WWE’s Natalya Shares Passion To Fight Breast Cancer
Being from a legendary pro wrestling family has its perks.
Most kids from ordinary families wouldn’t have a wrestling ring in their backyard. And most kids wouldn’t be privy to the inner workings of the wrestling business at the dinner table. But Natalya isn’t ordinary by any measurement. That perception has been evident throughout her whole career. And it’s why after losing her two front teeth in a match earlier this month, she was still all smiles.
The niece of Bret Hart, the daughter of Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart and granddaughter of Stu Hart, Natalya had the business in her blood. She still worked as if nothing would be handed to her. A lot of that can be attributed to her undying passion for the sport, as she has become one of WWE’s most skilled women in the squared circle.
But that’s not her only passion. WWE has given her the platform to bring awareness to causes dear to her heart, such as breast cancer awareness.
She has used her celebrity to partner with Susan G. Komen to continue the fight. It’s obvious the Total Divas star is prepared to fight in and out of the ring.
Susan G. Komen partnership
CraveOnline: What has it been like for you to partner with Susan G. Komen?
Natalya: Susan G. Komen is very special to WWE for a lot of reasons. I have yet to meet someone who hasn’t been affected by cancer. Everybody has been affected by it. For WWE to use our reach to touch people around the world is great because it’s not just us but we invite our WWE Universe to get involved. We’re featured in over 175 countries so we’re never alone and anything that we call upon our fan base to do to help us, they have our backs.
It’s cool because it’s something that’s close to a lot of us especially for myself. My grandmother passed away from breast cancer and it’s great to know that we can use our reach and WWE has the ability to reach across the globe and make a difference. We go pink and for the entire month we wear our Susan G. Komen t-shirts to the ring. We walk down a pink ramp and we have pink ropes where we compete and it’s a reminder that we can make a difference and our fans can make a difference by coming together for this cause.
CraveOnline: You were a part of the “Share Your Story” with Susan G. Komen. Is there a specific story that comes to mind from your experience?
Natalya: There are so many but there was one woman in particular who wasn’t supposed to make it. She had terminal cancer. She said the only thing that gave her something to look forward to each week was watching WWE. It was her way of connecting and bonding with her daughter. She was going through her chemotherapy treatments and was at a low point of feeling weak and that our programming gave her courage and made her excited. Her cancer is now in remission so meeting her was very inspiring. This is what makes it worth it to us.
CraveOnline: You mentioned your grandmother passing away from breast cancer. What were your family’s thoughts on this partnership?
Natalya: My family was really proud and humbled that I have become part of this campaign. Last year, my uncle Bret Hart ended up beating prostate cancer and he was the second person in our family to go through cancer. You don’t realize how much it affects you until you have a family member go through it. I look back and wish we had more research when my grandmother passed away.
The Hart Family
CraveOnline: What were family get-togethers like being in such a prestigious wrestling family?
Natalya: Every single day was a day about wrestling. There wasn’t a day that we weren’t around a wrestling ring, talking about wrestling, watching wrestling or wrestling ourselves. My cousins and I had a kids wrestling promotion called the KWA (Kids Wrestling Association).
It has been a huge part of my life and being in WWE is a dream come true but now that I have worked in WWE, I’ve realized that a part of my career is about so much more than wrestling. It’s about the stuff we do for the community and using our notoriety to help other people.
A Sharpshooter on a Total Divas cast member
CraveOnline: What can we expect on the upcoming season of Total Divas?
Natalya: There’s a lot of great stuff in the upcoming season. It really embraces us as strong women because we have a very diverse group of women in the locker room. We have girls from every walk of life who have been through so much.
What I love about this season is you’re going to see a lot of different points of view and there’s going to be some drama but at the end of the day, we do come back together. Maybe we aren’t all best friends but we do work through it. You see a lot of the new cast members like Maryse and Lana and Naomi is returning and we have Renee Young who’s not a wrestler in WWE but she shows that you don’t have to be a wrestler to be successful in the WWE.
I actually hate to say this but I love everyone in the cast. Lana drives me a little crazy. We have some major meltdowns on the show. She damaged one of my vehicles. I almost put her in the sharpshooter on my lawn [laughs]. It was very dramatic and she started crying. We managed to work it out over the course of three months and then went out for sushi.
“I would love a chance to be champion again”
CraveOnline: When you started in WWE, what did you want to get out of it and what do you still feel like you have to accomplish?
Natalya: I really love being a part of Total Divas because a lot of the stories I do on the show help people and they can relate to and get something from. I would also love a shot at being the WWE Women’s Champion again. WWE has two women’s titles; one on Raw and one on SmackDown. I would love a chance to be a champion again so that’s something I want to work toward.
If the storyline permits and my character and the stars align, I’m playing a bit of a bad girl on TV so hopefully I can do something evil enough to win the title [laughs].
CraveOnline: What were your thoughts when WWE debuted the new women’s title?
Natalya: It was cool because it was a different feel. I never put down the Divas title because it was a different time. At that time, that was what we were given. I feel like life is taking whatever you’re given and making it work and making the best of it. When we had the Divas title, I was very proud to be the WWE Divas Champion and now we have the women’s championship and one day I would love to have that and hold that with pride.
It’s a cool feeling that WWE is embracing women so much. The fact that we have two separate women’s divisions is huge.
FaceTime with cats
CraveOnline: What is life like on the road? What are the essentials for your travel bag and do you FaceTime your cats?
Natalya: I do FaceTime my cats especially Tupaws, the one that’s really rich [laughs]. He has an Instagram account. But first of all, packing a bag for me is like a science. I can’t go anywhere without my Lululemon black leggings. They can act as business casual with a pair of beautiful boots or I can hit the gym and go running in them.
I need to be very versatile. I always pack a pair of jeans. I always bring a pair of high black boots because they’re great for traveling. I’m really spoiled and over the years, I have got to the point where I only like buying a couple of nice pieces.
I used to buy lots of little things but now I just need staples. I need a great pair of jeans; I need a great leather coat and a great purse. I just bought this beautiful Louis Vuitton backpack because the last purse I had, my husband bought me eight years ago and never replaced it. It’s still in great condition but it had been almost a decade so I thought it was time for a new purse [laughs] so I finally treated myself. I also got to bring my makeup so I can get that contour on point.
CraveOnline: Who’s your travel partner on the road?
Natalya: It was my husband [Tyson Kidd]. We always traveled together the whole time that we have been on the road in WWE before he got injured so I do miss him a lot. He’s my best friend but when I don’t have him, I travel with Nikki Bella. When she’s not with John Cena, we travel together. I enjoy traveling with her and when Brie Bella was here, I enjoyed traveling with her. The Bellas and I started together in WWE so we’re very close friends. We definitely get our share of therapy in car rides [laughs].
CraveOnline: What do the fans need to know and what’s next for you?
Natalya: The biggest message we’re trying to get across is that our superstars and the power of WWE and the power of our WWE fan base, we can do this together. It’s not a coincidence that we’re continuing our strong partnership with Susan G. Komen. We’re making a difference and we’re changing lives. It’s more than just pink. It’s about reaching people one person at a time but together we’re stronger.
CraveOnline: What can we expect in the ring?
Natalya: In the ring you can expect me to tap them all out; Sharpshooter, baby.
Joshua Caudill is a writer for CraveOnline, a hockey fanatic, a pro wrestling connoisseur and an expert on all things Patrick Swayze. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshuaCaudill85 or “like” CraveOnline Sports on Facebook.
Photos by WWE