Rusev and Lana have been the it couple on WWE TV for the past few years, as the duo has been trying to assert their dominance over America. Their relationship might have been exclusively covered by the WWE, as they tied the knot earlier this year for real, but there are still some things the company wants to keep hidden about this "beauty and the beast" couple.
Rusev and Lana were paired together in WWE way back when the two were in NXT, as Rusev was given the gimmick of a pro-Russian brute who wants to destroy American wrestlers for Mother Russia and Lana was his manager. But the two seemed to develop a close bond in real life, as well, as they started dating and living together, which not only increased their chemistry in the WWE but also made them fall in love with each other.
In spite of the WWE trying to break them up and pair them with other wrestlers, they defied management and broke the news of their engagement to TMZ. They have been through some difficult times, but they are apparently a happy couple in real life.
Let's take a look at 15 things you might not know about Rusev and Lana's relationship.
16 They've Appeared In Movies Together
Rusev and Lana have attained mainstream popularity in the recent years because of their excellence at being a couple in the WWE, and because of that popularity they've been cast together in some WWE sponsored films as well. They appeared in a direct to video animated film called Scooby-Doo and WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon where they made a cameo as part of Team Russia and raced Scooby-Doo's team in the inaugural Muscle Moto X Road Challenge. They also later appeared in the WWE studios film Countdown where they made their cameo as a couple which resembled that of their characters in the WWE as they tried to stop Dolph Ziggler (the protagonist of the team) from saving a kidnapped child. Rusev and Lana seem to have nice chemistry in front of a camera together and with their rising stock as the years progress, we might get to see them in future projects as well.
15 Lana Was Not Rusev's First Manager
This might actually come as a surprise for some, considering how accustomed we are to watching Rusev and Lana together in the WWE, but Lana was actually not his first manager in his developmental career. Rusev signed with the WWE in 2010 and wrestled a bit in FCW as well, where he had Shaul Guerrero (daughter of Eddie) as his valet. After returning from injury, he was next managed by Nick Rogers and when he started out in NXT, he also had Sylvester Lefort as his manager, as they even wrestled a match together before Rusev took him out as his manager. Only then would the Bulgarian Brute get Lana as his manager, and that sparked the beginning of a beautiful and devastating team-up in the WWE who would dominate the scenes for years to come.
14 Their Pairing Was Based On Rocky IV
Rusev was actually finding it difficult to blend into the WWE before Lana came into his life, as he had difficulty finding the right gimmick for himself. So when he brought Lana as his "social ambassador", the pairing of this monstrous, ruthless athlete with a beautiful woman like Lana was compared by the WWE to Ivan Drogo and his wife Ludmilla who were characters in the hit film, Rocky IV. Ivan Drogo was an unrelenting boxer who killed Apollo Creed in a match, while his wife did the talking for him and the pair was exactly like that as WWE booked Rusev to be a ruthless monster and have Lana as his mouthpiece doing the talking for him. This pairing from a film actually worked for the WWE and made Rusev and Lana the stars they are right now.
13 WWE Tried To Break Them Up
After the WWE went with the Rusev splitting with Lana angle, many thought that it'd be difficult for them to feud against each other because of how they were lovebirds behind the scenes. That's what also came to the mind of WWE, as it was soon reported that Vince McMahon wanted to break up Rusev and Lana in real life in order for them to have a better feud on-screen. This disgusting ploy can be expected to come from Vince's mind, as the madman was trying very hard to get them to break it off with each other so that they could be better enemies on-screen, which could've helped make his product better (even though the Rusev vs Lana feud was the worst feud in the WWE last year). Thankfully for them, they soon publicly revealed their engagement and broke off all hopes of Vince McMahon for them to break up in real life.
12 They Are The Only Couple To Win Best Gimmick Award
Rusev and Lana excelled as a couple after coming to the main roster, and their vast improvement in their early years reaped some valuable rewards for them in the wrestling world. The two won the "Best Gimmick Award" by Wrestling Observer Newsletter which is one of the most trusted wrestling news website, as the legendary Dave Meltzer himself hailed their portrayal as Russian Nationalists at the time. Additionally, Rusev also won the Most Improved Wrestler award in the year as Lana is the only woman to win an award of this sort as of 2016 and the only manager to have won this award as their amazing work in 2014 was duly paid off and raised their stock in the company. Unfortunately, they had to endure some heat from their co-workers and employers because of this gimmick even though reputable wrestling presses were praising them.
11 Lana Was Punished Because Of Engagement Leak
Rusev and Lana were all set to be broken up by the WWE before they took the bold step of attaining mainstream attention by revealing their engagement to TMZ, as the news spread around the entertainment business. It made for a shameful situation for WWE, who were having both of them feud against each other and this made them nix the angle right there. Now the WWE couldn't really do anything to Rusev because he was one of their best wrestlers, but poor Lana got a lot of backstage heat as WWE saw her as the main culprit for the leak and punished her because of it. In a segment when The Rock made an appearance at Monday Night Raw, Lana was slut-shamed by the Rock who indicated of doing things with her earlier on, that too right in front of the Rusev who couldn't really do anything either. She has also been victim of some other embarrassing situation afterwards, as this bold move paid off for them but brought a lot of heat on her and she received the high end of the punishment because of it as well.
10 They Were Voted As The Worst Dressed Couple At The CMT Awards
So ever since they have openly revealed of themselves as a couple, Rusev and Lana have been hot stuff in the entertainment industry and are invited to many events as representatives for the WWE. They were invited to attend the CMT Country Music Awards earlier this year when Rusev was still United States Champion, as the two attended together (presumably in character) with Rusev wearing a suit with no blazer and Lana wearing a gorgeous dress. But sadly for them, they were voted as the worst dressed couple to have attended the show as the site wrote: "We’re kind of afraid to put them in the “worst” column, but maybe local superstar Booker T can protect us” so as to not attain the wrath of the powerful couple.
