Belair entered the 30-Woman Royal Rumble match last month in the #2 spot, and picked up a record 8 eliminations while being in the match for just over 33 minutes. She was eliminated at #16 by winner Charlotte Flair. Belair said the Rumble gave her a chance to prove that she's the "EST of NXT" - the strongest, fastest, toughest, roughest, and quickest. She said the Rumble gave her validation.
"I feel like I've been down here putting on good matches, and I feel like I've been proving myself time after time with different Takeovers and for me, Royal Rumble was validation to what I've been doing," Belair said. "I've been down here killing it, and I want to show everybody else that. I want everybody else to know who Bianca Belair is."
Besides running track, Belair uses another childhood hobby in her pro wrestling career - sewing. Belair went from stitching pillow cases together as a kid, to sewing her brother's jerseys together and making belts as a teen, to making her outfits for CrossFit, and now creating her own gear for pro wrestling. Belair noted that she's completed 50 in-ring wrestling outfits so far.
"Once I got into WWE, I knew what I wanted, but it was hard for me to relate it to a seamstress or a gear maker, and I always like to do things myself," she said. "That's how I am. I'm very hands on."
Belair also revealed the toughest part of being in WWE - the time before she enters the ring when she's feeling anxious. Belair said she visualizes herself in the ring at those times, which is a technique she picked up from track. She also remembers what her father told her as a kid - "It's OK to be nervous, just don't be scared," she recalled.
"The hard part is the part people don't see, and that's the build up. That's when we get to the arena early in the morning, and it's five to six hours before the show's starting and we're walking into the arena," Belair said. "We see the ring set up, and we see all the empty seats and we're soaking everything in, and it's the build up. You're anxious. You're nervous. The day is dragging on, and that's the hard part. It's like the calm before the storm."