May 18, 2016

Natalya Talks Main Eventing RAW, Coming Back From A Difficult Year, More

WWE star Natalya recently spoke with Sporting News‘ Brian Fritz about being in the main event segment of WWE RAW, her work with Susan G. Komen’s “Share Your Story” contest, and more. You can read some highlights below:

Natalya talks about finding out she would be in the main event segment of RAW:

It was shocking to find out. I got to the arena and then we were told that you guys are on last. We were like “oh my God.” Not only are we main-eventing Raw but we’re closing Raw. It was surreal. And it’s still surreal. I was on my drive last night from Greensboro to Greenville and I was just processing it all, taking it all in and going wow. I can’t believe I did that. Just being able to hold up that Women’s Championship and to think about wrestling for 15 years and after going through the highest of highs, the lowest of lows. Being in that ring with Shane McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, Ric Flair and Charlotte Flair. You have the McMahons, the Harts and the Flairs and it doesn’t get any bigger than that in wrestling when you think about wrestling hierarchy and royalty. Our families have done so much over the years for this.

I hear certain, not a lot of girls, but some people are like “well, I’m sorry I wasn’t born into this.” But I was born into this and I’m not sorry about it. To me, it wasn’t an easy ride to be born into a big, crazy world of wrestling. (Monday) night, holding up that championship on Raw and closing Raw, it’s a huge moment for myself, it was a huge moment for Charlotte, it was a huge moment for women in the WWE moving our division forward. It just shows that WWE is embracing their women with all their efforts.

Would she have believed this was possible a year ago?

I don’t know. I don’t think I would have believed you if you told me a week ago. It’s surreal. I still get extreme stage fright before I go out to the ring, before anything. I realize, and it’s something I talked to Arn Anderson about the other day, I really like that. I like getting really, really nervous before I go out because it keeps me so on my toes. It shows me that this all still really means so much to me. When you stop getting nervous and you don’t care, it’s bad. (Monday) night, I just couldn’t believe it. I was pretty much hyperventilating before I went out. I was like “OK, here we go!” But once I walked through that curtain, it all changed. It’s pretty surreal. I don’t take it for granted by any means.

Natalya talks about how difficult 2015 was for her:

Last year, 2015, was by far the hardest of my life. I was going through a lot personally. I had to take care of all that but I really wanted to be a part of the Divas Revolution because I had waited my whole career for something like that. I had waited my whole career to wrestle with girls like Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch and Charlotte. I wanted to be a part of that more than anything. Looking back on it now, I’m almost kind of glad that maybe it didn’t work out that way because sometimes better things are … Maybe if I had been a part of all that, I wouldn’t have been main-eventing Raw (Monday) night. It brought me to a level of clarity. Going through that hard time, I’m kind of sitting on the sidelines and having to handle the things that I was going through and then having to rise up and rise above all of it.

Coming back from my broken ankle — that’s why I was so devastated when I broke my ankle because I didn’t want to believe, I didn’t want to be hurt. I finally got back into the mix and I finally re-debuted after being out the whole summer and then I get hurt. Then I realized looking back on it now, all those things happened for a reason. Some of them I don’t know the reasons for but everything that happened to me last year made me stronger. And it’s going to help me come Sunday at Extreme Rules when I tap Charlotte Flair out. I will. I will beat her at Extreme Rules and I hope that she’s going to be as prepared so it as I am.

Natalya talks about WWE’s partnership with Susan G. Komen’s “Share Your Story:

WWE’s partnership with Susan G. Komen is very special to WWE. Basically we’re running a contest and we are picking three people who have to write an essay. There’s going to be three winners and whoever’s essay is the best and I’m not sure the particulars on how we pick the best essay, if I could be involved in that it would be great. There’s going to be three contest winners for the best essay and it’s another way that people are partnering with Susan G. Komen. It’s another way to raise money for breast cancer awareness and research. It’s another way to say that we care. It’s very special. It’s awesome to be a part of it. I’m excited to see who is going to win.

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