Women’s wrestling: The next big thing? (Part 8)

 

jvarsallone@miamiherald.com

WWE diva Natalya is not only a solid wrestler but a co-star on the show “Total Divas” on E!. Natalya proves you can be a diva and a wrestler in the sports entertainment business.

“Women, we call the shots, whether it’s your mother, wife,” she said, “even in my relationship [Natalya is married to WWE superstar Tyson Kidd], my better half knows that Nattie calls the shots.

“In WWE, Stephanie McMahon [Chief Brand Officer], I would vote for her to be President of the United States. She is beautiful, intimidating and endearing, all at the same time. Women are taking over in WWE.

“People look at WWE and think it’s very male dominated, but really it’s not. There’s a nice blend and balance of women who are involved in WWE. You look at Stephanie McMahon and Vickie Guerrero and AJ Lee and this cast on ‘Total Divas.’”

“People are going, ‘Wow, I love watching Natalya on ‘Total Divas.’ Oh my gosh. Did you see what the Bellas did?’ People are getting hooked on watching us.”

“Total Divas” on E! gives people a look behind the scenes at the lives of WWE divas inside the ring and out.

Another novel concept, Sara Del Rey, an established women’s wrestler, is training the NXT divas at the new WWE Performance Center in Orlando. A woman training women to wrestle is a good move.

Is training others full-time something in Natalya’s future?

“For me, everything is situational, especially with my career in WWE,” she said. “I learned a long time ago not to plan too far in advance, because the minute you start planning your life, it all takes a different direction. I was one of those people who liked to have all her ducks in a row, but now I don’t do that. I take it one day at a time, because everything can change, and you have to be willing to roll with the punches and the ups and downs, the highs and the lows.

“Although, I do really enjoy working with new talent, women and men, and I love training people. I think training people makes you better at your craft, but I don’t know. It will just depend on the situation, and if the right opportunity presents itself, but I can’t say what my future holds.”

Is it harder for women to make it in pro wrestling compared to men?

“I think in order to be in WWE and be at the level that we’re at, there are only a handful of people -- men and women -- on the planet who can do what we do,” she said. “It’s an extraordinary career to have. It’s life changing. It’s what dreams are made of. It’s given me some of the greatest moments of my life, professionally and personally, but it’s very, very hard and very challenging. I don’t think just anybody can do it. WWE is growing and expanding, and the people who are lucky enough and strong enough to be a part of our company will reap huge rewards.”

Can women obtain more spots on TV and pay-per-views?

“Of course,” Natalya said. “I’m not saying this in a cocky way, but I think women are taking over, whether it’s [singer] Beyonce or [MMA fighter] Ronda Rousey or all the divas in WWE. Look at Stephanie McMahon. When she comes on your screen on [WWE] Monday Night Raw, she’s engaging. When you watch her, you want to hear what she’s going to say. You look at Vickie Guerrero, and you look at AJ Lee, and you look at the Bella twins. Even if you watch ‘Total Divas’ and you think the Bella twins are cocky or sassy or arrogant, you’re watching. You’re tuning in, and you’re hanging on every word they’re saying.

“I think that we have a nice blend of power women who are kind of taking over WWE. Go by what they do, not by what they say. If you’re watching WWE and you’re seeing all these women on your television screen, you know the tide is turning, and things are changing.

“WWE is always evolving and changing and growing, and for women our role in WWE is getting bigger and stronger and better, as it should. That’s the way it’s always worked in WWE.

“Our reality show ‘Total Divas’ is proof of that. You have seven divas, and we have an hour long show every week on another network [E!] that partnered with WWE to show what our girls do. You turn on SmackDown, and you see Vickie Guerrero, and you turn on Raw, and you see Stephanie McMahon, and you see all the girls. It’s very empowering to know that women are taking over WWE.”

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