The last time we saw the “Ravishing Russian” Lana live on WWE television was the episode of SmackDown that aired on September 3.
At the time, according to the story being presented TMZ-style on WWE’s Raw and SmackDown, the Russian vixen Lana was in a relationship with resident playboy Dolph Ziggler, while her Bulgarian ex-boyfriend (Rusev) was involved with another striking blonde, Summer Rae. Of course, Ziggler and Summer Rae have a little history together as well. As reported on WWE’s website, on the aforementioned episode of SmackDown, Lana ended up attacking Summer Rae, after Rae accused Ziggler of seducing her in his locker room.
WWE fans would be thrown for a curve when just four days later, on Monday Night Raw, it was announced that Lana wouldn’t be appearing on WWE television anytime soon, as she had suffered a wrist injury. Catherine Perry, the name of the entertainer who portrays Lana on WWE programming, had indeed suffered a legitimate wrist injury during training, and would legitimately need surgery.
But that wouldn’t be the last time the lines were blurred between the kayfabe (that’s wrestling jargon for “in character” or “fake”) life of WWE’s Lana and the real life of Christine Perry.
While Lana remained off of WWE television, the drama between Ziggler, Rusev and Summer Rae continued. In fact, as recently as last week’s episode of Monday Night Raw, Summer Rae actually proposed to Rusev, who accepted… on one condition. The engagement wouldn’t be official until Rusev earned the right be Summer Rae’s fiancé by winning one of WWE’s championship belts. “I need to have WWE gold around my waist, and then you will have gold around your finger,” he told Lana’s replacement.
It wouldn’t be a truly TMZ-worthy drama if past feelings didn’t continue to linger, however. WWE was continually dropping obvious hints that Rusev was still in love with Lana, and that Summer Rae was merely a rebound. Given the regularity of good-guy/bad-guy character changes among WWE’s talent, there was always potential for a Rusev/Lana WWE reunion.
Then, over the weekend, we learned that Miroslav Barnyashev — the actor/athlete known to the WWE Universe as “Rusev” — had proposed to Lana/Perry, and she had accepted the proposal. This came as no big surprise to most of the WWE viewers, as it was fairly common knowledge that Lana and Rusev were an item in real life, off-camera.
The real surprise for WWE fans was when they acknowledged Lana and Rusev’s engagement on Monday Night Raw and made it clear that the real-life engagement would be played out in the fantasy world of professional wrestling. Even though the announcers were fully acknowledging the engagement story, Summer Rae accompanied Rusev to the ring for his losing effort against Ryback last night, as if nothing had happened over the weekend at all.
But after the match, Summer Rae called Rusev out for his relationship with Lana. As TMZ reported, Rusev and Lana have actually been engaged for the last month (during which Rusev and Summer Rae were in a relationship on camera), and Summer Rae felt jaded. Just before slapping the former WWE United States Champion clean across the face and leaving him alone in the ring, she reminded everyone in attendance that he was a “narcissistic, self-centered, egotistical, jealous, lying, cheating bastard.”
This isn’t the first time that WWE has blurred the lines between fantasy and reality when it comes to the love lives of those under contract with Vince McMahon’s globally-recognized live-action juggernaut. Long-time fans will probably recall the story from 2004 and 2005 that involved WWE superstars Edge, Matt Hardy, and Lita. In real life, Hardy and Lita had been in a relationship when Lita had an affair with Edge. She would leave Hardy for Edge, and the scandal was acknowledged on WWE television and weaved into the current storylines at that time. This garnered a lot of heat from the WWE fans for Lita and Edge, while creating a lot of sympathy for the cheated-on Hardy boy.
How will the Rusev/Lana/Summer Rae/Dolph Ziggler drama unfold on WWE television? Tune into WWE’s SmackDown on SyFy this Thursday and Monday Night Raw on USA to see if Lana has a response!
[Image via WWE]