RIYADH — Natalya and Lacey Evans will forever be linked in the story of WWE’s Women’s Evolution after competing in the first-ever women’s match in Saudi Arabia, but The Queen of Harts ensured her place in the win column.
Both took a major pioneering step at WWE Crown Jewel, but Natalya remained a step ahead of Evans in their rivalry’s latest and most historic installment. Though she was visibly overcome by the magnitude of the moment during her entrance, it was old hat for Natalya after the bell rang.
After waging war regularly in recent months on Raw — most notably in a chaotic Last Woman Standing Match — the foes showed their intimate familiarity with each other’s repertoires, regularly anticipating the other’s next move and trading reversals.
The Sassy Southern Belle eventually gained a firm advantage and wore down her opponent with attacks focused on Natalya’s left arm. Evans later took the crowd’s breath away with her signature step-up, springboard moonsault — one of many moments that elicited a “This is awesome” chant from the jam-packed crowd at King Fahd International Stadium.
But the Hart Dungeon’s lone female graduate later rallied to hit a discus lariat and lock The Lady of WWE in the vaunted Sharpshooter with no recourse but to tap out in the middle of the ring.
Natalya gave herself over to her emotions following the final bell and shared the overwhelming moment with Evans, raising her combatant’s hand and creating an indelible memory in the history of sports-entertainment that won’t soon be forgotten.