Bianca Belair entered the women's Royal Rumble for the first time in her young career. While she did not win, she scored the most eliminations. Belair went on Corey Graves' After The Bell podcast to talk about when she found out she was going to be in the Rumble and her feelings about the match.
"Well pretty much I was put aside at Worlds Collide, and I found out that I was gonna be in the Royal Rumble probably the night before it was confirmed.
"Of course, I was excited then directly after that I was followed with nervousness. It was my first Royal Rumble. I wasn't part of the Royal Rumble last year because some NXT girls were part of it last year. I was excited that they chose me to be a part of it this year, and I was excited to get that experience and also know that I would be possibly be getting to share the ring with some of the girls that I've always wanted to share the ring with possibly some legends," Belair said. "I was excited to be on the big stage and get in front of some people that may not exactly know exactly about Bianca Belair, just get to showcase who I was in front of a bigger audience."
Belair talked about what being in the Royal Rumble meant to her. She called it validation for the work that she has put in.
"For me, honestly, it was validation. I really try not to seek validation in anything other than myself. I try not to wait on it. It'll have you seeking validation in other things, but I can't lie. It was validation for me. I came into the Performance Center three and half years ago, and I've been just completely invested in myself, in this business learning the history, learning the craft. I hate to use the term working hard because I feel at this level that's just a given. You're supposed to work hard," Belair said. "That's something to get committed on, but for so long I've been saying I'm the EST. I'm this and I'm that, and I've just been waiting for that spot to prove that. To me that was just validation of everything that I've put into this that is going to pay off. That this is my moment to show everyone that what I've been saying is true."
Graves asked Belair if she felt content with where she was at. Belair did not give a definitive answer as to what brand she sees herself in. She said that being with her husband, Montez Ford, would be nice, but she called NXT home and hopes to do accomplish more in NXT. She is currently challenging NXT Champion Rhea Ripley at NXT Takeover: Portland.
"I'm not gonna say that I'm content. I'm not really that content. I'm always wanting more, but what I will say is NXT is my home. I consider it my family, and I love my journey that I've had in NXT. I feel like, three and a half years in, I still have so much that I can do if I do stay in NXT for a while. I'm still chasing the title, and I haven't run out of things [to do] so I think I can have a really long career in NXT if that's the case. With that being said, I know Bianca Belair. She'll shine wherever she's at whether it's NXT, RAW or Smackdown, and I just go with the flow. I really believe what's for you will be for you, so I just continue to stay in my lane. I stay focused on myself. I do what I'm supposed to do. I don't take days off," Belair said. "Even if things don't go my way, I still don't take days. I just really believe that what's for you will be for you. Regardless if that's RAW, NXT or Smackdown, I'm gonna shine and stand out like I always do. Wherever it takes me, I'm ready for the journey, and my husband is on RAW so if I went to RAW, I would get to see him a lot more. But I'm just excited for the future. I think I have endless possibilities whether it's on RAW, NXT or Smackdown."
Graves also asked Belair about opponents she could like to face someday. One of the names Belair brought up was Charlotte Flair who made her return to NXT recently and had a face-to-face encounter with Belair and Ripley. Flair has called Belair one of her favorite talents in NXT and called her "the future".
"Charlotte Flair, of course. I've been saying it since day one. I got to do a little bit at the Royal Rumble, but I want a real match, one-on-one, however it comes: Charlotte Flair," Belair said. "Naomi, I think we can create some magic in the ring. She's super talented. She's athletic. She's amazing. Ember Moon, she's in the same lane [in] athleticism. We can create some magic in the ring, and Nia Jax. If there's a legend it has to be Beth Phoenix. That would be a dream come true to have a one-on-one match with Beth Phoenix."
Graves also discussed Belair's time starting out in NXT. Sasha Banks also made an appearance on the podcast as well. You can listen to the full podcast by clicking here. If you use any quotes in this article, please credit WWE's After The Bell with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.