On the latest episode of the Talk Is Jericho podcast, Chris Jericho sat down with CJ Perry, f.k.a. Lana. Perry reflected on her run with Miro, and she revealed what she and Miro pitched to Vince McMahon about their follow-up feud after the WrestleMania match against John Cena.
“The thing about Rusev / Miro, he was truly the most hated bad guy, and I was booed because of him,” Perry noted. “One day, I was doing a movie, Interrogation, and they he brought out a lawyer, so I just missed one week. This is a month before WrestleMania. The whole arena started chanting, ‘We want Lana!’ And I trended for two days. It was wild. I was shook, then it kept on happening, and then WrestleMania, we did the tank.
“Miro, I don’t know if he always realized this, but I was always often placed there to protect him throughout the years. They used me or his tag partners. Now looking back, I see how it was getting all set up. He was yelling at me. I mean, what man comes and starts yelling. We went to Vince the following week to pitch an idea, to work with Daniel Bryan, and he was like, ‘No, I’m splitting you guys up.’ And we were shocked.
“We had no idea, and he was like, ‘No, no, he’s hated. You’re over. They love you. You can go down to NXT.’ I was like, ‘Wait, I don’t understand. Can I not be a b**ch? I can get hated. Cersei, Game of Thrones.’ I started naming all these super hated, heel women on television, and he’s like, ‘Oh, that’s great. A conniving woman. Maybe you kiss a guy and make him jealous,’ and I’m like, ‘Awesome. That’s great. I am an actor.’ I’ve done all different types of roles. So to me, it’s acting, whatever, and then a month later, he pulled us in and said I was going to be making out with Dolph Ziggler, and we were going into this big program.”
Perry then reflected on if she thought the split up with Miro was too soon. She explained what she thinks is WWE’s biggest problem.
“Knowing what I know now, it might have been premature,” Perry admitted. “You can do whatever you want. I think the biggest problem, in my opinion, in WWE is they just don’t follow through with stories, and so when they do follow through stories, it’s great and everyone is excited. Even if they hate it in the beginning, by the end or a couple years later, they’ll be like, that was f**king awesome!
“But it’s not following through that, I think, frustrates the fans and frustrates the talent. There was follow through with winning that whole year, and then we broke up, which we could have milked it a little bit longer, but at the end of the day, romance stories, I know the smart marks don’t like the romance stories but the arena’s, the fans resonate with relationship stories. They always do numbers.”
The storyline with Dolph Ziggler and Summer Rae got dropped after a photo leaked of Perry and Miro showing off their real-life engagement while the two were feuding on screen. Perry revealed what she told McMahon at the start of the Bobby Lashley feud.
“I never posted it. TMZ got ahold of it, and then basically, TMZ just said we were engaged,” Perry clarified. “The story got cut, and we got blamed for it. Personally, I got blamed. It’s insane. I got in trouble. I wasn’t on television for three months, and I was on television for two years.
“I was not on television for three months. I was made to feel that it was all my fault. I had to take the blame, and for years, I thought maybe it was my fault,. And then we did the Bobby Lashley story. I had given Vince my word that I would not take a picture with someone I am feuding with or send it to anyone.
“My word is what I all that I have, and so when we went into the story with Bobby Lashley, [Paul] Heyman and our social media definitely suggested that we blur the gray line. I respect that, and so I didn’t post Miro on my social media for probably 11 months, not even after he was fired and after I got divorced, still waited for about a month.”
Like the Ziggler storyline, the Lashley storyline was also dropped abruptly as well. Perry discussed the biggest problem of the storyline.
“There’s a lot of reasons why people might have not been happy with it. There wasn’t follow through, and Bobby Lashley, I’m actually quite grateful for that he spoke out about this a lot on a lot of podcasts,” Perry expressed. “He didn’t feel like they had the proper match, him in Miro. It was great relationship storytelling, and for months, huge, amazing segments they gave us and valuable television time.
“And that’s awesome, but at the end of the day, this is pro wrestling, and we have to have the proper payoff in the ring. It’s not even just what I felt. Miro might not say this, but if Bobby, who is the champion right now in WWE, as well as a fighter is saying, hey, there wasn’t a proper resolve and match, we should have had more matches, I think is saying a lot.
“Vince might have been getting bored, maybe, with the story and with the Dolph Ziggler story. Who’s to say, and then all of a sudden, you give him one reason to drop the ball and point the finger, that’s what’s going to happen. That’s the problem with WWE programming right now is no follow through with stories period.”
Perry was released along with other top stars like Braun Strowman and Aleister Black. She discussed the things she learned from McMahon, and she noted what more could have been done with her character.
“This is the first time I’m even talking about it because I was always such a company person. I know the contract that I signed, and I respect that and I respect Vince McMahon’s rules,” Perry said. “I respect the mad genius, and I learned so much from that man, life changing lessons that I will take with me not just as a performer but as a human being and I am forever grateful, but I know that a lot of people have a lot more to offer.
“It’s not just me Everyone feels like they have a lot more to offer, even just from a character standpoint. Lana’s love life alone, there’s so many different ways you could just thread a 60-second pre-tape that continues to tell stories. Why can’t I pass, in the hallways, Bobby Lashley. Oh my god, talk about engagement and those are the things that my mind is always thinking is the threading of not just of my character but all the characters.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.