Bianca Belair spoke with Mike Jones of DC101 in Washington, DC about being named number one in the PWI Women’s 150, wrestling Rhea Ripley, and if she can stop being considered a rookie in WWE.

In regards to being picked number one, Belair said it was validation for her hard work, but she doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon.

“It’s a huge honor,” Belair said. “It’s just a lot of validation and I love the validation and recognition that I’m getting but all I can say is that I’m number one this year, but the grind will never stop, it will continue. It’s an amazing journey since 2016 to now, it’s crazy to think it’s only been five years, but to be considered the number one wrestler in the world right now, it’s just an amazing representation and all that I can say is that I’m blessed and going to continue to grind.”

After this month’s WWE Draft, Belair is making the move from SmackDown to RAW and now has the opportunity to wrestle Rhea Ripley once again.

“I think we really showcased what we had to bring to the table when we were the last two left at the Royal Rumble in 2021. We really showcased what the future has to bring — and Rhea is amazing,” Belair stated. “I worked with her so much in NXT and she did great in the RAW brand while I was on the SmackDown brand, but now we’re on the same brand so I’m excited to get back in the ring with her and make magic with Rhea again.”

Debuting on the main roster in April of 2020, Belair has often — especially by Sasha Banks during their feud — been referred to as a “rookie.” After winning the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship, “The EST” was asked if it’s time for that label to be dropped?

“Opportunities just started coming very quickly, so it seems like I’ve been on the roster a lot longer,” Belair admitted. “And yes, everyone wants to call me a rookie and I’ve heard it so much that I call myself that, but I think I’ve proven that I’m kind of past that rookie phase. If not, then I’m just ‘Rookie of the Year’ at this point if they want to keep calling me a rookie.”

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