As a ten year veteran of the Women’s Division, Natalya took the time to speak to The Sun about her wrestling career.
Training in the Hart Dungeon:
“There was only one other girl in there with me and about 25 different guys coming in and out over the years. So, for the most part, there were only men to train with. We got treated all the same. I’m grateful for those days because nothing was handed to me – it made me stronger. Training with men made me tougher. I had to learn to stand on my own two feet. When I look back, it’s helped me so much. There’s nothing I can’t get through in WWE.”
Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart not initially being thrilled with her getting into wrestling:
“He was very protective. I have two sisters and he didn’t want us in the ring. When he was competing, there wasn’t a prominent women’s division. He came from a different era and he didn’t want us to get hurt. Females become more dominant in WWE with Trish Stratus and Lita, but it wasn’t until he saw me have my first match … he’s been my biggest fan ever since.”
How family has influenced her wrestling career:
“My family have influenced me heavily. I loved Owen’s style – I’m not a high flyer but I love looking back at his matches for his personality. Bret was always great at selling and he’d always make you believe. Bret was also compatible with everyone he worked with. Whoever it was, they’d always say Bret was their favorite match – from Roddy Piper to Steve Austin. And British Bulldog was so agile for a guy his size. He could do just about anything. I’m a bigger girl – sturdy and I can do a lot of power moves, but I’m also agile on my feet.
“Every time I do the surfboard submission hold I think of British Bulldog – I pay homage to him. And the Sharpshooter is me paying homage to Bret and our family’s legacy. And my father was about power. Just the way he moved around in the ring… we have a lot of the same mannerisms. I look back at old matches and think we’re so much alike. When I first started I didn’t want to do the things they did or wear the same colors because I didn’t want people to think I was riding off my family’s coattails. Now I see it differently – I’m proud of them.”