Prior to Wednesday's Season 8 finale of the E! reality show, CJ "Lana" Perry sat down with PopCulture.com to discuss what drives her to keep pushing — even if it means getting called into Mark Carrano's office.
"I mean, I guess, I'm an extreme person and I'm a little nuts," she admitted to PopCulture.com. "I'm a little crazy, but I think that's what makes me who I am. I'm resilient, and if I fall flat on my face, I'm going to get back up, and I'm going to brush my knees off, and I'm going to keep on going."
It's this drive that brought her from a small town in the Soviet Union to the U.S., where she soon became not only a pro wrestler, but a reality television star.
"If I believed every hater, every doubter, every naysayer, I would still be living in my little village in the former Soviet Union," she told PopCulture.com "I think that's what my husband [WWE Superstar Rusev] and I have in common — that we literally left our families and crossed the ocean for a dream and really did come from nowhere."
The partnership isn't just dynamite in the ring, but at home, she added, saying, "He helps me, encourages me to not give up when I want to give up, and I encourage him not to give up when he gets discouraged. We just keep chasing our dreams. We are the underdogs, and here I am now."
Total Divas fans will remember that Lana's desire to chase her dreams led to a pretty extreme publicity stunt early on in Season 8, when she and Rusev staged a simulated nude photoshoot at the beach to get some attention on her career and some time in the ring. It resulted in a trip to Carrano's office, but paid off in the end, putting a stop to the dry spell in her storylines.
It was a bold move, but Lana told PopCulture.com she was fully prepared to accept the consequences if it didn't work out in the end.
"You always have to be ready to pay the price, that's what I always say," she explained. "It's like we always have to be ready to take responsibility for our actions, and so, yeah, you can push the envelope far. You can push boundaries ... You say no, I'm going to crush that door. I'm going to Machka Kick that door down. I'm going to dig a hole under it. I'll go around. I will succeed no matter what. But at the same time, you have to be prepared that sometimes there are consequences with those things."
Total Divas airs its Season 8 finale Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on E!
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