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Fresh from her RAW main event slot alongside WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte, former Divas Champion Natalya sat down with Sporting News to discuss her recent RAW segment, the possibility of women being the main event of a WWE PPV, her husband and her WWE career.
On being in the final segment of Monday’s RAW:
“It was shocking to find out. I got to the arena, and then we were told that you guys are on last. We were like “oh my God.” Not only are we main-eventing RAW but we’re closing RAW. It was surreal. And it’s still surreal. I was on my drive last night from Greensboro to Greenville, and I was just processing it all, taking it all in and going wow. I can’t believe I did that. Just being able to hold up that Women’s Championship and to think about wrestling for 15 years and after going through the highest of highs, the lowest of lows. Being in that ring with Shane McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, Ric Flair and Charlotte Flair. You have the McMahons, the Harts, and the Flairs, and it doesn’t get any bigger than that in wrestling when you think about wrestling hierarchy and royalty. Our families have done so much over the years for this.
“I hear certain, not a lot of girls, but some people are like “well, I’m sorry I wasn’t born into this.” But I was born into this, and I’m not sorry about it. To me, it wasn’t an easy ride to be born into a big, crazy world of wrestling. (Monday) night, holding up that championship on RAW and closing RAW, it’s a huge moment for myself, it was a huge moment for Charlotte, it was a huge moment for women in the WWE moving our division forward. It just shows that WWE is embracing their women with all their efforts.”
On women possibly main eventing a WWE PPV:
“I don’t think we’re far away from that at all. It’s crazy because Vince McMahon is a man of his word. He promised there would be change with the women and the women’s division, and we got change. Triple H has spearheaded a lot of these changes for the women in the WWE starting in NXT. Triple H gave me my, I feel like, my WrestleMania moment at that NXT: TakeOver on May 29, 2014, to really show the world what I could do. Before I had that match with Charlotte, I probably shouldn’t be saying this, Triple H told me that I didn’t even have a time limit. He just said do whatever you want. Just do whatever you want, I’m just leaving this all in your hands. He just believed in me so much and it made me… I didn’t want to let him down but I also knew I was getting a huge responsibility and I was ready to bite it off and bite off more than I could chew in every way because I knew that I could nail it.
“You look at Triple H and Vince McMahon really collaborating and coming together on this. It’s huge. Say what you want but all the Divas on the main roster, we were chomping at the bit waiting for this for so long. In a lot of ways, I would be talking with other girls in the locker room like the Bella Twins and say I wish we could do that because they were getting 20-minute matches. Then I finally got to have that, and I was like “wow, you have no idea how great that felt, to get that story”. That’s why NXT is such a success today because they get stories, characters are built. It’s just a fun product to watch. Charlotte and I main-evented RAW (Monday) night, and we closed the show. That is a huge step for women in wrestling, women in WWE and women everywhere.”
“My husband [Tyson Kidd] and I, we love NXT. And we loved performing in NXT. It really was and is our favorite show. It just helped us find ourselves again because sometimes when you’re in the hustle and bustle of this fast-paced world that we are in with the WWE. It’s a moving machine, and everything is moving so fast.
“NXT has changed people’s lives that love this business because it helps them rediscover themselves and really shine. To be unafraid and color outside the lines. That was the same thing for me. Triple H believed in me. He gave me the opportunity with Charlotte. He didn’t really give me any boundaries because he believed in me and gave me this surge of confidence that, as a woman, is a priceless feeling when someone believes in you. There’s so many resources down there in NXT. Sara Del Rey, that’s somebody I worked with in Japan, and now she’s working with the women, and she loves wrestling. I collaborate with her still to this day on ideas for matches. I go down there and train, and she helps me. I always want to get better. I actually heard Sasha Banks say that in an interview a couple of weeks ago. She said “I never want to stop training and learning and growing.” I’ve been wrestling for 15 years, and I just love moving forward and growing. And I love helping other people find that in themselves too. NXT just embodies that in every way.”
To read the interview in depth click here.
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