Živilė Raudonienė (born April 29, 1982) is a Lithuanian professional wrestler, fitness model and bodybuilder. She is best known for her time in WWE under the ring name, Aksana.
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. During her time as a bodybuilder, she won three medals in Bodybuilding Amateur World Championships (2 silver, 1 bronze).
Raudonienė signed with the professional wrestling promotion WWE and was assigned to their developmental system, Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), debuting in October 2009. She became the Queen of FCW and won the FCW Divas Championship, and was the first woman to hold both titles simultaneously. In September 2010, she competed in the third season of NXT, placing fourth. She made her debut on the main roster in August 2011, and remained with the company until her release in June 2014.
Life and career
Raudonienė was born in Alytus, Lithuania during the Soviet occupation and was raised in a small family.
Raudonienė worked as a successful bodybuilder, fitness model and personal trainer. Raudonienė began working out in the year 1996, 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. She went on to win the 2009 IFBB Arnold Classic Contest, and has competed in numerous other bodybuilding contests.
- National Physique Committee
- World Amateur Bodybuilding Championship (2 silvers, 1 bronze)
- IFBB Arnold Classic Contest (2009)
World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE
Florida Championship Wrestling (2009–2011)
In an interview that aired in September 2009, Raudonienė revealed that she had been signed by the professional wrestling promotion WWE, and had begun training at their then-developmental territory, Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW). Raudonienė debuted under the ring name "Olga" at a FCW house show in a Divas Halloween Costume contest on October 29, 2009. The following month, her ring name was changed to "Aksana", and she began managing Eli Cottonwood. She was also involved in a storyline where she was kidnapped by Sweet Papi Sanchez, and over the following weeks, videos of Aksana were shown to Cottonwood until she was returned to him.
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 Knight, Courtney Taylor, and Liviana. She began appearing on "The Abraham Washington Show", Abraham Washington's in-ring talk show segment, where she acted as his sidekick. She continued to wrestle as well, appearing in several multi-Diva tag team matches. On April 15 episode of FCW TV, Aksana teamed with Hunico and Tito Nieves in a mixed tag team match, defeating The Usos and Tamina. 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 episode of FCW TV. She also briefly managed Johnny Curtis in April and May. In July, Aksana competed in several bikini contests against the other FCW Divas, winning one on July 8. The following month, she began hosting "The Aksana Show", a spin-off of "The Abraham Washington Show", with guests including Mason Ryan, FCW Florida Tag Team Champions Johnny Curtis and Derrick Bateman, Maxine, Rosa Mendes and FCW Divas Champion Naomi Knight.
On the February 3, 2011, episode of FCW TV, Aksana defeated Rosa Mendes to become the new Queen of FCW. Aksana later joined the new villainous group formed by FCW General Manager Maxine, with FCW Florida Heavyweight Champion Lucky Cannon, FCW Divas Champion AJ Lee, and Damien Sandow. On the April 7 episode of FCW TV, Aksana defeated AJ to win the FCW Divas Championship for the first time, after interference from Maxine. Her victory made her the first woman to hold the Queen of FCW title and FCW Divas Championship simultaneously. On the June 5 episode of FCW TV, Aksana defeated Naomi Knight with the championship on the line. After the match, Maxine attacked Naomi, but was stopped when AJ Lee came to Naomi's aid.
On August 9 episode of FCW TV, Aksana defeated Audrey Marie in a non-title match. However, on the September 1 episode of FCW TV, Aksana lost the FCW Divas Championship to Marie. On the November 13 episode of FCW TV, Aksana teamed up with Caylee Turner to defeat the team of Cameron Lynn and the new champion Audrey Marie. On the November 17 episode of FCW TV, Aksana lost the Queen of FCW crown to Raquel Diaz. On the January 1, 2012, episode of FCW TV, Aksana competed in triple treat match, but lost after AJ pinned Audrey Marie. On the January 8, 2012 episode of FCW TV, Aksana defeated Cameron Lynn in a singles match. On the January 29 episode of FCW TV, Aksana appeared in backstage segment with Leo Kruger. Later that night, Aksana accompanied Kruger to the ring, where he competed against the returning Bo Rotundo.
On August 31, 2010, it was announced that Raudonienė would be part of the all-female third season of NXT, retaining the ring name Aksana, and with Goldust as her storyline mentor. On the September 7 season premiere, she teamed with Goldust in a loss to AJ and Primo in a mixed tag team match. The following week, she lost to Jamie Keyes in a singles match. On the September 21 episode of NXT, Aksana began a storyline where she was having problems with her visa and was facing deportation from the United States. On the October 5 episode of NXT, Aksana won a challenge for the first time by winning the mechanical bull riding contest, before defeating Maxine in a match. The following week, Goldust proposed to Aksana in the storyline so that she could remain in the United States, which she accepted.
