Alicia Fox and Natalya spoke with The National about women’s wrestling. Here are the highlights.
Who their favorite wrestlers were when they were growing up:
Fox: I became interested in sports entertainment after watching a couple of episodes of RAW and was like, you know what? Those girls are real strong and empowered women, I want to be that. I felt real confident in my athleticism. I felt why not, I might as well give it a try. It’s a great platform to build from in regards to helping young girls achieve their goals. I definitely wanted to be a part of that. I watched many [wrestling] superstars but some who really stood out included (former WWE superstars) Beth Phoenix, Gail Kim and Mickie James. Obviously there’s a million others but as a female, I really respected their hard work and I wanted to do the same and follow their footsteps.
Natalya: My favourite wrestlers were obviously, and it’s kind of cliché, my family. I always loved watching my family wrestle. There’s just something about when you’re a little kid and turning on your TV set and seeing your dad or your uncles – I always thought it was such a cool thing seeing them on TV. I had a great sense of pride knowing my family was doing that. I also realise now that probably the reason why I enjoyed watching them was because my dad and uncle were really good. I also enjoyed watching Shawn Michaels, Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat – I loved his ring gear and how he breathed fire. When you’re growing up, you do appreciate more of the showmanship as well.
WWE rebranding the Divas Title and where women’s wrestling is headed in WWE:
Fox: The sky’s the limit. I feel as though there’s no glass ceiling here. Going forward with the new superstars coming up, I feel as though it’s a fresh new brand, a fresh new start, a fresh new platform for all the superstars – current and upcoming. So it’s really nice to kind of be able to grow together.
Natalya: Just a year ago, a year and a half ago, the women weren’t featured as much, we weren’t getting as much time on TV. Our focus wasn’t really on wrestling. And now the division is really all about women’s wrestling and there’s talk about getting two titles on RAW and Smackdown. That’s huge. For me, I’m just grateful I didn’t miss the boat completely on this time frame because it’s been a struggle in the last seven to eight years trying to find where I fit in and my place in WWE. My strength and my love is wrestling so being able to have the company embrace that means everything to me.