Natalya Struggled with the Idea of Wrestling After Father Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart Passed Away

Aug 7, 2019 - by James Walsh

In an interview with, Natalya spoke about how hard the loss of her father Jim Neidhart was on her, and how she questioned if she could continue wrestling after it happened. Here are highlights:

On the loss of her father: “Everybody was very supportive and kind to me when my dad passed away, which was awesome. When you lose somebody that’s 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 Paul Heyman helping her cut loose with her promos: “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. I don’t take any of those words back, I have no regrets about anything I said, and I meant every single word that I said. Becky underestimates me, and that’s fine. I’ve built an entire career out of being underestimated by people like Becky Lynch. It’s people like Paul Heyman who believes in the talent that gives them the courage to stand up and be who they want to be.”

On her career so far: “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.”

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