Natalya was partnered up with Ronda Rousey from the start of Rousey’s WWE career. Right off of WrestleMania, they appeared to be best friends on television and many fans could sense an eventual feud coming between the two. But apparently, that idea was scrapped due to a tragedy in Nattie’s personal life as she lost her father Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that plans for Natalya and Ronda Rousey to be best friends on WWE television have been dropped. This decision was made weeks ago and in light of The Anvil’s death as well.
It is reported that the belief backstage in WWE was that after her father’s passing, they felt that they couldn’t turn her heel anymore and so they went back to the Nia Jax idea to face Rousey. Natalya was actually supposed to turn on Ronda Rousey about now in their storyline in fact, but it looks like WWE changed their mind due to the timing.
It’s interesting how WWE wanted to play Nattie as sympathetic after her father’s death so they pulled a heat-driving heel turn from her which could have logically worked in a realistic storyline sense as well seeing how there are so many stages of grief and one of them could have plausibly included a heel turn.
Only time will tell if WWE will get back to Rousey vs Natalya in their plans, but the angle was said to only be a “short window” anyway considering where we currently are in WWE’s calendar anyway.