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Natalya - A look back at the career of the third generation Superstar

Gary Cassidy
953   //    18 Dec 2017, 18:33 IST

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One of the most bizarre moments of Clash of Champions has to be Natalya's post-match interview after her defeat to Charlotte in the WWE SmackDown Live Women's Championship match where she said she was turning her back on the audience, then left the ring in a flood of tears.

We have absolutely no idea what this means, whether it's a retirement, a hiatus to change up her image, or just that we're going to see a much meaner, badder Natalya in coming weeks.

Although we don't know how much tougher she can get, Nattie has proven herself as one of the top technical female wrestlers in the world over the years and has even lost teeth in the ring.

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We don't know many others who would be smiling like that after losing their gnashers.

Natalya has been around for a long time but, at 35, she's still a very young lady with loads to give to WWE - both in ring and out - and when she eventually does decide to leave wrestling, she really does deserve a proper send-off, not going out in tears with the crowd sarcastically singing "Na-na-na-na, hey-hey-hey, goodbye" at her.

To explain why she's one of the most valuable and experienced female stars on the roster, we need to take a short journey back through her incredible career!

As most people know, Nattie is a member of the Hart wrestling family - one of the most talented and most respected families in wrestling history.

Natalya was the first ever third-generation female wrestler, not a feat to be taken lightly. And coming from a family boasting legends like her uncles, Bret and Owen, and her father Jim "The Anvil" - but this didn't fast track her to the big time.

The Early Years

Instead, she completed her training in the Hart Family Dungeon and went on to work in the independent scene, starting as a host and ring announcer for Eric Bischoff's promotion, MatRats, before moving onto the Hart Family's Stampede Wrestling.


Natalya wrestled all over the world before finding herself back in Canada, and competing in promotions such as Shimmer Women Athletes.

She used a perfectly applied heirloom of the Sharpshooter to put her opponents away, and did it so incredibly well!

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After seven years on the indies, Natalya finally got signed to the WWE and went straight to developmental territory Deep South Wrestling, before moving on to Florida Championship Wrestling and Ohio Valley Wrestling.

It was in FCW where she and Alicia Fox would initially start a rotational rivalry with The Bella Twins in 2007 and 2008.


Natalya made her main roster debut on SmackDown, allied with Victoria, and got off to a flying start, running through the roster and competing for the first ever WWE Divas Championship, just losing out to Michelle McCool.

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She then ended up in ECW via the talent exchange agreement to manage Tyson Kidd, and compete in the famous Santina Marella Battle Royal at WrestleMania 25. Nattie and Tyson Kidd were then joined by her cousin David Hart Smith to form the Hart Dynasty where they enjoyed a spell that culminated in them helping Bret defeat Vince McMahon, and where Nattie also helped The Hart Dynasty win the Tag Team titles.

After a lengthy rivalry with Michelle McCool and Layla, Natalya defeated both in a handicap match to win her first ever Divas Championship, and eventually competing in the first women's tables match in WWE history!

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Natalya then had spells as part of the Divas of Doom, in a relationship with The Great Khali, teaming with Hornswoggle, appearing on the debut of Total Divas and challenging Paige and Charlotte Flair for the NXT Women's Championship.

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Best Team Ever

Perhaps one of Natalya's most memorable runs was one that was sadly short-lived, managing Tyson Kidd and Cesaro, with them winning the Tag Team Championship and successfully retaining them with the help of Natalya.

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Women's Revolution

Natalya has played a massive part in the women's revolution, too, returning after some time off to be with Tyson Kidd following his neck injury. She confronted Paige and was entered into the multi-woman rivalry that saw the full roster being used to great effect for possibly the first time in WWE history.

Her rivalry with Charlotte was then revisited, even having a match with Bret Hart and Ric Flair in their respective corners where Charles Robinson ended the match with a submission even though she hadn't tapped - a callback to the infamous Montreal Screwjob. After the match, Natalya and Bret both applied simultaneous Sharpshooters to the Flairs.

Since then, Natalya has been a staple of the SmackDown Live women's division after being drafted there, being involved in and around championship storylines until the 2017 Money In

At the Money in the Bank PPV, Natalya competed in the first ever Women's MITB match unsuccessfully, however she would go on to win a five-way match for the number one contendership which would culminate in her defeating Naomi for the SmackDown Live Women's Championship.

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Natalya would successfully defend her title and held it for 86 days before dropping it to Charlotte, and they've also since competed in a cage match, and Natalya lost her Championship rematch at Clash of Champions last night.

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We really hope this isn't the way it ends for Natalya, as she truly has been a company woman. From putting on quality matches night after night, and even working with storylines involving a romance with The Great Khali and even in a gimmick where she was constantly breaking wind on air, she's been excellent.

We're glad Natalya has been able to be herself in recent years, with excellent outfits and talking all about cats - as well as being a phenomenal in-ring worker.

After Clash of Champions, she tweeted out a cryptic tribute to her uncle Owen.

We hope that this isn't a goodbye, and hopefully not even a "see you later", but Natalya, for me, has been one of the innovators of the current women's wrestling scene as it is.

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Gary Cassidy
Gary Cassidy is a freelance journalist from Glasgow, Scotland, specialising in professional wrestling with Sportskeeda. Gary has ten years' writing experience and a 2:1 Honours degree, and is also a subtitler working on both live and prerecorded broadcast for television channels across the UK, USA and Australia.
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