Backstage details on how Natalya’s tag team with Tamina was developed

During an appearance on Renee Paquette’s Oral Sessions podcast, Natalya talked about how plans for her to feud with Smackdown women’s champion Sasha Banks were scrapped earlier this year when Bianca Belair won the Royal Rumble. At that point, the idea was presented for Natalya to team with Tamina…

“I was supposed to go into a rivalry with Sasha Banks earlier this year and everything changed when Bianca won the Rumble. I was so excited about wrestling Sasha because I think she’s one of the greatest women’s wrestlers in the world, if not the best. TJ said to me, ‘You and Tamina need to be a team. You would be perfect together.’ He pulled up a picture and showed the family history, Owen with Yokozuna, the Headshrinkers, the Bulldogs, the Hart Foundation. ‘Look at all the greatness your families have done together. You guys should be a team. You should pitch it.’ I went from being sad not working Sasha because I had all these ideas and we were training together and Sasha lit this fire in me. Then I had this new fire in me of teaming with Tamina. TJ was the inspiration behind it.”

“I went to Tamina, told her I was going to pitch it, and we were off to the races. I convinced (Vince) to give us a chance and show him what we could do. Whenever I pitch anything to Vince, he’s always given me a chance and heard me out and show him, even if he didn’t agree with it. When we were the Hart Dynasty, we were never supposed to be. I went to Vince in Nashville and said, ‘I have an idea.’ He didn’t want to go with it. I said, ‘Please, give me a chance and let us show you.’ He said, ‘Nattie, because you came to me, I’ll give you a chance.’ It was similar to what happened with myself and Tamina. We showed him and hit a home run with every opportunity we were given. We focused on every detail and performance. It was fun to take Tamina and transform her from being someone that was unselfish and in the shadows and doing something totally different. As we were doing that, the powers that be were like, ‘Wow, they’re having so much fun.” (quotes courtesy of