Catherine Joy PerryD.O.B: 24 March, 1985
Birthplace: Gainesville, Florida
Trained By: WWE Performance Center
Family Ties: Rusev (Fiancé)
Catherine Joy Perry was born in Gainesville, Florida, to parents of Venezuelan and Portuguese descent. She is the eldest of four siblings. Her father worked as a Christian missionary, which meant that Perry spent several of her childhood years in the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic in the Soviet Union. When Latvia declared its independence, Perry and her family remained there.
From a young age, Perry aspired to follow in her mothers footsteps and become a ballet dancer. She attended Riga Choreography School and began dancing with the Latvian National Ballet at the age of fourteen.
At the age of seventeen, Perry returned to the United States. She initially resided in New York city, where she danced at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Broadway Dance Center, Ballet Hispanico and the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance. She would later enroll at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, where she majored in dance and acting.
While at FSU, Perry began attending Florida State Seminoles games, and along with fellow students, would dress as cowgirls and cheer the team on from the bleachers. They became known as the Florida State Cowgirls and hit the public eye during a game against the Miami Hurricanes, that aired on ABC and featured the Cowgirl’s being mentioned by commentator Brent Musburger, who said ‘1,500 red-blooded Americans just decided to apply to Florida State’
The exposure helped Perry transition into a modelling career. She would appear in photoshoots for publications such as the RIDGID Tool Calendar, whilst also working as a spokesmodel for energy drinks Red Bull and Matrix. When she graduated from FSU, Perry relocated to Los Angeles, California, intent on breaking into show business.
Music and Acting Career
In 2009, Perry joined a girl group called, No Means Yes, they were signed to Ne-Yo’s record label. The group released one single and recorded two others before they disbanded in 2010.
She then went on to work as a backup dancer for stars such as Usher, Nelly and Pink, among others.
In 2013, Perry appeared alongside Kelley Jakle in the video for Jakle’s cover of Paramore’s ‘Ain’t it Fun.’
She also had roles in an episode of ‘The Game’ in 2011 and the lead role in ‘I.C.I.R.C.U.S. also in 2011. In 2012, she appeared in ‘Pitch Perfect’ and the 2015 sequel, ‘Pitch Perfect 2’
In 2015, it was announced that she would be starring alongside Adam Copeland in WWE Studios production ‘Interrogation’
Professional Wrestling Career
In June 2013, Perry signed with WWE and was assigned to their developmental territory, NXT. She debuted on the October 23rd episode of NXT, using the ring-name Lana. She scouted Alexander Rusev during his match against CJ Parker, On November 6th, Lana became Rusev’s social ambassador. She began using a Russian accent, whilst portraying a character who was well versed in diplomatic affairs.
WWE Main Roster (2014-Present)
On the January 26th, 2014, episode of Smackdown, Lana made her debut, alongside Rusev. The pair would appear in several self-promotional vignettes. Lana would accompany Rusev during his matches, the first of which was a squash victory over Zack Ryder on the April 7th episode of RAW.
In early May, Lana began using the fragile relations between America and Russia as a way of garnering heat. She began dedicating Rusev’s victories to her hero, Vladimir Putin, whilst denigrating American at every opportunity. One such instance led to controversy, as before Rusev’s match against Jack Swagger at Battleground, Lana cut an in-ring promo, blaming America for current world events, whilst praising Russia. Although, Lana didn’t mention it specifically, it was understood to be a reference to the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which occurred just three days before the Battleground PPV.
Rusev then defeated Sheamus in a WWE Network exclusive match to become the WWE United States Champion. At Fastlane, Rusev retained his championship against John Cena, after Lana provided the distraction. However, at Wrestlemania 31, Rusev would accidentally barge into Lana, knocking her off the ring apron to the floor. This allowed Cena to defeat Rusev and take the title.
The relationship between Rusev and Lana then became fractured, with the WWE fans cheering for Lana, despite her and Rusev being in the heel role. In order to try and transition her role, Lana began to show empathy, and Rusev came across as cruel.
Dolph Ziggler’s Valet
At Extreme Rules, Rusev again faced John Cena for the United States Championship in a Russian-Chain match. The crowd reaction for Lana caused Rusev to ban her from ringside. At Payback, Cena and Rusev faced-off once again, this time in an I-Quit match. The match ended when Lana quit on behalf of Rusev. The following night on RAW, Lana explained her actions, saying that Rusev had said the words ‘I Quit’ in Bulgarian. Rusev denied this and dismissed her. Later that evening, Lana kissed Dolph Ziggler, officially turning her into a babyface and ending her association with Rusev.
On the June 29th episode of RAW, Lana and Ziggler officially confirmed their on-screen relationship. Rusev, then aligned himself with Summer Rae, who he would weirdly mold into Lana’s image, dressing her the same way and having her do her her just like Lana.
The following week, Rusev attacked Ziggler an injured him. Ziggler returned on the August 17th episode of RAW, coming to the aid of Lans during a confrontation between her, Rusev and Summer Rae. This led to a match between Rusev and Ziggler at SummerSlam, which ended in a double count-out due to the involvement of Lana and Summer Rae.
Summer Rae then tried to seduce Ziggler in an attempt to get him to leave Lana. At the same time Summer proposed Rusev, who conditionally said yes. However the storyline was ended quietly, when the new of Lana and Rusev’s real-life engagement became public.
Engagement to Rusev
On October 11th, TMZ reported that Lana and Rusev had become engaged. Lana then confirmed this, apparently garnering heat backstage due to the way it ruined WWE’s storyline plans.
On the November 30th episode of RAW, during a MizTV segment, Lana returned to her heel role at the side of Rusev.
Feud With Brie Bella; Team B.A.D. and Blonde (2016-Present)
On the February 29 episode of RAW, Lana returned and confronted Brie Bella during a backstage segment. This led to a feud between the two, with Lana being a constant distraction in Brie’s matches. On the March 14 episode of RAW, Lana aligned herself with Team B.A.D.
On the March 22 episode of Main Event, Emma, alongside Summer Rae attacked Alicia Fox and Natalya during a match between Paige and Naomi. This aligned Emma and Summer with Naomi, Tamina and Lana, with the group calling themselves Team B.A.D. & Blonde.
The following week on RAW, Emma defeated Paige in her return match. After the match Team B.A.D. and Blonde once again attacked, this time however, Eva Marie evened up the sides, causing a 10-Diva Tag Team match to be set for Wrestlemania 32.
At Wrestlemania 32, in Lana’s debut match the Total Divas defeated Team B.A.D. & Blonde, after Naomi tapped-out to Brie Bella’s Yes-Lock.
Lana has appeared in two WWE video games. Her debut came in WWE 2K15. She later appeared in WWE 2K16.
|2015||Pitch Perfect 2||Legacy Bella|
|2012||Pitch Perfect||Footnote #5/Opening Bella|
|2011||Big Time Beach Party||Dancer|
|2011||Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son||Dancer|
|2008||Benny Future and the Madman from Manchester||Arabella|
|2011||The Fresh Beat Band||Steguitarus|
|2009||The Real Housewives of Atlanta||Herself|
|2008||The Millionaire Matchmaker||Herself|
|2009||Would You Like That||NA|
Perry is currently engaged to Miroslav Barnyashev, bettr known as Rusev. They currently live in Nashville, Tennessee.