At Bragging Rights, Aksana made her first appearance on WWE's main roster by accompanying Goldust in a loss to Ted DiBiase after Aksana was attacked by Maryse, who took back the Million Dollar Championship that had been stolen by Goldust. However, Goldust and Aksana recovered the title after the match. On the October 26 episode of NXT, Aksana teamed up with Goldust to defeat Maryse and DiBiase. Maryse again attempted to steal the title, but was stopped by Aksana. On the November 2 episode of NXT, Goldust and Aksana's storyline wedding took place. As Goldust was about to kiss his new wife, Aksana slapped him and left, turning heel in the process.
The following Monday on Raw, Aksana stole Goldust's Million Dollar Championship. The next night on NXT, Goldust confronted his wife about their wedding. Aksana, now holding the Million Dollar title, 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". Goldust responded by putting Aksana in a match with Naomi, which she lost. 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 its original owner Ted DiBiase, Sr. The next night on the November 16 episode of NXT, Aksana was defeated by AJ, and was later that night eliminated from the competition. She returned on the November 30 season finale, where she teamed with Alicia Fox and Maxine in a loss to AJ and The Bella Twins.
Various storylines (2011–2013)
On the August 5, 2011 episode of SmackDown, Aksana made her official main roster debut as a fan favorite, where she introduced herself to SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long in a backstage segment. On the October 28 episode of SmackDown, Aksana appeared backstage with Long for the first time in over a month, this time interrupting his conversation with Hornswoggle. On the October 31 episode of Raw, Aksana competed in her first match on the main roster, which was a Divas Halloween Costume battle royal match to determine the number one contender for the WWE Divas Championship, but was eliminated. On the January 27, 2012 episode of SmackDown, Aksana won her first singles match by quickly defeating Natalya. After the match, Natalya attacked Aksana, but Tamina saved her.
After Theodore Long was replaced as General Manager in April, Aksana turned heel by beginning a storyline relationship with the debuting Antonio Cesaro. 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.
At the Night of Champions pay-per-view, Kaitlyn was attacked by a mysterious person with blonde hair before her Divas Championship match with Layla, which resulted in Eve Torres replacing Kaitlyn in the match, and Torres went on to win the championship. On the October 12 episode of SmackDown, Layla and Kaitlyn revealed that Aksana found a blonde wig in a bag belonging to Torres, implicating Torres's involvement in the attack. On the October 26 episode of SmackDown, Aksana was revealed to be the attacker, due to orders from Torres. Later that night, Aksana teamed up with Torres against Layla and Kaitlyn in a winning effort, after Layla's interference backfired. At Survivor Series, Aksana attacked Kaitlyn while disguised in a hoodie and a blonde wig, but Kaitlyn fought her off and removed the wig, thus ending the storyline. On the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pre-show on December 16, Aksana competed in a "Santa's Little Helpers" battle royal to determine the number one contender to the Divas Championship, which was won by Naomi. Aksana's alliance with Eve Torres ended after Torres quit WWE following her Divas Championship loss to Kaitlyn on January 14.
On September 6, 2013, Aksana aligned herself with Divas Champion AJ Lee, along with Alicia Fox and Layla, where the trio attacked the cast members of Total Divas. On November 24 at Survivor Series, Aksana participated in a 7-on-7 elimination tag team match against the cast of Total Divas, where she eliminated Brie Bella before being eliminated by Nikki Bella.
Aksana went on to pin the Bella Twins on two separate occasions; Nikki on the December 30 episode of Raw in a ten-Diva tag team match, and Brie in a tag team match on the January 6, 2014 episode of Raw. Aksana then formed a regular tag team with Alicia Fox, and the duo began being referred to as "Foxsana" as of the January 22 episode of Main Event, where they lost to the Bella Twins. On the February 26 episode of Main Event, Foxsana defeated Eva Marie and Natalya, when Aksana pinned Natalya.
Aksana unsuccessfully challenged for the Divas Championship at WrestleMania XXX in the "Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational" match, which was won by the remaining champion AJ Lee. On the June 2 episode of Raw, Foxsana faced Nikki Bella in a handicap match in a winning effort when Fox pinned Nikki. Following a loss to Paige on June 9 episode of Raw, Fox attacked Aksana, turning Aksana face in the process, as well as provoking a feud between the two. The feud was cut short, however, as on June 12, 2014, WWE announced that Aksana had been released from her contract along with several other talents. Her last match aired on the June 13 episode of SmackDown, where she lost to Fox.
Aksana had a recurring role on the WWE web series The JBL and Cole Show. Aksana was featured as a playable character in the WWE 2K14 video game.
Raudonienė lived in New York City, New York for a time before moving to Tampa, Florida.
Championships and accomplishments
- Florida Championship Wrestling
- FCW Divas Championship (1 time)
- Queen of FCW (1 time)
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter