Fighting

Season four of ‘Total Divas’ with WWE’s Natalya premieres July 7 on E!

WWE diva Natalya is an all-around talent, and she will once again be featured on “Total Divas” on E!. The season four preimiere is 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, July 7.
WWE diva Natalya is an all-around talent, and she will once again be featured on “Total Divas” on E!. The season four preimiere is 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, July 7. Photo Courtesy WWE

Whether inside the WWE ring or somewhere outside, Natalya’s passion for her profession and family shines bright.

This is evident watching the E! hit reality show “Total Divas,” which returns for a fourth season 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, July 7. Cameras will chronicle the life of the third generation grappler, as well as her fellow co-stars the Bella Twins, Eva Marie, Alicia Fox, Paige and Naomi.

Natalya has been a cast member since the series began and says the upcoming installment is the best one yet. Expect fireworks and the claws to come out.

“There is no season that can compare to this season coming up because the crazy drama that happened was more explosive than anything we’ve had in the first three seasons,” Natalya said. “The drama is still going on. I’ve always said there is no place more dangerous than the diva’s division. There is no place more dangerous in the WWE than in the diva’s locker room. I truly believe that, especially this season. The lines in the sand have been drawn. There are two different sides. It’s like every girl on the show from me to Paige to the Bellas to Alicia Fox. We all have our own opinions of where we stand with the situation. It’s just crazy to me that it has become so divided. So I’m hoping everyone can work it out. It’s gotten very uncomfortable in the locker room. Even the events that we do, its uncomfortable doing them because of where people stand on the situation.”

Nattie doesn’t spill what exactly transpired to create the rift among the strong-minded ladies. Until the shows air we can only imagine. However, it seems whatever it is or was has affected all sides.

“With the Bella Twins, they have each other. So when you fight with one, you fight with both. Now you have John Cena standing behind Nicole. You have Bryan standing behind standing behind Brie,” she said. “I started out with the Bella Twins, so I have a very close relationship with them. We don’t always see eye-to-eye, but we are very close. You have this different mindset of where everyone is coming from. It doesn’t mean the Bellas are right or wrong or that I am right or wrong. It doesn’t mean Eva Marie is right or wrong or Trinity [Naomi] is right or wrong. It’s just two different camps with this argument that happened. It really makes this season very interesting.

“The fight is still going on, so I hope by the end of the season we can work it out. If we don’t, I don’t know where it stands. What I have always said to the girls is if we can’t get along in the locker room, it makes it very uncomfortable in the ring together. Obviously, what we do in the ring is very competitive. Part of what makes the magic is being compatible with each other. When I don’t get along with someone in the ring, I don’t always have my best matches with them. I do great work with people that I respect and want to build a beautiful story with like the one I did with Charlotte at NXT.”

One of the reasons why Natalya has resonated with audiences of “Total Divas” is because is herself. She isn’t afraid to open up her life through good times and bad. We’ve watched her drunk dial Stephanie McMahon, get married and have relationship problems with her husband Tyson Kidd, losing her cat and everything in between. Perhaps, some of the emotional scenes were trying to help her father, WWE alum Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, battle his longtime demons once and for all.

“When I first got asked to do the show, I thought, ‘Am I that much of a hot mess to be on a reality show,” she said. “I didn’t think I was a hot mess. Then I thought, ‘Nattie, you’re in the Hart family. That whole family is a hot mess.’ I mean my uncle Smith Hart showed up to a pay-per-view wearing no shoes. I realize I’d be perfect for a reality show. I feel part of what made me successful and relevant on ‘Total Divas’ is letting everyone in. For 32 years I never talked about my dad and his situation and his addiction.

“It was a very private thing for me and my family. I felt like it was a very dark cloud in my life because I was always protective of my dad, so I didn’t talk about it. Then here comes my husband TJ, who said, ‘Nattie, you’re on a reality show. People can tune into the show and learn something from what you’re going through. It makes it worth it because people Google your dad and things come up. Let them in.’

“TJ was the one who inspired me to do it because when people tune into ‘Total Divas’ I want them to see me be fun and goofy, but I also want them to get something out of it. I want them to say, ‘I can totally relate to what Nattie is going through because my aunt had that problem or my mom had that problem.’ My dad became humanized on the series. He wasn’t just some ex-wrestler, who had a problem.

“My dad is a human being. He is a person just like any one of us. He was going through something that is actually very common. As a family, we got together and got him the help we needed through WWE. It was like this very rewarding experience to see my dad turn his life around and actually be able to share it with the world. So those moments I’m happy I let everyone in.”

Natalya is appreciative of WWE, as she says the company was a driving force in getting her dad help. She also felt an outpouring of support.

“It’s hard to let people in, but when you do, you really become more real and more relatable,” she added. “To me, that is the best part of the show. Being imperfect is what unites us all.”

Family has been a big part of Natalya’s time on “Total Divas.” Viewers can see a bond she has with her mom, who will do anything for her daughter. This includes being there when a dominatrix visits the household.

“I had a dominatrix come and visit me because I was trying a darker character on TV,” Natalya said. “My mom helped me with this woman that came over. It was pretty funny with my mom going that extra mile….I had debuted this new look that was a little darker and edgier when I walked Cesaro and TJ down to the ring. I didn’t know about what a dominatrix was or what they did. I just learned about all of it, which is covered on the show. So I didn’t realize what this woman did. So I invited her over to have some herbal tea with us. Next thing I know TJ stormed off letting me know he was a tag team champion at the time and didn’t want to be a part of this. This lady wanted him to act like a cat on the ground. You have to find out what happened by watching ‘Total Divas’ when TJ left. He was furious. So I called my mom up, but she was very obliging.”

Recently, Natalya made it a point to be there for TJ, who had successful neck surgery. The devoted wife is expected to lace up the boots once more. The pink and black attack is excited to get back to her career and doing what she loves. The respected veteran believes women’s wrestling is on the upswing.

“It was has been so interesting to watch this NXT division evolve because when you are in WWE we are all in the same tree,” Natalya said. “I feel like people on the main roster are not the only divas. The NXT divas are divas, too. I feel like we are all under this same umbrella. We are part of the WWE umbrella, so to be able to work with the girls of NXT on their show, it was awesome. Triple H and I actually had an in-depth conversation about this. Triple H believes that it’s the stories. The women are being allowed to tell stories. They are getting build and time to tell the story. It’s the story more than the wrestling.”

One of Natalya’s favorite matches thus far was at NXT TakeOver on WWE Network against Charlotte. Nattie had her uncle Bret Hart by her side, and Charlotte had her father Ric Flair. Despite the star power at ringside, it was the female athlete’s respective in-ring abilities and turned heads.

“Triple H gave us a chance to tell a story,” she said. “There was this beautiful story about two families with one diva who wants to prove she can hang and be on the main roster while the other one trying to prove she can hold her own with the new girls. You have this beautiful story told in the ring, which is why I love NXT. That’s what is inspiring the divas on the main roster because they strive for that.

“We don’t have control over a lot of things, but when we get time to wrestle and the chance to tell stories. Even if we only have two minutes on Raw, it needs to help tell a story. Whether it’s through social media, ‘Total Divas,’ Raw, SmackDown, NXT or whatever, there is still the story. I think that is what Triple H does for the girls at NXT. It’s ground-breaking. We have this beautiful division of girls being allowed to tell a story and taking the ball and running with it. Not just anyone can tell that story.

“These girls train and wrestle six or seven days a week. They are taking the ball and running with it. Not everyone can tell that story. You have women that have the same passion that I do. They have wrestled in Japan like Becky Lynch. They have been on the independents like Sasha [Banks] and Bayley. They grew up around the business like Charlotte.

“Although Trish Stratus didn’t have those things, she is one of the most iconic divas in WWE history. She didn’t come from a family of wrestlers or work on the independents, but she had what I think all the girls on the main roster and NXT have. They have passion and heart. You are not making it if you don’t have heart. The girls at NXT are really having this huge surge in popularity and getting positively talked about.”

Natalya can see that what Triple H and the NXT girls are doing has caught the attention of a certain WWE chairman. Change is in the air.

“Vince McMahon is taking notice of what these girls are doing in NXT,” she said. “We are so excited on the main roster because finally, finally we are going to be allowed to have longer matches and tell more stories. Vince is noticing it and wondering what is causing such frenzy at NXT with Triple H and these girls. I feel very grateful Hunter is so behind these girls because it’s causing Vince McMahon to take notice. The girls on the main roster like me are all starving to have the same opportunities that girls at NXT are getting. Triple H is really spearheading that. He is really revolutionizing the way women are looked within the industry. Hopefully, that can transfer to the main roster because I am starving to do what I did at NXT. I can’t wait.”

- Follow Natalya on Twitter @NatByNature

- Follow me on Twitter @smFISHMAN

‘Total Divas’ returns July 7 on E!

E!, WWE and Bunim-Murray Productions’ “Total Divas” returns for its highly-anticipated fourth season at 9 p.m. ET/PT Tuesday, July 7 on E!.

“Total Divas” continues to give the exclusive, outside-the-ring look at many of WWE’s top Divas, and this season all it takes is just one spark. The Bella Twins (Nikki and Brie Bella), Natalya (Nattie), Eva Marie, Paige and Naomi (Trinity) are back and ready to heat up the summer. The ladies will continue to give viewers an inside glimpse on balancing life in the spotlight with the drama of their personal lives, and the non-stop action of their professional careers, taken to new heights with Nikki Bella as the current WWE Divas Championship titleholder.

