wrestling / News

Natalya On Her Relationship With Ronda Rousey, How It Changed After Rousey Returned To WWE

July 1, 2022 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
WWE Smackdown Natalya Ronda Rousey Image Credit: WWE

Natalya’s friendship with Ronda Rousey has turned sour (at least on-screen), and Nattie talked about their feud ahead of their Money in the Bank match. Natalya is set to challenge Rousey for the Smackdown Women’s Championship at Money in the Bank on Saturday and she discussed her relationship with Rousey on After the Bell with Corey Graves. You can check out some highlights below, per Fightful:

On how her relationship with Rousey began: “Ronda and I, we were really close friends. I actually trained with Ronda and helped her before she ever signed a WWE contract. I remember getting off an overseas tour and flying straight from the tour and meeting with her at Santino’s [Santino Bros] in California. That was the start of our private training sessions. In those sessions, I realized something really special about her. Yes, she’s an Olympic athlete, she’s a pioneer for women’s MMA, she literally put women’s MMA on the map, there might not be women in MMA without Ronda Rousey. She did that.

“I realized, in training with her, that she is so naturally gifted. I could show her something once, and she would pick it up. I knew she had a knack for it. Everything came very easy for Ronda, and in my experience, it was the complete opposite. Things take a long time for me to understand and grasp and I’ve been doing this since I was 18. For Ronda, because she picked it up so fast and was naturally good at it, there was an arrogance about her. She and I were great, we were great when she got signed, I took her under my wing in WWE and made sure everyone in the locker room felt comfortable and I think the girls felt more comfortable with Ronda when they saw that I endorsed Ronda. When Nattie endorses someone, I’ve been tried and true in WWE and I’m proud of that, I’ve been here 15 years, have experience, and girls trust me. When they see that I trust Ronda, I like Ronda, I let Ronda in our world, it kind of softened them up into liking Ronda. We were very close friends.”

On how the relationship has changed since she returned: “Some of that changed when she came back because, without being a jerk, I think she’s really arrogant. She just dismissed me and said, ‘You didn’t want to have kids and put wrestling first.’ Well, maybe I don’t want to have kids. Maybe that’s that not what I want in my life. I don’t think I should be shamed for that. I’ve never wanted to be a mom, it’s never been in my heart. Don’t dismiss every single thing I’ve done in this industry. I’m sorry that my love and my passion is way greater than yours will ever be. You’re naturally good at something, that makes you arrogant, but don’t dismiss me for the love that you don’t have.”

article topics :

Natalya, Ronda Rousey, WWE, Jeremy Thomas