Bianca Belair wants WWE wrestlers to be respected as athletes and talks about Cody Rhodes' torn pec.
Bianca Belair is proud to be a WWE Superstar, even if she did not grow up watching the product. Bianca is one of the best examples of the WWE Performance Center system and now, she is standing up for her fellow Superstars and saying that other athletes need to put respect on their name.
Speaking With Sports Illustrated’s Laces Up, Bianca says she understands the criticism because she didn't come from the WWE world but now that she's ingrained in the world, she wants that respect.
"I don't try to take offense because I didn't come from the WWE world. You know, I didn't grow up watching wrestling. I never aspired to be a WWE superstar. I wanted to be an Olympic track athlete, I want to be an Olympic gymnast, I was an athlete my whole life. So I understand how it is outside looking in,” Bianca said. “But now that I'm inside in WWE, and I'm a WWE superstar. All I gotta say isn't — I mean, athletes, put some respect on our name. It's really cool for when I had the main event at WrestleMania 37. I was like the first black woman to be able to main event at WrestleMania and we won an ESPY for that match, and we got recognized in the world of sports as like we're changing the game. And I want to be a part of that. I want to be a part of changing the game because we're not just WWE superstars. We're not just wrestlers. We're athletes, we're actors, we're entertainers, we're icons, we're representation we're activists. We're doing it all. Like we are out there. Doing high-risk moves. I'm in the ring, doing 450 flips off the top rope, but I'm also deadlifting and picking up girls over my head in 30-minute matches. I'm out that's cutting five-minute, eight-minute promos where we don't have teleprompters, we are memorizing all of that for five to eight minutes, and we're doing these hybrid skill moves, and we're doing it on live TV. So we are experts at what we do. I just think that wrestlers, you need to put some respect in their name, if you like, and the athletes we do would do interviews, we can go on the commercials, we can be in movies, we can do it all.”
Cody Rhodes showed a great athletic feat at WWE Hell in a Cell when he wrestled an entire Hell in a Cell match with a torn pectoral muscle. Speaking about that moment, Bianca called it inspiring.
“The thing is, when you're passionate about something, you love something, nothing's gonna get in your way of that. So that's what I saw with Cody, he loves WWE, he loves the business, and nothing's gonna get in the way of that. Like I said, when you're on this platform, you have so many people watching you, you're inspiring so many people, you feel like you don't want to let them down either. So, you know, in hindsight, yeah, it's a lot easier to look back and say, ‘I don't know if that was a good idea.; It was hard watching that match. But to see him overcome all of that, I mean, there's no the word but inspiring to describe that,” Bianca said.
When asked if she would do the same, Bianca gleefully responded that she would have also powered through.
“Oh, I'm powering through it. I mean, Wrestlemania, 37, Becky Lynch, I got I took a whole boot to — Becky Lynch hit me. I was like, ‘dang,’ like, Becky with the big boots right to the eye. I still have a black eye a little bit. It's been almost three months. The whole time during my I was totally shut the next day. The whole time during the match, I never had a thought to stop during the match and like, Nope, we keep going. So that's kind of the attitude that you have, we just keep pushing through."
Elsewhere in the interview, Bianca spoke about being open to the idea of intergender matches. Learn more here.