BIANCA BELAIR: Bianca Belair - the 'EST of WWE'... never imagined being a WWE superstar (On Her Turf)

Posted on 5/07/122 by Mike Informer

Bianca Belair – the ‘EST of WWE’ – never imagined being
a WWE superstar

On Her Turf (OHT): How are you doing today?

Bianca Belair: I’m good. Just over here making my Derby hat.

OHT: Will Saturday be your first Kentucky Derby?

Belair: Yes, this will be my first Kentucky Derby. It has
always been on the bucket list. My mom loves horses and
she’s always wanted to go to the Kentucky Derby. It’s her
60th birthday on May 8, so I actually bought her tickets
that I surprised her with so it’s like a bonus. I’m checking
it off of my bucket list and I also get to celebrate with my
husband (fellow WWE superstar Montez Ford) and my mom on her

OHT: I know you’re making your own — what’s the right term?
Outfit? Costume? — but are you also helping your husband and
mom get dressed up for the Derby too?

Belair: My mom’s actually out looking for a dress for
herself. But my husband, we always coordinate our outfits on
a daily basis so this is right in our ballpark. I’m helping
him get his hat together, making his suit, and altering it.
So I’m kind of just hands-on with everyone at this moment.

OHT: Can you give us a preview of what your Kentucky Derby
hat is going to look like?

Belair: I’m very indecisive so I’m working on three hats…
Roses and pearls is the theme at the moment… if I stick with
that. Trying to go with a little southern twist.

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OHT: Transitioning to WWE… I know you competed in track and
then CrossFit before. I’m curious: What was the biggest
surprise for you when you made the switch to WWE?

Belair: For me, the biggest transition was just starting
from scratch. I played almost every sport in the book since
the age of five: I started in gymnastics and tumbling and
then went into track and field, and did cheerleading,
basketball, and soccer. And then I ran collegiate track and
field; I was a hurdler at the University of Tennessee. I was
an all-American hurdler, all-SEC hurdler.

With every sport that I’ve done — even CrossFit and
powerlifting — I’ve been able to pull something from each
sport (I did before). But with WWE, I walked in not really
knowing anything. I didn’t really grow up watching
wrestling. I watched when my brother watched it. I never
imagined myself being a WWE superstar. So it was really
starting from scratch. The athletic and physical part of it
came to me very easily and quickly, but it was the
performing part of WWE (that was more challenging).

You know, it’s sports entertainment, so you get the best of
both worlds. It’s like watching your favorite action-packed,
superhero soap opera mixed with an NFL football game. So,
for me the most challenging part was just the performance
part and learning how to — not just compete — but perform at
the same time.

OHT: Even though it’s a performance, it’s obviously still
super physical. What does WWE training look like for you?

Belair: It’s very, very demanding physically, probably more
demanding than almost any sport that I did. I’m in the gym
usually Tuesday through Friday doing cardio training,
CrossFit-type of training. And then Saturday through Tuesday
is when I’m traveling and having wrestling matches inside
the ring. But on those traveling days, I’m still in the gym
at eight o’clock in the morning. Then I’m at the show,
having a wrestling match at eight o’clock at night, and then
I’m driving to the next show until about 2am. And then I’m
doing it all over again the next day. So it’s a grind, not
just mentally, but physically as well.

Bianca Belair lifts Sonya Deville onto her shoulder before
performing her signature move, the K.O.D., during a WWE RAW
match in Knoxville, Tenn. on Monday, April 25, 2022. (Photo:
Saul Young/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK)
OHT: I know there’s been an evolution of the way women are
portrayed in WWE. What do you hope that people – and
especially young people – see when they watch you perform?

Belair: I’m in WWE at an amazing time. Women are really at
the forefront and women are the future of WWE. I was able to
be a part of WrestleMania 37 where I wrestled our main event
with Sasha Banks. We were the first two Black females to
ever (be the) main event at WrestleMania.

Women are main-eventing on a weekly basis in WWE… It’s
really cool for little girls to see that, but also — I can’t
stress this fact (enough) — that it’s even more important
for a little boys to see women in that light as well.

So I’m just looking forward to being a part of this legacy
that WWE is creating with women, and just being a
representation for women and little girls that you can do
whatever it is that you want to do, even if it is in a male-
dominated space.

OHT: In a lot of women’s sports that I cover, something I
often see is while women are able to compete on the big
stage, the space and people around them — the coaches, the
administrators — are almost all men. I’m curious what the
environment around you looks like?

Belair: Yeah, it’s definitely changing. When I first got
into WWE, Sara Amato was my coach. She taught me everything
that I know and she was such a part of my success. We just
recently got Molly Holly, who is a WWE Hall of Famer, and
she’s one of the producers now. (There’s also) Stephanie
McMahon, who I look up to. She’s just a great example that
women do not have to be in a box. You know, she’s a mom,
she’s a wife, she’s a boss. And she’s really just a great
example for all the women inside the locker room to show
what our possibilities are. Our roster is so stacked with a
diverse group of women that represent what it means to be a
woman in their own personal way.

OHT: You recently won your second RAW women’s title. What do
your goals look like moving forward?

Belair: You know, I’ve had a lot of success very quickly in
WWE and I’m very grateful for that. I’m the RAW women’s
champion, I just defeated Becky Lynch at WrestleMania 38.
Right now, I feel like at the forefront of a new generation
of women’s wrestling. You have the four horsewomen who came
before me: Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks and
Bayley, who really paved the way and broke barriers for
women. They don’t have to go anywhere, just make some room
for me. I’ve already defeated three out of the four
horsewomen and the only one I haven’t defeated is Charlotte
Flair. So I would love to go up against Charlotte Flair and
try to conquer her. So that’s really my goal for the future.

And I’m all about just being the absolute best version of
myself and showing up authentically me, unapologetically me,
and just being representation for women, for women of color.
I call myself the “EST of WWE,” which means I’m the
strongest the fastest, the roughest, the toughest, the
quickest, the greatest, the best.

And, outside the ring, eventually I want to write a book and
be in some movies.

OHT: I love it. Thanks so much for taking the time today and
enjoy your first Kentucky Derby on Saturday!

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