Natalya may be wrestling’s greatest villain and she doesn’t even know it.
By Zach Dominello
For a while there seemed to be some disconnect between Natalya, the WWE Diva, and Natalya, the E! Total Diva. Natalya, the WWE Diva over the recent months has been a fairly straightforward face character. At least, I think that’s what was intended. When Natty has guested on commentary, she often comes off as an entitled, better-than-you, all deserving heel. She’s been a pro-wrestler for years, she was born into a wrestling family, she’s worked hard and paid her dues, she deserves to be on top. None of those things alone are necessarily bad, but the way Natalya says them, the delivery of her lines makes it unclear, is she a good guy or a bad guy? Are we supposed to like her or not?
Then there’s the E! Total Diva Natalya, who is basically insane! Literally, she seems to suffer from some kind of psychosis. I think that at the start of the series, she was supposed to be this loveable character, someone the fans can get behind. She’s a strong, amazingly talented wrestler, and also a genuinely sweet person. But somewhere along the line this changed. The sweetness was still there, but other traits began to come out. Leading up to her wedding with TJ, a.k.a Tyson Kidd, she began flirting with an old friend and second guessing her commitment to TJ. Not very sweet behaviour, but it can be excused. These things happen.
Later in the series, another blonde Diva entered the show and earned a spot on the WWE main roster, Summer Rae. Natalya instantly felt threatened by the new Diva on the scene, she became paranoid about the possibility of losing her spot and, while keeping a cheery facade, clearly held some not so cheery feelings towards Summer. Not typical face behaviour.
There’s also the obsessive, overly protective of her dear cat Natalya. On a recent episode, Natalya almost cut her weekend away with TJ short because Arianne had lost her cat during a party at Natalya’s’ house, which she was supposed to be looking after. The cat was found, but the rage in Natalya was let loose.
Finally, there’s the well intentioned, yet doomed to fail Natalya. In last week’s Total Divas, we were introduced to Natty’s artistic side when she did two paintings, one for Nikki Bella and John Cena as a housewarming gift, and one for Brie and Daniel Bryan (Brie Bryan? Brie Danielson?) as a wedding gift. Painting is being kind, crimes against humanity may be more accurate. Natalya’s paintings, though done from the kindness of Natty’s heart, were…not pretty. Her friends accepted her gifts with smiles on their faces, but when Natty was gone they mocked her and her artwork. Later on RAW, Natty was visibly upset about the treatment she’d received from her friends.
For a long while, The WWE Diva Natalya and Total Diva Natalya truly felt like two different people, OH, and let’s not forget about the third, NXT Veteran Natalya, who is a straight up ass-kicking, Bayley friending good guy. So we had three versions of Natalya going all at once for a while, though in recent weeks, the WWE Diva and TOTAL Diva characters finally seem to have merged, so we’re back down to having two Natalyas.
So let’s recap, she is paranoid, she clearly has a personality disorder, she can be a control freak, and when required she can be brutal, all the while maintaining a cheery facade. I’m not just describing Natalya, I’m also describing one of film’s (and literature’s) most infamous villains, Annie Wilkes.
So that’s where Triple H got it!
You may remember Annie Wilkes from the 1987 novel Misery, by Stephen King. Or the movie, where she’s played by Kathy Bates. Annie Wilkes is trained nurse, who rescues a writer who breaks his legs in a car accident. Annie proceeds to keep the writer captive, threaten, maim, and torture him. Basically, she’s insane. She’s also one of the most iconic villains the world has ever seen. And it’s with her who Natalya shares many of the same qualities.
The only difference is (OK there is more than one difference) Annie Wilkes was aware of her behaviour, whereas Natalya seems oblivious to the fact that she’s this monstrous villain. I guess that’s good news for the WWE Divas, because once Natalya realises who she truly is, you can bet she’ll be kicking ass and taking names.
Natalya may just be wrestling’s greatest villain, and she doesn’t even know it. Or does she?