WWE.com has published an in-character interview with Lana, NXT Diva and manager for rising star Alexander Rusev. The article fleshes out her character’s background, telling us more about her time before NXT.
How she became Rusev’s manager: “My parents told me I needed to find a hobby. Because I wasn’t married and didn’t have children, they told me I should find a hobby like my uncle, who owns a sports team. I looked into the possibility of investing in a team or an athlete, and that’s when I found Rusev. I guess you could say we have become good friends from working to make the #RusevLegacy the strongest force in NXT.”
Her responsibilities as Rusev’s “Social Ambassador”: “I take care of all his public relations matters, I handle his social media, I am his cultural ambassador and I schedule his appointments and public appearances. I make sure he has his proper dietary consumption of meat along with his favorite Greek yogurt for energy and strength. The American and Eastern European/Russian cultures are very different. I make sure there is nothing that distracts him from staying focused on building his legacy.”
Her childhood in Russia: “Our culture and mindset are completely different than those of Americans. I had a tennis court in my backyard that eight months of the year my dad would turn into an ice skating rink because it was so cold. My brothers played professional hockey, and I would figure skate for fun. Starting at nine years old, I went to the elite Vaganova Ballet School, where the famous Mikhail Baryshnikov attended.
When I was 10, I started dancing professionally in the Boloshoi Ballet Theater. I would train 40 hours a week. My teachers would throw their shoes at me if I was off by even a count, and if I messed up a dance step, they would throw their chair at me because they demanded perfection and anything else was unacceptable. I remember coming home with awful bruises from my teacher’s paddle. We also were not allowed to drink water while we trained. Sometimes training would go for five hours, but they believed drinking water was a form of weakness. I didn’t have the easy life of an American teenager, yet I loved my life.”
Growing up wealthy: “Quite frankly, my parents are very rich. I lived in the richest part of Moscow with many international dignitaries. My neighbor was the South African ambassador’s daughter. She eventually became my best friend and taught me English. I grew up with two full-time cooks, three drivers, four maids, two nannies and a gardener. Besides our three cars, we also had a private bus. My family has a summer dacha (summer home) in the Jurmala resort, which is located in the country of Latvia, where the mayor and president were our neighbors. Not to mention, we also have penthouses in New York City and Miami, plus a house in the Hollywood Hills.”
Her thoughts on NXT’s Divas: “They are cute little girls that do not know much about the realities of life. I dress more conservatively than most Divas because we live in a man’s world, and to be as powerful as a man, you have to think like a man but act like a lady. I am not just a pretty Diva. I am an entrepreneur and businesswoman.”
Read the full interview on WWE.com.