Many fans have been left angered by WWE after the company started to use Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart in the current storyline between Neidhart’s daughter Natalya and Riott Squad leader Ruby Riott.
Natalya herself was interviewed by Yahoo Sports, where the former SmackDown Women’s Champion explained in detail what her reaction to the storyline has been, and gave an insight into Total Divas including her father’s funeral.
According to Natalya, she doesn’t think WWE is wrong to include this storyline, and believes that it allows the fans to go on a journey with her as she tries to remember her father after his passing earlier this year. In fact, she adds that her dad would support the storyline, given his knowledge of the wrestling industry and as a legendary figure in WWE history.
“A lot of people have asked me, girls that I work with backstage, other superstars, people at home, if I’m OK with this storyline and how do I feel about it. For me, this is what is going on in my life, this is the elephant in the room.”
“My dad was a professional wrestler. He was a WWE superstar, he was a WWE legend before he passed away and I feel like in some crazy way this is like my dad is having one last run. I feel like if I asked my dad right now, ‘Daddy, how do you feel about me doing this storyline?’ My dad would say go for it. He understood pro wrestling, he understood how, for fans to become emotionally invested in stories, there has to be emotionally charged content.”
Additionally, Natalya addressed Total Divas cameras being used at the funeral. The show covered Neidhart’s funeral, and this was extremely important for Natalya. She explains that her grieving process has been unique but therapeutic for her.
“In some weird way, this storyline has been strangely therapeutic because anything I’m feeling I can get it out. If I need to cry, I can get it out. I can let everybody see it, hear it and I can take the WWE universe on this journey with me. I need to speak the truth and I need to remind the world that my dad was a WWE star, he was special and everyone can feel that with me.”
“On Sunday, it is going to be one of my most powerful performances and it’s going to be for my dad.”
You can also watch the eulogy Natalya gave at her father’s funeral below:
Who is your prediction for the winner of Riott vs. Natalya at TLC? Does the storyline have you invested? Let us know your thoughts, opinions, and reactions in those comments below.
With H/T to Yahoo Sports for the transcription.