Former SmackDown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair recently spoke to Evelyn Lau of The National ahead of her three-way match at Crown Jewel for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Belair admitted to not have traveled much internationally, and she discussed what it feels like to travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“It’s an amazing feeling to know that I’m traveling to Saudi Arabia,” Belair expressed. “It’s somewhere that I never thought I would be able to go and I’m able to do that now. I’m excited to make history, I’m excited to be there and to showcase representation and I’m also excited to possibly be walking out as SmackDown champion and to be able to celebrate with all the fans in Saudi Arabia.”
Due to Saudi Arabia’s culture and tradition, the female talent will have to adjust their gear. Natalya and Lacey Evans were required to do the same when they had the first women’s pro wrestling match in Saudi Arabia. Belair hinted at what fans can expect for her custom gear.
“I already wear long pants as it is, though we’ll definitely be having long sleeves and just making sure that we’re within the bounds of everything, but I’m definitely going to still show up and look like the EST that I am,” Belair said. “We’ll definitely customize our gear, but I’m excited for it. It’s not something that’s an inconvenience, plus I get a new look.”
Natalya came up in the conversation, and Belair talked about her role in the locker room. Also commenting on what her three-way match with Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks will represent.
“Natty always gives you advice in the locker room. Mostly that it’s an amazing opportunity, soak every moment in, know how important this is,” Belair stated. “It’s not just that we’re going to have this match, it’s about representation and making real change, not only inside the ring but outside of the ring too.”
2021 has been a breakout year for Belair. Belair won the Royal Rumble, and she not only won the SmackDown Women’s Championship, but she did so in the main event of WrestleMania. She reflected on her time in WWE so far.
“I’m the newbie coming in, they’ve called me ‘the rookie’ ever since I stepped foot on the scene,” Belair noted. “And I’m trying to push my way through… and make room for me. So, I always feel like I have to prove myself.”
Belair main evented WrestleMania along with Banks. The match marked the first time two Black women main-evented WrestleMania, and it won the two an ESPY for “Best WWE Moment.” Belair talked about what that moment meant not only to her but other Black women.
“It wasn’t just about wrestling or the WWE, it was so much bigger than that,” Belair stated. “Being able to represent and make history as the first two Black females in the main event at WrestleMania and walking out as SmackDown Women’s Champion – you know, that moment has lived on past that night.”
Belair heads into Crown Jewel with an opportunity to become a two-time SmackDown Women’s Champion. She spoke more on her 2021 and her goals going forward.
“My whole journey in 2021 has been opportunities presenting themselves to me by the occasion. So I believe that’s kind of my reputation,” Belair said. “I want to always have the reputation of showing up and being that common denominator any time you have a big moment that’s being talked about. My name is in that conversation; I’m the common denominator.”