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Carrying on the legacy

Natalie Neidhart is looking forward to making wrestling history. Neidhart, who is known in the World Wrestling Entertainment as Natalya,will participate Sunday in Houston in Wrestlemania 25 in a 25 DivasBattle Royal.

Natalie Neidhart is looking forward to making wrestling history.

Neidhart, who is known in the World Wrestling Entertainment as Natalya, will participate Sunday in Houston in Wrestlemania 25 in a 25 Divas Battle Royal.

It’s a dream come true for the 26-year-old Calgary native, who is the daughter of Jim (The Anvil) Neidhart, who with brother-in-law Bret (The Hitman) Hart wrestled as the high-profile tag-team duo The Hart Foundation in the mid-’80s and early ’90s.

At Wrestlemania 2, Neidhart and Hart wrestled individually in a Battle Royal and were the last ones eliminated by the winner, Andre The Giant.

Natalie is the only third-generation diva in wrestling. She is also the only female wrestler from the Hart clan — considered the first family of wrestling — to actually compete in the ring. She learned to wrestle in the home of her maternal grandfather, the late Stu Hart, who raised eight sons, all of whom wrestled, and four daughters, all of whom married wrestlers. Two years ago, the WWE signed Natalie to a contract.

“This is a huge, huge honour for me to be a part of this, but it’s actually history in the making itself, and being from Canada and representing my family and blazing my own trail it’s fascinating,” she said in a telephone interview.

“I may sound like I’m tooting my own horn, but sometimes I can’t even believe that I’m doing it myself. There’s a lot of depth to it — the fact I work for the WWE and the fact I’m representing my family and that we have such a long, long history with World Wrestling Entertainment — and that I get to be a part of this amazing, amazing event in such a cool match with divas from the past and present it’s surreal. There’s a lot of good that can come from it.”

Natalie has started to embrace the colour pink as part of her look and persona, a throwback to the days of the Hart Foundation.

“I just felt pink was right for me,” she said. “I was trying to do other colours, but it’s like going back to my roots by going back to the pink and black. It suits me and it fits, and when you’re the most comfortable in what you wear when you go into the ring, you feel at ease.

“I feel like a little part of me always wants to pay homage to my family. It may sound arrogant, but I believe my family was the best in the world and I feel like I’m carrying on a piece of their legacy and I think about that all the time.

“Every time I step foot in the ring, I think about my family, and to wear a bit of the pink I’m kind of nodding my head to them.

“For me it’s a huge honour, but I feel like Natalya has her own shade of pink and I’m kind of ready to let it run wild.”

 
 
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