Former WWE Superstar Lana (CJ Perry) has not wrestled since teaming with Naomi for a loss to current WWE NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose and current WWE 24/7 Champion Dana Brooke on the May 31, 2021 RAW, which came just three days before she was cut. She recently spoke with Liam Alexander-Stewart of Inside The Ropes and talked about why she has not returned to the ring yet.
Lana reiterated how much she misses the sport.
“Gosh, I miss wrestling so much, I can’t even start to tell you,” she said. “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.”
Lana continued and talked about how she received online abuse for her involvement in WWE storylines, including the 2021 storyline with husband Miro and current WWE United States Champion Bobby Lashley. She also talked about how she felt like she gave more than she got back in return.
“I’ve been dragged through the mud on the Internet for stories that I didn’t know,” she said. “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.”
Lana also commented on how online media outlets, such as Rolling Stone, played into her struggles with confidence and happiness while with 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.’ No, we were the most watched story of the year.”
She continued with her thoughts, adding, “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.”
Lana then revealed what she needs to happen before she finally makes her return to the squared circle – she wants it to mean something. She also commented on being a “company girl” while with WWE.
“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?,” she asked. “Like, I can’t even start to explain it. It’s like I feel like I missed my drug, like sometimes I’m fiending 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.”
Lana has been away from WWE since being released along with other budget cuts on June 2, 2021. She continues to do modeling, acting and runs her own website at CJPerry.com. Lana will make her first appearance with Miro of AEW at Starrcast V in Nashville this weekend.
Stay tuned to WrestlingHeadlines.com for more. Below is ITR’s full interview with Lana: