CJ Perry, fka Lana, was on the last episode of the Speak is Jericho Podcast. Perry was part of an early June release group that included Braun Strowman and Aleister Black. Perry revealed his reaction upon learning of his release shortly after renting a house in St. Petersburg.
“I rented it for a month. Two weeks later I got a call from Johnny Ace (John Laurinaitis), ”Perry recalls. “What’s crazy is I thought he was calling me for something completely different. I can’t tell you what the show is yet, but I was offered to do another one. TV show, and so they went through the whole process with WWE, and they approved it.
“And so I thought he was calling me for more details because that’s what we were all discussing the day before.” I’m calling you about your 90 days. “I’m like, ‘Wait, what? ‘ I couldn’t even understand, and he said, ‘I’m calling you on your 90 days. You’re going to be released,’ and I was literally standing right next to a pool. My heart dropped.
“At the same time, I felt really relieved, which was really weird because I didn’t expect to feel relieved. I felt like a weight was coming off my shoulder and I could breathe. If someone had told me it would have happened, I would have been like, not at all because I love my job. I like the people I have worked with. Yes, things can get boring sometimes, but that’s why it’s a job.
She went on to reveal more about her conversation with John Laurinaitis. She explained why she was happy Laurinaitis called, unlike former head of talent relations Mark Carrano.
“It’s like, keep in touch. You worked like crazy, ”Perry revealed. “I’m like, ‘Is there something that I did wrong? He’s like, ‘No. You worked your ass. You’ve improved a lot in the ring. Thanks for working hard. Stay close, ”says Johnny Ace.
“I kind of laughed because I’m glad it wasn’t Mark Carrano calling me because I only see Johnny in this role. Mark is becoming a bit more of friends, and Ace is so corporate. He said ‘No, just budget cuts.’ And I said, ‘Okay, thank you for everything, and that was it.
Perry admitted that she needed to leave her home to recover. She reveals what kind of clause she wants in her next wrestling contract.
“I was texting Mandy [Rose]”Perry said.” We were texting about other random things, and I was like ‘I just got released.’ She was the first person I spoke to. She says to me ‘Wait, what?’ And I’m like ‘Yeah, they literally just released me’ and I immediately called Nattie (Natalya).
“I couldn’t even talk to Miro yet. Nattie, same reaction, ‘Wait, what?’ It just sucked, but at the same time, I felt really relieved in the sense that I was waiting for that call, and that’s the part I don’t like about the environment. Whatever wrestling contract I have afterwards, if I stay in the fight, which I hope to do, I want a no-cut clause because that was the worst, living in this state of fear of you don’t know when your future endeavors are going to come. “
Perry was on a team with Naomi before he was released. She revealed what she and Naomi had promised before her release.
“I had just made some gear, a beautiful neon that glows in the dark, it cost over $ 4,000 from the people who sew for all the top singers, and we had all these new outfits,” noted Perry. “We had bought some outfits that I probably wouldn’t even wear in real life, but we have a glow in the dark.
“Of course, I am devastated. We were promised to go on a program with Nattie and Tamina. Me and Naomi had to go on a program with them, go for the titles, and we were meant to be, maybe, champions, which I take with a grain of salt. I was very lucky to have been booked until the day I was fired.
Perry says she received a text from Vince McMahon after the news of the release. She discusses what she would like to see changed in the process.
“I did. I got a text,” Perry revealed. “I definitely got emotional because it was a slight goodbye to me. He thanked me for my amazing work ethic, and for my relentless desire to be the best that I can be and for all the contributions I’ve made to WWE. So that really meant a lot to me, and I thanked him for everything he taught me because I learned so much.
“I have learned so many lessons from life and from performance. I am incredibly grateful. The hardest part for me, maybe they’ll change that in the future, especially after Mickie and the trash bag, is the goodbye part. Now that has changed a bit. People at least talk to each other. Before, he was cut. I would have liked to give Vince McMahon one last hug. I want to say goodbye to the writers.
“I want to say goodbye to Ray Ray, Ryan Ward, who I worked with for eight fucking years. It started with my very first promo, and I want to say goodbye to these people. I don’t know if I will ever see them again. I texted Ryan Ward, a week later he said, “I’m so sorry. I haven’t contacted you. You never know if people are going to take it out on creativity. And I’m like, is that the reason we can’t go back and cuddle?
Perry admitted that he will miss Lana. She explained how much the character meant to her.
“Yeah, oh my god. I love Lana in so many different ways, ”Perry said. “I think because she’s such an alter ego to me in so many different ways. If it hits the fan, blame it on the character. I think I really enjoyed his love life. It was fun for me. It was funny that she had four exes, two divorces.
“We all know someone like that. I mean, isn’t Ric Flair like that? I’ll always see Ric, and I’m like, ‘You are my inspiration. I want to get married five times on television. It’s like good, why not? I think because in life I am married and I love to party and drink, but in life I try very hard to do the right thing, at least now in my life.
“It hasn’t always been that way. Over the past eight years I have really tried to do it the right way and not cheat on the system or the people, and I have tried to be honest and true. Honestly, I sleep a lot better at night. I feel at peace, but that’s why I think it’s hard to let go of Lana because she was everything I can’t be in life.
If using quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with ah / t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcript.