A new flame burns

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January 05, 2007

Natalie Neidhart, a third generation wrestler and daughter of former WWE Superstar Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, has signed a developmental deal with World Wrestling Entertainment.

As the first female from the legendary Hart family to join the company, Natalie told WWE.com that she's "really excited about working with WWE. It has always been a dream. Wrestling is a huge part of who I am; I grew up in a wrestling family and WWE was always around me, so now I'm finally on the inside looking out."

She isn't the only one looking forward to her WWE opportunity; in fact, one WWE Hall of Famer has been a true source of inspiration for her.

"Uncle Bret [Hart] and I are very close, and he is really, really happy for me," she said. "He has been extremely supportive and I am lucky I can turn to him. Bret has been through every event and situation and his advice has been great."

How does The Anvil himself feel about his daughter's new vocation?

"My dad at first was pessimistic, but now he is really looking forward to it. He had fun when he was in WWE, and now he can relive those glory days through my career."

Natalie will find herself in very good company with her cousin Harry Smith, son of the British Bulldog, also recently signed with WWE.

"Harry has inspired me so much," she revealed. "We'll both continue working hard not to let anyone down, especially my grandfather [Stu Hart], Owen and Davey. They're no longer around to share in these moments, but I know they're still here with Harry and me."

Natalie Neidhart comes from a long line of Superstars who have not only held numerous WWE titles, but have also been trained in the historic Hart Dungeon.

"Chris Benoit, Bret Hart, Dynamite Kid, Owen Hart, British Bulldog, my dad...they all trained there. My grandfather's home was such a big part of our lives. If you come out of the dungeon and have wrestled on those mats, learned from the people I learned from, then already you have climbed a mountain; but now there is another mountain to climb, and that is WWE," she continued. "Being a woman from the dungeon I feel I will add more grittiness to the women's division. But as important as it is to be great in the ring, it's just as important to be sexy."

Then there's the roster of WWE Divas she's joining -- a mix of femme fatales she describes as genuinely unique.

"Divas are involved in a business where they are always traveling, always have to look good, and always have to be on their game," she explained. "People don't realize how difficult it really is to get in that ring and wrestle. It's challenging and the ladies are under a microscope. Trish [Stratus] pushed herself and became one of the best, and Maria is currently doing the same. All the Divas are fighting to prove that they can handle themselves, and I'm excited to add to that."

Natalie Neidhart expects ups and downs in the business, but she will keep one piece of advice very near to her heart as she ventures into WWE.

"As Uncle Bret told me, ‘it'll be a long ride but it'll be a fun ride. Stay strong and true to who you are, do what you love, and your personality will shine through.' That's what a WWE Diva needs to do, shine."

It's that kind of excitement Natalie hopes will make an impact at WWE, and carry on the family name with pride and perseverance.

"Through all the things that have befallen our family, wrestling ironically is what kept our family going," she said. "My grandfather felt the same way. I'm honored that the torch he passed on to his children has now passed onto us, from Stu, down to Bret and Owen, to me and Harry. It's been a long time coming, and I couldn't be happier."

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