Natalya is one of the most underutilized talents in WWE, now and forever.
She's the best performer bell to bell in the ring in the WWE Divas division. AJ Lee is good, Paige is good, Naomi is getting better, Charlotte has endless potential, but none of them are Natalya. She has a wide range of abilities in what she can do and has the best understanding of match psychology.
Some will argue Lee tops Natalya in both abilities in psychology. I disagree. I think Lee has been shown more consistently in higher-profile programs in the past two years than Natalya, so it's easier to be more familiar with her work.
You can't learn experience. Experience is Natalya's middle name. She's been learning and doing since she was a kid. She was learning and doing from the best. I could type 200 more words about Natalya's great background and training, or I can just sum it up in one statement—she's a member of the Hart wrestling family.
Paige comes from a great family in England. Charlotte is the daughter of Ric Flair. Lee paid her dues through the ranks of the independent wrestling scene. All respectable upbringings, but it's a far cry from the discipline, knowledge, styles clash and credibility the entire Hart family tree carries with its training and reputation.
Natalya embodies a classic female wrestler combined with today's standards. She has an old-school in-ring command like Wendi Richter. She has the charm of a Miss Elizabeth. She has the sex appeal of Trish Stratus. She has a blend of all of those characteristics, eras and roles.
I worried her portrayal in Total Divas would harm her, but I think it has helped. The show has given her more notoriety with the wrestling audience and a new audience. It also supplies some job security since so much is invested in her via the show.
The reality show also showcased her personality. Her sex appeal is obvious with sight. The show has packaged it and shown her in a light more favorable than other Divas, past or current, might be viewed by the audience. Simply put, you can see she's got a certain wholesome quality to her and respects the business.
She's come a long way from WWE giving her no airtime to giving her stupid gimmicks where she has a farting problem or is dancing with Khali, to now seeing her finally getting her best booking run ever.
Despite her increased television time, more could always be done with her. She had one title run in WWE in 2010. One is better than none but nowhere near adequate enough for the best female in WWE.
Justin LaBar is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the creator of the Chair Shot Reality video talk show and Wrestling Reality radio show.
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