In an interview on Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette, WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Natalya Neidhart and Tamina Snuka talked about the importance of Tyson Kidd, Natalya’s husband, to the women’s division. Natalya explained that Kidd approaches agenting the women’s matches as if he’s putting together his own matches.
“He’s a huge advocate for the girls and he cares so much for the girls,” Natalya said. “What I’ve started to realize, and I said this last night in the locker room, TJ takes on the women’s match as if they’re his own, because he can’t compete anymore. He actually told Vince the other day, they had a conversation, he said ‘I never realized that being a producer would be more fulfilling to me, working with the women, than it would ever be for me in my own wrestling career. That I’ve become so fulfilled in this role of seeing other people rise to the occasion, that it means so much more to me than anything I ever did in my career.’
“Vince said ‘TJ that makes me so happy.’ And TJ was like ‘I just can’t even put it into words how much working with the girls and seeing them accomplish their dreams. It means so much to me. It’s like the biggest thing I’ve ever done in my career. In my twenty years of being a pro wrestler, this, this is my WrestleMania moment.”‘
According to Tamina, that drive was in Tyson all the way back when he, Natalya and David Hart Smith (Davey Boy Smith Jr.) feuded with Tamina in the Usos years ago. She went on to call him the mastermind behind the success of the WWE Women’s Division.
“Eleven years ago when we first went up against them, I remember just the littlest things, TJ was already in that mind frame,” Tamina said. “He was wanting to make the matches mean something and blow them out of the water. I remember doing the first matches on the show. On the house show, the first match is going to build and blow everybody up. They would blow it out of the water. Or if they were the main even they’d blow it out of the water. That’s just TJ’s mind frame. You fast forward to him becoming a producer and doing all these things. You can’t even imagine. He gets a million text messages a day because we’re all picking his brain.
“This man is a mastermind behind everything we all due, and he gets every single girl. That’s what the difference is. He knows everyone’s moves, he knows how to protect, he knows how to make everything great and amazing. I really don’t know what we’d do without TJ. That’s the whole point to this whole thing. He is that mastermind behind it all and he executes everything and he gives us that confidence to come through with whatever it is we put together. That’s him and he’s like that. He is a strong ass man. He is a real man in that sense, but he loves and gives everything to us. Everything.”
Natalya would reveal it hasn’t always been easy for her husband. She recalled vividly the night Tyson learned he would never be able to wrestle again and the struggle he then underwent to fit into a world where he could no longer be a wrestler.
“We’re actually approaching the six year anniversary of his injury,” Natalya said. “Obviously being on that journey with him I remember the night he got hurt. And I remember the doctor came into the room, we were in San Antonio, and he told TJ while Cesaro was right there. He told TJ ‘well first of all, you’re lucky your alive. Secondly, you’re never going to wrestle ever again. This is so serious because where you broke your neck it was in the most vulnerable place you could break it. It was like at the base of his brain, it’s like a C1 injury.
“I remember TJ and Cesaro just crying in the room, being like ‘gosh, wrestling’s our identity.’ And for TJ, he had worked since he was 15 years old. So he like dedicated his entire life to pro wrestling. I remember the two years after his injury were so hard, because TJ would say to me ‘I don’t know who I am without wrestling. I don’t know where fit into the world. What am I going to do? I don’t know anything else and I don’t want to know anything else. I love wrestling and now I can’t do it. I just don’t know what I’m going to do.”‘
As such it makes Natalya so happy to see Tyson find a second life as a producer and to enjoy the role more than he did being a wrestler. She also calls it an honor for the women, herself included, to have him backing the division so strongly.
“To see TJ go ‘I enjoy this role that I’m in more right now way more than I ever enjoyed my own career,” Natalya said. “To watch Tamina reach her dreams, to watch Sasha main event WrestleMania with Bianca. To watch Bianca discover something inside of herself that she didn’t even know she had. To see Ruby and Liv shine, Liv comes and trains with us. Liv just picks TJ’s brain and just has so much passion. TJ is so, so, so, so inspired by the women. And like, as hard as it is to say, I just feel like TJ’s injury, in some ways, was this blessing in disguise. That it helped him find something inside of himself, that he didn’t know he had, to inspire a generation of women to shoot with the stars. So that’s the happy ending of all of it. We are working with somebody that’s so incredible that’s challenging us to be the best, and to be our very best.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription