Natalya has been in the professional wrestling business for upwards of 20 years, so if anyone is to know about stand-out talent, it would be the former Smackdown Women’s Champion. Recently, “Smackdown” Star Natalya made a quick trip down to “NXT 2.0” similar to how other main roster stars have made the fluid transition back and forth to the 2.0 brand such as Dolph Ziggler, Apollo Crews, Dominik Mysterio, and Robert Roode.
While in “NXT 2.0” where she wrestled three matches — two singles matches and one tag team contest. While on “After the Bell with Corey Graves”, former WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Natalya revealed which current woman stood out for her in the crop of talent in the Performance Center.
“A few months ago, I had the chance to be there for a while. I even had some private training sessions with some girls which was really, really cool because I just wanted to see for myself who’s good, who has potential, who has it in them, who has it in them,” Natalya said. “… First, loved working with Cora. I thought she was awesome. She was so open to like, learning and trying different things and just being more aggressive, and just being like, vulnerable, and the second that she found herself more vulnerable and open to showing that vulnerability, especially in front of the world, people really started to feel something for her.”
Natalya took on Cora Jade on the May 10th edition of “NXT 2.0,” defeating Jade in a little over 14 minutes, forcing her to pass out to the Sharpshooter. The finish was an homage to one of the most iconic matches of all time, Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Bret Hart at WrestleMania 13 in a No Disqualification Submission Match.
Natalya also wrestled two other matches while in “NXT 2.0”, one against Tatum Paxley where Natalya came out the victor, and one in a tag team contest, teaming with Lash Legend to take on Cora Jade and Nikkita Lyons, a match that saw Lyons and Jade walk away with the win.
Natalya went on to list more women that she was impressed with during her time down on the “NXT 2.0” brand.
“Online, you see Tiffany Stratton’s Instagram page or Tiffany Stratton’s Twitter page. Before I even met her, I was like, ‘This girl doesn’t like wrestling. This girl is a model. She’s pretty — she got hired because she’s pretty’,” Natalya said. “I had a practice with her. I had a private session with like, 10 women from NXT. I went back home and I said to TJ, my husband, I said, ‘Tiffany is really good.’ I was like, ‘I really like Tiffany. I think she’s got something about her’.
“… Another one that really impressed me was Nikkita [Lyons]. Nikkita was like, so easy to work with. She was open to learning, she wanted to try different things … Lash Legend, I was like, we had a match together and she like, did some stuff that impressed me … Of course, you know, I’m a huge fan of Io. I’m a huge fan of Kay Lee Ray. I think that Kay Lee has something really, really special about her, especially being a leader … Tatum was awesome to work with … She impressed the sh*t out of me, she was so good. I started wanting to train with her more privately so she has come and started coming to train with me in the Dungeon.”
Natalya grew up training in The Hart Family Dungeon, which is a place where many famous wrestlers such as Edge, Chris Jericho, and Davey Boy Smith have gone to train. It is known to be one of the most grueling and intense training that a wrestler can experience. Nattie and her husband, TJ Wilson, have gone on the record stating that they created a similar version of the dungeon at their own house where Liv Morgan and other WWE stars train often.
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit After the Bell with Corey Graves with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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