At the 2020 Royal Rumble match, then-NXT star Bianca Belair entered at #2 and lasted nearly 34 minutes until she was eliminated by eventual winner Charlotte Flair. She eliminated seven women during her memorable Royal Rumble debut.
In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Belair said she plans to steal the show once again in 2021 and use a victory in the Royal Rumble match as her ticket to WrestleMania.
“I’m really excited for 2021, and I’m calling it right now?it’s going to be a special year for Bianca Belair to stand out and shine, starting with the Royal Rumble,” said Belair.
“I didn’t find out I was going to be part of it [Royal Rumble match] last year until the night before, and I was still able to go out there and last over 30 minutes. It will be even better this year. Every time I step in the ring, my goal is to show everyone who I am and what I do. I want to win the Royal Rumble and use that as my path straight into WrestleMania,” she added.
Belair went onto explain the circumstances that led to her becoming one of 12 NXT women who entered the 2020 Rumble match.
“The night before the Rumble, I was actually in the audience watching Rhea Ripley and Toni Storm have a title match [at War of the Worlds],” she recalled. “I thought I was only traveling to sit in the crowd because I was facing whoever won the match. That’s all I was thinking.”
With no plans to step into the ring that weekend, Belair initially planned to spend her time off enjoying a nice meal in Houston.
“I’m backstage and I hear, ‘Bianca, you’re going to be in the Royal Rumble tomorrow, and you’re going to be No. 2. Go show us what you got.’
“I was trying to stay all cool, calm and collected, but at that moment, I was so full of emotion. I always ask for the spotlight, so this was a moment where I needed to go out and do what I do. I remember walking into the arena the day of the Rumble, looking at all the empty seats, and I was already ready for my music to hit. That day took so long. I was ready for seven o’clock as soon as I woke up.”
Belair said that she is a lot more prepared for the 2021 Royal Rumble match, scheduled for January 31 at The ThunderDome in Tropicana Field. As noted in the early Royal Rumble betting odds, NXT star Rhea Ripley and Ronda Rousey are considered the two biggest favorites. Belair presently has the seventh best odds to win the match.