Many thought it would never happen...but it did.
Talking to TV Insider, Natalya was one of many who had been waiting for something like this for a long time. For it to finally happen, only one word could describe it.
“It was surreal," she told them. "It’s been something that all of us girls have been wanting to be a part of for a long time. Before, we’ve only seen Chyna, Beth Phoenix and Kharma in the guys' Rumble matches. So, for us to have enough women in both divisions and NXT come and be a part of this first-ever women’s Rumble with the women from the past who paved the way for us, it was such an honor to be a part of it.”
One name from that past that popped up during Royal Rumble weekend was Trish Stratus, who appeared at number 30. For someone who idolized her growing up, Natalya was star struck.
"Obviously, Trish Stratus has been a huge inspiration to me" she said. "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" she added. "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.”
Natalya didn't win the first ever women's Royal Rumble -- Asuka ended up with the honors. Regardless, Natalya will continue being a part of the Smackdown roster.