In last Tuesday’s SmackDown Live, Natalya took part in a match against Charlotte Flair to regain the Championship that she lost before Survivor Series. The match saw the introduction of NXT stars Ruby Riot, Liv Morgan, and Sarah Logan to the ring as they interrupted the title match by beating down Natalya and Charlotte.
Since then, Natalya has opened up about setbacks in her career, her current performance and position in WWE as she wrote an inspirational based article for the Calgary Sun.
“Whether it’s an injury, a mistake that was made, or a loss, setbacks happen to every single one of us. I’ve learned that you have to fight through the hard times. Trust that they will pass, because they will pass.”
Natalya goes on to give an example of how a setback enabled her to re-evaluate her position and career to make a positive impact, rather than holding her back.
“Two years ago, I broke my ankle while practising for a match I was about to have on Monday Night Raw. It was the first injury I had ever suffered in my entire WWE career. Not only that, but it happened doing something small and innocuous. I was so mad at myself. I even went into complete denial that I was even injured (that’s how mad I was!) but my ankle was broken.”
While the following video from WWE shows injuries that are portrayed as not breaking kayfabe, it’s used here as an example of how intense and dangerous professional wrestling can be, and how far superstars are willing to go.
“Once I finally saw the break in my ankle on the doctor’s X-Ray, I stopped crying. I got really serious and said to myself: ‘OK. I’ve got this.’ I couldn’t deny I was hurt. I couldn’t turn back the hands of time. I couldn’t go under it, around it or beneath it… I had to simply GO THROUGH IT.”
Natalya also explains that she saw another piece of information from the report on her broken ankle. She said that she saw her weight, and was shocked by it. Natalya used the time off to refocus her priorities, development, and career; she spent as much time as possible in the gym with a personal trainer to transform herself, making the result of a broken ankle add up to an overall positive step forward for her future.
“Fast forward to the present. At SummerSlam, I finally became the Women’s Champion in the WWE, and I did what I set out to do: make history. Last week, I lost my championship in a gruelling match against Charlotte Flair on Smackdown Live.”
“At first, I was sad. I cried. I loved holding that title up high every time I walked to the ring and feeling like the queen of the world! But I draw from my previous experiences with adversity — and trust me, there are so many outside of my broken ankle — and I see the setback of “losing” as an opportunity to chase something again and rediscover that fire inside of me when I wanted something SO much!”
Although Natalya is portrayed as the main heel in the women’s division on SmackDown Live, her article for the Calgary Sun, her hometown, is extremely humbling, inspirational and a positive message for all, not just those in professional wrestling.
“Setbacks can be huge opportunities to grow and evolve and simply BE BETTER.”
Catch the whole article on the Calgary Sun website.