A key part of Sunday Money in the bank it was supposed to be Bianca Belair defending the SmackDown women’s championship against Bayley in an “I Quit” match.
Belair and Bayley have been embroiled in a dispute throughout the year. This would have marked their third straight pay-per-view match, but the fight was called off last week when Bayley tore her ACL while training at the WWE Performance Center.
“It meant everything to me working with Bayley,” says Belair. “She has been there every step of the way for me until now. She gave me a boost as I entered the Royal rumble, we close the circle after Wrestlemania, and she helped show the Slap universe who I am. She brought out a whole new side of me in Hell in a cell. “
Belair’s work in the ring stood out during the pandemic, even as WWE struggled to build sustainable momentum with its television studio show on ThunderDome. This was especially evident in the Hell in a cell pay-per-view, when Belair worked with Bayley on a Cell Match that was creative, compelling and exciting.
The innovator Hell in a cell The match was a credit to the in-ring chemistry that Belair shares with Bayley. He pointed out that there wasn’t much time beforehand to prepare, although that wasn’t a problem for someone as progressive as Bayley. The match featured all sorts of creative points, including kendo sticks, Belair’s hair, and a vicious KOD on a ladder.
“We found out for sure that we would have that match in the cell on Friday two days before the show,” says Belair. “We were still able to do something special, and that shows how great Bayley is and how great we are together.
“When you’re in the ring with Bayley, it’s different. You have full confidence that things will always go well. “
WWE has had many women who have stood out as pioneers in the industry, showcasing the strength and captivating nature of female wrestling. The four female jockeys – Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Bayley – have worked to set a new standard for excellence in wrestling, and Belair has set out to create her own definition of greatness, which she successfully accomplished in the cage. Bayley.
“I was the first woman in a Hell in a Cell match that wasn’t part of the Four Horsewomen, so there was a lot of pressure involved,” says Belair. “I want to be a new face to this era of women’s wrestling with Rhea Ripley, and the Hell in a Cell cage is brutal, so I was definitely nervous going in.”
With great help for Bayley, the foundation of Belair’s career as a champion was established during the era of the empty arena of professional wrestling.
“Fighting Bayley after winning the title in Wrestlemania it was perfect, ”says Belair. “I have been very fortunate to work with her. She has contributed to much of my success. She has made me better, and I’m going to go ahead and pull it off.
“Bayley is a locker room leader and an incredible person inside and out. I have observed and learned from her, the way she handles situations and adapts so easily and quickly. He has the ability to make things seem so easy. We will miss her very much while she’s gone. She is a legend in the making, but she does so much more than just about herself. She gives and contributes a lot to the dressing room ”.
With Bayley no longer available for the match in Money in the bank, Belair defended his title in Slap Friday against Carmella.
“It was an opportunity to rise to the occasion,” says Belair. “I always keep ready, so I was ready. Getting to show up and show myself in front of fans, that means a lot to me. “
The party in Slap offered a rare opportunity for Belair to fight in front of a crowd. Now she is excited to create magical moments in the ring much more consistently.
“I am very excited to interact with the fans,” says Belair. “They called me to Raw last year, right after closing, so I hadn’t had that kind of opportunity to be with fans outside of this year’s event. Wrestlemania. I still think about the way we showed up and introduced ourselves in Wrestlemania. Sasha Banks and I were the first black women in the main event Wrestlemania, and we take great pride in that. She was so much bigger than just us, and we’re looking to push women further in WWE. “
Performing in front of crowds presents Belair with the opportunity to reach a new level of popularity through a deeper connection with fans. His charisma is unlike any other in the industry, which is bolstered by his intelligence, gentle approach, and ring work.
“It’s very different to fight without a crowd,” says Belair. “I was very honored to motivate people who watch from home. That is why I do what I do. Now I can finally share the title and physically connect with people from all over the world is going to be amazing. “
Along with Banks, Belair attended ESPN’s ESPY. awards ceremony last week, where the two Wrestlemania main-eventers won the ESPY for WWE Moment of the Year.
“It’s still surreal to me,” says Belair. “To go, to be on the same stage and to be recognized on the same level as the NFL and the NBA and tennis and Olympic sports, it’s amazing. It’s a prestigious award, and winning it with Sasha shows what we provide and stand for in WWE.
“Being recognized for something I love to do is just a feeling. I am so blessed and grateful. I’m still trying to absorb it. “
Following the masterpiece they created in Wrestlemania, a Banks-Belair rematch has the potential to be a main event Summer festival in August.
“I am fully expecting Summer festival be something big, ”says Belair. “Maybe even out of nowhere. Whatever it is, I’ll be prepared. “
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.