– Complex interviewed WWE Superstar and 2021 women’s Rumble winner Bianca Belair following her huge win. Belair discussed her favorite moment during the match and also being the second African American to win the match after The Rock, who won the Rumble match in 2000. Below are some highlights.
On being the second African American to win the Royal Rumble after The Rock: “It’s crazy. I didn’t know that fact until I got backstage and Kayla [Braxton] actually told me. It’s crazy that I never ever saw myself being in this position and I’m here now and creating history in the process of just trying to be me and trying to go after my goals and in the process I’m creating history. Being a part of representation, it’s an amazing feeling. It’s one thing to win the Royal Rumble and get your tickets to WrestleMania, but it’s another thing to add even more purpose to it while you’re doing it. It’s amazing.”
Bianca Belair on sharing the ring with Naomi during the Rumble: “That’s definitely one of my favorite moments of the match. I got to be in the ring with Naomi last year for the Royal Rumble for a very short time. But having that moment with her, we both almost being eliminated and dangling off of the rope and realizing like, ‘Look, if we got to do this together, we have to work together.’ And when we finally work together, we end up saving ourselves in the process. So that was an amazing moment to have with her and shared everything with her and I’ve always looked forward to like just getting in the ring and creating magic with her because she’s so athletic and she’s so talented. I remember right before I went to NXT, I went to a show in Atlanta when I was living there. I believe it was like a six women tag and Naomi came out. It was my first time seeing her live. It’s crazy how I just naturally just gravitated towards her. I was about a month away from going to the Performance Center and seeing her in the ring really helped me imagine seeing myself in the ring; I could see myself through her. So, just remembering that moment from seeing her before I got to NXT so now being able to share the ring with her and actually working together with her to save ourselves, that was an amazing and special moment in the Royal Rumble.”
Bianca Belair on going from being No. 2 in front of fans last year to the ThunderDome: “Last year I was number two in the Royal Rumble and I was a little bit nervous, because I was still part of NXT and I was like, “Okay, I know some people know me, but I don’t know if a lot of people know me, so I don’t know what it’s going to be like.” And when I came out for my entrance I was a huge pop and that’s one of the things that I remember the most about last year’s Royal Rumble was, the huge pop. Coming into this year not having fans, you would think that if that was the one thing that I remember from last year, that I was going to really miss it this year, but the way that the ThunderDome is set up, you have the lights and the pyro, and we don’t have fans there physically, but we having them there virtually and just being able to see their faces makes a world of difference, because what we do is so much a part of having the fans there. But the way the ThunderDome is set up, it makes it so… it’s not odd. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I was just so focused on the Rumble. Last year I was so focused on, “People might not know who I am, but I just want them to know who I am once I leave,” and getting the crowds to interact but this year it wasn’t about getting people to know who I was, it was about like going for more and winning, like my mindset was on winning. I was just so in a moment that it felt perfect, it just felt perfect.”