2021 has been the year of the EST. Bianca Belair has dominated the women’s division since she appeared in the first-ever Mae Young Classic. From being a ruthless heel in NXT to an overall lovable babyface on Smackdown, Belair has repeatedly proven why she is the bEST. Her brawniness statute and relatable personality landed her the number one spot in PWI’s 150 “Women in Wrestling” issue last week. Belair spoke with Mike Jones of DC101 in Washington DC about being chosen as number one confirmed her hard work.
“It is a huge honor,” said the former Smackdown Women’s Champion. “It is just a lot of validation, and I love the validation and recognition that I am getting, but all I can say is that I am number one this year, but the grind will never stop; it will continue. It is an amazing journey from 2016 to now, it is crazy to think it has only been five years, but to be considered the number one wrestler in the world right now, is just a great representation, and all that I can say is that I am blessed and going to continue to grind.”
As the founder of the “I Go Here Now” club, she returns to Monday Night Raw and hopefully captures the Raw Women’s Champion; here are my top 5 Bianca Belair matches.
#5 – Kairi Sane vs. Bianca Belair / WWE Mae Young Classic 2017
This Mae Young Classic match draws quite the attention on Belair, displaying just why people should be paying attention. Although Belair lost the match, her dominating presence over Sane was felt during the entire match.
All in all, she leaves a long-lasting impression and reminds everyone of her powers to conquer more over time. For some in the WWE universe, this match introduces Bianca’s supremacy in the ring and creates excitement for what is to come.
#4 – Bianca Belair vs. Rhea Ripley / NXT Women’s Championship Match / NXT Takeover Portland
This match between two of the top women of NXT displays the power of the unknown. The constant battle in this match goes on from start to finish. The control shifts with every move and each of them become stronger and stronger—the will to win and the hunger to survive to give the match a dim view of its ending.
In addition, Bianca takes Rhea to the limit and gives her one of the most challenging battles within her reign as the NXT Women’s Championship. This match tells a story and foreshadows the rivalry between the final two contenders for the 2021 Royal Rumble.
#3 – Royal Rumble 2021 Winner
Belair entered the ring at No. 3 and eliminated the former NXT women’s champion, Rhea Ripley, to mark the most outstanding achievement of her young career. Nearly 57 minutes into the match, making her the first Black woman to win the Royal Rumble, which is one of the most significant wins in her WWE career.
Furthermore, her eight eliminations in the 2020 Royal Rumble caught the eyes of wrestling fans, but her win at the 2021 Royal Rumble made her a star.
2. Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks – WrestleMania 36
A monumental moment brought tears of joy to many and displayed the talent each of these women in the ring. Representation and inclusion in this match are essential as they become the first black women to the main event at WrestleMania. During an interview with The Culture Commentator, Belair express how representation was a requirement and not a request.
“Two alpha females, two alpha Black females standing in the ring together so it’s like before we even open our mouths to say anything or to touch each other to wrestle, just that image and having that moment it just sends a great message to little girls and boys who look like us.”
Overall, the chemistry between Bianca and Sasha is undeniable, which gave their match everything we need. Bianca goes on to win her first Smackdown Women’s Championship. The celebration continued as Banks and Belair went on to win an ESPY award for “Best WWE Moment” to create buzz for the match of the year.
#1 – Bianca Belair vs. Bayley – Hell in a Cell
Bianca and Bayley’s build-up for Hell in a Cell displays different sides of each opponent. From Bayley laughing at or in Belair’s face each week to Bianca toying with “The Rolemodel” emotions. Their match took Belair to the limit. Her power and endurance.
All in all, there is a different side of Bayley that most haven’t seen in a while – she goes back to the days of being that dominating heel in NXT. This victory for Bianca allows her to get just yet another win over. Bianca and Bayley bring out something so unique when they clash.
Be sure to catch more Top 5 matches of your favorite women wrestlers later this month! To see each match in full, check out the WWE Network exclusively on Peacock.