To promote the premiere of season 3 of Total Divas in the UK, WWE Diva Natalya was asked quite a bit about her rivalry with Charlotte. In both interviews, Nattie discusses her classic match with Charlotte, and the RAW match from 2 weeks ago.
In an interview with The Mirror, Nattie talks about helping Charlotte elevate herself and how it makes her proud.
It’s been four years since you’ve been Divas Champion. Is that disappointing? Many fans feel you are underappreciated.
The most powerful things I’ve done in WWE have not involved the championship. Going to Rwanda, I visited refugee camps with over 30,000 refugees through United Nations – that was powerful. Last week, I was in Cleveland, Ohio, I visited a children’s hospital for kids with cancer – that was powerful. We went there and made them feel happy even if it was for a few minutes. Being able to help my parents in their hour of need, or give someone advice, or elevate somebody like [WWE NXT Diva] Charlotte Flair. Charlotte Flair, a couple of years ago went through something tragic in her family – she lost her brother – and my heart went out to her, and still goes out to her and her family. For me to be able to have a match with her at NXT Takeover in May, being able to make her feel happiness, and for her and her father Ric Flair to reconnect, it was just powerful. It was more powerful than winning the Divas Championship.
Your NXT Women’s Championship match with Charlotte was really well received. How proud are you of that moment?
It was my WrestleMania moment. It brought my uncle Bret Hart and Ric Flair together, they’d been very estranged, they didn’t get along for a long time, so it was that moment that brought them together again. It united two families.
The way Charlotte and her dad connected before the match, after the match, during the match – I get goosebumps talking about it because I know what they’ve been through. I don’t know exactly, but I can understand and sympathise with what they’ve been through.
I know what it’s like growing up in the wrestling business and Charlotte, her dad’s a 16-time World Champion, but you know there’s been darkness there too, they’ve been through a lot, so to see her and her dad come together and to share tears with them and know we put together this masterpiece, it was powerful. I could have cared less if there was a championship involved or not, it was about what we felt being in the ring together.
Some fans were critical of Charlotte losing to you in such a short amount of time on Raw recently…
We don’t control a lot of things in WWE, it’s live TV, you can’t control how long you’re going to get. Sometimes you’re going to get 20 minutes and sometimes you’re going to get 20 seconds, you just have to maximise those minutes and do the best you can.
I’m happy we got a couple of minutes to showcase something – it’s better than nothing. Would I loved to have had the same kind of match we had at Takeover on Raw? Yes. But I don’t control that. It was a way for Takeover to be promoted a little bit. They’d done that with the pay per view prior to this.
In a perfect world, I’d take 25 minutes with Charlotte, but it turned out to be two and guess what? Because I beat Charlotte in two minutes, it’s only meaningful we’d have a rematch – and we better have a rematch because I plan on evening out the odds and beating her and taking her championship from her!
It seems the NXT Divas get a lot more ring time than the main roster Divas on Raw and SmackDown. Why do you think there’s such a disparity?
That’s why I go to NXT, any chance I get, I go to NXT. I want to be on Raw, I want to be on SmackDown, and NXT, and Total Divas, and Main Event, and Superstars, and I want to be on the WWE app – because I want to take any moment I can to get TV time and I want to tell stories.
The girls and the guys in NXT are extremely fortunate because Triple H has taken NXT under his wing. I tell Triple H this, I look around the room and make sure no one’s looking, and I tell him it’s my favourite show. It’s my favourite show because the Superstars and Divas do get time and it’s a cool show because you get to watch these different characters grow and come to life.
With that said, who am I to complain? As far as grabbing brass rings, and there’s been a lot of talk of brass rings lately in WWE, Total Divas, when you look back to the original cast, the things we’ve done to elevate the Divas division and bring light and attention to the Divas division … who am I to complain? I’m on a hit show every week, one hour a week, that plays over and over again all over the world. Take advantage where you can get it. The Total Divas grabbed the brass ring and made people pay attention to the women in WWE.
In another interview with Digital Spy, Nattie discusses her pride in being part of NXT and her matches with Charlotte.
Your match against Charlotte at NXT Takeover has been hailed as a Match of the Year – some people are saying that NXT is better than Raw and SmackDown – what do you say?
“NXT is one of my favourite shows to watch. I’m a big part of that show, I go there as much as I can because I love working with new talent. They’re hungry – though that’s not to say that the Divas up on the main roster aren’t hungry!
“My husband and I go there all the time. We go to NXT, we’re on all the main shows, we pretty much do every single show, on top of doing Total Divas. I work 300 days a year and I feel like I’m the hungriest.
“I’m okay with not having any days off. I’m okay with wrestling anyone. No matter who you give me, what situation I’m put in, I’m going to make it gold. That really is rising to the occasion. You look at matches I’ve had with a Diva like Charlotte – that’s exactly what I’m talking about.
“I’m more fulfilled in telling amazing stories in the ring then having, ‘Nattie, you’re the Divas Champion now’. If I can make somebody laugh or make somebody cry or feel a certain way, I know you’re going to remember me and I know you’re going to remember that match.
“The match that Charlotte and I had in May at Takeover is a very historical match. For me it wasn’t about winning a championship. It was about going in there and making everybody feel something. The most powerful matches I’ve had, I’ve not won them.
“It was my little masterpiece. I trained with MMA fighters for that match, I trained seven days a week for that match. I treated it like I was Rocky going into the last match of my career. I never would have got that opportunity without NXT and without Triple H. So for that I’m very grateful, and I see great things happening for Charlotte. I think she’s phenomenal.”
Were you disappointed your match with Charlotte on Raw was so short?
“You can look at it in a lot of different ways. For me, every opportunity I’m given on TV, if it’s ten seconds, if it’s ten minutes, you have to maximise those minutes. You have to make the most of it, no matter what you’re given.
“I’ve been given this, that and everything else. Whether it’s dancing with The Great Khali or managing Tyson Kidd, or whether I’m in the Divas Championship race.
“I walked into work that day. I was told, ‘You’re going to be having a match with Charlotte’. On live TV anything can happen. You can be told, ‘Guys you’re going to have ten minutes’ but obviously with live TV things change.
“We just do the best we can to tell stories. If it was a little bit more exposure for going into that Takeover R: Evolution match, then great! It was an extra two minutes of TV time that was going to be seen by millions and millions of people. And guess what. Because I defeated Charlotte, it’s going to make people want to see us even more in a rematch.”