Natalya questioned if she should continue wrestling after the passing of her father.
It was one year ago on August 13th that WWE Hall Of Famer Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart passed away. Just six days later, his daughter Natalya returned to WWE for SummerSlam to join Ronda Rousey's corner to watch Ronda capture her first Women's Championship in WWE. This coming weekend at SummerSlam, Natalya will be challenging Becky Lynch for the RAW Women's Championship in a Submission match. Heading into SummerSlam last year, Natalya questioned if she should continue wrestling after the passing of her father and she spoke more about those thoughts during a media scrum she was the focus of to promote SummerSlam.
(Quotes by way of Canada.com):
“Everybody was very supportive and kind to me when my dad passed away, which was awesome,” she said. “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,” Natalya said, fighting back tears. “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.”
Natalya has felt that she has "broken free" as of late and partially credited that new mindset to Executive Director of RAW, Paul Heyman. Natalya expressed that Heyman has given her the courage to be who she truly is on WWE TV and the confidence to go off-script and speak her mind like she has during promo exchanges with Becky Lynch.
"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,” Natalya 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.”
Natalya versus Becky Lynch for the RAW Women's Championship is one of ten matches currently slated for SummerSlam and to get a look at the updated match card, click here.