WWE Superstar Natalya recently joined Taylor Wilde on the Wilde On podcast, as she discussed how Rousey listened and soaked in all of her guidance during her training when she was transitioning from MMA to WWE.
You can check out some highlights from the interview below:
Natalya on the WWE women stars: “You have women from every walk of life. You have Ronda Rousey. She’s taken a few years off, she’s a mom, and she’s still finding her groove. It’s not easy coming back after giving birth and being away from everything for years, so she’s trying to find her groove. Charlotte [Flair], she’s got lots of pressures just being kind of a generational kid, so she’s always trying to make sure that people understand, ‘Hey, I’m not just getting all of this because of my last name.’ Sasha [Banks], of course, has transcended even beyond WWE having been a part of The Mandalorian, which is huge.”
Natalya on Sasha Banks and Bayley and how they helped Bianca Belair: “Sasha and Bayley, I witnessed firsthand. Those two women did so much to help Bianca last year when Bianca was on her rise in WWE. When Bianca needed all the help she can get, Sasha and Bayley were two women that I was so impressed by. They had the star power being the Four Horsewomen and they helped. They were like, listen, we’re going to hold Bianca by the hand, we’re going to make sure she shines, we’re going to help her get where she needs to go until Bianca can soar on her own. You see Bianca pay it forward. It’s cool watching Bianca pay it forward to Liv [Morgan], Bianca paid it forward to Doudrop.”
Natalya on training with Ronda Rousey: “Three-ish years ago when I first was training with her, I found her to be really motivated. She really wanted to learn everything she could about what we did in WWE. She had done judo, she had done MMA, obviously, one of the pioneer women of MMA. Somebody that put women in MMA on the map. She understood pretty fast that WWE and pro wrestling is a whole different animal. nIt’s not just going in there and you versus your opponent. It’s like, hey, you gotta make sure you have a good relationship with the girls that you’re working [with]. You have to be able to gel and to trust the people that you’re in the with because you’re giving them your body, and they’re giving you their body. I feel like she picked up on it really fast because she had respect.”
Natalya on how respectful Ronda Rousey was to her: “She was always super respectful to me if we were putting matches together. We had a match on RAW once, for Christmas. It was 2018 in December. We had our only singles match together. Long story short, she was really trusting of me. She wasn’t telling me, ‘hey, I need to look strong, or I can’t do this, or I don’t think my character would do that’, and she was like, ‘you take the reigns, you tell me what to do. I trust you, Nattie.’ She really trusted me to guide her. It made me so happy because we had this phenomenal match. I loved our match together.”
On seeing a new layer to Rousey in her current run: “I think in order for babyfaces to be really good to get connected to the audience, they have to know how to sell. Ronda, I think because she’s been through so much in her life, like, her childhood was very hard. Losing her dad at a very young age, her mom raising her as a single mom. She had a speech impediment until she was like eight or nine. I think she’s been through some really traumatic things in her life, so she understands how to dig deep and make people feel something. I think now, even as a mom, you’re seeing a different layer to her. You have a more of a maternal kind of softer side that you never really tapped into before. I think Ronda is kinda seeing that. Her focus is a little bit different now. She loves what she’s doing in WWE, but she’s like, ‘I’m a mom’. Things are a little different. Same with Becky [Lynch]. Becky doesn’t have that, neither Ronda nor Becky come off to me as being, like, ruthless killers. They come off to me as being a little bit more cerebral and strategic.”
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