Bianca Belair successfully defended her SmackDown Women’s Championship against Bayley last Sunday at WWE Hell In A Cell. Looking back on her one-year anniversary since her main roster call-up, Bianca Belair told the panel over on WWE’s The Bump how meaningful it is to keep proving herself as a worthy competitor and champion.

“I think I’ve added experience to myself. When people talk about me or see me, they say, ‘Oh, she’s a rookie, and she didn’t have any experience.’ This year, I’ve gained more experience,” Bianca Belair reflected. “I’ve been in the ring with the best. You know, I pinned Bayley right before Royal Rumble. I can’t lie if I can’t say that didn’t give me more momentum and that it didn’t push me to become a better competitor. I’ve gotten in the ring with Sasha Banks on the highest level at WrestleMania in the main event.

“To get in the ring with these women, I know being an athlete my whole life, you have to compete with the best, and that’s what I’ve been doing all year long. Anytime I get the opportunity, I don’t run from it… I’ve added experience to the list. I’ve been getting in the ring with the best, and I’ve been beating the best.”

As reported throughout this month, WWE looks to bring fans back to the arenas by touring again starting in July. Belair hopes she’ll get to enjoy her title reign some more with the fans back in attendance this summer.

“I am so excited about the fans!” Belair exclaimed. “It’s not said enough that the fans put smiles on our faces. I’m especially excited because I haven’t experienced fans being on SmackDown. Now, I’m the SmackDown Women’s Champion, and I get to be in front of fans. I can’t wait to experience the road and get back out there in front of the fans.”

Now that a new era has begun in WWE, with Belair, Rhea Ripley and Raquel González representing the top title holders of their particular divisions, Belair reveals how proud she is to share this moment with two of her closet friends. She says it’s a powerful image to see all of them finally reach their marks, especially with all the sacrifices they’ve made since their time in NXT.

“Those are my girls! Those have been my girls since NXT. We started around the same time. It’s amazing to see that we’re all sharing this amazing moment,” Belair said with a big smile. “The amazing thing that I love about our bond is that we push each other, and we all strive to accomplish our goals. We push each other without tearing each other down. We’ve done that the whole time since NXT.

“It’s really cool that we’re all champions now. We talked for about 20 minutes backstage about it – our journeys and how happy we are for each other. We joke about who’s going to lose it first. We said we’re kind of like the new generation of women that are coming through for women’s wrestling. We have to hold it down, so that’s our mission, and that’s our goal.”

You can watch Bianca Belair’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.

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