Guys and gals, get hyped! It’s officially WrestleMania season as the 36th annual Royal Rumble gets underway Saturday night, live from the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX.
Of course the headliners are always the Rumble matches themselves, but WWE has put together quite the card this year, which includes a very intriguing match up for the Raw Women’s Championship.
Bianca Belair will defend her title against Alexa Bliss. But will she only have to deal with Alexa Bliss?
Cageside Seats had a chance to catch up with the E-S-T of W-W-E at the Royal Rumble media junket Friday morning, and she says there’s a fair amount of uncertainty heading into tomorrow’s match.
“I think there’s a lot of built up frustration with Alexa. We see something happening inside of her, mentally, physically, and it’s gonna be rough. Alexa, she’s a former champion herself and just stepping in to the ring with her alone, it’s gonna be rough. But now I have to add onto the fact that, like, is she gonna bring Bray Wyatt? Is she gonna bring Uncle Howdy? Is she gonna bring the puppets? Am I actually in the 30 Women’s Royal Rumble without being in it? It’s gonna be exciting, but I feel like I just got this [Raw Women’s Championship] and I’m not looking to let go any time soon.”
Regardless of whether we see some spooky hijinks or not, it’s always a good time when Bianca Belair and Alexa Bliss get into the ring together. Whether it’s starting off the Royal Rumble together, being the final two inside Elimination Chamber, or taking the time to recreate a fight scene from Scary Movie 3.
Alexa Bliss and Bianca Belair recreating THIS iconic scary movie fight scene is my new favorite thing. pic.twitter.com/hcEj8ynrY5— Aallyhia is single & going through it. (@AallyhiasPages) January 5, 2023
“We always wanna make sure that we trend somewhere on Twitter [laughs]. But no, I’ve always loved Regina Hall. I’ve always been a fan of her. I just watched one of her recent movies, and I felt like I saw that clip and I’m like, this makes so much sense. And so, you know, we always try to incorporate fun things that the fans can get involved in and I think they appreciated it.”
Bianca added that she sent the clip to Regina Hall, but was uncertain if she had seen it yet. Belair told Cageside Seats that she loves working with Alexa and there’s no doubt these two have something special in the works for their biggest match together, to date.
Bliss will be looking to end Belair’s Raw Women’s Championship reign, the same day that she breaks another record. Before the bell rings Saturday night, Bianca will hoist up her title for the 300th consecutive day. No other Black Superstar in WWE history, male or female, has held onto a World Championship longer.
In fact, not even The Great One reached 200 days any of the ten times he become World Champion.
“It means a lot to me. It’s just like the Royal Rumble. When I won the Royal Rumble, I think it was Kayla Braxton that came up to me, she’s like, I know you just made history. You’re the first Black female, the first Black person behind The Rock to win the Royal Rumble. And I was like, wow, just going after my dreams I’m making history — without even knowing or trying.”
Bianca Belair is no stranger to making history and shattering glass ceilings. Perhaps none bigger than WrestleMania 37 in Tampa Bay when Belair and Sasha Banks (now Mercedes Moné), two Black women, headlined night one in a bout for the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
“You just want that to be inspiration for other people. Just go after your dreams and you can be history, you can make history. You don’t have to go on the history books to find it. You are history yourself. But it means a lot to me. I always feel like representation is so important and I’m happy to be the first person to go over 200 days. I’m happy to be the second Black person to win a Royal Rumble, the first Black female to main event WrestleMania.”
While Belair is more than happy to be the one to open these doors, the goal is make sure they don’t close again once she walks through.
“I’ll be so excited when it’s just the norm, you know? And we don’t have to keep celebrating these firsts, but it’s really cool to be like the first to make it past 200 days. And it’s an honor and I just wanna do it right.”
If Belair gets past Alexa Bliss tomorrow night, it’s highly probable that she’ll go wire-to-wire. Winning the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 38 and then defending it on the Grandest Stage of Them All the following year.
Who her opponent would be is anyone’s guess, but maybe the picture will be a little more clearer by the end of the night on Saturday.
It’s been well documented that Belair has aspirations of pinning every member of the Four Horsewomen, but with Charlotte Flair the reigning SmackDown Women’s Champion, it seems as though she will not get the chance to follow up her WrestleMania wins over Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch against the Queen this year.
That said, you can bet that Bianca will be keeping a close eye on the Women’s Royal Rumble Match tomorrow night.
“It feels wide open. I mean, we have the veterans, Bayley and Becky and all the veterans that are going to be in there. But we also have, where the Royal Rumble can make new stars. That’s what happened to me. Is it gonna be Raquel that wins? Is it gonna be Rhea Ripley that wins? Is it gonna be Liv Morgan? We have legends that are coming, anything is possible with the Royal Rumble. But I’m always about getting in the ring with the absolute best because I want to prove that I’m the best. I only can be better, by doing that. So I would love to get in the ring, if it’s a new star, then maybe Raquel or Rhea.”
Of course, there is no guarantee that the winner of the Royal Rumble will challenge Belair. While many fans seem excited at the idea of a Rhea Ripley & Bianca Belair rivalry, especially one that culminates at WrestleMania, the story is there for Ripley to go after the Queen.
Charlotte Flair defeated Ripley at WrestleMania 36 for the NXT Women’s Championship, and then again at Money in the Bank ‘21 for the Raw Women’s Title. The Nightmare owes Charlotte some payback.
Even if the winner choses to go after the SmackDown Women’s Championship instead of her own, Belair would love to see someone like a Rhea Ripley point at the WrestleMania sign this year.
“It changed the whole trajectory of my career and I’m just excited to see that happen for someone else tomorrow.”
Make sure to check out our entire conversation with Bianca Belair in the video above. You can follow Rick Ucchino on Twitter and subscribe to the Bleav in Pro Wrestling Podcast Channel for more of his work.