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Lana NXT

Lana's NXT Debut

Catherine Joy "C.J." Perry (born March 24, 1985) is an Americanprofessional wrestling manager, model, actress, dancer, and singer. Although born in Gainesville, Florida, Perry was raised in Riga, Latvia and speaks fluent Russian. She is currently signed with the professional wrestling promotion WWE under the ring name Lana, where she manages Rusev.

WWE Edit

Managing Rusev (2013–2015) Edit

In June 2013, Perry revealed that she had been signed to WWE and was sent to their developmental branchWWE NXT. Perry debuted in NXT on the October 23, 2013 episode of NXT, under the ring name "Lana", scouting Alexander Rusev during his match against C.J. Parker. On the November 6 episode of NXT, Lana became Rusev's "social ambassador", using a Russian accent and developing a character who majored in Foreign Affairs and Business and Social Media Marketing in college. In December 2013, the duo of Rusev and Lana were compared to Ivan Drago and Ludmilla Drago, the antagonists of the 1985 film Rocky IVOn April 26, 2015, at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view, during Rusev's rematch for the United States Championship against Cena in a Russian Chain match, Lana garnered a positive reaction from the crowd, which led to Rusev banishing her from ringside.[33] It happened again, on May 17, at Payback, when Cena defeated Rusev in an "I Quit" match after Lana quit on Rusev's behalf.[34] The following night on Raw, Lana justified her actions by explaining that Rusev said he quits in Bulgarian, only for him to harshly dismiss her; later that night, Lana kissed Dolph Ziggler, turningher face and officially ending their association.[35][36] On the June 29 episode of Raw, Lana and Ziggler confirmed their storyline relationship, and Rusev allied with Summer Rae.[37] Week later, Ziggler was injured by Rusev, who attacked Ziggler by hitting his throat,[38] and WWE subsequently announced that Ziggler had suffered a bruised trachea in storyline.[39] Ziggler returned on the August 17 episode of Raw, aiding Lana during a confrontation with Rusev and Rae.[40] This altercation prompted a match between Ziggler and Rusev at SummerSlam, on August 23, which ended in a double count-out due to interference from Lana and Rae.[41] Rae went on to "seduce" Ziggler in order to end his relationship with Lana,[42][43]but the storyline ended quietly, after WWE announced that Lana had injured her wrist while training. Rusev and Lana later appeared at NXT Arrival, where Rusev attacked Xavier Woods and Tyler Breeze.

While Rusev made his main roster debut at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view on January 26, 2014, Lana made her main roster debut on the January 31 episode of SmackDown, where she and Rusev in the following weeks appeared in a series of self-promotional videos and speeches. Rusev wrestled his first match on the main roster on the April 7 episode of Raw, squashing Zack Ryder. In early May, Lana began dedicating Rusev's matches to her "hero", President of Russia Vladimir Putin, as well as adopting an Anti-American, Russophilic gimmick.

Lana made some controversial comments during an in-ring promo prior to Rusev's match against Jack Swagger at the Battleground pay-per-view event, blaming the United States for current world events and praising Putin. Although she did not directly mention it, some media outlets said Lana was making reference to the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which happened three days before Battleground, to help build heat for Rusev in his feud against Swagger. A representative of WWE later told TMZ that the segment was not specifically about the Malaysia Airlines crash, noting that the Rusev-Lana storyline "has been a part of WWE programming for more than three months. WWE apologizes to anyone who misunderstood last night's segment and was offended".

Following the November 3 episode of Raw, Rusev defeated Sheamus in a WWE Network exclusive match to capture the United States Championship. At Fastlane on February 22, 2015, Lana set up a distraction which led to Rusev defeating John Cena. However, at WrestleMania 31, Rusev lost the championship to Cena after Rusev accidentally crashed into Lana, knocking her off the ring apron.

Face Turn; Managing Dolph Ziggler (2015) Edit

On April 26, 2015, at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view, during Rusev's rematch for the United States Championship against Cena in a Russian Chain match, Lana garnered a positive reaction from the crowd, which led to Rusev banishing her from ringside. It happened again, on May 17, at Payback, when Cena defeated Rusev in an "I Quit" match after Lana quit on Rusev's behalf. The following night on Raw, Lana justified her actions by explaining that Rusev said he quits in Bulgarian, only for him to harshly dismiss her; later that night, Lana kissed Dolph Ziggler, turning her face and officially ending their association. On the June 29 episode of Raw, Lana and Ziggler confirmed their storyline relationship, and Rusev allied with Summer Rae. Week later, Ziggler was injured by Rusev, who attacked Ziggler by hitting his throat, and WWE subsequently announced that Ziggler had suffered a bruised trachea in storyline. Ziggler returned on the August 17 episode of Raw, aiding Lana during a confrontation with Rusev and Rae. This altercation prompted a match between Ziggler and Rusev at SummerSlam, on August 23, which ended in a double count-out due to interference from Lana and Rae. Rae went on to "seduce" Ziggler in order to end his relationship with Lana, but the storyline ended quietly, after WWE announced that Lana had injured her wrist while training.

Return as a Villainess (2015-present) Edit

Villainess Lana

Villainess Lana backstage

On October 11, TMZ reported that Lana had gotten engaged to Rusev, which Lana confirmed. Lana made her return, once again as a villainess, on the November 30 episode of Raw, during a Miz TV segment, where she and Rusev referenced their engagement. Before going on another hiatus from television for unknown reasons, Lana appeared on the January 25, 2016 episode of Raw, during a segment alongside The Rock.

Lana returned on the February 29 episode of Raw, confronting Brie Bella during a backstage segment, arguing that Brie's fans only supported her out of pity for having a "bad husband", and later in the evening, Lana laughed evilly after Brie was defeated by Naomi. On the March 3 episode of Main Event, the evil Lana appeared during Brie's match to distract her, in a failed attempt. Lana continued with her attempts to distract and attack Brie during the March 7 episode of Raw and the March 11 episode of SmackDown, by executing Brie's finishing maneuver on her. On the March 14 episode of Raw, she once again distracted Brie during a tag team match against Team B.A.D. (Naomi and Tamina), causing her to lose, and aligned herself with Naomi and Tamina, following a backstage confrontation with Paige. On the March 22 episode of Main Event, she brought the returning Emma and Summer Rae to her guild, reconciling with Rae in the process. After a match between Emma and Paige on the March 28 episode of Raw, Lana and her allies Brie Bella,Natalya, Alicia Fox and Paige, before they were saved by Eva Marie. As a result, the two teams faced off in a10-woman tag team match on the WrestleMania 32 kick-off show, in what would be Lana's in-ring debut, which Lana's team would lose.

On the April 25 episode of Raw, Lana returned to managing Rusev, who went on to capture the United States Championship. On July 19, Lana and Rusev were both drafted to the Raw brand.