WrestleMania 36 will mark the first time WWE has no live crowd for its signature show, and it will also be a two-night event. The company has decided the show has to go on, and so did we. WWE offered to media the interviews they couldn’t have done, and we will share them with you all week long. Legends, main roster, and NXT wrestlers, this week is all for them.

Bianca Belair never wanted to become a wrestler. She was a sports girl, a true athlete, a Crossfit competitor until WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry noticed her, and got her a tryout with WWE. And it worked. She signed a contract with NXT in April 2016, started to develop her character of EST of NXT before competing in the first edition of the Mae Young Classic tournament.

Since then, Belair and her hurtful braid have made giant steps in NXT, but also in WWE. She took part in the first-ever WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal in 2018, she competed in the first WarGames women match, represented Team NXT at Survivor Series, and participated in this year Royal Rumble women’s match. Belair has since received high praise from many female wrestlers of the main roster.

SteelChair took part in a media call with Bianca Belair a few weeks ago. She talked about her path, her character, but also her Mania choices.

On Mark Henry and the Mae Young Classic tournament:

“I would love to see the MYC comeback. I think it’s a great opportunity for a lot of girls to showcase themselves. That’s where I came out, that’s when people for the first time really got to know who Bianca Belair was. I believe like that’s what jump-started my career in height, that’s what really got my name in the conversation, so I would love for the MYC to come back. I loved it because women really are supporting each other, and we all want each other to put on a great show. I think that if they brought it back again, you’re going to see so much talent.

Mark Henry is the person who saw something in me and got me a tryout. The main thing that he did say to me is, ‘I can get you a tryout, but you have to do the rest of the work’, and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since. He really set the tone that if you’re going to do this, you’re going to have to do this on your own. He’s this mentor for me. He’s been in a lot of the big matches that I’ve had at TakeOvers. The best advice that I feel like he’s given me was when I first was in the Performance Center, he just asked me ‘What do you want to be? What do you want to showcase in the ring? You don’t even know who you are, but you can open your mouth, so people already know who you are, so everybody helped me out to create and develop Bianca Belair.”

On her character, being heel or face, and her braid:

“The character development for me actually has kind of happened naturally. I’m an all-around athlete. A lot of times, I was very naturally talented and just naturally good. In my childhood, I felt bad if I was better, I made other people’s insecurities my own responsibilities, and I hated things about myself. Now, it’s a perfect time for me to turn that around and become Bianca, where I’m not hiding my life anywhere, I’m not hiding what I can do to stop their insecurities. I worked hard, and now I have no problem because I’ve worked so hard. I’m strong, I’m the fastest, I’m the toughest, and I’m the roughest. I’m the SSS, and then it became EST of WWE and NXT, it all came naturally together for me.

When I go out there, I don’t try to play either. I just consider myself, I’m just Bianca Belair. Either you’re going to like me, or you’re not going to like me. I’m not going to change myself regardless. I don’t really try to play either role. I will say I’m more comfortable in a more aggressive, a more heelish role, but whatever category you want me in, I’ll always be Bianca Belair, and you can’t really argue with the fact that I’m the best because every time I’m out there, I can show it.

Well, at first, the idea was to have it. Just to have a braid. To stand out. To be different. My husband (one half of RAW Tag Team Champions, Montez Ford) helped me out a lot with that. He told me how important it is for you to stand out and be unique. And so, I looked at what every single girl was doing on the roster, and I was like, I’m going to go the opposite way. He encouraged me to wear it. And then, it naturally progressed to me just using it. I was in the ring one day. My coach Sara Amato said, ‘Maybe you can hit the girl with your braid’. And then I was like ‘maybe’. I was in the ring one day in a match with Ruby Riott. I decided I’m going to try and hit her with my braid. And it made this huge noise. One neither I was expecting, or she was expecting. We both just paused and looked at each other. We had no idea what was happening. The crowd was going crazy. It was just ‘it’ from there. I realized it can be used to my advantage, and it can be used as a weapon. And now, I’m stuck with this braid. That’s basically how it came about. Now, it’s a thing. I’m kind of stuck with it. And I love it.”

On NXT now live on USA Network:

“I feel like we just go out there and we perform, that’s what we were focused on even before we got on the USA Network. We have been putting on great quality matches and great TakeOvers. We were just excited when we found out that we were going to be on the USA Network. We were excited to show the world exactly what we’ve always been doing. Nothing’s really changed, once we got on USA, we just kept doing what we’ve always done. We’re just on a bigger platform, and we are just excited to really showcase that to the entire world and show what NXT is, and that’s what we do. Our fan base has always been very supportive of us, even before the USA Network. On Wednesday night, we go out there and do what we’ve always done and put on a great show.”

