It’s been quite a while since WWE went on a firing spree – but today was that day for a number of unfortunate souls, with the industry leader releasing ten names – a mix of superstars, a referee, an authority figure – and yes, a diva. The diva in question was none other than Aksana, who manages to go out of the company on the back of a humiliation on Raw at the hands of Alicia Fox. WWE, naturally, wished all the released talents “the best in their future endeavours”.
The woman who played Aksana was 32 year old Živilė Raudonienė, a Lithuanian bodybuilder and model who was signed by WWE almost five years ago in the second half of 2009. At the time, Raudonienė was the reigning Arnold Classic fitness contest winner (check out her being interviewed by the man himself after her win), and was reportedly quite a well known name in the fitness modelling world for almost a decade before. She was assigned to NXT’s predecessor FCW (Florida Championship Wrestling) in October of 2009 (where she was rushed onto TV in a Halloween costume contest under the name of “Olga” and wearing a schoolgirl outfit). Soon changing her wrestling name to Aksana, Raudonienė made her proper in-ring debut in January of 2010 in an eight woman bout teaming with AJ Lee, Eve Torres and Savannah (Angela Fong) vs Serena Mancini (Serena Deeb), Courtney Taylor (Beverly Mullins), Naomi Knight & Liviana (Karlee “Maxine” Perez). During her time in FCW, Aksana won both the FCW Divas Title and the Queen of FCW crown, each on one occasion.
When the decision was made to make the third season of NXT into an all women season, Aksana was brought up to the show and teamed with Goldust as her coach. Soon their “odd couple” team developed into a weird storyline where Aksana asked Goldust to marry her so she could avoid deportation to Lithuania (where, she warned, she’d be “beaten with shovels” if she returned). Aksana turned heel on Goldust at the wedding. You’re shocked, I know. Goldust served Aksana with divorce papers after her elimination from NXT.
Post NXT, Aksana turned up on the main roster by mid 2011, first flirting with Smackdown GM Teddy Long (also on today’s list of releases), and later breaking Teddy’s heart by introducing her new beau Cesaro. That multilingual duo only lasted a few months. She wrestled too, sometimes in singles, but more often in tag team matches. Her biggest storyline was probably when she was unveiled as the woman under a blonde wig who had attacked Kaitlyn at Night of Champions 2012, apparently at the behest of Eve Torres. Ultimately, probably her most famous (or infamous) in-ring moment was when she fractured Naomi’s orbital bone with a stiff knee to the eye prior to WrestleMania this year (skip to 1:08 in this YouTube video). Although her final appearance on Raw, as noted above, was to be the victim of an Alicia Fox attack following the unstable Fox’s loss to Paige on Raw earlier this week, Aksana has one more match already in the can, with a match against Alicia taped on Tuesday in Green Bay for Smackdown this week – so if you’re keen to see “Foxsana” explode, it’s going to be a ‘one-and-done’ feud this Friday.
It’s difficult to predict what happens next with the now former Aksana, though you’d imagine that as someone who has no knowledge or experience of the wrestling world outside of the WWE family, the chance of catching her working indies appears very slim. But for now, farewell Živilė Raudonienė. All the best.
— Stew Allen
— Photo credits: WWE