Source: Planeta Wrestling
Natalya has been a staple of the WWE's women's division since 2007, and she finally had her perseverance rewarded this summer when she won the SmackDown Women's Championship. She spoke to Planeta Wrestling prior to Hell In A Cell to discuss her career and more.
Natalya is one of the longest-tenured female wrestlers on the WWE roster. She only had one other title reign as Divas Champion in 2010. With the "Women's Revolution" leading to an influx of female talent in recent years, it would have been easy for Natalya to get lost in the shuffle. Instead, she stayed the course and continued believing she'd one day be champion again.
"When we got the [new] women's championships, I felt like this is part of my destiny," she said. "I grew up in this huge, incredible wrestling family, but I've never ridden on my family's coattails. I've always fought very hard to have everything that I have on my own, and I'd feel like it would be a huge injustice to myself, to Nattie, to not say that I was once a Women's Champion. So for me to be Women's Champion now, it just feels like it's destiny, and that it was meant to be and it was part of my wrestling journey. I really feel like it's been one of those important things that was a life lesson to me about not giving up and persevering."
In her match against Charlotte at Hell In A Cell, Natalya retained her title via disqualification and seems to be in for a lengthy rivalry with The Queen. But that hasn't stopped her from looking ahead to future rivalries, namely with Paige, who is rumored to be placed on the SmackDown brand upon her return.
"I can't wait for Paige to come back," Natalya said. "I love wrestling Paige, she's one of my favorite opponents. But if she thinks that she's gonna take my SmackDown Women's Championship, she's got another thing coming. I'm gonna be the SmackDown Women's Champion forever. I would love to dance again with Paige in the ring, but she's definitely not taking my championship."
Paige hasn't wrestled in over a year due to multiple injuries, multiple suspensions due to violations of the WWE's wellness policy, and well-documented personal issues that included explicit photos and videos of her being leaked in addition to a domestic violence incident with her fiance Alberto Del Rio. She started training for her return at the WWE Performance Center last month.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Planeta Wrestling with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.