After capturing the SmackDown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania, Bianca Belair immediately entered a feud with former champion Bayley. The two squared off at both WrestleMania Backlash and Hell in a Cell, with Belair picking up pinfall victories on both occasions.
Speaking with Ryan Satin on Out of Character, Belair praised her time working with Bayley, noting she “makes it look so easy.”
“The amazing thing about Bayley is that she’s so talented at what she does, that she makes it look so easy that sometimes I feel like she doesn’t get the credit that she deserves because she just makes it look so easy,” Belair said. “I have learned so much from Bayley, even outside of the ring, just watching how Bayley adapts to things, how she handles things, her creativity, her mind, her persona, her charisma, her wrestling skills and ability. Everything about Bayley. She’s a locker room leader. She’s a legend in the making.”
As mentioned, Belair and Bayley went one-on-one twice this year on pay-per-view, with their second contest coming inside Hell in a Cell. Belair says their match inside the steel structure taught her a lot, and emphasized how Bayley was able to bringing out “a new side” of her.
“I wear this long braid, and that’s the first thing people want to do is touch my braid. I’m like, you know what? I got to give a reason for people not to touch my braid, and she helped me showcase what happens when you touch my hair. You’re never going to win that war!” Belair said. “She also challenged me mentally, which – everyone knows I’m ‘The EST of WWE,’ right? Physically, I’m strong, I’m fast, I’m tough, I’m rough. Even if you look at my back story, everybody knows that mentally, that’s the part that used to always get me. That’s the part that was my struggle, and she really tried to get to me mentally.
“She really helped me grow mentally as a competitor, which everyone knows, that’s like the biggest part of who you’re competing. If you’re not there here (points to her head), then you’re not going to be able to succeed.”
The two were scheduled to complete their trilogy at this past month’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view, but an untimely injury removed Bayley from the match and consequently put her on the shelf for the rest of the year.
Regardless of the incomplete trilogy, Belair says she feels her matches with Bayley will help her against her SummerSlam opponent, Sasha Banks.
“Bayley was Sasha’s right-hand man,” Belair said. “So just getting in there and getting stronger and faster and better against Bayley, that’s only going to help me even more against Sasha.”
With matches against Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, and Bayley all behind her, Belair only has one Four Horsewoman remaining to get in the ring with: Becky Lynch.
“I always say that one of my main goals – I look up to the Four Horsewomen,” Belair said. “When I was in NXT, I remember just looking at the Four Horsewomen and standing in in the locker room thinking like, Wow, they used to be here in the same spot that I’m at, and now they’re on Raw, and they’re on SmackDown. They’re doing these amazing things. And if I could ever just get up there and be in the same ring as them, that’s when I know that I’m doing it, I’ve made it. And I’m here now.”
While Lynch has been off WWE TV since last summer, her in-ring return is coming soon. When that day comes, Belair says she would love to be an opponent for The Man.
“I can’t wait for Becky to come back. I would love to feud with Becky,” Belair said.
Belair reminded fans that she has pinfall victories over both Bayley and Sasha, noting that Charlotte and Becky are on her radar.
“I’ve pinned Bayley, I’ve pinned Sasha,” Belair said. “And now my goal is to eventually feud again with Charlotte and Becky and hopefully pin the other two Four Horsewomen.”
While the Four Horsewomen pioneered the women’s revolution in WWE, Belair feels like the tide is turning.
“They’ve set this amazing standard for women’s wrestling in WWE. Now, I feel like there’s like a new generation coming through, and I’m kind of at the forefront of it,” Belair said. “I would love to be the first woman to pin all Four Horsewomen and really be at the forefront of the new generation of women’s wrestlers that are coming through.”