CJ Perry, formerly known as Lana, has revealed how she felt like a ‘secondary performer’ whilst in the WWE.
Speaking for the first time since her WWE release with AEW star Chris Jericho on his podcast, Talk Is Jericho, Perry detailed her shock at seeing her husband, Miro, released ahead of her:
When Miro got let go, for me personally, it was harder. When Miro got let go… I was a lot more depressed, I was a lot more sad. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I had my days of crying and wallowing but I think partly as a performer and artist, I allow myself to wallow. I’m like ‘I’m finally not feeling happy. Let me wallow so I can have more emotion when I need to do this part. You know, dig deep, use this for method. Am I gonna come up with some type of funny concept?’ So I just like allow myself to feel, I think it actually does help us sometimes tap into being better performers or actors. But with Miro that f***ed me up. First of all, never in a million years would I have thought he would have been fired before I was. Like, never.
Perry went on to state how her shock at Miro’s departure may have been linked to WWE’s perception of female talent, and in particular, managers and valets:
That place makes you feel that way. That place makes you feel that men are more important than women. That place makes you feel, especially if you are a manager or a valet, [that] you’re secondary. And yeah maybe you’re secondary, but I do feel like I was a big part of his success. I think I’m a big part of his success behind closed doors at AEW and I can talk about that now, but a big turn for him was when we started really talking about like ‘Let’s, let’s make your message a little bit more clear over there.’ And so, it is reassuring to me that I do grasp storytelling and I do grasp storytelling in wrestling as well. So when he got fired, I.. God, I was beyond devastated.
Lana was certainly a huge part of the Rusev character’s success, with the pair’s partnership with Aidan English spawning the ‘Rusev Day’ movement that briefly took over the WWE. Perry also discussed her role in preparing Miro for his AEW run and how his subsequent success had bolstered her own confidence in grasping pro wrestling storytelling.