CJ Perry, FKA Lana, has exclusively revealed to Inside The Ropes when she plans to return to wrestling following her 2021 WWE release.
Speaking with Inside The Ropes own Liam Alexander-Stewart, the former ‘Ravishing Russian’ would discuss why she is yet to return to wrestling whilst revealing how much she misses her fans following her WWE release.
“Gosh, I miss wrestling so much, I can’t even start to tell you.
I feel like up until my time with WWE, I had done all these different things, being a professional dancer, an actress, then a model, I worked for Red Bull for a long time. Like there was so many different things that I had done.
I worked bar mitzvah after bar mitzvah, did Go-go dancing like everything under the sun.
Then when I came into wrestling and I got this try-out with WWE, I just fell madly in love with it and I constantly would be like, “this is something I’ve been looking for my whole life.”
Wrestling is something where you have physicality, like the part of dancing that used to get me so excited, I connect with the live audience and it’s a scripted television show at the end of the day, you get the model side of things with the photoshoots, you get the action figures and the training part so you feel like an athlete and you’re able to connect with such a global audience of people and fans all over the world.
Man, I miss it so much.
My time with WWE finished right before the fans came back in full capacity. So that was a little bit difficult for me to see, because I oh my God, that’s why I do it.”
Continuing, CJ Perry [Lana] would discuss the challenges she faced during her time in the WWE and the hardship of receiving abuse online for her involvement in storylines such as her 2021 storyline with former WWE Champion Bobby Lashley.
“I’ve been dragged through the mud on the Internet for stories that I didn’t know.
I was just trying to grab the brass ring, doing it and I think on many occasions I did.
I mean, the stuff with Bobby Lashley, the stuff with Dolph and Miro, like the numbers don’t lie. That’s crazy numbers.
I know people like scandal, so maybe that’s why as well. But just in general, like I have dance battles with Trinity[Naomi] that are like 15 million views, you know, or matches with Charlotte that are like 29 million views, like crazy numbers.
So I think it hurt me a little bit just to commit so much to something like with my whole heart and spend all my off days on the road. Even in the pandemic, when people were living at home, I was living in a hotel room for 150 days by myself, away from my husband, training with Nattie and TJ [Wilson].
I just felt like I gave so much and that’s I got in return? Like look, life isn’t fair, you know?
So there’s always going to be someone treated worse than you and I understand that. But I just got really burned out because I was like, man, I worked my ass off, and they let me go, you know, like, I don’t know, I give it everything.”
The 37-year-old would continue discuss the role online journalists such as Rolling Stone played in her struggles with confidence and happiness during her time in the WWE.
“Then from the fans, a lot of fans are really appreciative, but from the people that write, journaling, you know, like the journalist are the people that would drag me through the mud, the people that would be like, “Yeah, you’re in the worst storyline of the year.
What were was the most watched storyline of the year, and Rolling Stone being like, “Oh yeah, they were the worst story of the year.” No, we were the most watched story of the year.
You know, I need a break. I’ve given it everything I’ve I have in me and I’ll be treated back like like that. Cool. I’m going to take a breather and I’m going to go pursue these other passions that I love, that these other dreams and goals that I put on hold.
I’ve been doing this not even 300 days of the year, 325 days of the year, because I would just do so much more like go to NXT on my off days when we were still shooting Total Divas and Raw and Smackdown. I miss it regardless. I miss the fans, I miss the people. I miss the adrenaline rush and I would absolutely love the return and be a part of something that is iconic. But if it’s not iconic, I’m good. I’ll be a fan.”
Finally, CJ would reveal what needs to happen before she makes her highly anticipated return to wrestling.
“Like, it’s worth all the struggle. It’s worth all the disappointment, it’s worth all the time on the road away from your family. That’s worth it, right?
Like, I can’t even start to explain it. It’s like I feel like I missed my drug, like sometimes I’m feening and I get moody and get angry sometimes.
Then I realized it’s because I miss doing what I love so much.
But it’s really important to me that when I return back to wrestling, I want it to be meaningful and I really want it to be impactful and I just don’t want to do something half assed and I don’t want to do something that’s mediocre.
I think in WWE I was just always a company girl. I was whatever Vince wanted, whatever the company wanted.
It was like at the end of the day, and this maybe was because I came from acting, you’re an actor, so it’s your job to figure out whatever story they give you, even if it doesn’t make sense to you, it’s your job, make it make sense.
So because I came from that mentality, I never said no to anything. I was always like, okay, yeah, yeah, okay. That doesn’t make a lot of sense at all, but I’ll figure it out.”
CJ Perry FKA Lana is set to make her first appearance alongside real life husband and AEW Superstar Miro since their release at Starrcast in Nashville on July 29-30-31! 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.