She may not be champion, but there’s no denying Natalya‘s talent once she steps between the ropes. As the best female wrestler in the WWE, it’s a shame she isn’t pushed at a higher level.
As recently as Tuesday night, Natalya had a chance to capture the WWE Divas Championship from AJ Lee on WWE Network’s live broadcast of Main Event. While Natalya was unsuccessful in her quest for gold, she carried AJ to a very good match and proved once again that bell to bell, no Diva is in her league.
Natalya, real name Natalie Neidhart, is the daughter of former WWE competitor Jim “the Anvil” Neidhart, who teamed for many years with Bret Hart (Natalya’s uncle) as part of the Hart Foundation. Natalya’s mother is the daughter of Stu Hart, the patriarch of the Hart family, making Natalya a third-generation wrestler. She is the first female grappler in history to hold this distinction.
Natalya is the first female wrestler to be trained in the famous (or infamous) Hart family “Dungeon,” learning her craft under the tutelage of uncles Bruce and Ross Hart. She is also trained in amateur wrestling and MMA. With such a rich wrestling background, it’s not hard to understand why Natalya has been able to make a name for herself in the squared circle.
So why the lack of a bigger push? Natalya has only held the Divas Championship one time in her career. On Nov. 21, 2010, she captured the belt by defeating reigning champion Michelle McCool and Layla in a handicap match at Survivor Series. After carrying the strap for 70 days, Eve Torres won the title in a fatal four-way match at the Royal Rumble on Jan. 30, 2011 also featuring McCool and Layla. Natalya wasn’t pinned or submitted in the match.
It’s time for Natalya to get another run with the title. There is apparently internal heat on AJ, who has held the belt for a record 270 days and counting. It’s unclear how the Divas Championship will be utilized at WrestleMania XXX, but the backstage situation with AJ may prove to be a deciding factor in the direction the company takes moving forward.
Either way, Natalya deserves the belt and her opportunity just might come at WrestleMania.