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Byrons Interviews

As Social Ambassador to Alexander Rusev, Lana has declared herself the prime orchestrator of “The Bulgarian Brute’s” path of destruction. As successful as Rusev has been, what is his relationship to Lana? What is her background? What are her long-term intentions? This week, Lana sheds light on those questions and reveals her story, which just may surprise you.

WWE.COM: How did your association with Rusev come about?

LANA: When I was living in Russia, I heard a lot of things about Alexander Rusev’s physical ability, in and out of the ring. From his unique fighting style to his incredible strength and aggression, I was extremely curious about what he had to offer. Growing up as a lover of all kinds of sports and entertainment, I was really excited to go to his matches. After I saw in-person what he was capable of, I knew I wanted to invest my time into him. I was also happy to help a man from my side of the world hold titles and become a WWE Champion.

WWE.COM: What is the relationship between you?

LANA: 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.

WWE.COM: What are your responsibilities as Rusev’s Social Ambassador?

LANA: 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.

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Byrons Interviews

Aiden English has created a distinctive niche for himself. as NXT’s resident songbird and one of its most flamboyantly verbose Superstars, English never hesitates to literally call for the spotlight to ensure the focus of the NXT Universe. This week, we delve into the background of “The Artiste” and will follow English’s insistence that we present his story in the form of a four- act play. (Seriously.)

ACT I: The beginning

You could say that the inception of “The Artiste” took place in Chicago – English’s birthplace. The middle child of two brothers and one sister, the acting bug bit at an early age.

“I was cast in a role as ‘Dying Child 3’ in a run of ‘Les Miserables’ when I was 5 years old. Being bathed in those lights was a feeling that never left me. Plus, the makeup was latexbased and that also never left me… for the next two weeks anyway,” English told WWE.com.

From “Les Miserables,” English went on to study the art of stage and screen at Columbia College in Chicago.

“My mentor was the great Guido Crescendo of ‘Swashbuckling’ fame, and one-half of the infamous Swordsmen duo. He not only taught me the art of performance, but the art of combat as well.”

It was during this time that the seeds were first planted for Aiden to consider a career path in the world of sports -entertainment.

ACT II: Transitioning

By the time Aiden English was 20 years old, “The Artiste” had acted and performed in nearly 20 different stage shows, ranging from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.” Constantly seeking out that next big challenge, English turned his sights toward sports-entertainment and the goal of grabbing his piece of the global juggernaut that is WWE.

“Many actors have made careers on both stage and screen,” English noted, “but how many performers can say they’ve conquered the stage, the screen and the ring?”

Putting forth the funds to enroll in a night class at WWE’s developmental training system, English embarked on his path. Despite having no promises or guarantees of future Superstardom, English earned a WWE contract once the three-month enrollment period concluded – a rare achievement for a student, but not one that surprised him.

“Anybody who knows anything about me would know that I was destined to earn a contract,” English said.

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Byrons Interviews

BY Byron Saxton

Polished, distinguished, well-mannered and classy are not exactly the appropriate words to describe NXT Superstar Scott Dawson. Sylvester Lefort’s prime client has an unconventional take on life—and an equally unconventional appearance. In this third installment of NXT’s 10-Count, Dawson steps out of the ring and into our land of inquiry. Scott Dawson’s 10-Count starts right now!

WWE UNIVERSE: What do you like to do in your spare time?

DAWSON: First and foremost, drink coffee. I really like working out, but not that sissy core and ab stuff all the other Superstars do. I’m a fighter, and abs ain’t ever won a fight. Big plates and big steaks equal big pecs and big checks.

WWE UNIVERSE: What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done?

DAWSON: Well, seeing how I’m, like, the James Dean of WWE, everything I do is cool. The coolest was the time my friends and I took a trip to a local farmer’s horse farm. It was late at night and raining. I started sneaking up behind the biggest horse in the pen and I jumped right on top and rode her like I was Smokey Davis! Needless to say, she threw me off about 50 feet in the air! But nothing hurts me, so I was OK.

WWE UNIVERSE: Who inspired you to step inside the squared circle?

DAWSON: I’ve fought my whole life, literally. I’ve fought behind trailer parks for money; I’ve bounced; and now I’m wrestling. My biggest inspiration to train for WWE, however, is Bret “Hit Man” Hart. He was the absolute best at what he did.

WWE UNIVERSE: What’s your favorite meal?

DAWSON: Anything my mama cooks. Choosing one is just too hard. But since you’re making me choose, I’d say rib eye, potato salad, baked beans and baked mac ‘n’ cheese. As for dessert, a big helping of banana pudding. OH DADA!

