Bianca Belair pinned Sasha Banks at Wrestlemania 37, main-event in Night one to claim her first title in the WWE. Belair left no questions unanswered in defeating Banks to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship to close out Night one in unforgettable fashion. The EST was clearly overcome with emotion at the outset, however, as she faced the biggest moment of her career. Belair and Banks not only joined the exclusive pantheon of women to main event a WrestleMania but also made history as the first African-American women to face each other in a singles match on wrestling’s Grandest Stage.
Can you describe how you were feeling in those first moments, hearing your entrance music, and walking out to a stadium of WWE fans for the first time in over a year?
Wow. I always say the anticipation is what gets me, it’s getting to the stadium so early and having to wait. That’s what makes me so nervous. I remember right before I walked out and my husband asked me, he said, “How do you feel?" Usually I’m super, super nervous. I looked at him and I said, “I actually feel calm. I feel good. It feels right." I’m usually not that calm. I’m usually very high strung and just all over the place and, you know, I just felt good. When my entrance music hit, and being able to hear a crowd for the first time in over a year, it was the best sound that I could imagine. I always say that our job is to put smiles on fans faces and the fans really make the moments what they are. It’s been hard without them for the past year. It just gave me so much energy and so much adrenaline. I got to skip down the ring. It was raining and I didn’t even think about the ramp being slippery because you’re just so excited and you’re not thinking about anything! You’re just feeding off the crowd. It just feels so special that we finally got this point to be able to have our fans. I got pyro! I got fireworks! That’s when it hit me that we are the Main Event and that’s what made me become so emotional that I was finally in that moment. I just became overwhelmed with emotion.
I’m sure you’ve started to see the global response from fans online. Has it sunk in just how significant this match was as a WrestleMania Main Event?
It’s getting there, it’s sinking in a little bit at a time. It first sunk in when my husband came to the ring and it sunk in a little bit more when I got to see my family. When I woke up the next morning I had to figure out if it was all a dream. I think it’s really going to sink in for me when I actually watch the match back because I was just so focused on trying to deliver it and trying to live up to the moment and trying to win the SmackDown Women’s Title. I think when I finally watch the match back and be able to see it unfold with my own eyes, I think that’s when it will finally hit me.
We saw the emotion on your face at the start of the match. You were fighting back tears. What was going through your mind at that moment?
I was overcome with emotion. Just knowing that it could have been anyone in that position to create that history. I just felt honored to be the person in that position across from Sasha Banks and be the Main Event of WrestleMania. My mind was blown, my heart was full of joy and love and I just couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe this was my life.
We also saw Sasha getting quite emotional at the end. What would you like to say to her?
I won the SmackDown Women’s Championship, but it takes two. It takes two and we made history. We did this together. We made this moment together and I admire Sasha Banks so much because she is the Boss and the Blueprint inside the ring - but she is all those things outside of the ring as well. What she did for me, I’m just so grateful for it. She is just someone who she elevates every single person that she comes into contact with and that’s what I aspire to be. She’s accomplished so much that she can now give back and contribute to the next generation. It’s just amazing to know that she’s just that selfless person.
What’s next for SmackDown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair?
What’s next for me is I want Sasha Banks to get a rematch. I want to be a fighting Champion. I’ve been an athlete my whole life and I love competition. I crave competition. I don’t run from competition. I know that the only way to prove that you’re the best is to keep going up against the best. I want Sasha Banks to get a rematch right away. I want to prove that it wasn’t a fluke, that this is what it’s supposed to be. I pinned Bayley right before the Royal Rumble and now I pinned Sasha Banks. So I’ve pinned two of the Four Horsewomen. My goal is to eventually pin all four of them. I feel like I’m at the forefront of a new generation and you’ve got to lead. I just want to be a fighting Champion.