WWE superstar Rusev appeared last month on the Bulgarian media show At Cafe, where he spoke about his relationship with his wife and fellow WWE performer, Lana. Rusev remembers how he met Lana and how the two began working together in WWE.
"We met after moving with WWE from Tampa to Orlando," Rusev recalled (transcription by Wrestling Inc.'s Chris George). "We met the first day when everybody is introduced to one another. That's when I met Lana. She didn't even remember me [that time] because you're meeting hundreds people on a single day.
"The following day I saw her at the solarium, we introduced ourselves to each other and we started talking. Everyday we trained different things and [aspects of pro-wrestling]. One of these training days is about microphone work and [performance]. She spoke perfect Russian because she used to live in Latvia for twelve years. Our trainer [Dusty Rhodes] was amazed by that, by her perfect English and perfect Russian. I was slowly heading up the ranks and he said 'If you want to get the most [out of your future career] you need to work together' and that's how [our relationship] started. Slowly from just talking on purely wrestling topics, by spending more time together, love happened."
Rusev said that when it came time to get married, the two decided to conduct two weddings, one in America and one in Bulgaria as well as an on-screen ceremony in WWE. Rusev mentioned that he enjoyed the American wedding, but the Bulgarian wedding traditions were things he could not pass up.
"Lana always wanted to get married on the beach," Rusev said "We had an in ring celebration one time. We had a big cake out [in the ring] but Roman Reigns came and hit me and I accidentally pushed Lana and she fell through the cake. She was all in pink, her face, her hair, everything was [a mess]. We went on our honeymoon after that show. I actually wore my real costume from my wedding at the show and it was tarnished. We went to the Seychelles and there was so much washing and cleaning, we had cake everywhere, in our ears, especially her but it was a great show.
"We always had the plan for two weddings because I wanted a Bulgarian wedding," Rusev said. "I've never been to a [Bulgarian] wedding myself so the first one was my own. We included every tradition possible. Before we get to the wedding [I have to say] I wanted to show Bulgaria to Lana's parents, family. My mom took the initiative and organized a trip.
"The wedding itself was amazing, it was [once in a lifetime]," Rusev said. "It had every tradition, you can see even that long thing [a long traditional veil] with 6 people that had to carry it, everything. We got married in Plovdiv because it's my city and I love it. I wanted to show Bulgaria in its full beauty. America is a great and amazing country but it doesn't have our traditions and I wanted everyone to see what it's like to a Bulgarian."
While Rusev admitted that the American wedding was good, he mentioned that everyone who attended both preferred the Bulgarian ceremony.
"Everyone liked the Bulgarian [wedding] more," Rusev admitted. "The American one was good but this [is something else]. Her father started crying! He said. 'It's so beautiful, you have everything here. Simply amazing.'"
Rusev's contract with WWE is set to expire soon. He hasn't appeared on WWE television since competing in the 50 man battle royal at Super Showdown in early June.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit At Cafe with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Chris George contributed to this article.