During a recent interview on The Ringer’s MackMania Podcast, new WWE Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair spoke about her love and admiration for wrestling legend Triple H. After officially announcing his retirement from in-ring wrestling last week, Triple H appeared on Night Two of WrestleMania 38, placing his boots in the middle of the ring to signify the end of his career.
Belair spoke of how Triple H was the first person to take a chance on her and give her the opportunity to stand in front of the NXT universe.
“Triple H is everything, I mean, he was NXT,” Belair said. “He was like one of the first people that took a chance on me. He put me out there for the NXT universe to see me and to show who Bianca Belair is, and he was so much of an essential part of the progression and development of who is Bianca Belair is inside the ring, outside the ring. He was NXT. He was just so hands-on with everything. It’s like, entrance and placement. I learned so many things from him, and just the moment that I had with him at the Mae Young Classic because I felt that was the very first moment that I realized that I was finally walking in my purpose and I found what I was good at and what I was meant to do.
“And in that moment that I had with him after the match, I’ve had so many interviews, people ask, ‘What did he say to you?’ I’m like, ‘I will never tell,’ because that, to me, is something that I’ll take with me forever and I still replay those words that he told me in my head now before my ‘Mania matches, before my big matches. So, I just really appreciate everything he’s done inside and outside the ring.”
When Bianca Belair was called up to the main roster, WWE was continuing to navigate the waters of the COVID-19 Pandemic, and unfortunately for The EST of WWE, the fans never got to see her debut live in person. During that time, Belair became one of the best female wrestlers in the world, winning the Royal Rumble match in front of no fans and then capturing the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship from Sasha Banks in the main event of Night One of WrestleMania 37. Belair spoke about what it was like having to debut in front of no fans to then having the biggest moment of her career at that point be in front of her first main roster crowd.
“I didn’t really know what was happening when the pandemic started because I was in NXT,” Belair said. “Triple H was the one who pulled me aside and said, ‘Hey, I know you didn’t get to have your moment here in NXT, but it’s not going to happen here. It’s going to happen somewhere else. You’re getting called to RAW and you’re going to debut at the RAW after WrestleMania’. Which everyone knows, that’s the biggest show of the year, WrestleMania. So, I was going to have my debut moment and then the pandemic happened and everything shut down. I end up debuting at WrestleMania in the Performance Center in front of zero fans and then, you know, trying to introduce myself to this larger audience now that’s just on TV of who Bianca Belair is.
“I was worried about that. I was like, ‘how can I get people to know who I am and how can I get them to feel?’ Because my thing is, I don’t want people just to watch me, watch me perform. I want to make them feel and connect with me, and I had to do that for about a year with no one. And win the Royal Rumble in front of no one, then go to WrestleMania in front of a crowd not knowing, ‘are they going to boo me? Are they going to cheer me? I don’t know.’ So it was tough, but that was my journey, a part of who Bianca Belair is now. I’m just super excited now to be here for WrestleMania in Dallas now, in front of a full audience.”