9 They Own A Huge House In Tennessee
Rusev and Lana are now one of the hottest properties for the WWE, as both are paid lavishly by the company and earn more through movie deals, bonuses and other events and they love to spend it lavishly on themselves. While Rusev has a love for buying expensive cars, they both love to live in lavish places and they bought an incredible house last year in their hometown in Tennessee. They bought a 4 bed room, 4 bathroom home in Nashville, as the house is a huge 11.56 acres with a pond, hot tub, basketball court and more in the Music City as they bought it all for $644,000 dollars. They chose Tennessee because its easier to travel from the middle of the country as the two now live in this unbelievable house which is all to themselves.
8 They Stirred Controversy With Their Promos
Rusev and Lana are amazing heels when they stay in character, and often reap a lot of the heat from the audience by thrashing the US way of life and encouraging people to embrace the might of Russia. When they were in that Russian Gimmick, they often gave some scathing promos which angered many people as their pro-Vladimin Putin talk often stirred some controversy beyond the company. A major case of controversy was when in 2014's Battleground PPV, Rusev was scheduled to wrestle against Jack Swagger and Lana cut a promo before the match, stating that "You Americans Should be insulted and afraid" and thrashing them for blaming Russia for "current events". Now this current events she was talking about was the crash of a Malaysian flight before the PPV, and this stirred much controversy as many news outlets thrashed the WWE for making a mockery of this tragedy. WWE later sent out a statement that it didn't mean to hurt anyone's sentiments, but Rusev and Lana's staying in character and heel-ish actions has had reaped up a lot of controversy over the years.
7 They Are Actually A Pretty Fun Couple
Rusev and Lana might be this sadistic, hatable characters in the WWE but they are actually pretty cool and love to spend time with each other. While they both have their set of different interests, they often compromise to do things the other loves to do and with the power of social media growing even higher, pictures of them attending other sporting events or rock concerts or other entertaining places and having a load of fun can be seen. They might be these grumpy, anti-American characters outside the WWE, but they are living the American life right now as they make the most of their free time by going places and having a lot of fun together and are making the most of their life as a couple right now and in turn look to be a very happy couple as well.
6 Lana Took Time Off And Returned After They Got Engaged
Rusev and Lana were all set to be broken as a couple in WWE TV, as Rusev lost his United States Championship to John Cena at WrestleMania 31 and then broke off with Lana, deciding to make Summer Rae his new valet. He also injured Lana in the process, as the Ravishing Russian had to take some time off from the WWE in order to heal and come back. But what happened later was shocking, as Lana and Rusev revealed their engagement to the world and Lana came back with everyone knowing of her engagement with Rusev. This obviously angered the management very much, but with the importance for both them in the company and the mainstream attention they gathered, they couldn't really do anything to them as Lana and Rusev soon reunited together as well.
4 Their Wedding Ceremony Was A Blast
Although Rusev and Lana's wedding ceremony was covered by the WWE, they didn't really show how much off a circus it really was as WWE only showed the material needed to be starred on Total Divas. Rusev and Lana's wedding took place in Malibu as the members of the Total Divas show in the Bellas, Natalya and Daniel Bryan were there but what the WWE didn't show is who else were there as well. But what WWE didn't show was the circus which the ceremony was, as photos which surfaced of the ceremony showed all the superstars having a the time of their lives and making the most of the free time which they got to attend this ceremony as everyone partied hard and didn't have to think about their WWE lives for a while.
3 They Have Been Trying To Adopt A Child
Rusev and Lana have been a great couple in WWE TV as well as their real life for years now, as the two seems to be set for life because of the bond they have with each other. Last year wasn't the best for Rusev as he lost his undefeated streak and United States Championship, but the two had apparently filed an application for adopting a child as it was reported from the Tennessee Adoption Association. The baby they were trying to adopt was an African American Girl named Jennifer, who would be Byrd Perfect Barnyashev if they were to be successful. The two don't see to have their wishes granted as off yet, and with their tough WWE schedule they can't really focus on their personal lives either and have to wait on their adoption wishes for now.
2 Many WWE Superstars Attended Their Wedding
Rusev and Lana might not have that many allies in the WWE because of their villainous characters, but they seem to be really fun people outside the ring as was seen by the number of attendees in their wedding ceremony. Along with the Total Divas cast members in the likes of The Bellas, Natalya, Daniel Bryan and Renee Young, some unexpected wrestlers like Dolph Ziggler, Ryback and Luke Harper were also present as they gave some candid photos alongside each other. The Miz and Maryse were also the invited guests for the ceremony and posted some pictures alongside them, as the ceremony goes to show how these two are an awesome couple outside the WWE and everyone loves them enough to come and attend their wonderful wedding ceremony.
1 They Had A Second Wedding In Bulgaria
Although the WWE has covered their first wedding a lot, as pictures of that ceremony and a "celebration" also took place on Monday Night Raw afterwards, not many know of their 2nd wedding ceremony which had taken place in Bulgaria. Rusev's family was present for this one as they had more of a traditional wedding in Rusev's home town of Bulgaria, as the Total Divas cameras were rolling in for this one as well. It seems that they're wedding will be a focal point for this season of Total Divas, but their traditional ceremony looked more of a proper wedding as the wonderful couple got married in a church this time with the blessings of their elders and tied the knot perfectly to make for a very happy marriage which seems to be stronger than ever right now.
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