When the Four Horsewomen arrived on the main roster five years ago this week, Naomi was one of the first to meet the new and upcoming women. Once everyone became acquainted, Naomi and Tamina welcomed “The Boss” Sasha Banks into Team B.A.D.
Looking back at that moment during her interview on WWE’s The Bump, Naomi says that she was excited to work alongside Banks and the other three Horsewomen.
“I remember understanding at that time that, okay, things are changing,” Naomi began. “I knew about Sasha, Bayley and Charlotte at that time, and how amazing they were doing in NXT.
“I was extremely excited to see who was going to be with who. I knew that Sasha had to come work with us. I was very happy and excited for those women to come up and see where it was going to go.”
Speaking of the Four Horsewomen, just this past February, Naomi and Bayley squared off against each other at Super ShowDown in Saudi Arabia for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Though Bayley retained the title, Naomi says that match is arguably one one of the matches that’s up there as one of her favorites.
“Man, it’s definitely up there with all those WrestleMania moments that I had. It was really surreal being able to go up against Bayley, which has always been a dream of mine,” she noted. “Being able to work with any of the Four Horsewomen is a delight. I hope that wasn’t the end [on getting a SmackDown title shot].
“I hope she doesn’t forget, but she still owes me a rematch. So, yeah, I better get it.”
If you would’ve told Naomi three years ago that she was going to make history as the first African-American woman to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship, she probably would have given you a puzzled look. At WrestleMania 33, in her hometown of Orlando, she captivated her hometown audience when she won the title during a six-pack challenge match. She looks back at that moment fondly during her interview.
“Man, that’s career-defining for me,” she replied. “It took me so long to get a championship. At one point, honestly, I never thought I was going to hold it. Then to be able to accomplish that at WrestleMania, it was just surreal.
“I hate when I’m in these moments because I don’t take a moment to let it all soak in. I get nervous, but then I get excited. Your focus is on trying not to mess up. It happened so fast. When I look back at it, it’s crazy to think that happened in my hometown.”
After gaining the championship, Naomi used her title reign as a platform to inspire other African-American women to follow their dreams and pursuits. She hopes that she did a well enough job, and inspires other women like her in the future.
“In my core and in my heart, I’m a black woman,” she said proudly. “To be able to be part of history and for that to be the first time, yeah, I feel like it’s a part of my identity.
“I hope the thing I’m doing now can inspire other minorities and people of color to come in and kill it. They can do it; there aren’t any limits. I hope the things that I’m doing make it more normal and easier for those who come in after us.”
Before concluding her interview, Naomi spoke on where she’d like for her career to go next in WWE. She mentions that she would like to be part of the women’s tag team division, and lists off several names of partners she’d like to have join her.
“Goals, goals, goals,” she said with a chuckle. “I would really love to be in the tag division. I’ve been waiting for Ember [Moon] to come back, but we don’t know [if and when she’ll return], but my other option would be Bianca Belair.”
You can watch Naomi’s full interview here. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE’s The Bump with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.