Miroslav Barnyashev (Born: December 25, 1984) is a Bulgarian-born professional wrestler-turned-Twitch streamer. He is married to CJ Perry of Pitch Perfect fame. She also plays Lana in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Miro wrestled in WWE for ten years as Rusev before being fired during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, Miro launched a Tik Tok and Twitch page dedicated to dancing and playing video games. He is also now a performer for All Elite Wrestling (AEW).
Miro Early Beginnings
Miroslav was born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Plovdiv is the second-largest city in the republic. As a child, Miro was very athletic. He took to many sports. His size made him a natural at anything he tried.
As he entered his teenage years, Miro attended a school for students who excel at sports. He competed successfully in meets for powerlifting, rowing, and sambo.
Miro Heads to United States to Wrestle
Of all sports, Miro was most drawn to wrestling. He loved the loud characters and athletic stories they told in the ring. So, he immigrated to the United States to pursue a wrestling career.
The future Rusev went to Virginia for a bit before heading to California. Here he joined a wrestling school known as Knokx Pro. Knokx Pro was run by former WWE superstar Gangrel and WWE Hall of Famer Rikishi.
Shortly after training, Miro got a gig with New Wave Pro Wrestling in San Diego as Miroslav Makaraov. He then shortened his name to Miroslav and competed for Vendetta Pro Wrestling in Santa Monica. After 2010, Miro had bigger plans and made his way to WWE’s developmental territory.
Miro Becomes Alexander Rusev in WWE NXT
In September 2010, Miro reported to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), the precursor to WWE’s current developmental league, NXT. He was given the name of “The Bulgarian Brute” Alexander Rusev.
Rusev’s career was laden with injuries early on. He tore an ACL that kept him on the shelf for six months. Upon return, Miro suffered a broken neck that left the future star temporarily paralyzed.
Once his neck healed, Alexander Rusev entered a #1 Contender Battle Royal for the NXT Championship in May 2013. A week later, he had his first singles match against future rival, Dolph Ziggler.
Miro Meets Lana, His Wife
At this time, WWE also signed Hollywood actress and dancer, CJ Perry, to a developmental deal. She was given the name Lana. Lana spoke Russian, so WWE officials paired her with Rusev.
The two debuted together at the end of 2013. They were given the imagery of Ivan and Ludmilla Drago of Rocky III. The twosome immediately caught on with the audience, prompting Rusev and Lana to get promoted to the main roster.
Lana and Rusev Debut in WWE, Win United States Championship
In early 2014, Rusev and Lana made their WWE debut when Rusev was the sixth entrant in the Royal Rumble. While he came up short, it took four wrestlers to eliminate him. This style of elimination let the WWE Universe know Miro was a force to be reckoned with.
For months, WWE aired anti-American vignettes featuring Lana and Rusev. The twosome would pledge their allegiance to Vladimir Putin every week. They became the hottest and most hated act and garnered a huge undefeated streak.
Naturally, Rusev started challenging for the WWE United States Championship. He feuded with many big-name acts, including the Big Show, Mark Henry, and Jack Swagger.
At Wrestlemania 32, Rusev defended the United States Championship against John Cena. Rusev came down the aisle inside of an army tank at Levy Stadium with a marching bank. Despite the breathtaking entrance, Rusev would lose the United States Title to John Cena.
Rusev and Lana Marriage Problems in Storylines
As actors for WWE, Miro and CJ have had to blur the lines of their marriage. This first happened in 2015 and 2016. Their characters would split onscreen and double up with other wrestlers. Rusev started dating Summer Rae, while Lana fell in love with Dolph Ziggler.
Eventually, Rusev and Lana would get back together. They would flounder, winning and losing the United States Championship again and joining a failed group called of League of Nations.
In 2019 and 2020, WWE would try breaking Lana and Rusev up again. This time, Lana left him for Bobby Lashley. In the storyline, Lana and Rusev got divorced. Rusev crashed Lana’s wedding to Bobby and had Lana’s affair, Liv Morgan, join the fray.
Rusev Day and Firing of Miro
In 2018 and 2019, Rusev teamed with Aiden English, who would sign Rusev’s name on the way to the ring. This act got over huge with the audience. Eventually, the group announced every day was a holiday called Rusev Day.
While they were really popular, WWE broke the act up. Eventually, Aiden English and Rusev got fired during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Miro Starts Twitch and TikTok
Miro was relieved to be fired. In fact, he announced that he was retiring professional wrestling to stream full time.
He started posting videos under his own name, Miro. Miro launched a Twitch and would have Lana join the stream. They even got temporarily banned for Lana wearing a revealing bikini during her stream.
Miro likes sports games. He plays NBA 2K21 and EA Sports UFC 4. However, you’ll also see him yelling and joking around playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
When he’s not streaming, he’s making TikTok videos with CJ. The two do a lot of dancing videos. A lot of them involve Miro walking around in a bathrobe.
Miro Personal Life on Twitch
Miro has a huge personality. He likes to joke around and plays up his language barriers for comedic effects. All of this has led to a huge following.
People are also invested in Miro’s life. He was very happy to become an American citizen in 2019. Miro posted many pictures and videos donning over-the-top red-and-white blue outfits.
Miro also has been very open about how his firing and COVID-19 affected his life. In fact, his in-laws and himself all contracted the virus in July. He documented the experience with his fans and continued streams while he got through it.