Natalya and Charlotte talk NXT Takeover
Natalya and Charlotte have reached the finals of the NXT Women's Championship Tournament, the dual third-generation and second-generation Divas from two famous wrestling families with parallel tracks about to converge. WWE.com talked to both Divas to gather their thoughts on a variety of topics in preparation for NXT Takeover.
WWE.COM: Both of you will be renewing the Flair vs. Hart rivalry at NXT Takeover. What does this mean to you?
NATALYA: My uncle Bret Hart beat Ric Flair in 1992 for the WWE Championship. It was a live event in Saskatoon and it was very much a passing of a torch in many ways because that's when my Uncle Bret first became the World Champion. Everything changed for him and he was now a power player, thanks in part to Ric Flair elevating him in such a huge way. Now they're passing on their torches to us, the first females to represent our respective family legacies. We have to both hold that torch high.
CHARLOTTE: It means everything thus far in my career. I have always idolized Natalya. She is someone who I can relate to on numerous levels. …. Natalya has mastered her craft and when I first came to NXT, she was the Diva I looked up to. Yes, renewing the rivalry is a big deal, but I will prove to her that I am not only a Flair, but I am genetically superior. I will earn her respect when I walk away with the NXT Women's Title.
WWE.COM: What kind of advice have you gotten from your respective families as you prepare for your match at NXT Takeover?
NATALYA: The best advice I've gotten from my dad [Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart] is to go in with nothing but confidence because I've worked so hard for such a special moment like this. This best advice I've gotten from Bret is "do what brought you to the dance, and wrestle your heart out." And wrestling with all of my heart is why I'm here. The ring is my home.
CHARLOTTE: My dad knows I have studied his career and he is a firm believer that preparation is the key to success. If I ask for advice he will answer back, "have you prepared for this match?" He means have I trained, eaten right, slept and paid close attention to my strengths and weaknesses? He's always been like that. My dad knows the pressure I have put on myself.
WWE.COM: You both have expressed how important winning the NXT Women's Championship is to you. Why do you think your desire outweighs your opponent's desire?
NATALYA: Charlotte is hungry, undoubtedly, but she's not hungrier than me. It's easy to be hungry for a feast but I was hungry for the crumbs when there was nothing in the Dungeon but scraps. I kept fighting and clawing and never lost that hunger at the highest and lowest points of my career. In fact, at the highest points was when I got the hungriest. I'd like her to show me her hunger and her thirst for pain at Takeover because I plan on bringing it to her ... Dungeon style.
CHARLOTTE: I think Natalya's experience gives her an edge but not an advantage. You can't defeat someone who will never give up. I am hungry to be the NXT Women's Champion. I've been in stressful, competitive situations my entire life in every sport that I've been involved in. I don't know how to lose because I was bred to win. I will do the same on Thursday night.
WWE.COM: What in life has prepared you for this moment?
NATALYA: When I tore my ACL and meniscus wrestling in Japan at the beginning of a 12-day tour, I fought through it and it was a bad injury. I could barely walk and needed major knee reconstruction, but Iwanted itso much that I finished wrestling the rest of the tour. It was that stubbornness and perseverance where I proved to myself that I could make it through anything I put my mind to. I've always had that mindset. At the end of this match, even if I can barely walk, I'll keep going and I will keep my head held high as champion!
CHARLOTTE: I'm sorry that I don't have a dramatic story of preparation like Natalya but honestly, I really don't need one. I was born for this moment because it's in my blood.
WWE.COM: Give us an honest assessment of your opponent.
NATALYA: Charlotte is a tough girl and she's had her share of ups and downs. I respect her. She's super athletic and comes from wrestling royalty. But I need her to show me her guts. Confidence is attractive to me. Charlotte's cockiness and arrogance is a turnoff to me. In fact, my biggest pet peeve with rookies is when they're too comfortable. Comfort is dangerous because it's not the quality you need to keep you on your toes.
CHARLOTTE: I have nothing but the utmost respect for Natalya, from her achievements in her professional career to how she carries herself outside the ring. When you watch Natalya, you see someone who has put in the hard work to be who she is. With that said, I also don't feel Natalya is as well-rounded as she wants you to believe. I think she's got some glaring weaknesses that can be exposed.
WWE.COM: Why do you deserve to be the next NXT Women's Champion?
NATALYA: Because I'm thebestand if each Diva doesn't believe that she’s the best, shedoesn’tbelong here.
CHARLOTTE: I don't think I deserve anything. The aftermath of NXT Takeover will show everyone why I am genetically superior and the best thing going today. Flair for the Gold.
Follow Natalya on Twitter @NatByNature and Charlotte @MsCharlotteWWE. Get more NXT coverage on the official NXT Facebook page. Watch NXT Takeover live on WWE Network Thursday, May 29, at 8 p.m. ET. Plus, don’t miss the NXT Takeover Pre-Show at 7:30 p.m. ET on WWE Network. Get WWE Network now!