The days of kayfabe in wrestling (staying in character in and out of the ring) are pretty much over. And, if you needed evidence to prove it, look no further than one of today's hottest WWE female talents in the "Ravishing Russian" Lana. She's a true example of how staying in character just isn't important in today's wrestling industry.
Fairly new to the Total Divas family, Lana and her husband Rusev joined the show and are part of the regular drama that depicts life for most of the women in WWE outside of the in-ring moves and backstage stories they tell on a weekly basis. The only thing with Lana's character is that one very obvious thing is missing from her Total Divas character as it's portrayed on SmackDown Live. As part of the blue brand, Lana has a thick Russian accent. On Total Divas, that accent is magically gone.
Most fans know that Lana isn't actually Russian and doesn't have an accent. When asked about deciding to take the accent out of her appearances on Total Divas, Lana responded:
“I wasn’t nervous. Maybe other people were nervous, but I wasn’t nervous because we are storytellers. When I walk through that curtain on SmackDown Live I am a Russian villain, at least at this point in time. To me, just like when you watch a movie or you watch a TV show you know Nicole Kidman or Leonardo DiCaprio you know that they are actors, but also great actors find that extension of themselves. So, when I walk through that curtain I find the extension of myself of being the Ravishing Russian in there. We are actors, we are entertainers, and most of all we are storytellers.”
It will be interesting to see if as Lana's character progresses on weekly television and as part of SmackDown Live if her accent will slowly fade away as well. There's a distinct separation that comes with being on a show like Total Divas but fans aren't as quick to let things slide when in one week she's got an accent and the next it's gone.
Her husband Rusev has already started to undergo a massive character change with the introduction of Rusev Day, but he's kept the accent. It's more than likely, Lana will have to do the same.