Aksana (wrestler)

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Ring name(s)Aksana[1]
Billed height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)[3]
Billed weight130 lb (59 kg)[4]
Born(1982-04-29) April 29, 1982 (age 31)[2][5]
Alytus, Lithuania[3]
ResidesTampa, Florida[2]
Billed fromAlytus, Lithuania[3]
Trained byFCW Staff[2]
DebutOctober 5, 2009[2]
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Ring name(s)Aksana[1]
Billed height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)[3]
Billed weight130 lb (59 kg)[4]
Born(1982-04-29) April 29, 1982 (age 31)[2][5]
Alytus, Lithuania[3]
ResidesTampa, Florida[2]
Billed fromAlytus, Lithuania[3]
Trained byFCW Staff[2]
DebutOctober 5, 2009[2]

Živilė Raudonienė[6] (born April 29, 1982)[2][5] is a Lithuanian fitness model, bodybuilder and professional wrestler. She is currently signed to the WWE, performing under the ring name Aksana.[1]

Raudonienė began her career as a bodybuilder at the age of 16, where she began her training. At the age of 17, she was the youngest participant in the 1999 IFBB Arnold Classic Contest.[7] During her time as a bodybuilder, she won three medals in Bodybuilding Amateur World Championships (2 silver, 1 bronze).[8]

In October 2009, Raudonienė signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment, and was assigned to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), WWE's developmental territory,[9] where she became the Queen of FCW and won the FCW Divas Championship, and also became the first diva in history to have both titles simultaneously.[10][11][12] In September 2010, she competed in the third season of NXT, but was unsuccessful in winning the competition.[13] She made her debut on the main roster in August 2011, being attracted to SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long.[14]

Early career[edit]

Raudonienė worked as a successful bodybuilder, fitness model and personal trainer and she won the 2009 IFBB Arnold Classic Contest and has competed in numerous other bodybuilding contests.[15] Raudonienė has been working out since the year 1996 in her home of Lithuania and after a year she entered her first fitness contest. At the age of 17 she was the youngest participant in the 1999 IFBB European Fitness Championships.[7]

World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE[edit]

Florida Championship Wrestling (2009–2012)[edit]

On October 5, 2009, it was reported that WWE had signed Raudonienė to a developmental contract with WWE and was training at Florida Championship Wrestling their developmental facility in Florida.[9] Raudonienė made her FCW debut under the ring name "Olga" at a FCW house show in a Divas Halloween Costume contest on October 29, 2009.[16] The following month, her ring name was changed to Aksana, and she began to manage Eli Cottonwood.[16] She was also involved in a storyline where she was kidnapped by Sweet Papi Sanchez, over the next couple of weeks, videos of Aksana were show to Cottonwood until she was returned to him.[16]

Aksana made her in ring debut at an FCW house show on January 15, 2010 when she teamed with AJ Lee, Savannah, and Eve Torres to defeat Serena Mancini, Naomi Night, Courtney Taylor, and Liviana.[17] She began appearing on The Abraham Washington Show, Abraham Washington's in-ring talk show segment, where she acted as his sidekick.[18] She continued to wrestle as well, appearing in several multi-Diva tag team matches.[17] On April 15, 2010 episode of FCW Televison, Aksana teamed with Hunico and Tito Nieves in a mixed tag team match, defeating The Usos and Tamina.[17] When it was announced that there would be a creation of the FCW Divas Championship, Aksana competed in a tournament to determine the inaugural champion, only to be defeated in the first round by Serena at the April 29, 2010 television tapings.[17] She also briefly managed Johnny Curtis in the months of April and May.[18] In July, Aksana competed in several bikini contests against the other FCW Divas, winning one on July 8, 2011.[18] The following month, she began hosting The Aksana Show, a spin-off of The Abraham Washington Show, having guests including Mason Ryan, FCW Florida Tag Team Champions Johnny Curtis and Derrick Bateman, Maxine, Rosa Mendes and FCW Divas Champion Naomi Knight.[18]

At the February 3, 2011 television tapings, Aksana defeated Rosa Mendes to become the new Queen of FCW.[10] Aksana later joined the new villainous group formed by FCW General Manager Maxine with FCW Florida Heavyweight Champion Lucky Cannon, FCW Divas Champion AJ, and Damien Sandow.[11] At the April 7, 2011 television tapings, Aksana defeated AJ to win the FCW Divas Championship for the first time after interference from Maxine.[12] Her victory made her the first Diva to hold the Queen of FCW title and FCW Divas Championship simultaneously.[11] On the June 5, 2011 episode of FCW Televison, Aksana was challenged by Naomi Knight for FCW Divas Championship but was defeated after the match Maxine attacked Naomi, but was stopped when AJ Lee came to Naomi's aid.[2]

