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The Man Adds A Layer Of Aggression To Natalya

I was pleasantly surprised during the July 15th edition of Monday Night RAW [1], when Natalya became the number one contender to face “The Man” Becky Lynch at SummerSlam. Like many across the WWE Universe, it did seem as if the company was teasing a potential Alexa Bliss (with Nikki Cross) program; however, this would not end up being the case. What was even more of a pleasant surprise, was the shift in attitude from Nattie, post-win.

A veteran of this business, it’s nice to see Nattie back in the spotlight and title race picture; it’s even better to see her character shift a little as well. While she has played a heel character in the past, it’s been a very long time since the WWE Universe has seen Natalya’s character take a no-nonsense approach, and refreshing. Since The Man became The Man, fans have seen a shift when it comes to attitude and confidence [4] within any opponent Lynch faces; an aggression that is unleashed, which seemingly is brought on Becks herself. Charlotte took this shift, we also saw this shift in Ronda Rousey leading up to their Wrestlemania match, and now Nattie. In many ways, it’s a step up to their regular character; an added belligerent enhancement that helps to keep the program moving and truly offers Lynch a challenge.

Regardless, the WWE Universe received a hint of this added layer to Nattie last week, after she won the fatal four-way elimination match to become the number 1 contender for Lynch’s title at SummerSlam. Post four-way win, Nattie hit the mic, and at first, seemed like the softer Nattie we are all used to; then, within (seemingly) a flick of a switch, Neidhart became confrontational when Lynch straight up let her know that this wouldn’t be a fight between two old friends.

Fast forward to this week’s RAW [14], and once again, Nattie dove deeper into this new layer of her character, confronting Lynch during a Moment of Bliss, where the two eventually jumped into a fist fight.

The slow build up between these women has been fantastic so far. First, last week’s confrontation, next this week’s all-out brawl. As the weeks progress, I imagine that WWE Creative [15] will probably dive into these ladies histories; their early years together, friendship, past programs, and of course, add Ronda Rousey into the mix and the fact that Nattie helped train her – a door Becky opened up last night during her time on the mic.

And while the match itself at SummerSlam should prove to be an incredible one, with two females who know how to wrestle well, and tell a solid storyline in the process, with Natalya stepping it up and going toe-to-toe with Lynch on the mic, the buildup to this feud in the coming weeks will most likely be just as great as the bout itself.