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Natalya on how Nikki Bella helped her to evolve

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SmackDown Live Superstar Natalya recently sat down with to discuss the upcoming WWE women’s tournament, her feud with Nikki Bella, her in-ring techniques and more. Below are the highlights:

On working with Tyson Kidd and Cesaro:

“Working with TJ (FKA Tyson Kidd) and Cesaro helped all of us learn about content of character and quality of work. Both TJ and Cesaro have so much integrity, and that’s both inside and out of the ring. I learned a lot from working with them, and a lot of what they taught me was listening to our audience and taking my time.”

How her husband’s injury inspires her:

“I’ve known TJ since I was ten years old. He grew up with my family and has been a huge part of my life. He’s actually one of my first wrestling teachers and taught me a lot in the Dungeon. TJ keeps me grounded. I learn so much from TJ every day. He is an exceptional person and he’s just been focused on his recovery, and I would say, like life, it’s one day at a time.”

On her upcoming Wrestlemania match:

“I want to be the SmackDown women’s champion, and I will be the SmackDown women’s champion. I truly feel that hard work will pay off, and I’m grateful for the opportunity this year at WrestleMania.”

On the potential WWE women’s tournament:

“If there is a tournament for women, I’d love to be in it. I was at NXT all the time and given that opportunity by Triple H, so if they want me to be part of a women’s tournament, I’d be happy to own that tournament and be the best thing they’ve ever seen. You can count me in if I’m invited.”

On the opportunities given to women in WWE:

“Opportunities have opened up for the girls to really shine. We’ve made so much growth in the past year, and I’ve got so many compliments about the compelling storylines on Smackdown, which is what I’m on, and RAW. That Hell in a Cell match between Charlotte and Sasha Banks was groundbreaking. I can’t wait to work with Sasha Banks, I haven’t had a chance to work with her yet. I’m just so proud of how far we’ve come in the last year alone.”

On the importance of highlighting an opponent in a match:

“So many people, including Steve Austin, attribute the turning point in their careers to Bret. I remember Steve saying that his WrestleMania 13 match with Bret helped him see something remarkable in himself, and that’s when I knew I wanted to be like Bret. He believed in who he was, he believed in his work in the ring, and he believed in a level of excellence.

Looking back on my NXT rivalry with Charlotte, I don’t think she really knew what she had inside of her until we worked together. That was one of the greatest moments of my entire career. I was able to not only lift myself up but also lift somebody else up. With my experience of fifteen years of almost being in the ring, I have the ability to pass on my knowledge, and I love doing that.”

How her feud with Nikki Bella helped her career:

“When I look at my feud with Nikki Bella, it really was about me. That story was about Nattie turning the corner as a ‘Bad Girl’, and a lot of my character development in the last six-to-eight months on WWE programming has been me evolving from a lovable babyface into a despicable bad girl. I truly believe it was my feud with Nikki that allowed me to show the world that I can play the part of someone who is conniving and malicious. Whenever you get an opportunity in WWE, you want to hit a home run with it. I want to show that I can be great, and that rivalry with Nikki was a turning point in proving myself to our WWE audience.”

Neidhart also discusses the possibility of the Hart Foundation going into the Hall of Fame, her life being featured on reality show Total Divas and more on

Did you enjoy Natalya’s feud with Nikki Bella? Who would you like to see in the women’s tournament? Let us know your views in the comments below!

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