On August 9, 2011 episode of FCW Televison, Aksana defeated Audrey Marie in a non-title match.[2] On September 1, 2011 television tapings, Aksana lost the FCW Divas Championship to Audrey Marie.[19] On the November 13, 2011 edition of FCW Televison, Aksana teamed up with Caylee Turner to defeat the team of Cameron Lynn and the FCW Diva’s Champion Audrey Marie.[20] On November 17, 2011 episode of FCW Televison, Aksana lost the Queen of FCW crown to Raquel Diaz.[21] On the January 1, 2012 episode of FCW Televison, Aksana competed in triple treat match but lost after AJ pinned Audrey Marie.[22] On the January 8, 2012 episode of FCW Televison, Aksana defeated Cameron Lynn after a Divo Drop.[23] On the January 29 episode of FCW Televison, Aksana appeared in backstage segment with Leo Kruger. Later that night, Aksana accimpied Kruger to the ring where he competed against the returning Bo Rotundo.[24]

NXT (2010)[edit]

On August 31, 2010 it was announced that Raudonienė would be part of the third season of NXT, under the ring name of Aksana, with Goldust as her storyline mentor.[25] She appeared on the first episode of the season on September 7, 2010 where she teamed with Goldust in a loss to A.J. and Primo in a mixed tag team match.[13] The following week, she lost to Jamie Keyes in a singles match.[26] On the September 21, 2010 episode of NXT, Aksana began a storyline where she was having problems with her visa and was facing deportation from the United States.[27] On the October 5, 2010 episode of NXT, Aksana won a challenge for the first time by winning the mechanical bull riding contest, before defeating Maxine in a match.[28] The following week, Goldust proposed marriage to Aksana so she could stay in the United States, which she accepted.[29]

At Bragging Rights, Aksana accompied Goldust where he was defeated DiBiase following after Aksana was attacked by Maryse and she took back the Million Dollar belt, but Goldust still left with the title after Aksana took it back and distracted DiBiase long enough for Goldust to hit his finisher on him.[30] On the October 26 episode of NXT, Maryse teamed up with DiBiase in losing effort to Aksana teamed up with Goldust to defeat Maryse and Ted DiBiase, after the match Maryse proceed to take the belt again but again was stopped by Aksana.[2] On the November 2, 2010 edition of NXT, Goldust and Aksana's wedding took place. As Goldust was about to plant a kiss on his new wife, Aksana slapped him and walked off, turning heel in the process.[31]

The following Monday on Raw Aksana stole Goldust's Million Dollar Championship, which he had stolen from Ted DiBiase.[32] The next night on NXT, Goldust confronted his wife about their wedding. Aksana, now holding the Million Dollar Championship, revealed to Goldust that she never loved him, and only married him to stay in the country as if she returned to Lithuania she'd be beaten with shovels.[33][34] Goldust responded by putting Aksana in a match with Naomi, in which she lost.[35] The following week on Raw, Goldust took back the Million Dollar Championship from Aksana with help from Kelly Kelly and Dusty Rhodes, and gave it back to Ted DiBiase, Sr.[36] The next night on the November 16, 2010 episode of NXT, Aksana was defeated by AJ via submission, later that night Aksana was eliminated from the competition.[37] She returned on the season finale on November 30, 2010 where she teamed with Alicia Fox and Maxine in a loss to A.J. and The Bella Twins.[38]

Relationships with Teddy Long and Antonio Cesaro (2011–2012)[edit]

Aksana as a special guest referee at a live SmackDown house show in January 2012

On the August 5 episode of SmackDown, Aksana made her debut as a face character, where she introduced herself to SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long in a backstage segment.[2][14] On the August 22 episode of Raw, Aksana appeared backstage with several other Superstars and Divas congratulating Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne (now known as "Air Boom") on winning the WWE Tag Team Championship.[2] Four days later on SmackDown, Aksana had another backstage segment, where she invited the WWE Universe to "turn her on" to SmackDown, continuing the sexual innuendos of the previous weeks.[2] On the August 30 edition of SmackDown, Aksana served as the guest ring announcer for a Divas tag team match between The Divas of Doom (Beth Phoenix and Natalya) and Alicia Fox and Kelly Kelly.[2]

On the October 28 edition of SmackDown, Aksana appeared backstage with Theodore Long for the first time in over a month, this time interrupting his conversation with Hornswoggle.[2] On the October 31, edition of Raw, Aksana competed in her first match on the main roster, which was a Divas Halloween Costume battle royal match to become the number one contender for the WWE Divas Championship at the 2011 Survivor Series pay-per-view. However, she was unsuccessful in becoming the number one contender after being eliminated by The Bella Twins.[2] On the January 27, 2012 edition of SmackDown!, Aksana won her in-ring debut by defeating Natalya. After the match, Natalya attacked Aksana, but Tamina saved her.[39] The following week on SmackDown, Aksana teamed up with Tamina in a losing effort against Beth Phoenix and Natalya.[40] On the February 16 episode of WWE Superstars, Aksana defeated Maxine in a singles match. The following week on Raw, Aksana teamed with Kelly Kelly in a losing effort to The Bella Twins after they made the "Twin Magic" switch and pinned Aksana for the win.[41]

