Starting off our list of the most underrated/underused wrestler is…
CJ ‘Lana’ Perry, better known as the ‘Ravishing Russian’ has had an interesting career thus far.
No matter if you are talking about her singing, dancing or trained acting skills, her resume is impressive to say the least.
Born and raised in Florida, her road to the #WWE was one that not many have taken. She was a member of a short lived all girl pop group, and trained with the legendary Groundlings for her acting. (The Groundlings are responsible for MOST of the cast of every season of Saturday Night Live)
Being signed to #NXT in 2013, it seems she automatically debuted, but, only in a manager capacity.
All the while, she was also being trained by Tyson Kidd and planning a more than a manager status.
Lana As A Singles Competitor
Lana, for the most part has been the manager for her now husband, Rusev, and together they used an anti-American gimmick. This being the main focus of #Rusev Vs. Jack Swagger at Battle ground in 2014 – Jack Swagger going by the ‘All-American’ gimmick, it seemed a perfect marriage.
Lana’s in ring wrestling debut was at Wrestlemania 32, where she was part of a 10-woman tag-team match.
Sadly, most of her screen time has either been on ‘Total Divas’ or ‘#TotalBellas’ both billed as reality shows.
Her and Rusev are both on Smackdown, but, he is now teamed with Aiden English, working the #RusevDay angle and Lana is now trying to fit in as a singles competitor.
She needs More Ring Time & More Direction
All things considered, #Lana is being used, but, more for reality TV than for in ring performance.
In order for her character to grow, they need to give her more in ring time, or she just won’t improve her character or in ring performance.
Now that she is on her own as a singles competitor, it seems that WWE writers haven’t figured out if she is a Heel or a Babyface, and this might cause some confusion to the fans. If Perry has any say in her character, it is possible that she is unsure of which direction she wants to go, but, I have the feeling it is all on the shoulders of the writers.
Once she can establish her Heel/Babyface status, it might be easier for her to ease into being a strong competitor, after all she was trained by one of the best and the husband of her ‘Total Divas’ co-star, #Natalya.
Check back next Friday for #4 of this countdown series!
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