these traditional things and I’m like, “No!” She would say, “This is what people do, this is how people plan their weddings,” and I’d say, “I don’t care what people do, I don’t wanna do everything that already has been done.” So, we would hit heads quite a bit during those discussions and I’m sure people will see that on E!’s “Total Divas.”

WWE.COM: What was it like having both of your WWE families present at the ceremony?

LANA: It was wonderful. Having Nattie, Renee [Young] and The Bellas there was amazing. The Bellas are such veterans that have helped me and really mentored me in the locker room, teaching me so many ways of being kind and inspiring. Since day one those girls have been so kind and have been great examples, so to have them be a part of this was really cool. And Rusev was happy to have a lot of his [WWE family] there as well.

WWE.COM: Can you tell us a little bit about the reception? Did it follow the theme of uniqueness?

LANA: Following the ceremony, we [went] on to a circus/carnival cocktail reception! It was phenomenal. People thought I was crazy for wanting to do the circus theme! I would tell Nattie and Maryse these ideas and they would be like,“You’re out of control,” and “You’re an artist,” but I would always be like, “Don’t worry, they’re all gonna come together, I promise you,” and that’s what happened!

WWE.COM: Why the circus theme?

LANA: WWE is the modern-day circus. We’re on the road 300 days of the year; we put on the greatest shows. I mean, the only thing we lack are animals! As a little girl I always wanted to be a part of a circus and travel the world, entertaining people and telling stories. So, I was like, “This embodies our life [together].” We’re in a different place every day, we travel, we have so many different types of acts, so this embodies us.

WWE.COM: It’s also very cool that you didn’t have to choose between your career and love, because the two literally merged together on your wedding day.

LANA: Yes! It’s so cool and I’m so thankful. And I would always be like, “Career first, career first, career first …” and then I met my best friend! He’s so patient with me. We’re both very stubborn! According to Rusev and how he said his vows, I am the “bad stubborn” and he is the “good stubborn!”

WWE.COM: Any specific stand-out attractions from the reception?

LANA: We had a ferris wheel there! Also, our dance floor was the circus dance floor from “Batman.”

WWE.COM: What?!

LANA: Yes! I believe in either going the biggest or going home. So, we went from Malibu Sunset Beach to the Calamigos Ranch where we put on the most spectacular circus and carnival.

WWE.COM: Were the “Total Divas” cameras there to capture all of this?

LANA: Yes, and I’m actually really excited to have it be on “Total Divas” and have people see how entertaining and how fun our wedding was, but also how inspiring it was.

WWE.COM: What’s next for you two?

LANA: Well, we are actually having a second wedding in Bulgaria on Sept. 2. That is going to be very Bulgarian, very traditional, but just spectacular because I am the most ravishing bride of all-time!

Interview Link

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Lana discusses her Superstar training regimen & her recent ...
 
Published by:
  2016/04/15
 

WrestleMania 32 represented a day of firsts for many in the WWE locker room, which includes an unexpected and impressive debut by a Superstar seeking to prove she’s as ruthless as she is ravishing.

One year after getting her first taste of The Showcase of the Immortals as a bystander, Lana decided to double down at AT&T Stadium in Dallas by competing in her first match. This choice meant she would become the first woman to make her WWE competitive debut on WrestleMania Sunday. It also put a target on her back, given how her cold-blooded demeanor and harsh criticisms of rivals has made her a lightning rod for controversy in WWE.

Days after WrestleMania 32, WWE.com caught up with Lana at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Fla., to discuss her experience as a fighter on The Grandest Stage of Them All and her plans for the future as a Superstar.

WWE.COM: What brings you to the WWE Performance Center?

LANA: I am training and training and training. You know, most people take days off after WrestleMania, but Lana keeps training.

WWE.COM: Was there anything specifically that you were focusing on, especially after WrestleMania?

LANA: I’m training in everything MMA, jujitsu, kickboxing, Krav Maga and boxing. Rusev teaches me many things, which is why we do a lot of punching and kicking. I came to the Performance Center just to refine my skills even more before going on to Europe, where I’m going to be competing with Team B.A.D. and Blonde.

WWE.COM: What’s driving you to focus so intently on your in-ring training?

LANA: You know, and I see this in quite a few of the women and men, once they think, “Oh, we’ve reached it. We reached the main roster. We’re professionals!” — that hunger, that drive to keep on learning, to keep on perfecting your skill and getting better, they lose. I think that separates the good from the great, the icons from the good. And I want to be iconic.

WrestleMania 32 represented a day of firsts for many in the WWE locker room, which includes an unexpected and impressive debut by a Superstar seeking to prove she’s as ruthless as she is ravishing.

WWE.COM: Has any of your past experiences prepared you for the dedication and grueling effort required to become a Superstar?

LANA: Growing up, I was trained as a professional ballerina. My teacher would just come with a wooden rod and a wooden spoon, and she would just hit us and smack us until we did things right. She would throw shoes at us and, sometimes, even chairs. Excellence demanding excellence was the only option, and anything short of being excellent is a failure. You know?

WWE.COM: How did that influence your outfit for WrestleMania?

