A Trip to Ronda Rousey’s Teaches Nattie Neidhart an Important Lesson About Grief on Total Divas
At work and at home, Ronda Rousey is as intense as they come.
The combat sports champion and WWE superstar invited colleague Nattie Neidhart and her husband TJ (AKA Tyson Kidd) to spend the weekend at Browsey Acres during Tuesday’s new Total Divas. And though the trip was Ronda and Travis Browne‘s attempt to provide Nattie with some tranquility in the wake of her father’s death, things got off to a messy start. Which is mostly to say, Ronda’s idea of a peaceful overnight getaway is not the same as her friend’s.
“If you’re coming to my house, you’re shoveling s–t,” Rowsey said with a straight face—and that wasn’t a euphemism but rather a loose itinerary. Within minutes of the couples’ arrival to her and Travis’ self-sustaining Southern California ranch, Ronda had Nattie shedding her designer garb for a set of coveralls and supplies. “Goody bags,” according to the Olympic medalist, and TJ got one too.
“For me, it would be nice to get a lip gloss or a cute pair of pajamas or some bubble bath, but she’s giving us flashlight. She’s giving us these boots like we’re gonna be out in the woods,” an increasingly apprehensive Nattie observed. “Like, what’re we gonna do? Am I gonna kill an elk this weekend?”
Graciously, she was tasked with nothing of the sort. But after feeding the family goats and tag-teaming with TJ to disperse what looked like dozens of hay bales across Browsey Acres, Ronda introduced the duo to her own personal “zen garden”: a barn warranting serious clean up.
“We need to do some poop moving,” she told her guests with a smile. During a confessional, Nattie wondered if all this was some kind of sick “joke,” but Ronda explained amid her own sit-down with the camera that hands-on outdoor activities like these often help her to “process whatever’s going on in [her] life.”
And since she knew Nattie was having an especially difficult time grappling with her father’s passing (Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart died suddenly in Aug. 2018), the Divas newcomer hoped her pal might benefit in a similar way.
“I think she’s just been piling so many distractions onto her plate with work,” said Ronda, who lost her own father during childhood and suspected Nattie’s desire to over-commit professionally as of late was a coping mechanism more than anything else. In light of that, she thought a weekend at Browsey Acres would encourage Nattie to focus on “self-reflection.”
And though we definitely did not expect “s–t shoveling” to do the trick, none of us should be too surprised to learn that the guide to “tackling feelings like a professional wrestler” apparently involves a bit of literal heavy lifting.
“This trip has been the first time I’ve really had a chance to process [her dad’s death],” a tearful Nattie told Ronda and NXT star Jessamyn once the day’s chores were through. “It’s like, ‘Wow. I haven’t even dealt with these emotions.'”
Continuing, she admitted to both women, “I’ve just really been struggling with letting go and really understanding that my dad is gone.”
“That memory of him becomes him after a while,” Ronda shared, adding that “it’s a process” getting there. “And dude,” she finished wisely, “you gotta let it suck.”
The insights resonated with Nattie, who expressed gratefulness to Rowsey for helping her realize “how important it is to take time away from work” and that “there’s no way to get around grief. The only way that we can get around grief is just going through it.”
See everything that went down this week—including Carmella‘s surprise birthday party gone awry and the budding rivalry between Ronda and fellow MMA fighter Sonya Deville—in the full recap video above!
Watch a brand new episode of Total Divas Tuesday at 10 p.m., only on E!