Natalya makes return to NXT

Apr 13, 2022 - by Marc Middleton

Natalya has arrived in WWE NXT 2.0.

This week’s NXT episode featured Cora Jade coming to the ring to address how she came up short at Stand & Deliver in the NXT Women’s Title Fatal 4 Way. She also talked about how she’s focused on becoming champion, and how her goal is the same as it was when she was 8 years old and wrote in her notebook about being a champion in WWE one day. Jade said no matter what it takes, her name will be up there with people like AJ Lee, Paige, WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Sasha Banks, and others.

Jade then mentioned how one day the Generation of Jade will be upon us, but the music interrupted and out came the veteran WWE Superstar, Natalya.

Natalya received a big ovation from the WWE Performance Center crowd, with chants of “holy shit!” and “Nattie!” before she took the mic. Natalya began crying when talking about how the venue brought back so many memories for her. She then introduced herself to Jade, and Jade recalled how she messaged Natalya on Twitter after a 2011 WWE live event in Hammond, Indiana, where Natalya pointed to Jade in the crowd. Natalya didn’t respond then, but she saw the message years later when she went to send a message to Jade to congratulate her on her NXT debut. Natalya said she knew then that she pointed to the right girl in the crowd that night.

Jade talked about how Natalya was her first favorite Superstar, and the first action figure she ever bought. Natalya praised Jade some more and said she loves how Jade has passion for the business. Natalya cried some more and said she sees Jade as the future of NXT when she looks around the locker room, but she believes the future is bleak… that’s when Natalya slapped Jade to the mat.

Fans booed Natalya as she immediately applied the Sharpshooter to Jade, who quickly tapped out. Natalya kept the submission locked in until officials finally got her to break it up.

Natalya was later shown walking through the women’s locker room when Tatum Paxley stopped her. Paxley said she’s been trying to prove herself to The Diamond Mine and the rest of the locker room, so now if she has to step up to the veteran, then so be it. Natalya responded and agreed to face Paxley. She then looked around at the rest of the women’s locker room and warned everyone that they are all on notice because “The B.O.A.T.” (Best Of All-Time) is now here in NXT.

WWE later announced Natalya vs. Paxley for next Tuesday’s NXT 2.0 episode.

There’s no word yet on when Natalya vs. Jade will take place, but it looks like Natalya will be working NXT for a few weeks. It was recently reported that WWE officials wanted RAW and SmackDown Superstars to start working NXT programs to help with ratings and cross-promotion.

As seen in the post-show video below,, McKenzie Mitchell approached Jade as she iced her knee, and asked her if she now agrees with the old saying that says you should never meet your heroes.

“You know, I never felt that way until today,” Jade responded. “Nattie really was my idol, I meant all that. I thought maybe we could have a conversation about some cats, because I was thinking about getting one, but I’m pretty certain now that’s not going to happen. Because I realize, to be The B.O.A.T., you have to beat The B.O.A.T., and that’s exactly what I’m doing to do as soon as this [her knee] heals.”

Next week’s match with Paxley will be Natalya’s first match since the January 14, 2015 NXT episode, taped weeks earlier, where she and current SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair came up short against Banks and Becky Lynch. Natalya’s last NXT singles match was a dark match win over Carmella at the July 31, 2014 tapings, and her last NXT TV singles match was a loss to Flair for the vacant NXT Women’s Title at NXT Takeover on May 29, 2014.

Stay tuned for more on Natalya’s return to NXT. Below are related clips from this week’s show:

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