Lana made her main roster WWE debut last year and has since become one of the most recognizable and well-liked stars in WWE.
Even when Lana was portraying a heel manager and supporting her husband in his hatred of the USA, she was still managing to be cheered by the WWE Universe. It seems that it is hard to hate Lana.
She made a lacklustre and rushed WWE debut back at WrestleMania 32 and has since failed to step into a WWE ring. So it is unknown if WWE has decided that she doesn’t work as a wrestler, or are saving her competitive side for a main storyline in the company.
She has an extensive background in TV, film, music videos, and even in modelling which shows why WWE decided to sign her. She brings experience in acting that no other star can provide and could actually teach many of the Women’s Division a thing or two about their characterization.
These are 15 facts about Lana that every WWE fan should know. These may serve to just make you like the American star much more than you already did.
15. Movie Career
It is quite well known that Lana is a talented actress. She was signed to WWE because of her acting talent and she has proved that many times with her ability to tell a story for her husband Rusev on many different occasions.
That being said, Lana had already made a name for herself when she signed to WWE because she had already starred in films like The Game and the hugely successful Pitch Perfect. She has also appeared in TV shows like Banshee back in 2013 and recently took time away from WWE to star in the WWE Studios production Interrogation along with WWE Hall of Famer Edge. Maybe things won’t work out in the long run for Lana in WWE. And if that is so, at least she has an acting career to fall back on.
14. She Has Posed Nude
Lana has posed both nude and semi-nude in various pictorials but when these photos were taken, ‘The Ravishing Russian’ looked like a different person as she instead decided to pose with brunette hair.
Obviously, these were taken before her career with WWE began, and the company still decided to sign her to a contract, despite her less than innocent past. Maryse is also a Superstar who was signed to WWE despite the fact that she had also posed for Playboy in her earlier days. It seems that even though WWE has decided to go PG, they decide to pick and choose which people they are willing to break the rules for (this should come as no surprise as WWE will always bend their own rules for certain people).
13. She Is A Trained Dancer
Lana is a trained professional dancer and actually became certified in this career by the time she was 10 years old. Much like Naomi, Lana has previously performed as a backup dancer for many famous names like Usher, Pink, Nelly, and Keri Hilson.
Lana was also part of a girl group back in 2009 called ‘No Means Yes’ along with three other talented women. Her group was signed to Neyo’s record label and it is believed that her extensive background in dance and singing talent helped her gain this recognition. Sadly for Lana the girl group didn’t last very long and actually disbanded less than a year later (hopefully this doesn’t translate into yet another bad dancing gimmick somewhere down the line in WWE storylines).
12. Former Model
Ever wondered why Lana is able to stand in front of a crowd and talk a good game even though sometimes the crowd is against her? Ever wonder where Lana finds her confidence? Well, she had a hugely successful modelling career before she was signed to WWE, so it seems that she is used to being out in front of people and putting herself out there.
Lana’s modelling career blew up when she was in college and she became the most downloaded ‘Hot College Girl’ at her school. Even without the help of WWE, Lana has already posed for Maxim Magazine and was the Miller Lite Nascar Poster Girl. She has stated many times that modelling came easy to her and that she didn’t find it as inspiring as dancing and acting.
11. She’s The First Female Wrestler To Debut At WrestleMania
Lana made history earlier this year when she made her in-ring debut at WrestleMania and became the first female wrestler to ever achieve this feat. ‘The Ravishing Russian’ had never wrestled in a WWE ring or any other ring for that matter before she was a part of the 10-Diva Tag Team match in Texas.
While Lana’s debut was considered a semi-successful one, her achievement was overshadowed by the fact that Brie Bella was retiring in the same match and so her team lost. Lana bothced a foot spot during the match and was only in the actual match for a few seconds. She has since failed to wrestle in WWE ever since and has instead resumed her role as Rusev’s manager. Who knoes when she will wrestle again.
10. Los Angeles Clippers Fan
Despite the fact that Lana portrays a Russian Superstar in WWE, she is actually an American and is a huge fan of the Los Angeles Clippers. There are many photos of both Rusev and Lana attending LA Clippers games wearing their merchandise( nothing like a couple out on the town for a basketball game in LA).
Lana also often tweets about her team and fully gets behind them whenever they are involved in any high profile games. It is interesting to see a famous female being commended for following sports outside of wrestling (if of course you consider wrestling a sport), and it will be interesting to see if other females follow her lead by embracing their love of sport despite what society teaches them.
9. Vince McMahon Wanted Her And Rusev To Break Up
Vince McMahon may be one of the most famous wrestling personalities in the world and one of the richest people. But that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t get jealous of other men, or more particularly, the men he employs.
Yes, it seems that Vince was so jealous of Rusev and Lana’s relationship that he had Lana and Rusev break up (in storyline) and aligned her with Dolph Ziggler in the hope that she would then break up with the Bulgarian Superstar because he didn’t think Rusev was good enough for her. Sadly, his plan backfired and the couple announced their real-life engagement when she was still in a storyline with Dolph. This immediately brought Vince’s plan crashing down as the couple are now happily married.
