When did Bianca Belair know she was destined to be a WWE Superstar? Was it when she initially signed on to train for the company? When she was called up to the main roster? When she became a champion for the first time? Or how about when she debuted for NXT, first as Binky Blair, before adopting her current? None of the above. That’s right, according to “The EST” herself, the moment she knew she was born to be a WWE Superstar actually came during her run in the Mae Young Classic all the way back in 2017.
Discussing that very tournament on Cold as Ball with Kevin Hart for the LOL Network, Belair explained that, though she didn’t win the trophy, losing to Kairi Sane in the second round, she was proud of her efforts and knew she could be a WWE Superstar long-term.
“It was the Mae Young Classic,” Belair told Hart. “I ended up losing that match, too, but everyone was chanting ‘E-S-T’s’ and, that was the moment when I was like, ‘this is what I was born to do.’ It found me. I’m the strongest, the roughest, the toughest, the quickest, the greatest, the best, the ‘EST of WWE.'”
After dealing with some Cold as Balls shenanigans, Belair then turned her attention to her current run in WWE, where she has found incredible success over the past few years. When asked about her match with Sasha Banks at WrestleMania 37, arguably the most important match of “The EST’s” career, Belair filled Hart in on the details and why the match made history.
“We made history by becoming the first two black women to ever main event WrestleMania. You know, I’ve defeated Sasha Banks and Bayley and Becky Lynch, the only one I haven’t defeated is Charlotte Flair. So that’s one of my top goals is to finally, like, get to that mountain top, and you know, I just wanna continue to go out there and represent people that look like me and bring the diversity, but continue to just go out there and keep beating girls up and- (ice pours into both baths).”
While Belair wasn’t able to finish her thoughts, as she was met with a fresh bucket of ice heading into her bath, the point of her story was more or less made; Belair has transformed herself from a runner-up in the Mae Young Classic to arguably the biggest babyface champion WWE has employed since “The Man,” Becky Lynch, who Belair just so happens to have taken the title off of at WrestleMania 38. That serendipity certainly isn’t lost on “The Est.”
Bianca Belair opens up about her body image issues before WWE.
Before Bianca Belair landed in WWE, she was famously a collegiate track athlete, where she competed for the University of South Carolina, the University of Texas A&M, and ultimately the University of Tennessee in her native Knoxville, Tennessee. During this period in her life, Belair found success on the track but struggled with off-field issues, which only went on to deepen her depression further. Fortunately, Belair was able to overcome these issues with the help of a strong support system, as she told Hart elsewhere in her Cold as Balls session.
“I always thought that if I could lose weight that I could run faster, and I reached a plateau, and so I struggled with bulimia, body dysmorphia, and then my identity was attached to track and field and being an 18-year-old in college and trying to figure out who I was as a person I struggled with depression so I was just like all over the place,” Belair told Hart. “Nobody was aware. I was like dealing with this on the inside, and it really didn’t come to a head when, like, I just couldn’t hide it anymore. That’s when I got my family involved. Once you become vulnerable and you acknowledge that you’re going through something and you surround yourself with like loved ones, then you can finally get help, and that’s what happened for me.”
Fortunately for Belair, she has been able to overcome her issues and now is an inspiration for millions of fans of all ages. From her seemingly boundless confidence to her eagerness to share her culture with the world through her now-signature entrances at WrestleMania, Belair should serve as a reminder to all that things can, in fact, get better and that with hard work and determination, anything is possible, even becoming Mrs. WrestleMania, the moniker “The EST” added to her resume at the 2023 running of “The Showcase of the Immortals.”