WWE superstar Bianca Belair recently spoke with Sports Illustrated about a number of different topics, including her epic promo after winning the Royal Rumble, and how much she respects current SmackDown women’s champion Sasha Banks. Highlights are below.
Says she finished designing her Royal Rumble ring gear right before the show started:
The whole entire top of my gear was rhinestoned out, and I stoned the gear with the rhinestones during the two-hour drive on Sunday morning. My husband [fellow WWE wrestler Montez Ford] drove so carefully to avoid any bumps in the road. I finished as we drove into the parking lot, and the glue had just dried when I put it on at the show.
Why representation is important:
Representation is so important. It really helps people to see someone that looks like them, people that they can relate to doing something they want to do, and it’s important to see people being themselves and doing something great. That’s important to see as you navigate through life. I hope my story can impact little girls, boys, adults, everyone. I want people to be happy with themselves. That’s what I am using this platform to show.
Getting to share that final Rumble moment with Rhea Ripley:
That moment felt so real. I knew we’d made it all the way to that point, and there was no way it wasn’t going to be special. We were there to create magic, there was so much anticipation, and I was so happy to share that moment with Rhea. We both came from NXT, and she was my last TakeOver match [in February] before I moved to Raw. She stood tall that night, and I stood tall at the Rumble. We had a moment after the Royal Rumble, and we were so proud to show everyone what the future of WWE looks like.
On her post match promo:
The whole night, I wasn’t focused on anything except for the match. Once I got to that interview, that’s when all the emotion came out. I opened myself up, that was raw emotion.
Says it didn’t feel weird that there were no fans:
I would have loved people to be in the crowd, but it didn’t feel odd at all. I was so in the moment—the pyro, the WrestleMania sign, climbing the ropes—it felt like I was in front of thousands of people. Then to go backstage and to hear from the girls I was in the ring with, that was amazing. They were so supportive, and I’m so grateful to have the chance to work with them.
How much she respects Sasha Banks:
The thought that I’m going to WrestleMania still hasn’t hit me. Sasha Banks, she’s not just a hard worker. It’s not just that she’s talented, and it’s not that she never gives up. So when I think about what I respect most about Sasha Banks, it’s everything. Sasha is the standard. She lives up to that standard in the ring, and it’s so cool to see the example she sets in her life, too. She’s been doing this for so long, and she elevates every person she works with, which is amazing. She sets the example for all of us.