Natalya Once Got Into A Fight On The School Bus Over Papa Shango And Believing In Kayfabe
Photo Credit: WWE
It was still real to her, dammit!
Natalya was on Out of Character with Ryan Satin and spoke about how she was sheltered from the wrestling business as a kid, as well as the lengths that the Hart family would go to protect the secrets of the wrestling business.
Nattie explained that save for a few occasions, she never attended events and didn’t go backstage because her father, Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart, wanted to shelter his daughters from that aspect of the business.
“My dad felt it was very much ‘a man’s world’ and he just really tried to shelter his three daughters from it. He felt like backstage wasn’t a place for kids and not his little girls. But, as the WWE evolved and the Women’s Evolution evolved and women became part of it,” Natalya explained, “Trish Stratus was one of the women that inspired me to want to be a WWE Superstar. I saw her and I was like, ‘She’s beautiful, she’s blonde and she’s Canadian, she’s athletic’ and I remember her wrestling through a broken nose. I was like, ‘this is cool! I want to do this!’”
“I just got a bug for it. I’d been around it my whole life but I’d been sheltered from it. My dad just didn’t want us to get hurt, and then once I showed my dad I could handle it,” Nattie said, “my dad became my biggest fan. His whole office is pictures of us—from Bret, pictures of my whole career—he ended up becoming my biggest cheerleader.”
Speaking more about not being allowed backstage at WWE events, Nattie recalled getting into a fight with TJ Wilson (her now-husband) after he got invited as a guest to a WrestleMania and she didn’t. Natalya said that she was mad at the time but it all came back to her family being incredibly protective of the wrestling business, then she shared a story about exactly how much she believed in kayfabe as a kid.
“My dad and my grandfather, my uncles—especially my grandfather Stu—they really tried to protect what we call kayfabe. Like, the babyfaces weren’t allowed to ride with the heels, my dad would never, ever discuss storylines around us. My dad really tried to protect the business a lot. I remember for a long time, and this is actually a great story for this, I remember being on the school bus with Harry Smith, David Hart Smith in WWE,” Natalya explained, “and there was a kid on the bus that was fighting with me about Papa Shango’s green slime coming out, the mist, the slime.
“I was on the back of the school bus fighting with this kid, saying wrestling is real, and what my dad does is real. I was in tears, Harry and I were both in tears,” she said, “and I just remember the kid’s parents talked to my parents, it was this big, dramatic situation. But I stood by it, that whatever was going on with Papa Shango was totally real, because that’s what I thought!”
She also went on to explain that during the infamous Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart feud they tried to keep up appearances, believing that the more the fans bought into it, the better the matches would be.
“Even at the airports, they would pretend to glare at each other and be mad at each other, be rude to each other,” Nattie said, “but they loved it.”
Natalya closed by saying she started to get clued in as she got older, but noted that the Hart family was very traditional about protecting the business.
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