It is just under a year since the world lost one of the true greats of wrestling, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart. His loss was felt by many, but none more so than his daughter, WWE Superstar Natalya.
Nataylya, who faces Becky Lynch this weekend at SummerSlam in Toronto, spoke to Canada.com about her father’s passing and her thoughts following the loss.
“Everybody was very supportive and kind to me when my dad passed away, which was awesome. When you lose somebody that’s close to you, everybody reaches out and they really, really care. But there were some people — even my co-workers — who said to me, ‘I can’t believe you went back to work five days later.’ I went back to work a day after my dad’s funeral.
“Honestly, at some points, I didn’t even know if I could continue wrestling,”Natalya said, fighting back tears. “I was thinking, ‘How do I find the strength to continue doing what I love? How can I, after losing my dad, which was the biggest personal and professional blow that has happened to me, move on? How do I move forward? I felt at times like I was paralyzed inside. I didn’t know how to move on from that kind of deep pain, that deep void.”
She also spoke about how she feels that she has “broken free” as of late, and credited Paul Heyman for his work as executive director for allowing her to do so.
“I kind of broke free and I feel like Paul gave me the courage to do that. Paul gave me, in some ways, the courage to be Nattie and to be like, ‘No, I just want to say what I want to say.’ I went a little off script on the mic and I said some things that shocked people about Becky Lynch.
“I don’t take any of those words back, I have no regrets about anything I said, and I meant every single word that I said,” Natalya said. “Becky underestimates me, and that’s fine. I’ve built an entire career out of being underestimated by people like Becky Lynch. It’s people like Paul Heyman who believes in the talent that gives them the courage to stand up and be who they want to be.”