8. Lana is Always in Character
In the Social Media age, it seems that kayfabe has become completely dead in the world of wrestling because many Superstars are unable to keep in kayfabe when the public are around, but Lana is different.
It seems that her acting background has really helped her out here, because Lana remains in character all the time. Whenever she tweets fans or updates her Social Media she ensures that she does it as Lana, rather than CJ Perry because she is fully aware that she has a different persona in WWE than she does in real life. As already stated, Lana’s acting background would have fully prepared her for this. What’s odd here is how fans are completely aware of her American heritage but it’s all in fund and really, that’s what wrestling is all about.
7. Brie Bella Helped Her Train As A Wrestler
Lana trained for many months before she was allowed to step into a WWE ring at this year’s WrestleMania, and as well as many other WWE stars, Brie Bella stepped up to help Lana train ahead of what was a very nervy debut for the former dancer.
As shown on the latest season of Total Divas, Lana and Brie bonded a lot in the weeks leading up to WrestleMania and found it very emotional that it was Lana’s first ever WWE match and Brie’s last. Brie left the company to start a family and recently announced that she was pregnant with a little girl, that is due in the Spring of 2017. Of course, with her husband working as General Manager of SmackDown Live, Brie could very well appear on the program in some capacity.
6. Vince Was Not Happy With Lana’s Engagement
Lana was in a kayfabe relationship with Dolph Ziggler when she and Rusev decided to leak news of her engagement to TMZ without telling WWE first (you can never do anything of independence while employed by WWE or they will frown upon it).
This ruined the entire feud between Dolph Ziggler and Rusev and it landed Lana in hot water. She gained a lot of heat with many wrestlers backstage and she ended up taking a lot of time away from WWE because of it. It hasn’t hurt her WWE career as much as it would have if anyone else had done it, but she probably learned from that mistake. The lesson being that she should never do anything without WWE’s permission in the future.
5. Real Life Heat With Paige
Many WWE Superstars have a real life dislike for each other. But these stars can be professional enough to work with each other and resume the hatred afterwards. Although sometimes they are not able to remain professional.
It seems that Paige and Lana are much like this. Before Lana made her debut in WWE and Paige decided to go off the rails with Alberto Del Rio, Lana tweeted about the fact that Paige had treated her terribly when she was in NXT. She said that Charlotte had been the one who helped her the most, with Paige always bullying her. Paige’s response was for Lana to stop trying to get herself a storyline. It was never reported by WWE and the Universe are still trying to figure out how much truth there was behind the claims.
4. Feud With Summer Rae?
Lana and Summer Rae feuded a few months ago when Lana was aligned with Dolph Ziggler and Summer stepped into her slot with Rusev. This feud didn’t really go anywhere and it didn’t do anything for either party so when Rusev and Lana’s real-life engagement was leaked, they decided to drop the angle.
The feud between the two blondes seems to have been picked back up again now. Since Summer Rae will be returning to action in the not too distant future, she has begun taking shots at Lana on Twitter. This could hopefully lead to an in-ring Raw debut for Lana and see more women taking part in active competition on Raw. These two will be nowhere near the level of Sasha Banks and Charlotte but at least they will be given a chance.
3. Lana Actually Had Two Weddings
Did you wonder why Rusev and Lana have had so much time away from WWE lately? Well, it’s because they got married, not once, but twice (while most people struggle with the idea of one wedding, Lana and Rusev were planning two separate ceremonies for their ‘big days’).
The American Superstar married ‘The Bulgarian Brute’ a few months ago in Malibu in what was considered a beautiful and moving ceremony (the coupled shared pictures on Monday Night Raw). The duo then returned to Rusev’s native Bulgaria for a traditional Bulgarian wedding. The second wedding will now be featured in the latest season on Total Divas. So wonder no more, the couple missed various episodes of Raw so that they could go and get married, twice.
2. Role On Total Divas
Lana has been unveiled as one of three new female Superstars to be brought onto the E! Network show, Total Divas this year. Lana, Maryse, and Renee Young joined the cast for the current season and have so far been used to show the ups and downs of dating some of WWE’s most famous wrestlers.
Lana is dating Rusev, Maryse is dating The Miz, and Renee Young is currently dating Dean Ambrose. It seems that Total Divas could well become WWE WAGSs since the likes of Naomi, Nikki Bella, Natalya, and Brie Bella are also dating some of WWE’s biggest stars. Whether this has happened by accident or on purpose, it seems that Total Divas is going through some major changes (this could have something to do with WWE dropping the term ‘Diva’).
1. WWE Have Big Plans For Lana
Lana has been a stand-out star in WWE ever since she made her WWE debut over a year ago. She knows how to hold an audience and she knows how to build up a story either for herself or for the star that she is put at the side of.
WWE has always stated that they have big plans for Lana moving forward (although it seems as though they are slow in setting these plans into motion). She wont always be at the side of Rusev. Her debut earlier this year proved that she has so many more skills that WWE have yet to tap into and they could decide to push her into the Women’s Division whenever they feel that she is ready for that kind of role.
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