TORONTO — As the WWE’s first third-generation female wrestler, Natalie Neidhart is aware of the career expectations as Natalya since she joined the company in April. It is human nature to compare the accomplishments of her uncle Bret Hart, father Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart and patriarch grandfather Stu Hart and wonder what holds in store for her.
“For me right now, I, for one, am happy to be in the WWE and be able to touch my dream because I was born and raised in a wrestling family and believe this is part of who I am,” she began. “I’m very happy with how things have worked out, but this is only the beginning for me. I find it rewarding going back to Canada because I don’t live in Canada anymore since I started working with the WWE. I have a home in Calgary, but I reside in Tampa, Florida, until I can find a sort of balance to be able to travel out of Canada. But being able to come back here and to work with various charities, like the food bank which we’re here supporting today, is amazing and we’ll see what happens in the future. I think for myself, people have only seen just a little bit of Natalya. And I like that, because then it means I have a very big future. It’s nice to know you have longevity somewhere, and that you’ll be appreciated.
“It’s my passion. It’s not like a job to me,” she said convincingly.
Natalya also expressed her thoughts about the company’s latest successful effort to support the American troops in Iraq. “It’s another way we give back to the community. If I was asked to go or if I was on the trip it would be an amazing adventure and a huge honor as I love to be involved in things like that. They only selected maybe 15 people to go on that tour. It’s kind of random from what I understand. I don’t know the number but it’s something that certain people are selected to do, not for any real rhyme or reason but to go and support the troops and that’s what we’ve been doing for the last five years. It would be an honor to go.”
The conversation turned to the schedule, and Natalya noted that it befits her personality as someone who likes to always be doing something. “Usually we have our live events two to three days a week and then we have two travel days to get to and from our events and then we also have our TV tapings, so it’s about four, five days on and a couple of days off, but most days we’ll be doing appearances like we’re doing now, helping the food bank or working with Special Olympics like we did earlier today. Just two weeks ago, I was over in Europe doing the most successful tour in WWE history. It was all across Europe in six different countries; it was 12 cities in 12 days, so that was go-go-go. But we get back all the time, so it was very rewarding.”
If you can survive the Hart family dungeon, and being trained by Tokyo Joe, details like schedules are just that.
The subject then switched to her perspective on her development and the thought process behind the name change to Natalya. “For me, I think I’m in constant evolution. I have a lot of nicknames and Natalya really embraces my true inner diva. I’m a little bit naughty, a little bit nice, but I’m really ‘Natalya by Nature,’ so for me I’ve embraced Natalya and it’s part of who I am now,” she said confidently with a twinge of mischievousness.
Bringing up the the constant rumours of a reformed Hart Foundation, with Harry Smith and T.J. Wilson alongside Natalya, only brings a smile. “You’ll just have to wait and see,” she teased.