CJ Perry, formerly known Lana, discussed her relationship with Vince McMahon while she was working for WWE.
On July 22nd, Vince McMahon announced his retirement from WWE amidst an investigation into alleged sexual misconduct and hush money payments. On July 25th, the Wall Street Journal reported that a federal investigation into these allegations “hastened” his retirement, which an SEC filing actually calls a resignation.
Speaking exclusively to Liam Alexander-Stewart of Inside the Ropes, CJ Perry (formerly known as WWE’s Lana) spoke about the recent “unfortunate” allegations and said that while she had a great relationship with the former WWE CEO, she believes misconduct should be brought to light.
“Oh, gosh, it’s I feel like such a controversial issue right now and it’s really unfortunate everything, to be honest. I’m a big believer that we should bring things into the light and even though I had amazing relationship with Vince, and he was very kind to me and taught me so many things that I’m going to take with me for the rest of my life, It doesn’t mean that other people didn’t have a very different experience.”
CJ Perry went on to say that as a victim of sexual assault an harassment herself, she feels compassion for the women allegedly harmed by Vince McMahon’s behavior and wants the situation to be handled properly.
“I… in general, not with people in WWE, but in general, but being a victim of sexual harassment and being a victim of people trying to pull favors from you that I really just don’t ever really talk about, and maybe one day will be more comfortable with talking about at a bigger on a bigger level. But, you know, I have compassion and empathy for those women, and I think it does need to be handled properly, however it is.”
However, the former Lana admits that it’s a complicated situation in her mind, because she had a good relationship with Vince McMahon and learned a lot from the former WWE CEO.
“With that said, gosh, I mean, I’ve learned a lot of lessons that I take with me in life I kind of learned from him. You know one of the stories he would always say to me is like, ‘It’s okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from it.’ I think when we really understand that it’s liberating and freeing and because we’re all going to make mistakes in life, you know, and if we allow ourselves to be motivated by fear, like, ‘Oh my God, if we do this, I’m going to fail, I’m going to make a mistake.’ Then really, we’re never going to do anything.
“My time in WWE was a lot like that. Like my first match, my first match was at WrestleMania in front of 101,000 people, or my first singles match was with Naomi at a pay per view for the title. It was like, you know, that’s really scary.”
Continuing, CJ Perry elaborated on the fact that she knew she was going to fail on a number of occasions in her career, and that she knew she might face backlash from fans as a result. However, she knows that she hustled to get where she is in her career, and any failures were just a part of that hustle.
“I had to accept the fact that I was going to fail and I was going to fail in front of all the fans and all the people, and I was going to fail on national television and people are going to be angry that I’m getting that opportunity over a girl who has been wrestling in the indies, in barns and grocery stores, in front of five people for ten years who maybe does deserve for actually probably 1,000% deserves it more than me. I understood that.
“I think coming from Hollywood, where I might have not slept in my car to become a professional wrestler, but I slept in my car that become a professional storyteller and to become a professional entertainer. So my road was different, but my hustle was the same.”
The former Lana also made it clear that while she didn’t grow up as a fan of professional wrestling, she worked even harder knowing that she was getting to live the dream of many women, and she wanted to show respect to the business that gave her such a tremendous opportunity.
“I always had so much compassion and empathy to these people that wanted to be in the WWE and that was their childhood dream. I was kind of living their childhood dream and that’s why I worked my ass off, because I’m like, the least I can do is give respect to this business that I’ve gotten this incredible opportunity that so many other people want, you know?
“I see that in Hollywood all the time. There’s so many things that I auditioned for since I’ve been 18 years old that I want that I, I know I’m better than the other person but they get booked for it. That’s just life. You know, things are not fair. I’m sure that people look at Sasha Banks who are actors and go, wait, why did she get Mandalorian? Why didn’t I get Mandalorian?
“You know, but that’s that’s life. That’s show business, it’s not fair and it’s a matter of opinion. But the least I could do is try to work hard to give respect to this business that so many people out there are hustling and struggling to get into to the spot. So I’m thankful that Vince taught me that to not be as scared to make mistakes as long as you learn from it.”
CJ Perry FKA Lana is set to make her first appearance alongside real life husband and AEW Superstar Miro since their WWE releases at Starrcast in Nashville. Visit Starrcast.com for more information!
If you use any quotes from this interview please credit Liam Alexander-Stewart of Inside The Ropes with a link back to the original article.
Many thanks to CJ for speaking with us and a huge thank you to Brand Army for facilitating our interview. You can support both by checking out CJ’s exclusive fan site alongside many of the other incredible stars available on Brand Army.