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Natalya Neidhart


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Natalie "Nattie" Katherine Neidhart[2] (born May 27, 1982)[2] is a Canadian professional wrestler, currently signed to WWE on its SmackDown brand under the ring name Natalya.[1][7]

Neidhart is a third-generation wrestler and member of the Hart wrestling family. She trained in the Hart family Dungeon under the tutelage of her uncles Ross and Bruce Hart. In 2000 and 2001, she worked for the Matrats promotion, before debuting for Stampede Wrestling in 2003. In 2004 and 2005, she wrestled abroad in both England and Japan. In June 2005, she became the inaugural Stampede Women's Pacific Championship, and won the SuperGirls Championship the following year in October 2006.

In January 2007, she signed a contract with WWE and was assigned to the Deep South Wrestling developmental territory, before wrestling in Ohio Valley Wrestling and Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW). While in FCW, she managed her cousin, DH Smith, and her boyfriend, TJ Wilson. She debuted on the main roster in April 2008 as Natalya, allying herself with Victoria. The following year, she moved to the ECW brand to manage the debuting Tyson Kidd. They were later joined by David Hart Smith to form The Hart Dynasty and moved to the SmackDown brand. In April 2010, The Hart Dynasty won the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship and were moved to the Raw brand. In September, Natalya began focusing on singles competition, which culminated in her winning the WWE Divas Championship in November. The following April, she returned to the SmackDown brand as part of the 2011 Supplemental Draft.

Training and early career (2000–2007)Neidhart received formal professional wrestling training in the infamous Hart family "Dungeon" from her uncles Ross and Bruce Hart, becoming the first ever woman to do so.[8][9] In addition to her professional wrestling career, Neidhart has received training in amateur wrestling and mixed martial arts.[3][10] Neidhart is the first third-generation female wrestler in the world.[9]

Neidhart in 2007 at a Florida Championship Wrestling show.In late 2000 through 2001, she served as the host and ring announcer of the Eric Bischoff led youth-promotion MatRats.[11] In 2003, she began working for the Hart Family's own promotion, Stampede Wrestling, beginning a long time feud with Belle Lovitz. The pair wrestled each other repeatedly, including a match for the Prairie Wrestling Alliance, where Neidhart teamed with her father, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, against Lovtiz and Apocalypse.[12] In 2004, however, Neidhart and Lovitz formed a tag team, wrestling several intergender matches against The Meyers Brothers as well as against Anna and Ma Myers.[2]

Neidhart also began wrestling abroad. In mid-2004 she accepted bookings for a tour in England, and in March 2005, started on a two month tour of Japan where she used the name Nadia Hart.[8] When she returned to Canada she promptly turned into a villainous character, announcing that "Nasty Nattie" had been born. On June 17, 2005 she defeated Anna Marie, Lovitz, and Ma Myers in a four-way match to become the first Stampede Women's Pacific Championship, though she later vacated the championship.[13] In November 2005, Neidhart damaged her cruciate ligament while wrestling in Japan, and underwent surgery in early 2006.[14] She was sidelined for six months while she recovered.[3][14]

On October 8, 2006, Neidhart won the SuperGirls Championship from Lisa Moretti at a Big Time Wrestling show held by NWA: Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling in Newark, California. She held the championship for 19 days, before losing it to Nikki Matthews on October 27 in Surrey, British Columbia.[4] Also in October 2006, she debuted in the all-female promotion, Shimmer Women Athletes. She lost to Sara Del Rey at the tapings of Volume 7, but defeated "The Portuguese Princess" Ariel at the Volume 8 tapings.[15] The following month she competed in the tournament to determine Great Canadian Wrestling's inaugural W.I.L.D. Champion, and defeated Danyah and Aurora en route to the final, where she lost to Sirelda.[2][16] She had her last match for Stampede Wrestling on January 26, 2007, after she had signed with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), defeating Veronika Vice.[17] During the show, she also gave a speech thanking the fans for their support.[17]

[edit] World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE[edit] Development territories (2007–2008)On January 5, 2007,[2] Neidhart signed a deal with WWE.[18][19] Upon signing she was assigned to their developmental territory Deep South Wrestling for the first half of the year, competing against wrestlers including Krissy Vaine and Angel Williams.[2] She was briefly transferred to Florida Championship Wrestling when it opened in June, and then moved to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), debuting in a dark match at the television tapings on July 18, 2007, where she won a battle royal. She debuted the next week as a member of the Next Generation Hart Foundation, accompanying her cousins Teddy Hart and Harry Smith for tag team matches.[20] In September, she and the rest of the Hart Foundation were moved back to FCW.[21] Initially, Neidhart formed an alliance with Victoria Crawford to take on The Bella Twins, but in 2008, the pair began competing against one another, either in singles matches or in tag team matches with various partners.[21][22] She continued to make appearances in FCW in late 2008, after debuting on SmackDown, and managed TJ Wilson and DH Smith (Harry Smith) to the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship on October 30.[23]

[edit] The Hart Dynasty (2008–2010)See also: The Hart Dynasty

She made her main roster debut as a villain, under the name Natalya Neidhart (later shortened to just Natalya)[24] on the April 4, 2008 episode of SmackDown!, coming out of the crowd to aid Victoria in an attack on Michelle McCool and Cherry.[25] Her televised in-ring debut came three weeks later, in a win over Cherry.[26] When SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero announced the creation of the WWE Divas Championship on June 6, Natalya was the first Diva to qualify for the championship match.[27] At The Great American Bash on July 20, however, Natalya lost the match to determine the inaugural champion to McCool.[28] For the rest of the year she competed mainly in tag team matches, sporadically wrestling singles matches.[29][30] Allied with Victoria, she was also involved in a feud with The Bella Twins.[31][32]

Natalya (center) with the other members of The Hart Dynasty, Tyson Kidd (left) and David Hart Smith.While still a member of the SmackDown brand, she made her debut for the ECW brand, via the talent exchange agreement, on February 10, 2009, managing her real life boyfriend Tyson Kidd (TJ Wilson).[33] In her ECW in-ring debut, on the March 3 episode, Natalya defeated Alicia Fox.[34] On April 5, Neidhart competed in a Divas battle royal at WrestleMania XXV, but the match was won by Santina Marella.[35] On April 15 Natalya was made an official member of the ECW brand, when she was drafted there as part of the 2009 Supplemental Draft.[36] On the May 13 episode of ECW, Kidd and Natalya were joined by her real-life cousin David Hart Smith, forming The Hart Dynasty, although it was originally called The Hart Trilogy.[37][38][39]

On June 29, 2009, Natalya was traded back to SmackDown along with the other members of The Hart Dynasty.[40] Natalya's first match back for the brand was in a six-person mixed tag team match on the July 17 episode, when The Hart Dynasty defeated Cryme Tyme (JTG and Shad Gaspard) and Eve Torres.[41] Natalya, Kidd, and Smith went on to feud with Torres and Cryme Tyme, with Natalya also facing Torres in singles matches and tag team matches involving other Divas.[42][43] Natalya was on the winning team when the SmackDown Divas defeated the Raw Divas at the Bragging Rights pay-per-view in October.[44] On December 4, Natalya lost in a triple threat match to determine to number one contender for the WWE Women's Championship after she was pinned by Mickie James. The match also involved Beth Phoenix.[45]

