Natalya Explains How Her Late Father Influenced Her Position In WWE

Natalya has been a main staple of the WWE Women's division for almost 15 years, winning championships and breaking barriers.

While on "After the Bell with Corey Graves", former "SmackDown" Women's Champion Natalya compared where her career is at to the success of her father, WWE Hall of Famer Jim 'The Anvil' Neidhart.

"Growing up, my dad couldn't hold down his job in WWE while my uncles Bret, and Owen, and Davey, they were able to kind of sustain a longer, more successful career, my dad, really, really struggled to keep his job because he battled a lot of demons," Natalya said. "I grew up with that, I grew up with that instability of my dad doing great, my dad losing his job, my dad doing great, my dad losing his job ... I greatly wanted to succeed in an industry that my parent struggled at ... I kind of became the company girl and that's actually something I've never really talked about before, but it's true. I became the company girl.

"You need her to fart on TV? She'll do it. You need her to be a babyface tonight? She'll do it. You need her to be a heel tonight? She'll do it. You need her to wrestle Doudrop on the other show even though she's on Smackdown? She'll do it. She'll do whatever you need. You need a match in 10 seconds? She'll do it. You need a match in three seconds? She'll do it. Nattie is the company girl and I've been that way for so long and it's definitely kept me in WWE for 15 years."

Natalya described herself as a "Company girl," as she has been in WWE for more than half of her in-ring career, first debuting on "SmackDown" in 2008. Since her debut, Natalya has won the now-defunct Divas Championship by defeating LayCool in a Two-on-One Handicap Match at Survivor Series 2010, the "SmackDown" Women's Championship by defeating Naomi at SummerSlam 2017, and most recently, the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships alongside tag team partner Tamina on the May 14th, 2021 edition of "Friday Night SmackDown."

The daughter of Jim Neidhart has been a part of history beyond championship reigns in WWE, as Natalya was 1/2 of the first-ever WWE Women's match in Saudi Arabia in 2019 when she took on Lacey Evans at Crown Jewel. Natalya won the bout, and following the match, the two women embraced in the ring with fireworks going off outside of the stadium.

Despite Neidhart's inability to maintain a job for a long period of time, he was still able to win the WWE Tag Team Championships on two separate occasions alongside Hart Foundation partner Bret Hart for a combined total of 483 days. Jim Neidhart entered the WWE Hall of Fame in 2019 alongside Bret Hart as the Hart Foundation. This marked Bret's second time going into the WWE Hall of Fame, as he went in by himself in 2006.

 If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "After the Bell" with Corey Graves with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

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