WWE SmackDown women’s champion Bianca Belair recently spoke with Alfred Konuwa from Forbes about all things pro-wrestling, including how she was heavily inspired by Naomi and Jacqueline, and how she wants to collaborate with top female rappers like Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B. Highlights are below.
Says she was heavily inspired by Jacqueline and Naomi:
“The older that I’ve gotten, I now understand the power of representation. For me, I always gravitated towards Jacqueline. I thought she was amazing in the ring, she was beautiful, she was strong, she was powerful and it really empowering to watch Jacqueline. When I got older, right before I started in WWE, I went to a live event in Atlanta—I think I was 26—and I saw Naomi in the ring. And I remember just watching her, and because she was in the ring I could see myself in the ring. So she was so inspiring to me and she impacted me in a positive way before I stepped in a ring, even at 26 years old.”
On Rolling Loud and bringing eyes from the Black Community:
“Sometimes I’m out in public and people are like ‘you’re a wrestler?’ and they kind of ask me with a little question in their voice, like ‘oh I didn’t know that WWE had wrestlers like you. I’m going to start watching. It’s going to feel like home to me because that’s my environment, that’s what I’m all about. One of my main goals, even when I first got in NXT in WWE, was to bring as many eyes to the product as possible and bring more eyes in the urban market, the hip-hop market, bring more eyes to the product and that’s what we’re going to get to do at Rolling Loud. I go out there with my baby hairs, and my bamboo earrings, I love to bop around so I hope I’m received well because I’m gonna feel like I’m at home so I hope they receive me like I’m coming to the cookout and they’re giving me the invite to come in.”
Wanting to work with members of the hip-hop community:
“I would love to work with Megan Thee Stallion, City Girls, Cardi B, Nicki Minaj—I’m in love with Nicki Minaj—a few of these people are actually going to be there, so maybe I can go talk to them and see if we can have a tag team or partnership in the future.”