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Byrons Interviews

After weeks of heavy anticipation, Mojo Rawley has arrived on the WWE NXT scene. The former collegiate standout has had some unique experiences up to this point with an equally compelling outlook on life. Earning a victory in his debut NXT matchup, Mojo has lived up to his self-coined motto: “I don’t get hyped, I stay hyped.” WWE.com takes a deeper look into a story of hard work, sacrifice and positivity as we learn what makes the “hype” behind Mojo Rawley.

WWE.com: How did you get your start in WWE and NXT?

MOJO: I was coming off of an injury with the Arizona Cardinals that sidelined me for 18 months. When I healed up, I had some offers on the table to resume my career in the NFL and also had offers to enter the financial services industries with companies such as Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. I ended up getting in touch with WWE through a friend. Being part of WWE was the first thing I ever wanted to do, so I ran with it. When I was offered a contract, I left everything I had ever known and everything I had ever done to start over here.

WWE.com: Tell us about your football background.

MOJO: I wasn’t recruited to play football out of high school, so I went to Christopher Newport University where I was a two-year starter and captain. I was on a full academic scholarship at CNU, but I ultimately decided I wanted to take a chance at a major Division I school, so I walked on as a defensive lineman at the University of Maryland. I gave up my full academic scholarship to pay $40,000 a year to have a chance at something special. I had to fight extremely hard at Maryland but eventually earned my scholarship and starting position on the team. Eventually I was giving all the pregame speeches every week.

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Byrons Interviews

BY Byron Saxton – October 10, 2013

Pogo sticks, headbands and hugs! NXT Diva Bayley is living the dream alongside the premier Superstars and Divas of WWE NXT. In the second edition of NXT 10-Count, Bayley answers 10 questions submitted by you, the WWE Universe. Ring the bell, the 10-Count starts now!

WWE UNIVERSE: Who inspired you to wrestle?

BAYLEY: My parents, along with “Macho Man” Randy Savage, The Rock, The Hardy Boyz, Lita, Eddie Guerrero, Ivory, Victoria and Triple H.

WWE UNIVERSE: Who is your favorite WWE Diva and why?

BAYLEY: Currently my favorite is AJ Lee because she’s taken on the Divas division full speed and she’s made a huge impact. Plus, she gave me a hug one time!

WWE UNIVERSE: T-Rex or Velociraptor? Go.

BAYLEY: T-Rex.

WWE UNIVERSE: Is there anyone you wouldn’t hug?

BAYLEY: You know when you first meet someone and they shake your hand? Hugging is how I shake hands. I live hug life. So no, there isn’t anyone I wouldn’t hug. But I’m not too sure if I’ll be hugging Summer Rae anytime soon after she broke my headband.

WWE UNIVERSE: Who would you love to face in the WWE Divas division, past or present, and why?

BAYLEY: Ivory! She was amazing in the ring. She would be a huge challenge and I could learn a lot from her. She was also one of the nicest people I’ve ever met – very happy and energetic.

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Byrons Interviews

Ever wonder which television show your favorite NXT Superstar or Diva loves to watch? How about his or her favorite, tummy-pleasing meal? Let the speculation subside as WWE.com proudly presents the inaugural edition of NXT 10-Count — a 10-topic Q&A session with an NXT Superstar or Diva!

For the NXT 10-Count kickoff, we’ve placed NXT Diva Emma in the hot seat. Although recovering from an unceremonious attack at the hands of Summer Rae last week on NXT, Emma agreed to sit down with WWE.com and answer the most random set of questions possible.

Also, for this new column, the NXT Universe is encouraged to tweet questions they’d like to see answered by NXT’s wide range of colorful personalities by using the hash tag “#NXT10Count.”

WWE.com: What is your average day like?

EMMA: I usually train for a few hours in the ring, then an hour of training with my strength coach. I enjoy cooking and eating healthy, so I spend a bit of time preparing food daily, baking healthy treats, etc. I like to spend some alone time doing cardio in the afternoon with my earphones in and music blaring! It’s my time to think and see if I’m achieving all that I can! I like to read motivational tweets and quotes to keep a positive mindset, too. Then if there’s time, I’ll go for a tan and relax at night by watching a movie.

WWE.com: What’s one of the coolest things you’ve ever done?

EMMA: My brother, Rhett, and his wife, Maggy, took me skydiving when I was younger for a Christmas present. We jumped out of a plane that was 14.000 feet in the air!

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