E!’s Season 6 premiere of Total Divas on Wednesday saw the addition of new cast members in Lana, Maryse and Renee Young. In the case of “The Ravishing Russian,” plans for her to be on the show can be traced as far back as late 2013.
During an interview with Channel Guide Magazine promoting Total Divas, Lana reveals that she was under consideration to be cast for the second season — the season aired from March 2014 through June of that year. At the time, however, she was getting her character down in NXT and the open spot on the cast went to Summer Rae, instead.
“A month later I debuted with Rusev at Royal Rumble, and it would have been way too soon for me to come out as the Russian American that I am,” Lana said. “We had a great first year doing a lot of Russian patriotic, Vladimir Putin stuff on Raw. I think seeing my American family on Total Divas might have hurt the gimmick or confused the fans a bit.”
Lana was again under consideration for the fourth season of the show, which aired from July 2015 through September 2015.
She said, “Then Season 4 again they talked about it. I’ve always wanted to be on the show. I think it’s a great show. I think Total Divas has brought the women more mainstream and so many opportunities. However, I’ve always thought if I’m supposed to be on the show I’ll be on the show. It’s all about timing.
“Season 4 came and it was a big conversation whether they wanted the accent or didn’t want the accent. Did they want Rusev on the show because I was feuding with him on-screen because I was with Dolph Ziggler. The timing was always off. This was the perfect timing. It felt like it was okay for me to come on the show and fully be myself and not have to put on the accent or not.”
Lana noted that fans would “see me for me” on Total Divas.
This season of Total Divas also will feature the wedding of Lana and Rusev, which took place earlier this year.