LOS ANGELES – WWE Diva Natalya goes virtual in THQ’s WWE 12. The pro wrestler comes from a long line of Canadian wrestlers including her father Jim “the Anvil” Neidhart and grandfather Stu Hart. She learned her signature sharpshooter move training in the legendary Hart Family Dungeon. Now gamers can perfect that move with Natalya in the new game. Natalya talks about her favorite games and why her virtual doppelganger could kick Mario’s butt in this exclusive interview.
Complex: What video games did you play growing up?
Natalya: Growing up, I actually did have a favorite game. It was Super Mario Kart. I was completely obsessed with that game. I remember having a raw, numb, fingertip from playing it until three or four in the morning. That was my favorite game of all time.
What are your thoughts about how far gaming has come since then?
It’s amazing with technology and how everything advances so fast. It’s incredible. Every year the Divas and Superstars ask ourselves, “How is THQ going to top itself each year?” We didn’t think that anything could top last year’s game, and then we get WWE ’12. The game, it looks better, it feels better, it plays better. It’s amazing. To be a character in that, it’s surreal to see myself looking so lifelike.
Do you think you would be able to take on Mario if you were both video game characters?
Mario would not stand a chance against me, I could promise you that. I would have him in the sharpshooter.
Mario would not stand a chance against me, I could promise you that. I would have him in the sharpshooter. Even with those stubby little legs, I would have Mario in the sharpshooter so fast, his head would spin.
One of the new features in this game is custom arenas. What would you want to do with your arena?
Obviously, I would want to have a pink and black ring with really bright, hot pink turnbuckles. I would love to -- in a fantasy world where Divas have all the power -- have my very own Divas tag team division with the Divas of Doom being the first-ever Divas Tag Team Champions.
That’s something I would do in the video game. I would also do fun things you aren’t able to see in WWE, like intergender matches. I would love to take down Tyson Kidd and teach him who does the sharpshooter better, for sure.
There are also legends in this game. Who would you want to be able to go up against if you could go up against any legend?
A legend that I respect as far as females go, is Stratus. She is one of my personal heroes. I never had the opportunity or pleasure of working with her in the sports circle, so she’s somebody that I would absolutely love to go nose-to-nose with.
Can you give us a sense of how popular games are in the WWE amongst you guys?
I’ll tell you one thing, with today’s Divas and Superstars, there are a few things that are very prevalent in our locker rooms: protein shakes, iPads, and video games. With WWE ’12, that is no different.
You know that Kofi Kingston is going to be obsessed playing this game. You know that Tyson Kidd is going to be literally up until five in the morning playing the game. He’ll probably miss his flight. You know Randy Orton is and The Big Show will be playing. I just know so many of them that are so excited, personally, for the game to come out. I think that this game, WWE ’12, is going to exceed everybody’s wildest expectations and leave them wanting more.
The new WWE All Stars is 3D on Nintendo 3DS. What are your thoughts about this 3D craze?
That’s so cool. Trust me, I’m already spoiled. You’re making me more spoiled. I’m getting a bigger head talking about it. I think it’s cool because every year, that’s one of the great things about WWE is that the company is constantly expanding, changing, and growing. THQ is no different, just doing things like having the game in 3D and having those options.
...that’s one of the great things about WWE is that the company is constantly expanding, changing, and growing.
Even this video game has a submission application, which is so cool, because everybody’s going to be locked into the sharpshooter. Heck, I’ll be putting three Divas in the sharpshooter. It’s always cool to see things expanding, changing, and growing for the better. You always want to be better than you were before.
What do you think 3D adds to video games?
I hope it doesn’t add anything to my waist size, because as a Diva I’m all about keeping that slender, girlish figure. I think it will just add a different dynamic that will make the game feel more modern, certainly encourage people to play it more, and to try it in a new way.