Lana and Rusev have been fixtures of the WWE roster for nearly three years, with the latter capturing the WWE United States Championship before the two married. On a recent episode of Talk is Jericho, "The Ravishing Russian" explaomed that she hoped to get into the WWE through their most recent Diva Search.
“I moved to LA right after college, and I would go from job to job, auditioning and auditioning, getting a job and then not getting a job for six months. Struggling, sleeping in my car at the time, trying to get an apartment -- the struggle of pursuing your dream. I was always like, ‘I’m not going to go home; I’m not going to return home until I can hold my head up high.’ In 2012 they (WWE) had a big Divas search, worldwide. I was thinking the entire time, there was no way I was going to get this job. I was a wrestling fan, but I honestly felt like there was no way I was going get it. Every girl I knew in LA was being called in for this audition," said Lana.
According to Lana, she was surrounded by several notable WWE employees and eventual champions. The Russian character she'd go on to portray helped her impress WWE officials. That wasn't the only uphill battle she faced, though, as she had to endure a grueling camp before the company would sign her.
“So finally I came in, and I kept on being called back, and being called back again, and then there was one of the final callbacks. There was about 40 of us, and literally standing in front of me is Alexa (Bliss), and standing behind me is JoJo. She’s standing in front of me, with her perfect little bikini body, and JoJo is going in there singing all these crazy things. So I just started speaking Russian. Triple H right in front of me, Bill DeMott, and I literally just start speaking Russian, then I switch over to speaking perfect English, and I knew I got their attention. After those 40 girls, they picked 12 of us. They were specifically looking for athletic models, actresses, dancers. before they signed us, they put us through a month boot camp of us training every day. It was like, ‘okay you look hot, but are you athletic?’ I remember the first bump I took. Sara (Del Rey) was our coach, and Norman (Smiley)-- and the first bump I took I was like, ‘Wow! That is painful! I’m going to be doing this for the rest of my life?’”
You can check out the full interview at this link.