Bianca Belair was one of the brightest stars in the 2020 Women's Royal Rumble. Coming in as a surprise entrant, the "EST of NXT" entered at number two, lasted over 33 minutes, and scored eight eliminations.
And she did it all on less than 24 hours notice.
"I was pulled aside at Worlds Collide and I found out I was going to be part of the Royal Rumble the night before it was confirmed. The night before is a lot more advanced notice than we sometimes get," Belair recalled to Corey Graves on WWE After The Bell.
When asked what was going through her mind in the lead up to the match, Belair replied, "I was excited that they chose me to be part of it this year and get that experience and also know that I would get to share the ring with some of the girls who I always wanted to share the ring with and possibly some legends. I was excited to be on the big stage and get in front of people who may not know Bianca Belair and get to showcase myself in front of a bigger audience."
Though Belair didn't win the match, she turned in arguably the most memorable performance due to how long she lasted and the number of eliminations she recorded. When asked what it meant to her to be in that spot, Belair answered, "It was validation and I really try not to seek validation in anything other than myself. I try not to wait on it because it will have you messed up seeking validation in other things. But it was validation for me. I came into the Performance Center three and a half years ago and I've been completely investing myself in this business, learning the history, the craft. I've been waiting for that spotlight to prove it. So this was validation that everything was going to pay off."
Belair did find success in the NXT Women's Battle Royal prior to the Royal Rumble, winning the bout to earn an NXT Women's Championship match against Rhea Ripley at NXT TakeOver: Portland.
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