LANA: I feel really comfortable in leotards because I danced my whole life. I lived in leotards since I was … I don’t know, three, four? So, it was very comfortable for me. Then, of course, I want to be different. I never want to look like all the rest of the girls. I will never be like the rest of the girls. And, so, that’s why I also felt, “It’s WrestleMania. Let me wear a long train because that’s what we do in Russia.” We just make everything more ravishing, more fabulous and fierce.

WWE.COM: What about WrestleMania 32 made you feel ready to make your competitive debut? Were you nervous?

LANA: Before WrestleMania, of course, I get nervous because my first match is in front of 101,000 people. Most people start off at 100 people. But, the Ravishing Russian, of course, would like to go big or go home, and do it up on the biggest stage of the year. In Russia, failure is not an option, and doing something average is not an option.

WWE.COM: Rusev mentioned in a recent interview that one of the things he did while preparing for his match was also prepare you for your match. Was there any last-minute advice you received from him before going out there?

LANA: He tells me not to be nervous. Rusev usually doesn’t get nervous at all. He’s pretty calm. I was nervous before I went out there, and then I just tried to do breathing exercises. But, honestly, we didn’t really have any time. I just hear our music play and we had to go out there. But then, once I’m out there, it’s just … I can’t explain it. I’m made to do this. I love this. If that’s either through a microphone or if it’s kicking someone’s head off, I know I was born to do that. When I was out there, I just said, “I love crushing people!”

WWE.COM: Did you believe you were ready?

LANA: I know I can fight. I know I have kicks that can destroy people. Just because I haven’t gotten in the ring in my career, that doesn’t mean I’m not capable of crushing people. I’ve seen more in my career never having a fight than all those girls combined. Like, what girl stood face-to-face with The Rock? What girl stood face-to-face with John Cena? With Chris Jericho? With “Rowdy” Roddy Piper? I can keep going on and on. So, if you’re going to challenge me, criticize me, and you’re going to say I’m not good enough, then I’m going to kick your head off. Don’t push me.

WWE.COM: Obviously, your WrestleMania debut did not end in a victory. Is there anything you wish you could have done differently?

LANA: I hit Paige so hard with my kick to her face that I should have just went ahead and pinned her. I would have won the entire match for our team. But, I just got caught up in the moment of taunting Brie. I basically just allowed Paige to live, that’s the bottom line.

WWE.COM: The other big development that came from WrestleMania was the announcement and awarding of the new Women’s Championship. Is that title something you have your eyes on?

LANA: I don’t like telling people what my plans are because I have big plans. If I start saying “Oh, this is what I’m going to do” and “This is what I want to do,” then I know I’m a threat to other people. But I can promise you this: I will be the greatest woman to ever enter WWE, and I will leave the greatest legacy that WWE has ever seen.

Interview Link

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Dolph Ziggler talks developing chemistry with Lana on IGN.com
 
Published by:
  2015/08/23
 

IGN: What’s it been like to work a romance storyline on the show?

Dolph Ziggler: Oh, come on. I’ve usually got some girl on my arm. [laughs]

IGN: But this is different for you. You’re getting more in-ring segments. And a lot of kissing time too.

Ziggler: Honestly, though, it is a little weird because I’m used to only thinking for myself. Running out in matches, doing my own thing, watching my own back and that’s it. Not having a tag partner. Not having someone to think about. But as I slowly got to know Lana a bit more, we developed a bit more chemistry. We started watching each other’s back. And soon we started knowing what the other was thinking. And the more we get to do it together, the more we’ll become a well-oiled unit. So it’s very interesting. Instead of just going down there beating someone up and leaving, I’m smooching a girl, superkicking people and walking out. So you never know. It’s good to do something different. It can’t just always be me going out there by myself. So it’s adding layers to my character and I’m really lucky to be doing it.

IGN: Could a mixed tag match be around the corner?

Ziggler: Absolutely. I think if the four of us keep finding ourselves in these situations, it’s definitely a possibility. While I was gone, the girls were throwing down with each other and rolling around in the ring. I feel like it seems inevitable. I have no idea of anything concrete coming, but hopefully we settle this on Sunday.

-Source

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Lana mentioned on “The Ross Report” with Lisa Marie ...
 
Published by:
  2015/01/21
 

Former WWE Diva & TNA Knockout, Lisa Marie Varon was a guest on “The Ross Report” with Jim Ross. Lana was briefly mentioned on the podcast.

Lisa Marie mentions that Lana said she wanted to be a wrestler and asked her for pointers. She also says she trains at the WWE Performance Center. Lana is mentioned at the 59:55 point. You can listen to the podcast in its entirely by clicking here.

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Divas Champion AJ Lee mentions Lana
 
Published by:
  2014/10/23
 

Divas Champion AJ Lee was interviewed by Mike Jones of DC101 radio station this week, to promote the Hell in a Cell pay per view that takes place this Sunday.
 
In the interview, AJ was asked who she could see as a possible contender for her Divas title after Paige. She had this to say:

“I see so much potential in people who haven’t particularly gotten that opportunity yet, like Emma and Summer and even like Lana. I think they are interesting characters and women who have a lot of potential and I would love to something that’s vastly different with one of those girls. Just someone we haven’t seen yet get a chance.”

You can check out the full interview here.

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