Renee Young sat down with Natalya to talk about her father, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, who passed away earlier this month at the age of 63. At last weekend's SummerSlam, Natalya headed to ringside with her father's jacket on to watch the Raw Women's Championship match between Ronda Rousey and Alexa Bliss.
"I wanted to honor my dad so much at SummerSlam," Natalya said. "It was a hard to decision of even wanting to come because I wasn't sure if I'd be ready, everything was so fresh, it was literally six days after my dad had passed. So, I wasn't sure if I would be ready to come, but I just felt I needed to do as much as I could to honor my dad. I wanted to keep his memory alive, I knew that was a huge stage to do that on. I told my mom, 'You know what? I think I'm going to SummerSlam because daddy would want me to be happy and my dad would want me doing the things that I love.' WWE is my family. I have the Hart family, but I also have the WWE Universe and all the talent backstage, all the women and men I share the ring with."
After Rousey won the title, Natalya went into the ring and celebrated with the new champion. Backstage, Natalya said she felt great and received a big hug from Stephanie McMahon.
"I felt great, I felt really, really great," Natalya responded. "It was not my moment at SummerSlam as much as it was Ronda's, she won her match and she let me share in that spotlight, and I'll be incredibly grateful forever for. After all the smoke settled and the dust cleared with her celebrating her victory, I just remember Stephanie McMahon coming up to me and giving me this huge hug and she just embraced me like that motherly embrace that she has. She's really been wonderful and everybody has been so loving. I just remember I had this release of tears."
Natalya continued that ultimately things are going to happen in life that are going to knock you down and the only thing you can do is dust yourself off and continue moving forward.
"Losing a parent is tough, but for me I also know you have to keep going," Natalya said. "I want to sent that message to people who are going through a hard time that bad things happen and sad things happen, but at the end of the day we have to keep going, we have to dust ourselves our, we have to get up, and we have to keep going. There's gonna be times when I feel really sad and break down and cry, there's been a ton of those. I feel like I've cried so much that I can't cry at all at this second. But there's also going to be times where I want to remember the happy times. ... Now I feel like I have an extra angel in heaven, up there with my uncles, Davey [Boy Smith] and Owen [Hart], and my grandfather, Stu Hart. So many people who have left us before, now they're all going to be looking after me and my dad's going to have one hell of a party in heaven. [Laughs]"
You can see Natalya's full interview in the video above.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.