Natalya, along with the other Hart Dynasty members, appeared at WrestleMania XXVI, helping her uncle Bret Hart during his match against Vince McMahon, turning them into faces as a result.[46] On April 26, The Hart Dynasty won the Unified Tag Team Championship from The Miz and The Big Show. The following day, as part of the 2010 WWE Supplemental Draft, Natalya was drafted to the Raw brand, along with Kidd and Smith.[47] On the May 24, 2010 episode of Raw, all three members of The Hart Dynasty were attacked by The Usos (Jimmy and Jey) and Tamina, who were making their debuts.[48][49] This provoked a feud between the trios, with The Hart Dynasty attacking The Usos and Tamina the following week in retaliation.[50] At the Fatal 4-Way pay-per-view in June, Natalya and The Hart Dynasty defeated Tamina and The Uso Brothers in a six-person mixed tag team match, when Natalya pinned Tamina following a discus clothesline.[51] At the next pay-per-view, Money in the Bank, Natalya helped The Hart Dynasty to retain the championship against The Usos by stopping Tamina from interfering in the match, ending the feud.[52] In September, at Night of Champions, The Hart Dynasty lost the Tag Team Championship in a Tag Team Turmoil match.[53]

[edit] Divas Champion (2010)

Natalya as the WWE Divas Champion in January 2011.On the September 27 episode of Raw, Natalya won a battle royal to become the number one contender to the WWE Unified Divas Championship, and began feuding with self-professed co-Divas Champions Lay-Cool (Michelle McCool and Layla).[54] On the October 1 episode of SmackDown, Natalya won an eight-Diva tag team match for her team when she made Maryse submit.[55] At the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view on October 3, she defeated Michelle McCool via disqualification in a match for the championship, which meant that McCool retained the championship.[56] She received another championship match three weeks later at the Bragging Rights pay-per-view, where she lost to Layla after McCool interfered.[57] On the November 1 episode of Raw, she once again became number one contender to the Unified Divas Championship after defeating Michelle McCool in a non-title match.[58] The Hart Dynasty split on November 15 after weeks of tension, when Kidd attacked Smith.[59]

[edit] Return to SmackDown And Heel Turn; Alignment with Beth Phoenix (2011-present)On April 26, Natalya was drafted back to the SmackDown brand as part of the 2011 Supplemental Draft.[60] In her return match for the brand, she had a non-title match against Brie Bella, which she lost.[61] From May, Natalya would managed and team with A.J. and Kaitlyn. The trio would feud with Rosa Mendes, Alicia Fox and Tamina.[62][63][64] On the August 1 edition of WWE Raw, Natalya took part in a Battle Royal to determine the number one contender for the WWE Divas Championship. Natalya failed to win and was eliminated by both of The Bella Twins. [65] On the August 5th edition of SmackDown, after defeating A.J. in a singles match, Natalya turned heel once again, brutally attacking A.J. after the match. She stated she will be aligning herself with Beth Phoenix (who made a heel turn on RAW days prior). She said, “Beth Phoenix, I'm with you sister. The days of the cute, perky little princesses are over.” Natalya also stated this on Twitter that she and Phoenix call themselves the Sisters of Destruction (a play on the Brothers of Destruction). But this name was later dropped as Natalya tweeted that she and Phoenix are called the Divas of Doom (a play on the Legion of Doom).

[edit] Personal lifeNeidhart is the daughter of wrestler Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart and Ellie Hart, who is the daughter of Stu Hart, which makes Neidhart a third generation wrestler.[5][9] She has two sisters; her older sister, Jennifer, is a gourmet chef and caterer, and she also has a younger sister, Kristen (nicknamed "Muffy").[66] Neidhart cites her grandfather, Stu, as her inspiration, both in and out of the ring.[6] As a member of the Hart wrestling family she is a cousin to Harry Smith and Teddy Hart, who are both professional wrestlers as well.[9] She is close friends with Smith, and the two lived together for a short time as children while their fathers were wrestling as a team.[67] She has been dating Tyson Kidd since November 2001.[68][69]

Neidhart graduated from Bishop Carroll High School in 2000.[6] She owns a home in Calgary, but currently resides in Tampa, Florida.[5] Neidhart is trained in Jiu-Jitsu.[10] Prior to signing with WWE, Neidhart worked at a restaurant to supplement her income.[68]

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