SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE women’s wrestler Natalya says she was shocked when she arrived at the building Monday night to find out that her Women’s Title contract segment with Charlotte would close the show.
Being in the final segment of Raw isn’t what it used to be with WWE routinely putting their biggest match/angle/segment at the end of the second hour/top of the third hour since viewership drops off in the third hour. However, being in the “main event segment of Raw” leading on a PPV lead-in show was still significant in Natalya’s eyes.
“It was surreal. And it’s still surreal. I was on my drive last night from Greensboro to Greenville and I was just processing it all, taking it all in and going wow. I can’t believe I did that. Just being able to hold up that Women’s Championship and to think about wrestling for 15 years and after going through the highest of highs, the lowest of lows,” Natalya told Brian Fritz of Sporting News in a new interview promoting her Women’s Title match against Charlotte at Extreme Rules on Sunday.
Natalya said the lowest of lows came in 2015 when her husband Tyson Kidd broke his neck in the ring, she broken her ankle, and she was left out of the initial “Divas Revolution” run. However, now she sees it all as a blessing to build her up for 2016.
“Looking back on it now, I’m almost kind of glad that maybe it didn’t work out that way because sometimes better things are … Maybe if I had been a part of all that, I wouldn’t have been main-eventing Raw. It brought me to a level of clarity. Going through that hard time, I’m kind of sitting on the sidelines and having to handle the things that I was going through and then having to rise up and rise above all of it,” Natalya said.
Going back to 2014, Natalya reflected on her famous NXT Women’s Title match against Charlotte that kicked off WWE’s new approach to women’s wrestling roster that has made it to the main roster. Natalya credited NXT trainer Sara Del Rey for her influence and also revealed Triple H’s pre-match message.
“(Vince McMahon) promised there would be change with the women and the women’s division and we got change. Triple H has spearheaded a lot of these changes for the women in the WWE starting in NXT,” Natalya said.
“Triple H gave me my, I feel like, my WrestleMania moment at that NXT: Takeover on May 29, 2014 to really show the world what I could do. Before I had that match with Charlotte, I probably shouldn’t be saying this, Triple H told me that I didn’t even have a time limit. He just said, ‘Do whatever you want. Just do whatever you want, I’m just leaving this all in your hands.’ He just believed in me so much and it made me. I didn’t want to let him down but I also knew I was getting a huge responsibility and I was ready to bite it off and bite off more than I could chew in every way because I knew that I could nail it.”
As for a women’s match main-eventing a main roster WWE PPV, Natalya replied, “I don’t think we’re far away from that at all.” If that match is going to happen, it’s likely a special attraction match like Charlotte vs. Stephanie McMahon, which was indirectly highlighted in the main event segment of Raw.