WWE Superstar Natalya spoke with Dearon Smith of ABC 11 in Durham, NC, ahead of WWE SmackDown coming to Raleigh on Friday, July 14.
Natalya was asked to provide her thoughts on AEW’s annual Owen Hart Foundation Tournament.
Natalya’s thoughts on AEW’s involvement with the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament:
“It’s a great question and one that I don’t get asked very often. For me, any way that we can keep my uncle’s legacy alive. I don’t know all of the particulars of why we can’t do that in WWE. I know that I have a deep amount of respect for Martha, because I know that she’s gone through so much trauma and she lost so much. When you have to raise your kids without a dad, it’s something I’d never wish upon anyone to experience. So I always feel deeply for her, especially as a woman, but just as a person and knowing what kind of person my uncle was. Owen was such a special person.” So any way that we can keep my uncle’s memory alive, to me, its’s a win, it’s a win, it’s a win…”
Natalya’s thoughts on wanting to honor her Uncle’s memory:
“Of course I would love to be able to honor Owen’s memory as much as I could, possibly in anyway that I can…“I work for WWE, but it’s not my place, because, of course, I’m not Martha. So it’s not my place to say ‘this is what should happen’ or ‘this is what I’d like to happen.’ It’s her call. It’s her life, and she’s had to endure so, so much. And I am just so happy that he is being honored, and he is being recognized, for not just the person he was in the ring, but the man he was outside the ring…its a complicate answer…”
You can watch the interview segment below:
In September 2021, AEW announced the establishment of the Owen Hart Cup, an annual tournament to honor the legacy of the late Owen Hart, who died tragically in 1999 at the WWF Over the Edge PPV, when his harness malfunctioned, falling about 78 feet, landing chest-first on the top rope.
Thel inaugural tournaments concluded at the 2022 Double or Nothing pay-per-view, where Adam Cole and Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. won the men’s and women’s tournaments. The men’s winner is awarded a black belt and the women’s winner is awarded be awarded a pink belt.
The 2023 tournament’s opening ceremony took place at this year’s Double or Nothing PPV, back on May 28. The tournament matches will begin in Owen’s home country of Canada at the Forbidden Door PPV, which takes place at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Sunday, June 25.
The tournament is set to conclude on the July 15, 2023 episode of Collision, held in Owen’s hometown of Calgary, Alberta, Canada which be take place at the Scotiabank Saddledome.