Natalya: “I feel like SummerSlam is the Hart family pay-per-view”

Aug 4, 2019 - by James Walsh

Natalya spoke with the Whig Standard for a new interview promoting her match with Becky Lynch at SummerSlam. You can see some highlights below:

On the signficance of SummerSlam: “I feel like SummerSlam is the Hart family pay-per-view. (When I think of SummerSlam), I think of one of the greatest matches in the history of SummerSlam, the British Bulldog versus Bret (The Hitman) Hart, SummerSlam 1992, sold-out Wembley Stadium, in front of more than 83,000 people. For our family, it was just such a special moment. Obviously, most people know that my uncle Davey, the British Bulldog, is deceased, but for him that was one of the shining moments of his career and something that our family still talks about. His kids, they still go back to that match and just how special it was. It was one of the most special matches in Bret Hart’s career as well.”

On her father’s passing away a couple of years ago just before SummerSlam: “Everybody was very supportive and kind to me when my dad passed away, which was awesome. When you lose somebody that close to you, everybody reaches out and they really, really care. But there were some people — even my co-workers — who said to me, ‘I can’t believe you went back to work five days later.’ I went back to work a day after my dad’s funeral … Honestly, at some points, I didn’t even know if I could continue wrestling. I was thinking, ‘How do I find the strength to continue doing what I love? How can I, after losing my dad, which was the biggest personal and professional blow that has happened to me, move on? How do I move forward? I felt at times like I was paralyzed inside. I didn’t know how to move on from that kind of deep pain, that deep void.”

On returning after that: “My dad and that connection that we had together with wrestling, it was what drove me to return. His passing gave me a lot of strength to push through and persevere and lead by example. If there are other people going through hard times, if they can find something that they love and throw all of their energy into that,” she said through tears.“Wrestling was our thing that we shared together. It was our bond and nobody really understood that besides my dad and myself. My dad really, really understood that. Wrestling was our connection. I felt like it was so hard and almost paralyzing for me to have to make a decision about what to do (without him). I didn’t know what to do.”

On being happy with her career up to now: “I’ve had a beautiful career. I really feel like I am one of the women who has led the women’s revolution in WWE, going back to my match with Charlotte Flair at NXT Takeover (in May 2014) to being a part of so many firsts: this past year at Royal Rumble, I set the record for the longest time in the women’s Royal Rumble (nearly 56 minutes); I was part of the first ever women’s Money in the Bank ladder match, the first Diva’s Champion and a Smackdown champion … a first in so many different areas.”

On Paul Heyman’s influence on Raw: “Whenever Paul was there previously, when he was with Brock (Lesnar) or working with Ronda (Rousey), when he’s been backstage over the last few years, Paul’s somebody that I personally have always been able to turn to, even when he wasn’t in this position he’s in now. Paul built the entire company when he ran ECW. He built an entire business off of passion and people. They may not have always had a lot of money in ECW, but Paul knew that he had a lot of people who had a lot of grit and determination and passion. That I respect so much of Paul because he understands what it takes to get to the top even when the resources aren’t there, even when the timing’s not there. Paul’s mentality, which is instilled in me and a lot of the other talent, is to turn every no into a yes. In a lot of ways, it’s funny saying this because I know that Paul plays a different role on TV, but the edginess, the grittiness and that kind of never-say-never mentality that Paul carries, it’s made me almost want to step out of the box and say ‘I don’t want to be so politically correct, I don’t want to always say what the right thing is for the company. I want to say what Nattie feels … I kind of broke free and I feel like Paul gave me the courage to do that. Paul gave me, in some ways, the courage to be Nattie and to be like, ‘No, I just want to say what I want to say.’ I went a little off script on the mic and I said some things that shocked people about Becky Lynch.”

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