Season three of “Total Divas” remained a powerhouse for E!, reaching 1.73M Total Viewers and 1.12M Adults 18-49 in L3 ratings, solidifying its spot as one of the network’s hottest programs.

In the season three finale, the Bella Twins were contemplating signing a three-year deal with WWE, but were reluctant to commit because Brie wanted to start a family and Nikki was looking into alternative business opportunities.

While the Bellas were considering the next step in their careers, Natalya, Eva Marie and newcomer, Paige, were all working on their respective romantic relationships. Paige decided to put an end to her budding romance after realizing that they just weren’t a match. Nattie and her WWE Superstar husband, Tyson Kidd, were working through the ups and downs of their second year of marriage, and Eva Marie and her husband, Jonathan, put their relationship, as well as her relationship with WWE, at risk when he began working as her manager.

This season, emotions will rise as all of the ladies must truly learn the art of harmonizing their rocky personal ventures and their in-ring personas. Brie Bella struggles with the injuries endured by her husband, WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan™, as well as their fertility issues. Nattie has to overcome some personal obstacles her father is battling, meanwhile dealing with her sister moving in with her and her husband. Eva becomes public enemy number one when word gets out that WWE has big plans in raising her profile. Paige lands a role in WWE Studios’ film “Santa’s Little Helper” co-starring WWE Superstar The Miz™ and wearily ventures into a new romantic relationship. Trinity navigates the unfamiliar terrain of being a stepmom to the children of her husband WWE Superstar, Jimmy Uso™, while also transitioning her in-ring character from a hero to a villain. With each Diva now becoming a serious contender for Nikki’s WWE Divas Championship title, this season is sure to be a knockout.

Season four of E!’s hit “Total Divas” returns 9 p.m. ET/PT Tuesday, July 7, followed by the series premiere of E!’s “Hollywood Cycle,” a never before seen look inside the uber-popular, highly competitive world of indoor cycling at LA’s Cycle House.

“Total Divas” is produced by WWE and Bunim-Murray Productions. Gil Goldschein, Jeff Jenkins and Russell Jay are Executive Producers for Bunim-Murray Productions. Kevin Dunn and Chris Chambers are Executive Producers for WWE.

About E! Entertainment

E! is the only global, multiplatform brand for all things pop culture. The network is currently available to 98-million cable and satellite subscribers in the U.S. Eonline delivers breaking entertainment news and in-depth coverage on television, movies, music, celebrities, fashion, beauty and lifestyle. One of the fastest-growing, most influential digital properties, Eonline is a leader in online video and mobile and a leading entertainment brand across social.

E! programming includes core franchises "E! News," "The Soup" and "Fashion Police," popular series "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Total Divas," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," "Botched" and "House of DVF," as well as the network's first original scripted series "The Royals." Additionally, E!'s "Live from the Red Carpet" signature events keep fans connected to their favorite stars on pop culture's biggest nights. E! is a network of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience.

E! Entertainment is a division of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. For more corporate information, visit

www.nbcuniversal.com.

About WWE

WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family friendly entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms.

WWE programming reaches more than 650-million homes worldwide in 35 languages. WWE Network, the first-ever 24/7 over-the-top premium network that includes all 12 live pay-per-views, scheduled programming and a massive video-on-demand library, is currently available in more than 175 countries. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai, Munich and Tokyo.

Additional information on WWE (NYSE: WWE) can be found at

wwe.com and

corporate.wwe.com.

For information on its global activities, go to

http://www.wwe.com/worldwide/.

About Bunim/Murray Productions

Bunim/Murray Productions is the leading producer of innovative entertainment content. The Emmy Award-winning company is widely credited with creating the reality television genre with its hit series The Real World (renewed for season 30 on MTV). BMP continued to innovate with the first reality game show, Road Rules (MTV), in 1995; the first reality sitcom, The Simple Life (E!), in 2003; and the first reality soap opera, Starting Over, in 2003.

Bunim-Murray’s programming also includes Keeping up with the Kardashians, Kourtney and Khloe Take The Hamptons and Total Divas (E!),The Real World and The Challenge (MTV), Project Runway, Project Runway All Stars, and Project Runway: Under The Gunn (Lifetime), Motor City Masters (truTV), Love Thy Sister (WE tv), and Bad Girls Club, Bad Girls All Star Battle, and Best Ink (Oxygen).

Bunim/Murray Productions has also produced films, including Valentine Road (HBO),Pedro (MTV) and the Emmy Award-winning Autism: The Musical (HBO). Bunim/Murray Productions has launched additional entities including BMP Films, BMP Digital and BMP Latin. Based in Van Nuys, CA, Bunim/Murray Productions was founded in 1987 by Jonathan Murray and the late Mary-Ellis Bunim, who were inducted into the Television Academy of Arts & Science’s Hall of Fame in 2012. The company joined Banijay Group in 2010.

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