Former WWE star “Lana” CJ Perry was the guest this week on Chris Jericho’s “Talk Is Jericho” podcast.
During the interview, she officially said goodbye to the character she played for 8 years in WWE. She explains why her release was a total surprise and how she found out at a party while she was texting Mandy Rose. She also talked about why she feels WWE needs to change the way they release people, how her real-life engagement led to her getting heat after the news was leaked by TMZ, what she owes to people like Triple H, Road Dogg, and Billy Gunn and she explains why she believes WWE broke her away from Rusev on TV.
Perry said her Survivor Series story would have resonated differently if there were fans in attendance. Leading up to that show, Lana had been put through a table by Nia Jax for 9 consecutive weeks with the goal being that this would get fans to feel sympathy for her character. WWE ended up not doing a table spot at Survivor Series.
Perry said, “In my opinion, how I won Survivor Series, if I would have won that way with fans, I’m convinced the place would have exploded vs the smart marks on the internet, and the Twitter hates regardless, it’s a little bit more of a negative mentality. They might not always get it, but I understood why Vince wanted me to win that way. It hadn’t been done before.
We were supposed to do this table spot on the show, and then Roman, because he had a table spot with Sheamus, he did not (want the table spot in Lana’s match), so there was some major pushback. You know, Nia and Roman, that whole thing. I’m like, oh my God, I’m caught in the middle of this drama. We had a huge spot where I was supposed to be laid out at the very beginning. This is on the PPV. I was supposed to get in the ring, and then Nia would snatch me. The whole point was everyone on the team was heels, and I was the only babyface. They were all going to be against me, and she was going to lay me out. Then at the end, I had this whole sequence with Bianca. Bayley was supposed to get involved and cheat. So then I would prove myself.
We were all so excited that I was going to get to wrestle. Then there’s the whole Samoan rivalry that happens. The table spot got taken out. Vince thought it would be hilarious if I didn’t get in the match at all. That Nia would not let me get in at all, and then I win because everyone gets eliminated. He thought that was the most hilarious thing. Shane McMahon thought it was hilarious. They said this has never been done before. In many ways, I understand, because Undertaker was retiring that day, and I understand that let’s give something different on the show. I understand that business side of it. It was really dramatic. There was all this stuff happening. I’m crying in the corner because I’m like, ‘I just want to wrestle.’
I called Nattie and said, ‘Nattie, I’m hiding in this corner. I’m crying. I just want to wrestle. I want to prove myself.’ Nattie said, ‘You’re still winning. Who cares?’ I said, ‘I want to prove myself.’ Then TJ [Wilson] wanted me to get in and wrestle a little bit, and then Nia was going to kick me out and say you have to stand there. So he even had to fight for that with Vince, because he said, ‘I think it’s important for her to show that she’s improving in the ring. That’s the babyface side of it, that she does want to get in there and wrestle, and they’re telling her to stand out there.’ That would have got a reaction. I understood Vince was trying to recreate what Miro did to me in 2015 when the crowd would chant, ‘We want Lana’, he would kick me out, and the whole place boos. Those things really resonate with crowds. Me wrestling, and her making me stand, would have most likely got a ‘We want Lana’ chant.”
There’s a lot more in this interview. Click here to listen to the entire podcast.