February 1, 2018

Natalya On How The WWE Locker Room Perceives Ronda Rousey, Trish Stratus and Beth Phoenix Appearing in the Women's Royal Rumble Match

Natalya spoke to Scott Fishman of TV Insider this week. Below are a couple of highlights:

How Ronda Rousey was introduced at last Sunday's Royal Rumble pay-per-view:
"My husband, Tyson, is a producer at WWE, and we always have friendly exchanges of our opinions driving in our car from town to town. Was it the right way to debut her? Should she have debuted the next night on Raw or at WrestleMania? It's hard to know what the answer is. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Ronda as an athlete. To me, just seeing her backstage as a friend, I picked her up off the ground when I saw her. It's not my place to say if it was right or wrong. The other girls and I, we all have our own opinions. We can speak our minds. It's a free country. For me, more than anything, I was just happy to see my friend…"
How the locker room feels about Rousey:
"I think [Ronda] is going to be an excellent fit in WWE. She has a great attitude. She wants to be part of this company. She wants to get to know the girls. She has a tremendous respect for the history of our company. I think she definitely brings attention to the company in a lot of ways.

"I'll tell you one thing, because I am in the women's locker room. There is nothing but respect towards Ronda, no matter how anyone felt [about] how they debuted her. I think we are all excited about having her there, because there are so many possibilities of what we can do with her. We are all wondering if she is going to be on Raw or SmackDown. I really want to work with her, because I know we would tear it up."
Trish Stratus and Beth Phoenix Appearing in the Women's Royal Rumble Match:
“Just seeing Beth lift Nia Jax up, I was watching from the floor. I was in awe of that alone," Natalya says. "Going back in my career, a lot of people have not seen me work with Beth. I did one obscure match with her on SmackDown two weeks before she retired. We had tag-teamed a lot, so we never really worked against each other. I think it was a surprise to everyone.

"Obviously, Trish Stratus has been a huge inspiration to me. She is somebody that I, in a nutshell, idolized. I saw Trish beforehand at Raw 25. And after all the interviews I’ve done [where I've] spoken of her, I’ve never told her in person that more than any person in my family—including Bret Hart, Owen Hart, British Bulldog and my father Jim Neidhart and my grandfather Stu Hart—more than anyone in my family, I’d watch her on TV and wanted to be like her.

"She was the game-changer. ... I wanted to be like Trish. So, I get to tell her [that] in person, and the following week I find out I’m going to be in a match with her and put her in the Sharpshooter, which was the cherry on the cake.”


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