WRITTEN PODCAST REVIEW: Lillian Garcia w/Natalya on struggling with an eating disorder, T.J.’s broken neck, Bret Hart’s cancer battle

Lilian Garcia: Making Their Way to the Ring – with Natalya

Recap By: Brad Mumphrey (@thestrengthfit)


Release date: April 17th, 2017

Highlights and Timestamps:

-Natalya was given the Presidential Fitness Award for writing from President Bill Clinton. (39:30)

-Natalya talks about her uncle, Bret Hart, and his fight and recovery from prostate cancer. (46:00)

-She reveals her battle with an eating disorder and breaking into the wrestling business. (50:00)

-She said she lost 40 lbs in two months after Owen’s death, as she was in middle of her eating disorder when he died. (56:30)

-Natalya and T.J. (Tyson Kidd) have known each other since they were 12, and have always been around each other as significant others. (1:19:00)

-Zach Ryder was once himself a Make-A-Wish kid with cancer. (1:24:00)

-Nataly’s lowest point in her professional and personal life was when T.J. broke his neck. (1:32:00)

-Nattie and T.J. have always wanted to open a wrestling school and look forward to it in the future. (1:42:00)


The show starts off with intros from Lilian and her co-host. They recap the previous episode with Amy Dumas (Lita) and talk about how vulnerable she was in the podcast. They then recap the previous week’s Raw and Smackdown with the Superstar Shakeup. They go into Dean Ambrose and Renee being married, and continue on with the Superstar Shakeup. Nothing more important than what people already know. They start talking about Natalya. The actual interview occurred on the Smackdown after WrestleMania.

1st Break: 19:00-20:00

They come back, and both Lilian and her co-host start talking about news from the week. The Rock is mentioned, because he did a scene from a movie on the street Lillian lives on. Her co-host talks about Finn Bálor receiving a concussion the past week. Obviously, he overcame it as he was on this week’s Raw. They move on to Shinsuke Nakamura and how he, Tye Dillinger, and The Revival finished up their NXT shows and bowed out by saying goodbye to the fans. They move on to Big E and mention that he actually became a minister.

They finally get to the Natalya interview, as they intro her into the show. Lilian does a little backstory about Nattie, starting with her being the daughter of Jim Neidhart and the niece of Bret Hart. In January 2007, she signed her WWE contract and reported to OVW then went to FCW (later known as NXT) before she made her main roster debut in April 2008. In 2010, she won her first Women’s Championship. In 2014, Nattie and Charlotte had the match of the year in NXT. Along with Natalya being in all seasons of Total Divas, she has become a great ambassador and performer for the WWE.

Interview starts at 37:45-1:47:00
They start off by saying they had been trying to meet up for this show for a while. Nattie said she stays busy, and that she started writing columns in several Canadian newspapers each week. She loves to write and actually got an award from President Bill “Slick Willie” Clinton for the Presidential Fitness Award for writing.

They move into WrestleMania weekend, from Nattie introducing Beth Phoenix, to her match at the event itself. Natalya goes into her friendship with Beth and says they are close friends, and then she talked about her induction speech a bit. Lilian asks about Bret Hart and how he is doing with his cancer recovery. He is getting better and better over the past year from prostate cancer.

Natalya starts talking about her family’s legacy, Bret’s cancer, T.J.  breaking his neck, and losing Owen and how he died. They start touching on Jan, the wife of Jim Ross, and how she lost her life in an accident. Both are very emotional about the situation and talk about her being an inspiration to a lot of people. Lilian goes back talking about Nattie’s life. She was born in Calgary and then moved down to Florida where she and her husband T.J. still live.

Nattie says she had a good childhood and realized that with her dad on the road working all the time, she felt she never really had a dad. She goes on to say that she (giving an exclusive) had an eating disorder at 18 and it lasted three years, as she lost 40 lbs in the two months after Owen died. She felt she couldn’t control anything else, but could control what went into her mouth. She goes on to talk about how she was able to break away from her eating disorder and what helped her was getting into wrestling. She got into the wrestling business by hosting shows. She said she was in the middle of her disorder when she started in the business. Alexa Bliss went through an eating disorder as well, which brought up this entire conversation. Natalya got to the point with her disorder (anorexia) that she was so weak she couldn’t work out or train.

Nattie continues talking how the promotion wanted her to do a highspot with someone, so she started training at The Dungeon and that T.J. was her first trainer for wrestling. She admits she doesn’t weigh herself due to being self-consciousness of going through her eating disorder. Natalya goes on to say she feels more comfortable with herself now more then ever. Lilian then moves on, wanting to talk to her about Total Divas.

Nattie says that when she was picked for the show she was also picked to go on a USO trip to Rwanda and meet kids, and families for the company. That trip was a very eye-opening experience and gave her some perspective on life. Triple H then asked her to do Total Divas and she’s been doing it ever since. She learned to be vulnerable and learned to continue moving forward in life.

They move on to her relationship with her dad. She has a better relationship with him now as he is going through some health issues. She continues talking about her dad and how he has taught her to enjoy life, the little things make the difference. Lilian and Natalya then share moments with each other about their dads as Lilian’s passed away recently.

Lilian moves on to Nattie and T.J. as they met when they were 12 and have known each other ever since. Natalya said T.J. was friends with one of her cousins, Teddy Hart. T.J. was always around the Hart house and was friends with her family. Natalya then goes on talking about T.J.’s IQ (120) and how he’s friends with Zach Ryder. She says that Zach himself overcame cancer.  She said he was a Make-A-Wish kid at one time. She says that he doesn’t bring it up. They go back to talking about Natalya and T.J. as they have always been there with each other until now with T.J. having to be home due to his neck injury.

They move on to talking about how Natalya is both a performer and an entertainer. She says that she enjoys doing both. She admits that she got her front teeth knocked out and gave it to the ref during a match.

Lilian asks Nattie what her lowest of lows has been during her career. She said T.J.’s neck injury was the hardest thing that she had to go through due to her professional and personal life coming together. She is rather emotional about it and has come through it and always try to be perfect in her professional life.

They go back and forth giving compliments to each other with moving towards the conclusion of the interview. Lilian then moves on as Natalya has a message to her fans. She says that they have always been there for her and are loyal, even through her recent heel turn. She appreciates them.

Nattie is now writing a book, and said that she and T.J. have always wanted to run a wrestling school together. She is definitely still wanting to have another run with the Women’s Title as well. She admits that she is only 34 and that she still wants to continue in the wrestling business. The interview ends there.

My Analysis:

Natalya came across very honest in this interview. As you can tell, she wasn’t just giving BS or company lines, as several times her emotions came out and you could see it was really how she felt. She touched on several different subjects and came across genuine, and the interview came across like girl talk with her and Lilian. Overall, a good interview.

About The Author:

Brad was born in Biloxi, MS and raised in New Orleans, LA. He’s a long-time wrestling fan, along with football and NASCAR. He finished school at Auburn University with a Business Administration/Journalism degree. He has prior service with Army National Guard, and also has experience within the wrestling business with William Moody’s (Paul Bearer) promotion in south Alabama. He did everything from putting up the ring, taking bumps, conditioning talent, sitting in on production meetings and running the pay gate at his shows. His other craft is being a personal trainer and nutritionist for well over 13+ years. He enjoys spending time with his family, friends, beautiful women and his Yorkie child named Max.

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