C.J. Perry is quite a ways away from the wrestling ring these days, finding herself on the rebooted season of the VH1 reality series "The Surreal Life" alongside such names as Dennis Rodman and Stormy Daniels. But while the show is airing now in 2022, Perry actually got booked for the gig long ago.

How long ago? In an interview with Wrestling Inc. Senior News Editor Nick Hausman, Perry revealed that "Surreal Life" first approached her for a part in the reboot all the way back in 2021, while she was still working for WWE.

"I actually got a call from my manager probably a day or two before I got released, and he was like, ‘Hey, "Surreal Life" wants you,’" Perry said. "And I’m like, ‘Wait, what? The reboot of that show that Chyna was on and Brigitte Neilson and Flavor Flav?’ And so I was really shook. I was really excited about it. I was a big fan growing up and watching it. I would run home from school and watch it. So I couldn’t believe it, and I was super excited about that. But also I was still focusing on wrestling at the time and training with Nadi and training with T.J. and going to the Dungeon 2.0 that I was like, ‘I can’t go do a reality show. I want to win Money in the Bank.’

Did ‘The Surreal Life’ Lead To CJ Perry’s Release?

"I was like, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t do "Surreal Life." Maybe I just need to keep on focusing on wrestling and try to win Money in the Bank and then become champion.’" And then two days later I got a call of my release, so there you go. So I took it as a sign that, no, I need to go do ‘Surreal Life’ … Let’s go for it. I’m ready. And now we’re here."

While Perry noted that WWE appeared to be in favor of her appearing on the show. She says she questioned whether it had anything to do with her release.

"I just always go through all the proper channels," Perry said. "I went through the approval thing, and I even was like, ‘Well I don’t have to … Is it because of this? Is it because of the show? Is it because "Surreal Life" offered me? I don’t have to do it. You can take all my money towards the downside if it’s budget cuts.’ And they said, ‘Stay in touch.’ That was what Johnny A. said to me. And that was that."

"I just took it as that they were doing budget cuts, and probably no one had my back in the room. And that’s just how it goes. It’s a checklist."

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Wrestling Inc. with an h/t for the transcription.