On the March 12th episode of SmackDown tensions continued to fray between Bianca Belair and her rival-come tag team partner Sasha Banks.
Appearing on the KO Show, both women attempted to verbally get one up on the other, before they went on to lose a match against Tamina and Natalya, once again thanks to interference from Reginald.
Belair has enjoyed a swift rise to the upper reaches of the SmackDown women’s division, only debuting on NXT television in May 2017.
In a new interview with 104-5 The Zone’s JMart and Ramon the 2021 Royal Rumble winner was asked which women had helped her during her time in WWE. Belair began by praising Naomi, who she revealed had inspired her before she even set foot in a WWE ring.
I would say for me, I have to shoutout Naomi. She’s been in the business for over ten years and she did something for me before I even got into NXT, and she was just representation for me. I went to my very first live event in Atlanta, Georgia right before I started in WWE and I naturally just gravitated towards her. I watched her in the ring and I saw myself in her and I really saw myself being a wrestler because I saw myself in her. She was representation for me and she also embraced me. I think sometimes, as women and as a woman of color, when you come into a situation we sometimes see each other as competition and she didn’t do that. She completely embraced me, she took me under her wing, she motivated me.”
The EST of WWE also went on to highlight Nia Jax and Bayley for special praise, explaining that the former helped build her confidence, while Bayley elevates everyone that she gets in the ring with.
“Same thing with Nia Jax. She was one of the first ones in NXT that I came in contact with and she was like, ‘Girl, you got it. You got it You’re going to be somebody. Keep doing what you’re doing. Focus on the things that you can control, and you got it.’ She really installed confidence in me. Those are the main two upfront. I will say Bayley. She was my very first feud that I had when I got to SmackDown, and the thing about Bayley is, she not only goes to the table to eat, she pulls up a chair beside her and allows you to eat too. She elevates every single woman she comes in contact with. I will say, once I beat Bayley I got a lot of momentum coming off of that win from Bayley. The very next week I went and won the Royal Rumble match. Our locker room is full of women that empower each other. We’re always competing and we always want to be at the top, but at the same time we’re in there fighting for each other and it’s a locker room full of empowerment.”
After winning the 2021 Royal Rumble match Bianca Belair chose to face Sasha Banks at WrestleMania for her SmackDown Women’s Championship. Despite this, recent events on the blue brand have muddied the waters.
Banks and Belair are set to join forces once again at Fastlane to challenge Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler for their Women’s Tag Team Titles.
However, before the road to WrestleMania rolls into Fastlane, Banks is set to defend her Women’s Championship against Nia Jax on SmackDown.
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.