WWE Network Review – WWE Chronicle: Bianca Belair

On this episode of WWE Chronicle, we get an in-depth look at the EST of WWE, Bianca Belair. It is available on-demand on WWE Network now. The documentary takes place from December 18, 2020, to January 16, 2021, in which we learn about Bianca Belair growing up and the journey that leads her to WWE. She also gets personal by speaking about her struggles in high school and college, her relationship with her parents, and being a role model for young black women.

“I am just someone who no matter how old you get, you should never stop striving to be the best version of yourself. There is always some untapped potential within yourself, there is always some new talent or hobby, creative that you are not using. I just want to live my life where I have really tapped into every single talent that God has given me. I just want to be the best version of myself, that’s how I want to live my life.” – Bianca Belair

Bianca Belair begins by talking about spending most of her years living for other people’s approval. However, she has since found herself and wants to use the rest of her life to exploring herself. She explains as a black woman, having to choose and present one element of herself when she has many different layers. Rather than box herself into showing one facet of herself, she wants to present herself as a whole.

Going through some old papers, she shows one with her very first promo at an NXT live event. We see a clip of her cutting a promo back in 2016, about being the “-est”. She expressed her joy, believing she made it after cutting her first promo three months into her run. While her promos start with “-est”, it morphed into the “E-S-T” as it fitted with “N-X-T”. She spoke about growing up in Knoxville, Tennessee, mentioning her three brothers and one sister. She credits her brother Jeffrey as her inspiration. Her mother, Travonda Blair, spoke of her desire to get Bianca involved in something similar to Jeffrey who played football. Her father Leonard Blair mentioned Bianca would like to hang around in trees which only pushes them to get her involved in sports as a distraction. Belair’s athletic career started at five years old when she ran track. Running the 50 meters races, she received the nickname “FloJo” because of her bright neon gear. At one point, she was the number one hurdler in the country in which she received a full athletic scholarship to the University of South Carolina. She talked about spending a lot of time by herself in high school because she did not want to get involved with the wrong crowd. Looking through a book from her younger days, she flips through the book until stopping at a page with words such as “fear”, “anxiety” and “suicide” written. She reveals that she suffered from bulimia which started in high school because she was always considered the “bigger” girl. While she was naturally muscular, Bianca became obsessive over losing weight which led her to throw up her food. No one including her parents knew about her eating disorder which she did every night. Even though she lost weight and ran faster, it caused her to get hurt and unable to complete track during her senior year in high school. She admits to having too much fun at the University of South Carolina by partying and eating too much. However, her coaches in college were harsh, to the point where one of them told her to go back to being the girl she was in high school. While the girl she was in high school was unhealthy, Belair did not want to disappoint so she went back to throwing up her food. She was diagnosed with B.E.D or Binge Eating Disorder because she was obsessed with food to the point where it made her sick. Bianca would speak to someone who put her on medication and then transferred to another school in hopes of starting over. Rather than easing off the medication, she completely stopped it which left her feeling very depressed. Not being able to understand her depression, she tried to commit suicide. This led to her being admitted into a psychiatric hospital. Bianca recalls being in a room with a woman next to her screaming all night long and then her parents visiting her. At the moment, she describes feeling like a failure but also having this realization that she needed to go back home and face her issue. She feels relieved being able to speak with her parents about her issues and knowing she has their full support.

Backstage on the December 18 taping of Smackdown, Bianca spoke about floating around in NXT but believing a year later she would be in the position she is in right now. The EST of WWE mentions being told she would be called up last year. We then see a clip of the moment at NXT Takeover Portland when Triple H informed her that she will be making her debut the night after Wrestlemania on Raw. We see her tear up before hugging Triple H and thanking him for everything. She then speaks about her matchup against Bayley that night, understanding how big of a deal it is but not being intimidated. She is humble but also confident in herself and her abilities. We see highlights of her match against Bayley which she unfortunately loses.

Going back, Bianca shows a picture of her father, from whom she gained her performance side. Her father was part of a band with his two brothers called “The Blair Brothers” and provide for his family by performing with them. Bianca then spoke about wanting to do Crossfit after her brother sharing a clip of women doing it. Bianca described doing CrossFit as so much fun which led to clips of her performance being posted on YouTube. This led to Mark Henry commenting on one of her Instagram photos where he invited her to a WWE camp. She initially ignored the comment, believing it was fake. We see a screenshot of a DM message between her and Mark Henry which he invited her to the Performance Center for a tryout. Playing a clip from Henry’s Sirius XM show, he talked about Bianca’s competitive attitude and knew it would translate to professional wrestling. Henry said he could arrange the tryout but everything else is on her. Bianca described her tryout, saying she lifted everything she could, hit the ropes as hard she could, and at the end, everyone clapped for her. She originally did not want to get her expectations up until receiving a phone call from Kane, informing her that she was hired her. Bianca mentioned everything in her career clicked progressively but it did not hit her until the Mae Young classic. She felt like no one knew who Bianca Belair was, including herself, and described being nervous before the match against Kairi Sane. However, the jitters went away once she got out there as her body took over. She vividly remembers hearing the crowd and understands what they react from. She describes crying after the match as she found herself and clarity at that moment.

