Before becoming the host for AEW's Double or Nothing weigh-in, Jennifer Decker was a Florida State co-ed alongside Lana. Decker joined our WINCLY podcast to discuss her friendship with Lana and how she's evolved in WWE.
"We have such a history. We went to college together and was part of the group I created called the Cowgirls. We were the unofficial mascots of Florida State University," Decker said before adding that she also served as a mentor to Lana.
"I've never met someone so hungry to succeed. If you tell CJ [Lana] she can't do something, she's gonna work that much harder to prove you wrong. So it's been really cool to watch her and the other girls climb their way up."
Just like her character, the real Lana actually grew up in Europe and Decker describes how she was in college.
"She was super sweet and, she'll be the first person to say it, a little naive," admitted Decker. "She was from Europe – that part of her story is real, not kayfabe. She really wanted to believe in the good in everyone. But I think her time in the entertainment industry has taught her to be a lot more savvy. I've definitely been a part of that in teaching her to not let people run over you and to stand up for yourself."
Many people, including Lana and Rusev themselves, haven't been thrilled with the way they've been booked in WWE. Decker is also in that camp and is a part of Team #Salty.
"I am wearing my #salty hat right now. I feel that way about a lot of talent, not just CJ and [Rusev]," stated Decker before adding that she feels bad for those on the WWE roster who are stuck in similar tough situations.
"I think WWE is starting to make changes. But I'm not privy to any of their inside stuff… I do feel bad for people that I know have so much more to give wresting fans."
Decker said in the past she's had jobs where she had to put on a happy face and pretend that she was in a good mood when in reality it was the exact opposite. She believes that many on the WWE roster are currently going through that.
"When you have that many voices airing their grievances, it says a lot about the culture going on there….It's really hard to come in and put on a happy face at times and pretend you want to be there when you don't feel that you are appreciated. I can see why a lot of people get frustrated and eventually want out of their contracts," stated Decker.
Lana and Rusev were recently removed from Total Divas because a survey showed that audiences simply didn't like them. Decker things they will turn their departures into something positive because that's the kind of people they are.
"That's the truth," Decker said about Lana and Rusev being cut. "It really is the truth but I can't see how you can take someone out of the show that is your comedic relief.
"Taking them off Total Divas was just a kick in the nuts because she is so funny and bring so much to the table as far as entertainment goes, I think it was a poor move. But they'll find something else that will help them showcase their brand in a better way because they are smart business people. Besides just being amazing performers and entertainers, they understand how to run a business when it comes to their brand. Whatever they end up doing, I'm sure will be just as successful if not more so."
Jennifer Decker will be hosting AEW's Double or Nothing Weigh-In and Press Conference. It will take place as part of Starrcast II and will be streamed live via Fite.tv.
Decker's full interview with Wrestling Inc was included in a recent episode of our WINCLY podcast. The full audio can be found in the embedded player at the bottom of this post. In the full interview Decker discusses Alberto Del Rio returning to MMA, her time training in NXT, going to college with Lana, how she became the host for AEW's Double or Nothing weigh-in, the contrasting environments of AEW and WWE, why she's not a fan of the XFL re-launch and more.