In an in-depth interview with Renee Young, Natalya opens up about her father’s passing, what it meant to be at SummerSlam and the message she wants to send after losing her father. Highlights of the interview below, courtesy of Wrestling INC.
Honoring her father at SummerSlam: I wanted to honor my dad so much at SummerSlam. It was a hard to decision of even wanting to come because I wasn’t sure if I’d be ready, everything was so fresh, it was literally six days after my dad had passed away. So, I wasn’t sure whether I would be ready to come, but I just felt I needed to do as much as I could to honor my dad. I wanted to keep his memory alive, I knew that was a huge stage to do that on. I told my mom, ‘You know what? I think I’m going to SummerSlam because daddy would want me to be happy and my dad would want me doing the things that I love.’ WWE is my family. I have the Hart family, but I also have the WWE Universe and all the talent backstage, all the women and men that I share the ring with
The message she wants to share after losing a parent: Losing a parent, you know, it’s tough. But for me, I also know that you have to keep going. You have to, and I want to send that message to people too, that are going through a hard time, that, like, bad things happen and sad things happen but at the end of the day we have to keep going. We have to dust ourselves off and we have to get up and we have to keep going. There’s going to be times where I feel really sad and I’m going to break down and cry. There’s been a ton of those, I mean I feel like I’ve cried so much that I can’t even cry at all at this second. But there’s also going to be times where I just want to remember the happy times. I’m not saying goodbye to my dad. Like, I made my mind up that we’re not saying goodbye to my dad, because I can talk to him at any time that I want. I can reach out to him, I can talk to him at any time I want. Now I just feel like I have an extra angel in heaven, up there with my uncles, Davey and Owen, and my grandfather, Stu Hart. So many people that have left us before, now they’re going to look after me. And my dad is going to be having one hell of a party in heaven.
On returning backstage after SummerSlam: I felt great, I felt really, really great. It was not my moment at SummerSlam as much as it was Ronda’s, she won her match and she let me share in that spotlight, and I’ll be incredibly grateful forever for. After all the smoke settled and the dust cleared with her celebrating her victory, I just remember Stephanie McMahon coming up to me and giving me this huge hug and she just embraced me like that motherly embrace that she has. She’s really been wonderful and everybody has been so loving. I just remember I had this release of tears. That’s what you do with family. You can hug them and let it out. Everybody has been so wonderful and I won’t forget the love. And I’m grateful that I got to have a little more time in the spotlight with my dad.
Natalya also discusses the reception she and her family have received from the wrestling community and reading articles about her father that she never knew.
Watch the full interview below:
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