Bianca Belair chooses to make history at WrestleMania
By Ryan Satin
FOX Sports Analyst
Bianca Belair set the stage for a history-making match after confirming Friday that she’ll challenge Sasha Banks for the SmackDown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania.
The announcement was made on Friday Night SmackDown in a segment that began with Reginald interrupting Bianca’s decision to warn her about choosing Sasha as an opponent.
Banks joined the proceedings after this and told Carmella’s sommelier not to speak for her. Reginald backed off, and Sasha explained that she was the best in WWE, not Bianca, so Belair would need to choose "The Boss" as her WrestleMania opponent to prove otherwise.
Bianca then made it sign-point official, and fireworks went off in the crowd to remind you of how cool the pyro in the ThunderDome audience looks.
Sasha Banks versus Bianca Belair at WrestleMania is a historic match, and it needs to be treated as such.
Banks has been a trailblazer since joining WWE, and without the work she did alongside the other Four Horsewomen of NXT, the women’s division wouldn’t be where it is today.
Even Ric Flair, a legend many consider to be the all-time greatest, recently told me that he believes Banks is one of the GOATs when it comes to women’s wrestling. Her long list of "firsts" in WWE helps back that up.
One of the few things that has eluded Sasha, though, has been a WrestleMania main event … and it’s time to change that.
The 29-year-old Superstar should be rewarded for the stellar work she has been doing over the past year by booking her and Bianca to close the show on night one of the event. And honestly, why wouldn’t you?!?
The point of the Royal Rumble match is for the winner to go on to main event WrestleMania against the top champion. In my opinion, the winners of the Royal Rumble matches shouldn’t go on to wrestle in the middle of the card at WrestleMania – especially when there are two Royal Rumble match winners and two nights of the show.
Treating Bianca like she isn't ready for that spot yet would be counterproductive to the rocket being strapped to her back.
Sasha is a ring veteran who can be relied upon to pull Belair’s best match out when it’s needed most in April, and "The EST of WWE" has what it takes to step up to the challenge if given the opportunity.
Bianca is also one of the fastest rising stars in the company, who is a genuine babyface, and her marketability as an actual role model shouldn’t be discounted just because she hasn’t been on the main roster as long as others — especially with the amount of pure athletic skill she possesses being paired with someone as good as Sasha.
On a side note, not sure if it’s just me who has thought this, but Banks seems to have turned up the heel antics as of late, and it seems like she’ll lean more heavily into the cocky veteran role as the Road to WrestleMania continues, which is her strength. This was a good decision.
Unfortunately, one thing that has worried me in the build to their match has been the inclusion of Reginald. There’s just no need for him in this. Bianca and Sasha are two strong females who can handle this feud on their own.
The fans want to see two alpha females tell an emotional story in the ring that makes it so they’re invested enough to be unsure who will win.
They don’t want to see Reginald shoe-horned in to make it all about some new male comedy character, which would in turn make this program more of a joke, when that’s not what it needs to be. We don’t need another James Ellsworth/Women’s Money in the Bank scenario.
Belair's challenging Banks for the SmackDown Women’s Championship in a singles match at WrestleMania would be the first time two black women were in a world-title match at WWE’s biggest event of the year. That’s a huge deal. For a lot of people, that, in itself, is enough to sell this match.
This is the kind of matchup that can inspire a generation of young women, much like Sasha Banks and Bayley did in their TakeOver matches before moving to the main roster.
There are women who’ve started at the Performance Center in some of the more recent classes who openly say those matches between Banks and Bayley are the reason they got into the business.
This is another opportunity for that.
Let’s hope WWE can move away from the Reginald stuff to give the match between Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair at WrestleMania the respect and attention it deserves.
Ryan Satin is a WWE analyst for FOX Sports. Satin previously appeared on FS1's "WWE Backstage" and founded Pro Wrestling Sheet, where he broke countless news stories as editor-in-chief.