She then talks about Montez Ford and the night they first met. Bianca recalls seeing her future husband for the first time at Performance Center and having a crush on him, even telling Vanessa Bourne to keep him away from her because he is a beautiful man. She goes back to their first night, trying to get his attention before telling her that he liked her makeup. While she was surprised by Montez’s comment, The Street Profit member says he was trying to be respectful and was nervous. She expresses her happiness for being able to do what she loves alongside the person she loves. She explains about being able to go through this journey together at the same level, seeing each other grow with success while having fun doing it.

Bianca mentions her mother teaching her how to sew as she makes her gear. She uses her gear as a way to express herself and can remember a specific moment when looking back at them. Showing her Royal Rumble gear from last year, Belair reveals she did not know she going to be in the Rumble until the night and was even more surprised to be starting the match. She thinks back to the moment of silence before her entrance, feeling the weight of the jacket and hear breaths. Being in the Rumble, she could still feel every single minute of that match. She knew the Rumble was going to be the first time a lot of people were going to see her which she had to prove herself. While she did not win the Rumble, it still felt like a victory because she had people talking about her.

We then go to the Christmas edition of Smackdown where she tagged with Sasha Banks to challenge for the Women’s Tag Team championship. We see highlights of her in the match, even using her hair to help pull Sasha towards her for the tag. After the match, we see an interaction between Bianca and Vince McMahon, who thanked her for the “fun” match. Vince would praise her, saying she brings the “whole package” with athleticism, and ends by saying “she’s rollin”.

Bianca recollects a time when a few black children approached her in excitement and seeing herself in them. She explains knowing her responsibility of representation for her people, culture, community as a black female performer. She talks about having nieces and stepdaughters who look like her and having to go through things because of the color of their skin. She wants them to look at her and know it is ok to be who they are and to be comfortable in their skin. They should be able to love themselves exactly how they are and be anything they want to be. Bianca continued by thanking her parents for helping her be where she is today. While they did not have to most but they invested it in their children and made sure they could have an opportunity at a better life. Bianca commends her parents for instilling the hard work mindset into her and their support. She tears up, expressing her gratitude towards them for helping her to get to a point where she can take care of herself and be a part of her moments.

On the January 8 episode of Smackdown, we see Bianca and Montez fooling around for a photo shoot. Belair talks about this year’s Rumble match being different because she has already past proving herself and wants to win the match. She will not be satisfied unless she wins the Rumble because her expectations have risen and close with this:

“It’s all a matter of time. I can feel that something else, I’ve always felt this way even as a little kid that there is something more out there for me, even if I didn’t know what it was and I have feeling now. I am doing all of this for the little girl that worried about what everyone else had to say and the little girl who wasn’t able to be a little girl because she so worried about things she shouldn’t be worried about. My happiness is what most important to me, I am the priority, it’s not selfish to love yourself, it’s not selfish to have self love. I feel like my potential is endless, the possibilities are endless. I’m just waiting for the time. I’m good at this, I know I am good at this, everyone is telling me I am good at this, I can feel I am good at this, I’m going to be happy about this, I am going to embrace that. Once you get that feeling, you don’t want to let it go and that’s where the whole creation of Bianca Belair has come from. That’s why I am so bold, so loud, and so unapologetically who I am. I find found this feeling that I’ve been missing, I found what I am good at. I don’t think it’s a matter of if, it’s a matter of when”

Aneil’s Thoughts: Being a huge fan of Bianca Belair, I loved this documentary. It was interesting to hear about the struggles that she faced in her high school and college years. As someone who exuberates confidence in her character, I never thought someone like Bianca would have face issues such as bulimia and depression. However, she used those dark days to help bring confidence and strength in her character.

I think it was great for Bianca to open up with her ordeals as there might be young viewers struggling with the same issue and can find strength in her story. I think Bianca has been one of the best organically created superstars produced from NXT. With no prior experience in the business, her natural gifted athleticism and talent have made it truly appear that she was meant for this profession. At 31, Bianca has a bright future ahead and will be a star soon. Hopefully, she can have a career-defining moment this Sunday at the Royal Rumble by winning the whole thing. As for this documentary, I would highly recommend this to any. It is an inspiring story of a young lady who strives to be the best and invokes that mindset in her fans as well.