The Veteran Card

March 4, 2024. Frost Bank Center. San Antonio, Texas. Monday Night RAW. Candice LeRae was fed up, concerned that recent loses Indi Hartwell and her suffered could close off their window to make the WrestleMania 40 card. Natalya who was lurking nearby agreed the same might be happening to Tegan Nox and her, not helped by her partner tossing her out of the Women's Royal Rumble back in January. Natalya was about to apologize for her remark. But instead, she just said she's not mad at Tegan for that. Tegan was rightfully befuddled.

Natalya mandated they had to regroup which means Tegan having to listen to her, implying she hasn't been. Tegan reminded Natalya that it was Natalya who tried to eliminate her first. Natalya got moody, calling Nox "sweetie" and "honey" insisting it didn't happen like Tegan remembers it. Tegan rolled her eyes, knowing full-well Natalya was full of it. Natalya finished, telling Nox it's time for them to get hungry, forget their manners and listen to Natalya. Before the confused Tegan could respond, Natalya pulled her up and along like a mother does to a child.

Remember when Natalya said that Tegan eliminating her showed her that Nox had fire, declaring it the start of a beautiful friendship? How it felt like the already quite experienced in-ring competitor Tegan might finally be treated like Natalya's equal instead of her young girl? That's clearly not how things are panning out. This isn't the first time Natalya suggested Tegan "get hungry and forget her manners". Those were the exact words she told Tegan prior to the match Nox defeated her in on September 25, 2023 to earn a shot at the NXT Women's Championship.

On that night Natalya pulled the entitled veteran card, demanding another shot at the NXT Women's Championship until Tegan stood her ground against Natalya just getting another shot since she lost a title match the prior week. Instead of holding a grudge against Nox for defeating her, Natalya seemed to garner respect for Tegan and became a mentor to her... or has she?

It's been about a year since Natalya's first partnership with Nox was formed on SmackDown. That quickly ended with Natalya abandoning Tegan for Nox's former partner Shotzi. Natalya & Shotzi qualified for the WrestleMania Showcase Four-Way... a spot that could have been Tegan's and Natalya's if not for the abandonment. This time around, Natalya is keeping Tegan close but I don't think I'm alone in questioning if it's to be selfless... or the opposite.

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