During a recent interview with Newsweek, Bianca Belair revealed her favorite Royal Rumble elimination, Sunday’s title match at NXT Takeover: Portland, and more. You can check out some highlights from the interview below:
On gaining more fan support: “It’s been great. I couldn’t ask for it to be better in NXT. I’m going on three or four years [with NXT] in April, and I feel I’ve been here proving myself over and over. I’m the girl who came in who didn’t know anything and was a little bit of the underdog. Now, everything is paying off, and I get to showcase my skills on a bigger stage like Survivor Series and the Royal Rumble. I am the best, I’m the “EST of NXT,” and I’m grateful that I finally have those opportunities to show everyone that I’m not the underdog, I’m not the next star. I am the star, and I am the future.”
On how she hasn’t made any major changes to her approach: “I think it’s always been the same. With my character, Bianca Belair, she’s always super confident. I think it’s confidence, others think it’s cockiness, but I feel like I’m the best and I don’t have a problem telling people that, so it’s always been the same. I’m always trying to show everyone who I am. The only difference now is that people are finally starting to catch on and starting to see exactly what I’ve been saying. I approach all my matches and my training the same, and I’m a whole lot smarter. Things are picking up now because there is more traveling, more shows and opportunities, but my motto is to stay ready so I don’t have to get ready. I’m always ready for every opportunity, I’ve been ready since day one, and I’m ready now.”
On how main roster exposure has benefitted her: “I think it’s been very beneficial to me and to everyone here in NXT, especially with us getting on the USA Network. We’ve felt like we’ve been in NXT putting on these great matches and Takeovers, and you have all this talent. All we needed was the spotlight to shine. So when we got on the USA Network, we were going to do what we’ve always been doing. The NXT fans have always been behind us, but now everyone gets to see it. And [it’s] the same for me, people finally get to see me. I’ve always been like “all I need is that spotlight” and I can shine. And that’s all I’ve wanted to do, and I’m finally getting it. I feel like everyone is catching on, and Bianca Belair is nothing to mess with, so it’s just me dealing with that. But it’s been good. It’s been a fun ride, and now it feels like everything is paying off.”
On her Royal Rumble performance: “The buildup was the hardest for me. The easiest for me is when I get in the ring and my music hits. That’s the fun part. The hard part are the parts people don’t see. Getting into the arena early and hanging out hours before the show starts. But I had to make the most out of this opportunity. I knew this was going to be a make or break moment for me. Once I got in there I was fine. I just let my body take over and let it do what it does. Afterwards I remember having a huge sigh of relief that everything went well, and it didn’t hit me until the next day. First I was it’s over with, I’m glad I’m healthy, I think I did very well. I was in front of thousands of people, [laughs] and how I got highlighted. It was validation for me and everything I put into Bianca Belair in NXT and WWE, and it’s finally paying off. That’s the best feeling in the world. And it gives me more confidence than I already had.
On her favorite elimination: “My entrance was the funnest part [laughs]. When my music hit and hearing the crowd, because it was such a long walkway, I had the most fun there. I remember bumping to my music and that was the funnest part. In the ring, being with Alexa Bliss was fun. Alexa Bliss is fun. She’s great to work with, it’s a great dynamic. My size to her size, my skill set to hers, we really created magic in just those two minutes. I’m really excited to work with her someday. And my elimination of Alexa Bliss was my favorite. I was also excited to get in the ring with Charlotte and Naomi. I think we spoonfed everyone, and I’m excited to get in the ring with those girls again.”
On if beating Ripley will allow her to put her loss to Shayna Baszler behind her: “When I get in the ring, I don’t know what happens. Something just takes over and Belair does her own thing. That’s the best way I can describe it. I don’t plan on being a certain way. It’s Belair’s natural reactions, and, if I feel like I’m being looked, over and I’m just reacting “for real? That’s what you’re trying to do?” And Belair just takes over in the ring. She’s her own person, and she’s a character. I just feed into whatever is happening, and it’s natural.”