Behind the Scenes with WWE Diva Natalya
WWE LIVE: ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA comes to the Frank Erwin Center Saturday, March 15 and the intensity will rise as the WWE Superstars and Divas prepare for WrestleMania XXX. But WrestleMania XXX isn’t the only thing fans are anxiously awaiting. The strong, confident and fierce WWE Divas are back for the second season of “Total Divas” on E! Sunday, March 16. During the first season, we watched as all the drama unfolded in and out of the ring between the Bella Twins, the Funkadactyls, Natalya and Eva Marie. Lucky for us, we got an exclusive interview with Natalya and she spoke with us about her journey to becoming a WWE Diva and what to expect on this season of “Total Divas.”
Natalie Neidhart, more popularly known by her ring name, Natalya, is the first third-generation female wrestler in the world. Her family – the Hart wrestling family – is one of the most well-known professional wrestling families in history. Natalya is the epitome of a WWE Diva and she has climbed the ranks to solidify her status in the WWE. Check out our interview with Natalya below!
How old were you when you began training?
Wrestling has been a part of mine and my family’s life since I was a kid. I began training in my family’s dungeon when I was in my teens.
Tell me about training in the Hart Family Dungeon. What was it like?
It taught me how to be strong and not to give up. You persevere and continue to work hard and stay focused. You have to be strong, confident and persevere and that’s exactly what a WWE Diva is.
Why did you want to become a wrestler? Did you know at a young age you wanted to do this?
My family had done it for so long and I had been around it since I was little. It really inspired me seeing women like Molly Holly reinvent the word lady wrestler and turn it into the word Diva.
If you were not a WWE Diva, what career do you think you would be doing?
I love journalism, but right now I really love what I am doing. Broadcast journalism is something I think is really fun and something I could see myself doing. I would also want to be a lawyer because I feel like I’m constantly putting people in check.
Tell me how you got involved with WWE?
I’ve been around WWE my whole life with my family but I really started formally training for it when I was 18. I was rejected many times for different reasons. Sometimes it was timing issues or just not the right look they were going for. It took a lot of perseverance to keep going and I finally got my big break in 2007.
Can you explain the process of joining WWE? Do you have to try out or go through training?
Yes, everyone has to go through tryouts and training. WWE has a very selective screening process. They look for people who are very athletic, very driven and have a lot of charisma.
Tell me about a typical day in the life of Natalya. What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I love to work out and stay physically fit because that’s what makes me feel good. I also love to spend time with my family and my husband who is also a WWE Superstar, TJ Wilson. I try to balance my free time with my family and loved ones.
What is your favorite part about being a WWE Diva?
My favorite part of being a WWE Diva actually does not involve being on TV. We do a lot of different charity work with Make a Wish Foundation which I really enjoy. You get to meet children who are going through a difficult time and you can use your status to change somebody’s life and help inspire them to fight. You can touch someone else’s life and that’s a really great feeling.
What are some challenges you have had to face as a WWE Diva?
There are so many! I don’t know where to start. The biggest challenge is rejection. This is something we all have to go through. You have to constantly adapt to changes, up your game and never give up.
Tell me about how you became involved with “Total Divas” on E! Were you hesitant at first or have any initial doubts?
I got approached by WWE. They partnered with E! to do the show and I am the type of person to dive on in to something and make it gold. No I didn’t have any doubts. At first you’re nervous with all the cameras, but the people that put the show together make you feel so comfortable that you don’t even realize the cameras are there. It’s a great opportunity to be real. You relate to people who are not perfect, and we keep it real on the show.
The second season of “Total Divas” is coming up. Do you have anything you want to tell the fans about the upcoming season?
It’s going to be a great season. Lots of drama, but it is what it is. But, at the end of the day we are a family. There will be old faces such as myself, the Bella Twins and the Funkadactyls and new faces such as Summer Rae. We are on the road to WrestleMania and it’s going to be a wild ride! You better believe Natalya will be at WrestleMania. I will make that happen! We have a huge show coming up at the Frank Erwin Center March 15, and you’ll see several WWE Superstars and Divas.
As a WWE Diva many people look up to you, but who is someone that you look up to? Why?
I really look up to Stephanie McMahon. She is a role model. We went to a school with underprivileged children and she spent four hours talking to all the kids. She is honestly one of the most down to earth people I have ever met. With her background and status, she has a lot of influence and power but she proves that you can never allow fame, money or your position in life to get the best of you. She is a great example of what being a strong and empowered woman looks like. She has a husband, family and does a great job balancing it all.