Once again, the WWE Women’s Division is getting a renewed push as a whole, and though Natalya may have slipped out of the title picture for now, she’s still intricately involved in the current storylines. That in and of itself is a huge coup for the female superstars, who, until recently, have only been featured in one major program revolving solely around the championship belt. WWE has begun carving out secondary angles within the division, but Natalya’s recent swerve wasn’t in the original plans.
As seen Sunday at Money in the Bank, Natalya teamed up with Becky Lynch in a tag match against the WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte and her protege, Dana Brooke. Natalya had Charlotte locked in a sharpshooter until Dana broke it up, allowing Charlotte to hit Becky with Natural Selection to pick up the victory for the heels. After the match, Natalya turned on Becky with a vicious attack, turning her heel in the process.
As mentioned, that wasn’t in the original script. According to Daily Wrestling News, previous plans called for Becky Lynch to be the one to turn heel, but there was a last-minute audible called to make Natalya do the dirty work. No word yet on why the reversal was green-lit, but the positive out of the angle is that the women’s division should get two matches at next month’s Battleground unless WWE decides to hit the payoff for one of them beforehand. Based on Money in the Bank and the following night’s episode of Monday Night RAW, it would appear they’re setting up a Charlotte and Dana vs. Paige and Sasha Banks tag match, with this secondary feud between Natalya and Becky to compliment it.
Before Emma was lost due to injury, original plans called for her and Dana to team up and run rough-shot through the division against the team of Becky and perhaps Sasha. Charlotte would have continued her reign over the likes of Natalya and perhaps Paige until SummerSlam when she and Sasha would finally meet up. Emma’s injury rerouted some of those plans, with Dana being inserted into Charlotte’s web and this most recent heel turn from Natalya. Becky has now endured surprise attacks from Paige, Charlotte, and Natalya in her short time on the main roster. With such shallow depth in the division, heel and babyface turns will likely continue to be the norm on a frequent basis.
Meanwhile, Natalya’s future with the WWE has also come into question as of late. Whether her long-term uncertainty has any connection with the heel turn remains to be seen, but many close to her and those within the company believe she will leave when her contract expires. The main reason behind a rumored departure would be because of her husband, Tyson Kidd. It was recently reported that Kidd will likely never wrestle again, and with him staying at home, she may want to join him so they can be together more often.
If the rumors are true and the end of the road is approaching for Natalya, then it makes sense to turn her heel instead of Becky. Nattie has long been one of the best female workers in the industry, and this would help Becky more than anything get more over with the fans. The two would undoubtedly put on solid matches with the ultimate goal of establishing Becky as a top babyface, re-establishing her contention for the championship.
While it’s not completely clear when Natalya’s contract runs out, Total Sportek reported that she was in the midst of a three-year deal back in February that may have been signed in 2014. Those details remain sketchy, but her future is certainly worth monitoring in the coming months.
[Image via WWE]