Natalya‘s father Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart passed away ahead of SummerSlam this year and it was previously reported that this forced WWE to change a number of their future plans for Natalya.
The Queen of Harts was originally supposed to turn on Ronda Rousey and would be battling her at TLC this weekend, but the company thought it was too insensitive to turn her heel just after her father’s passing. Instead WWE have pushed her into a storyline with The Riott Squad, who have made light of his death.
Over the past few weeks, Sarah Logan, Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan have made insensitive comments towards Natalya and her father, which has led to backlash from the WWE Universe, but the former Women’s Champion has defended the inclusion of her father in her current storyline.
Nattie recently spoke to Yahoo Sports where she was able to confirm that she thinks her father would support her current storyline.
“A lot of people have asked me, girls that I work with backstage, other superstars, people at home, if I’m OK with this storyline and how do I feel about it. For me, this is what is going on in my life, this is the elephant in the room.”
“My dad was a professional wrestler. He was a WWE superstar, he was a WWE legend before he passed away and I feel like in some crazy way this is like my dad is having one last run. I feel like if I asked my dad right now, ‘Daddy, how do you feel about me doing this storyline?’ My dad would say go for it. He understood pro wrestling, he understood how, for fans to become emotionally invested in stories, there has to be emotionally charged content,” he said via YahooSports.
Natalya also opened up about the fact that Total Divas cameras followed her around her father’s funeral, something that she found therapeutic throughout her grieving process.
“In some weird way, this storyline has been strangely therapeutic because anything I’m feeling I can get it out. If I need to cry, I can get it out. I can let everybody see it, hear it and I can take the WWE universe on this journey with me. I need to speak the truth and I need to remind the world that my dad was a WWE star, he was special and everyone can feel that with me.”
“On Sunday, it is going to be one of my most powerful performances and it’s going to be for my dad.”
Natalya takes on Ruby Riott in a Tables Match this weekend at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs in the hopes that she can exact some revenge on the leader of The Riott Squad.