After Long was replaced as General Manager at in April, Aksana turned heel by beginning a storyline relationship with the debuting Antonio Cesaro.[42][43] On the June 29 episode of SmackDown!, Long announced that he would be the acting General Manager for both SmackDown and Raw the next week, then pitted Aksana and Cesaro in a mixed tag team match against The Great Khali and the Divas Champion Layla, which they lost.[44][45] On the July 17 episode of SmackDown!, Aksana teamed up with Antonio Ceasaro in a losing effort to Layla and Santino Marella in a dark match.[6] On August 19, during the SummerSlam pre-show, Aksana accompanied Cesaro to the ring, where he defeated Santino Marella to win the WWE United States Championship.[46] The following night on Raw, Aksana competed in the #1 Contender's Battle Royal to determine the #1 contender for WWE Divas Championship whom would face Layla for Divas Championship at Night of Champions but was unsuccessful after being eliminated by Rosa Mendes.[47] Aksana challenged Layla for the title in six subsequent rematches on 10, 11, 12 and 24, 25 and 26 of August, but was defeated each time.[48] On the September 3 episode of Raw, Aksana accompanied Cesaro for his first title defense where the latter successfully defended his title.[2] On the September 21 episode of SmackDown, Cesaro ended his relationship with Aksana after she inadvertently cost him his non-title match against Santino Marella.[2]

Various alliances (2012–present)[edit]

Aksana in July 2013.

On the October 12 episode of SmackDown, Layla and Kaitlyn revealed that Aksana found a blonde wig in the bag belonging to Eve Torres, implicating Eve's involvement in an attack on Kaitlyn at the Night of Champions pay-per-view. On the October 26 episode of SmackDown, it was revealed that it was Aksana who attacked Kaitlyn at Night of Champions and that Eve sent her a text message to do so.[49] Later that night Aksana teamed up with Eve against Layla and Kaitlyn in a winning effort after Layla's interference backfired.[50] On the November 5 episode of Raw, Aksana teamed up with Eve in a losing effort to Layla and Kaitlyn, after Kaitlyn pinned Eve.[51]

On the November 16 episode of SmackDown, Aksana competed in a six divas tag team match along with Eve and Alicia Fox in a losing effort against Kaitlyn, Layla and Natalya after Kaitlyn pinned Fox.[52][53] At the Survivor Series pay-per-view, Aksana again tried to attack Kaitlyn with a blonde wig, but Kaitlyn fought her off and removed the wig. On the November 19 episode of Raw Kaitlyn would gain a measure of revenge on Aksana by defeating her in singles match.[52][54][55] On the December 14 episode of SmackDown!, Aksana competed against Kaitlyn in a losing effort.[52] During the pre-show of the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view on December 16, Aksana participated in her first WWE pay-per-view match competing in the "Santa's Little Helpers" battle royal which was won by Naomi.[56][57] On the December 24 episode of Raw Christmas edition, Aksana competed in a "Santa's Little Helper" eight-divas tag team match with Eve, Rosa Mendes and Tamina Snuka in a losing effort against Layla, Natalya, Alicia Fox and Kaitlyn after Kaitlyn pinned Eve.[2][58] After Eve would lose her title to Kaitlyn on the "20th Anniversary episode of Raw, Eve would then quit the WWE, thus ending the alliance between the two.[59]

On the January 18 episode of SmackDown, Aksana was defeated by her rival and new Divas Champion Kaitlyn in a non-title match.[60] On the February 6 episode of Main Event, Aksana would began an aligning herself with Tamina Snuka against the Funkadactyls (Naomi and Cameron) in a losing effort after Naomi pinned Aksana.[61] On the February 22 episode of SmackDown, Aksana continued to feud with Kaitlyn in a divas tag team match alongside Tamina Snuka against Kaitlyn and Layla in a losing effort with Kaitlyn pinning Snuka.[62] Aksana would then compete in a rematch with Tamina Snuka against Kaitlyn and Layla, but would again be on the losing side being pinned by Layla.[63] On the May 17 episode of SmackDown!, Aksana was defeated by Kaitlyn in a non-title match.[64]

When WWE rebranded its developmental territory, FCW, into NXT Wrestling,[65] Aksana competed in the NXT Women's Championship tournament to crown the inaugural champion and lost to Emma in the first round on the June 26 NXT. On the September 6th edition of Smackdown, Aksana, Alicia Fox, Layla and Divas Champion A.J. Lee attacked Naomi, Brie Bella, Cameron and Nikki Bella during Naomi and Brie Bella's match. On the December 30th edition of Raw, Aksana picked up a win for her team in 10-Diva tag team match.

Other Media[edit]

During the 23 September edition of Raw, Aksana was revealed on WWE.com to be a debuting addition on the main roster of the game, WWE 2K14.

Personal life[edit]

Raudonienė was born in Alytus, Lithuania and raised in a small family. She lived in New York City for a time before moving to Tampa, Florida.

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]


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External links[edit]