NXT Superstar Bianca Belair was this week’s guest on Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia. Belair opened up about her struggles with bulimia and depression, as well as her time in NXT and relationship with Montez Ford. Highlights appear below.
(Transcription Credit: Michael McClead, WrestleZone)
Belair On Black History Month:
Black History Month is very important to me. It’s very special. I think that first and foremost, I see February as a month where we just turn it up a notch. I think that we go through life sometimes and sometimes we don’t get to stop and appreciate the people that came before us and paved the way for us. I think that February gives us a chance to stop and actually reflect on the struggles and sacrifices of the people that came before us and paved the way. It gives us time to stop and celebrate their achievements. It gives us time to honor their legacies. I think it’s important and it’s special because it helps us preserve our culture. It provides a sense of community, a sense of self-love and identity. To me, I feel inspiration from it because I see the struggles of the people before me, what they went through, and how they overcame, and how they became doctors, and lawyers, and engineers, and presidents. I see that if they can do it, I can do it. It provides guidance and shows how far we’ve come. It shows where we still need to go and it provides examples of how to get there. When I think of Black History Month, I think of two quotes I heard before. Something like, ‘Knowing your past opens the door for the future,’ and ‘Before you can actually know who you are, you have to know where you come from.’ Black History Month means so much to me. There are so many achievements of African Americans that have contributed to the development of this country. To me, black history is American history and should be celebrated year round, but I see February as a month where we just really focus on it and turn it up a notch.
On Catching Mark Henry’s Attention:
He saw a video of me doing crossfit. [Henry commented on one of her social media photos] I was like, ‘That’s fake. That’s not real.’ That was before Instagram had the blue check…he messaged me and asked me, ‘Hey, I saw one of your clips doing cross fit. I think that you have what it takes. Have you ever thought of being a WWE wrestler?’ That’s when I realized, ‘This is real. This isn’t fake.’ So, ironically, maybe a couple weeks before that I was telling my mom….’I think I want to be a wrestler.’ My mom was like, ‘WHAT?’ A couple weeks later Mark Henry contacts me…..I’m like, ‘This is either too good to be true or this is perfect.’ I told him, ‘I was just thinking about it.’ He was like, ‘I could get you a tryout, but you have to do the rest. That’s all I can do for you.’ He made it clear that I had what it took, that I had all the qualities, and that he believed in me. He got me a tryout.
Belair On NXT:
It’s been nothing like I expected. Honestly, I had no idea what to expect. I walked into NXT knowing very little about the business. I didn’t watch wrestling a whole lot growing up…I’ve been pretty confident all throughout my life, but….coming into NXT I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was playing catch up from my first step through the door, learning the history, learning how to wrestle, learning how to move my body. I had no idea what to expect. I was kind of just going all in and I was really really nervous about it, but thank God being an athlete my whole life, I feel like I’m very coachable. I was able to catch on to a lot of things very quickly, but it was not easy, a lot of hard work. The grind is crazy, a lot of time putting in. It’s a lot of sacrifice. You don’t get to see your family a lot, but thank God for my husband, so I can’t really complain. It’s been great. It’s crazy where life will take you. I had no idea I’d be in this position and now I can’t see myself doing anything other than this.