Bianca Belair has taken SmackDown by storm in recent months, showing that the EST of WWE is ready to be the face of the blue brand – but how did the former NXT Superstar develop her character?
In an exclusive interview with Kenny McIntosh of Inside The Ropes and SPORF, Belair opened up about how some words from WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry inspired the idea.
“Well, when I was in NXT, and I was new, I remember Mark Henry coming down to NXT, to the Performance Center and asking me, ‘Who do you want to be? What do you want people to see and think of when they see you? And you want it to be so easy that people already know who you are, what you’re about without you even having to open your mouth.’ And so I was sitting there trying to figure out who I want to be, ‘I know I’m strong, I know I’m fast, I know I’m tough and I’m all these things, I feel like I’m a hybrid.’ But it was just all over the place and I couldn’t break it down to simplify it so that people could very easily understand it.”
Belair says, after trying to simplify everything and focus on one thing, she managed to encompass everything in three simple letters.
“I remember being like, ‘OK, I have to pick one thing and focus on one thing so it’s very simple.’ And so I remember I was talking one day, and I was like, ‘Yeah. you know, I’m just the strongest and I’m the fastest, and I’m the roughest, I’m the toughest, I’m the quickest, I’m the greatest, I’m the prettiest, I’m the best. I’m just… I’m the est. I’m the est. The E-S-T. And I’m in NXT. EST rhymes with NXT. Simple’.”
The EST of WWE would also open up about how her iconic hair helped her stand out before people even caught her name.
“And that’s really how all the thoughts in my head and how it all just came together to be the EST of NXT at the time. And I was like, ‘I could put EST on my clothing,’ and, you know, I go in there and it’s very just very simple. I wear the long signature braid so that people see me, even if they see me for the very first time and they might not catch my name the very first time. They always go, “The girl with the braid,” you know, so I always stand out. And that’s really just how my character all just came together to being the EST.”
Belair also opened up about wanting to face Sasha Banks at WrestleMania. You can read the entire interview here.
Thanks to Bianca Belair for taking the time! You can follow Bianca Belair here, or watch the EST of WWE every Friday on SmackDown at 1am via BT Sports 1 HD