- Born: 03/24/1985 in Gainesville, Florida
- Birthname: Lana
- Height & Weight: 5'7", 115 Ib
Catherine Joy “C.J.” Perry is an American professional wrestling manager, model, actress, dancer, and singer. Although born in Gainesville, Florida, Perry was raised in the former Soviet Union and speaks fluent Russian. She is currently signed with the professional wrestling promotion WWE under the ring name Lana, where she manages Rusev.
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 Foreign Affairs and Business and Social Media Marketing in college.
In December 2013, the duo of Rusev and Lana were compared to Ivan and Ludmilla Drago, the antagonists of the 1985 film Rocky IV. 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 gained mainstream notoriety, when, during an in-ring promo prior to Rusev’s match against Jack Swagger at the Battleground pay-per-view event, she made comments 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.com 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.”