dennis rodman lana cj perry
Photo Credit(s): Getty Images

CJ Perry (Lana) Took Issue With Dennis Rodman For Telling Her To Retire From Wrestling

CJ Perry says Dennis Rodman told her to retire from wrestling, but she was able to change his mind and command more respect for her role in the “one true sport”.

CJ Perry, aka “The Ravishing Russian” Lana in WWE, recently spoke with WrestleZone and talked about her experience as one of the cast members of MTV’s The Surreal Life revival that is set to air this fall. Filmed shortly after her release from WWE in June 2021, Perry said that it was an interesting journey because she was dealing with the emotional impact of being let go while being on the set of a new show.

“I have so many mixed emotions, I feel like I will go through waves. I’ll be really good for awhile and I’m like, ‘I’m on this path’ and then sometimes I’ll have emotional breakdowns because I miss wrestling so much and I miss the fans,” Perry said. “I can’t wait until it comes out, Surreal Life, because it was [filmed in July 2021], so I had basically been done with WWE for like six weeks. I was still going through [assessing her release] and just like having an identity crisis and missing it. Dennis Rodman is on the show and it’s supposed to come out at the end of the year, but boy is the tea and the drama [spilled] over there.”

Perry explained how Rodman, who finished up his pro basketball career at 46 years old, told her to retire from wrestling and find a new path. Perry said one of the segments on The Surreal Life saw the cast enter a wrestling competition, and it was there that she showed him that she belonged in the ring.

“He kept telling me, ‘you gotta retire, you gotta retire and evolve’ and I was getting so annoyed. I’m like, ‘Dennis, you are 60 years old and you’re still [working]. You still haven’t ‘retired’ like what? You retired from basketball? You became even bigger afterwards’. I just think I was being stubborn because what happened was the first event, because we had nine ‘activations’ [segments on the show] and on each episode you basically have an activation that we do. The first activation was a wrestling ring in Mexico City and everyone had to dress up and pick a character, do promos and have a promo battle,” Perry explained, “half of these people don’t know anything about wrestling and you’re trying to teach them like don’t make it personal, just talk shit. And so I ended up managing Dennis Rodman and [Malcolm In The Middle star] Frankie Muniz, and I did the whole Russian spiel and his respect for me changed immediately.”

Photo Credit: WWE

Perry says Rodman came around and praised her mic skills, then told her that she should focus on being a manager because it was one of her strengths.

“He was like, ‘wow, you’re really, really good at what you do, you’re incredible.’ And he was kinda giving me shit before and when that happened, the respect towards me changed. I couldn’t believe it and he’s like ‘you’re really, really good at what you do, you should be doing that, you should be managing people.’ And of course he’s always talking about Charlotte because Ric Flair’s like his best friend,” Perry noted, “but he says ‘Charlotte Flair, she should be a wrestler. You should retire and be a manager.’

“And I was getting so hot, but now I’m like, no I get it. Be the best at what you can do and as a professional wrestler, I would never be the best. It just wasn’t going to happen. I didn’t start young enough, I would say I’m pretty athletic,” she pointed out, “but Bayley, Sasha [Banks], Paige, they all started pretty young. Managing though, I want to come for Paul Heyman’s throne. I know I can.”

Read more about CJ Perry’s desire to come back to wrestling as a manager (and take Heyman’s throne) and why she won’t focus on being an in-ring competitor at this link.

You can also check out our full video interview with CJ Perry at the top of this post and learn more about her BrandArmy site and get new content and updates by subscribing at

Read More: Miro Comments On CJ Perry (Lana) Potentially Joining AEW