This year has been a year of growth for WWE’s “Ravishing Russian” Lana as she has evolved from being a manager for her husband Rusev to becoming a legitimate in-ring competitor. In her current role on WWE’s Smackdown Live, Lana is a mentor of sorts for her friend Tamina, who she is trying to assist by making her more ravishing like Lana is.
Earlier this year, Lana challenged Naomi for the Smackdown’s Women’s Title, which included three title matches that she lost. While Lana isn’t considered to be as good as most of the women on the main roster in terms of in-ring work, she is trying hard and did well enough that she didn’t embarrass herself. Plus, she does have a lot of star power and is very good at getting a reaction from the crowd whether she’s cheered or booed.
Lana is also a part of Total Divas on E!, which returns with a new season next Wednesday. In promoting the show, Lana did an exclusive interview with EOnline talking about how Nikki Bella helped her when she thought about leaving wrestling.
“Nikki has helped me so, so, so much. There have been times in my wrestling journey—and you’re going to see this on the show—when I’ve gotten discouraged because the success doesn’t come overnight. It’s a lot of getting in there and failing. She was really the person that kept on encouraging me not to give up, to be resilient, to be brave and to have courage.
“At times, I would think maybe I shouldn’t continue to pursue my dream of competing in that ring, but she kept on telling me not to give up and keep on training. I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for Nikki Bella.”
Lana also spoke about how she isn’t content with just being a manager and the 32-year-old wants to keep wrestling.
“My whole life, since I’ve been a little girl, I’ve watched wrestling and I’ve always wanted to wrestle. I just never thought that I was good enough to do that. I never thought I had the talent to be a professional wrestler. But I don’t want to just hold a microphone and be someone’s manager. I want to get in that ring and fight and compete. There’s nothing in the entire world that has that adrenaline rush.”
I think WWE is hurting Lana and Rusev by not having them together on screen because she’s good for him. I can understand them wanting to do their own things, but it’s not like he’s in a better role today than he was when she was managing him. They need more managers in WWE and she was very good at it, so why go away from it? Hopefully they will reunite on Smackdown soon. She can still wrestle in that role too. I guess it’s up to the creative team to find the right role for her.