WWE Superstar Lana recently spoke with the NY Post where she opened up about a wide variety of topics. She was recently featured on WWE Chronicle where the topic of cyberbullying came up, and she discussed with the NY Post about why she felt she needed to highlight the issue.
“This year I think cyberbullying, not just for me, but for a lot of people, got a lot worse because of the world climate,” Lana stated. “I think before we all were a little bit busier in communicating with people in life and not just sitting behind a screen, and so I think a lot of people don’t have the guts and the balls to be mean to people’s faces. That’s just the reality and people sugarcoat things all the time. They just don’t have it in them to even say that they don’t like you to your face, and so now everyone can’t be around people as much, social distancing. I think a lot of people are angrier than usual and people can just be bullies and say horrible, horrible, sick things behind their screen.
“Even this year I finally learned about my own mental health. I never really had a chance to really sit with myself and realize, “Well, I actually have mental health issues.” So that was like a big thing for me, and I was going on my own journey of my own mental health, still am. I realized how many young people and not just young people, not just teenagers and kids, grown men and women have been the victims of cyberbullying and you see their mental health, you see suicide.
“I, up until this year, thought myself mentally was very strong. I wasn’t really affected by cyberbullying and I’m like, “Wow, me being a pretty strong human being and having such horrible thoughts to do to myself from cyberbullying, how is this going to affect a 12-year-old? How is this going to affect an 8-year-old?” If I went through this at that age, I don’t think I would have made it. Truly I don’t know. That really hit me hard, and I’m like, “I really want to do something about this and I really want to speak out about this.”
Lana continued noting that the cyberbullying got worse during the Bobby Lashley and Rusev storyline. She stated that her hope is that her talking about mental health will help others during the pandemic.
“It just kind of happened on the ‘WWE Chronicle,’ and I didn’t go into it thinking I was gonna open up like that. I wanted to,” Lana admitted. “I wanted to show as much as possible who is behind the Ravishing Russian Lana because even on Total Divas it was cotton candy. [I hoped] that we could really, really without any filters show it. Yeah, I’m really thankful.
“I think the Bobby Lashley-Rusev story really upped the ante with the cyberbullying and once again it brought ? I was like, “Whoa.” We look at celebrities in real life and they do something, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston [relationship], that whole situation. When you look at real-life people and we don’t agree with what they are doing, that still doesn’t give us the right to go and like just murder them with our words. That’s what we’re doing. With our words, we’re literally murdering that person, and it really made me realize that’s not OK. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
“The whole pandemic started and everything went into really, really fast forward enhanced crazy on the cyberbully drive. I want to continue to talk about it, work through my mental health as well as help other and tell people they’re not alone.”
Wrestling Inc. exclusively reported WWE would crack down on their talent’s use of third-party platforms, and it was reported that Lana’s energy drink ads were “the last straw” before the third-party edict was issued. Lana discussed the idea of WWE talent working together with the company to come up with a joint deal.
“Absolutely. I know we are all in that discussion with the company of trying to work that out,” Lana said. “Once again, the world has changed quickly. Everything has moved into digital space now. So there is a lot, a lot of money that can be made on the digital front from brand deals to Twitch, to YouTube. There’s so much money that maybe WWE didn’t always see they could make.
“I may not be a main-event WrestleMania player, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make a lot of money on the digital front. And I think with a lot of different people, you see that. I see that. I think coming from the entertainment world to this, I always look at things in casting. So I look at our girls and I’m like, ‘Man, Ruby Riott can make so much money in this aspect, Liv Morgan, Mandy (Rose) there, me there.’ I’m always like, ‘Ah, I should be a manager.’ I should be a real-life manager.
“I’m actually really excited because I expressed to WWE how much I would love to help them build something out for the talent because I feel like we haven’t even slightly started to tap into how big of stars we can be on the digital front and how much money we could make for WWE. So, I’m excited. I know sometimes when things happen it’s a slow and steady ? you have to be patient with change. But I really believe I’m gonna be one of the ones that’s gonna help build this out and this new WWE where we are going to be bigger than ever, the talent.”