On becoming a star:

“My parents instilled in me to work hard, be humble. I didn’t grow up watching wrestling. I wanted to be an Olympian. I wanted to run track and be a hurdler. For me, it’s crazy that something that really wasn’t in my mind is now something that I can’t see myself doing anything other than this. Wrestling is something that I have grown to love, and I have this huge passion for it. I’m walking out, and I’m seeing people with my shirts on and signs. I’m waking up in the morning seeing pictures of myself as an action figure. It’s a very weird feeling, and it’s a gratifying feeling. I’m having an impact on people’s lives because this is where they come to get enjoyment and entertainment. I’m inspiring them, and I’m having a legacy. I’m actually creating a legacy where my name is going to go down in history books.”

On maybe coming to the main roster:

“I thought I always stay ready, so I don’t have to get ready. I’m always prepared for any spotlights that are thrown in, and I say that with a lot of confidence. With that being said, I love NXT. This is my home. I came here without knowing anything, and I’ve developed into what I am now. There is so much more for me out there that I haven’t done yet on any different brands, but I’d be really excited to go to another environment, especially because my husband’s on RAW, so that’ll be great, but regardless I am ready for whatever comes my way.”

On the Royal Rumble match:

“I had fun. That was one of the most relaxed times I’ve ever had in the ring. The build-up for me was the most nerve-wracking part. But once my music hit, I was on my own. I finally felt like I was getting the spotlight that I deserved. It’s just my time to shine, and it was. There was nothing else to think about at that moment, but just go out there, let my body take over, and let my body do what it does, and that’s what I did. I was in there for over 33 minutes, but I enjoyed every single moment. I soaked it in.

You have to be prepared and you kind of know that’s what comes with it when you ask for an opportunity, which I don’t because I feel like whatever comes my way is what I deserve, and I don’t have to ask for it. I’ve been sitting here proving myself over and over, and I finally got that spotlight. I get the spotlight now to prove myself, and I start showing everyone, ‘What I’ve been saying, that I’m the strongest, the toughest, the best, now you see what I’m saying, now you believe me’. That comes with people finally realizing who I am. The pressure is a part of the game. It’s a part of the competition, and I’ve been competing since I was a little girl. I’m used to it, so I just always stay ready for whatever comes my way.”

On the praise she has received from the 4 Horsewomen of wrestling:

“It only can bring feelings of validation, and just feeling it gives me confidence. They started in the same position where I started right here in NXT, some of them before NXT, but just to know that they started where I started, and they are where they’re at right now, it really just lets me know I’m on the right path, and the fact that my name is in the conversation by those four women just lets me know that everything that comes my way, I deserve it, so this is exciting to hear my name in a conversation that comes out of their mouth.”

On her WrestleMania predictions:

“We’ve been proving that NXT is the third brand. We’re not a developmental brand. We are equal right along with RAW and SmackDown. We can deliver matches, and we have great quality athletes and competitors in NXT. The fact that we have Rhea Ripley, who is NXT Women’s Champion facing Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania, on a bigger platform, we’re just showing that we belong on this platform, in the spotlight just like any RAW or SD talent. I’m just really excited for Rhea to go out there and really showcase NXT. We want the title to stay right here within our family, the NXT family, so I’m for Rhea Ripley.

I’ve been in the ring with Shayna Baszler multiple times, and I’ve also fought alongside her in WarGames. Shayna is nothing to play with. I’ve never been in the ring with Becky Lynch. It’s going to be a great match. I love that our women’s division is so talented that every time two women step in the ring, you never know the outcome. It could go either way. But I’m going to say Shayna Baszler if I’m going to put my own thoughts because I’ve been in the ring with her, and I’ve experienced it. Something that’s left with Becky. So, I’ve to go with Shayna Baszler for that.”

On the message she wants to give to young women:

“We have so much pressure in society to be a certain way. My advice is to just remember who you were before the world told you who you’re supposed to be and always stick to that. You have to know who you are and to be comfortable with your own skin. If you want something, go after it, and don’t let anyone sway you. Don’t dim your light for anyone, just be unapologetically you, and celebrate your successes and your failures because you learn from your failures.”


WrestleMania airs live on the WWE Network on Saturday, April 4th, and Sunday, April 5th. Check your local listings to see if PPV coverage is available in your area.

Special thanks to DS Communication – All images and videos courtesy of WWE

By Steph Franchomme

News, Reviews, Social Media Editor, Impact Wrestling Reviewer, Interviewer Well, call me The Boss... And French...

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