Scouted to join the WWE by Mark Henry in 2016, Bianca Belair is rising up the ranks o fthe WWE roster – especially after her appearance at WrestleMania 36.
Belair came to the aid of the Street Profits (her husband Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) from Zelina Vega, Angel Garza and Austin Theory which led to her joining the WWE RAW roster, and first RAW victory in a six person tag match with the Street Profits.
A former track, and then Crossfit personality, Belair is known for her all-round ability both in and out of the ring.
Belair talks about her discovery, her skill set and her WWE ambitions.
How did Mark Henry first discover you? And what is the most useful piece of advice he’s given you from your tryout and beyond?
Bianca Belair: After my track career I wanted to find something I could still be competitive in, so I was doing Crossfit and I really stood out…all the other girls were just wearing regular shorts and t-shirts and I was coming out in tutu’s and big bows and just really standing out.
At a lot of Crossfit competitions I was getting on the mic and, without even knowing it, cutting promos. Mark Henry came across a video of me at a Crossfit event on the internet and he contacted me and asked me if I’d ever thought of being in the WWE. He got me in the door but he made it very clear from the very beginning that “this is all going to be on you”.
It gave me a lot of confidence and it really pushed me. Ever since then he has always been someone I can go to for advice.
You famously declared yourself the ‘EST of NXT’, and now the ‘EST of WWE’. Can you explain to people who don’t know, what that means?
BB: The ‘EST of WWE’ means that I am a hybrid athlete. I’m not just good in one area, I’m not just good at one thing, I’m not just strong, I’m not just someone who can go in there and do flips and be a showcase athlete.
I’m someone who can do it all. I’m not just average in different areas, I’m the best in every single area. I’m the strongEST, the fastEST, the quickEST, the roughEST, the greatEST, the smartEST, I’m the bEST. All those end in EST.
I just see myself as being the absolute best in every single area that you can think of.
You’re a Superstar with a host of skills, one of which is making your own gear. Has that always been a passion for you? Which ring gear have you designed that means the most to you, and why?
BB: I have been pretty creative and pretty hands on my whole life. I get it from my dad who is always doing something, always making something. My mum is the same way. They are super creative and I just grew up in that environment.
I used to sew when I was younger, my mum had this little Christmas cookie jar that had everything in it but cookies. At first I started sewing pillow cases together, I didn’t even know what I was doing, but it carried over into High School and I used to sew and make my own outfits.
It carried over into WWE because I do everything the best and I do everything myself, it’s a huge part of my character. Probably my favourite gear is my Black History Month gear that I wore at NXT TakeOver: Portland.
Black History Month is really important to me because I really feel that Black history is American history is World history, and I’m very passionate about that. So that’s probably my favourite gear that I’ve made and it has the most sentimental value to me.”
Do you see your position as a WWE Superstar carrying a responsibility to set an example for young girls and women around the world?
BB: The further along I get in my career the more I see that I do have a responsibility and I take that very seriously. Especially with women and young girls we are often taught to shrink ourselves, and that is a big part of my character is to never shrink yourself to soothe anyone’s insecurities, you never dim your light for anyone.
You go out there and you shine bright, it’s even in my theme song: “watch me shine now”. It’s something that I really want to stress to young girls, especially within the community that I come from.
Go out there and show them who you are and don’t hold back. I hold that responsibility very close to my heart and it’s not just for young girls or for women, it’s for everyone. You have to be your biggest supporter, you have to be your biggest cheerleader.
What are Bianca Belair’s future WWE ambitions?
BB: The cliché answer is to be RAW Women’s Champion, or if I’m on SmackDown to be SmackDown Women’s Champion, or to eventually be NXT Women’s Champion.
Of course I want to be the Champion on all three brands at some particular time but, honestly, I just want to go out there and leave an impact no matter where I’m at. I feel like I did that with NXT, I left an impact.
When people think back to this era in WWE history I want to be one of the names that pops up as one of the key players regardless of if I’ve won one match or one hundred matches. I want to leave a legacy, I want to leave an impact.
Catch Bianca Belair on WWE RAW live on Tuesdays at 8am – Starhub (Singapore), TapDMV (Philippines), Astro SuperSports (Malaysia), Mola TV (Indonesia), and at 10am on Foxtel (Australia).