Former WWE Superstar Lana (CJ Perry) recently spoke with Liam Alexander-Stewart of Inside The Ropes for an in-depth conversation about various topics. During the discussion, Lana opened up about her working relationship with Vince McMahon and the current charges of misconduct against the former chairman and CEO of WWE, stating that while they had a terrific working relationship, she thinks that misconduct should be made public. She also discussed Vince’s teachings and some of the challenges she had while competing for WWE.
“Oh, gosh, it’s I feel like such a controversial issue right now and it’s really unfortunate everything, to be honest. I’m a big believer that we should bring things into the light and even though I had amazing relationship with Vince, and he was very kind to me and taught me so many things that I’m going to take with me for the rest of my life, It doesn’t mean that other people didn’t have a very different experience,” she said.
As a former victim of sexual assault and harassment, Lana went on to say that she has empathy for the women who have accused McMahon of misbehaviour and that she wants the problem to be handled appropriately.
“I… in general, not with people in WWE, but in general, but being a victim of sexual harassment and being a victim of people trying to pull favors from you that I really just don’t ever really talk about, and maybe one day will be more comfortable with talking about at a bigger on a bigger level. But, you know, I have compassion and empathy for those women, and I think it does need to be handled properly, however it is,” she said.
Given that she had a positive professional connection with Vince and had gained a lot from him, Lana acknowledged that she finds this to be a challenging scenario.
“With that said, gosh, I mean, I’ve learned a lot of lessons that I take with me in life I kind of learned from him,” she revealed. “You know one of the stories he would always say to me is like, ‘It’s okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from it.’ I think when we really understand that it’s liberating and freeing and because we’re all going to make mistakes in life, you know, and if we allow ourselves to be motivated by fear, like, ‘Oh my God, if we do this, I’m going to fail, I’m going to make a mistake.’ Then really, we’re never going to do anything. My time in WWE was a lot like that. Like my first match, my first match was at WrestleMania in front of 101,000 people, or my first singles match was with Naomi at a pay per view for the title. It was like, you know, that’s really scary.”
Lana went on to say that she understood she would fail numerous times throughout her career and that she might experience negative feedback from fans as a result. Having said that, Lana is adamant that she hustled to get where she is now and accepts that any setbacks were a necessary component of her hustle.
“I had to accept the fact that I was going to fail and I was going to fail in front of all the fans and all the people, and I was going to fail on national television and people are going to be angry that I’m getting that opportunity over a girl who has been wrestling in the indies, in barns and grocery stores, in front of five people for ten years who maybe does deserve for actually probably 1,000% deserves it more than me,” she said. “I understood that. I think coming from Hollywood, where I might have not slept in my car to become a professional wrestler, but I slept in my car that become a professional storyteller and to become a professional entertainer. So my road was different, but my hustle was the same.”
She spoke more about having to work harder and having the ability to live someone else’s dream after not growing up as a pro wrestling fan. She continued by expressing her gratitude to Vince for teaching her not to be so afraid of making errors as long as you learn from them.
Lana added, “I always had so much compassion and empathy to these people that wanted to be in the WWE and that was their childhood dream. I was kind of living their childhood dream and that’s why I worked my ass off, because I’m like, the least I can do is give respect to this business that I’ve gotten this incredible opportunity that so many other people want, you know? I see that in Hollywood all the time. There’s so many things that I auditioned for since I’ve been 18 years old that I want that I, I know I’m better than the other person but they get booked for it. That’s just life. You know, things are not fair. I’m sure that people look at Sasha Banks who are actors and go, wait, why did she get Mandalorian? Why didn’t I get Mandalorian? You know, but that’s that’s life. That’s show business, it’s not fair and it’s a matter of opinion. But the least I could do is try to work hard to give respect to this business that so many people out there are hustling and struggling to get into to the spot. So I’m thankful that Vince taught me that to not be as scared to make mistakes as long as you learn from it.”
Since June 2, 2021, when Lana and other workers were let go due to budget cuts, she hasn’t been involved with WWE. She still continues in modeling and acting, and she also maintains her own website at CJPerry.com. This weekend at Starrcast V in Nashville, Lana will make her public debut alongside husband Miro of AEW.
You can check out ITR’s full interview with Lana below: