Bianca Belair, Charlotte Talk WWE WrestleMania, Topps and More in B/R Exclusive

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 4, 2021

Photo credit: WWE

Bianca Belair and Charlotte Flair are two of the biggest stars WWE has to offer, and with WrestleMania 37 only about one month away, they are positioning themselves for a significant role on The Grandest Stage of Them All.

Belair, who refers to herself as The EST of WWE, is in the midst of the best run of her young career, and her WrestleMania match is already set in stone, as she will challenge Sasha Banks for the SmackDown Women's Championship.

Bianca earned that right by winning the 2021 Women's Royal Rumble match, and she explained why Banks is her ideal opponent for the biggest spectacle in sports entertainment:

"Sasha, she calls herself The Boss and The Standard, and she calls herself that because it is true. You look at everything she's accomplished, even from her NXT days up until now, and all the firsts that she's done. She's been breaking barriers, she's been making history, she's created her own legacy. And so, for someone like me, when I see Sasha, I see myself in Sasha, and I always say I see everything she's doing inside and outside the ring. When you see that, some people can be like, 'Oh, are you jealous?' No, I'm not jealous at all, that's inspiring to me. ...

"WrestleMania's already a huge moment, and you can't make WrestleMania bigger than WrestleMania, but when I thought about making my choice and I thought about me and Sasha Banks being in the same ring standing across from each other, I feel that was making WrestleMania bigger than WrestleMania. Because it's not just about having a match, it's not just about possibly coming out as SmackDown Women's champion, it's about a moment, it's about a message, it's about representation. It's a moment that's more than just a moment."

Belair and Banks are poised to make history at WrestleMania, as they will be the first two Black women to have a singles match against each other at The Showcase of the Immortals. They will also be the first two Black people of any gender to face off in a singles match for a world title at WrestleMania.

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Bianca said she is "grateful" to be in the position to "create history," and added: "It's gonna be a magical night, and I'm just very, very excited to create magic in the ring with Sasha Banks."

Along with Roman Reigns vs. Edge for the Universal Championship, it can be argued that Belair vs. Banks is the best-built and most highly anticipated match on the WrestleMania card.

Given that notion and the fact that WrestleMania 37 will be a two-night affair on April 10 and 11 in Tampa, Florida, there is seemingly a good chance that Belair and Banks will headline one of the two nights.

If that happens, it will mark only the second women's main event in WrestleMania history, joining Becky Lynch vs. Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte from WrestleMania 35.

Belair made it clear that she and Sasha want the spot, saying:

"I think that would be a huge deal. ... I feel like women sometimes get asked the question, 'What do you think you need to do more to get more media exposure, media coverage?' And my answer is always, 'We don't need to do anything.' Because we always show up and we always show out, we just need those opportunities. ... I'm excited and I'm hoping that we can main event because...we continue to not just prove some people wrong, but we continue to prove ourselves right that we can go out there and we can put on a five-star match. We're amazing wrestlers, and we're not just amazing wrestlers to be women, we're just amazing wrestlers who happen to be women."

While Belair finds herself in uncharted waters, Charlotte is no stranger to the WrestleMania spotlight.

Flair has had five matches on the main card at WrestleMania, including the main event of WrestleMania 35. It seems obvious that she will have a big spot on the WrestleMania 37 card given her status and talent, but precisely what she'll be doing is yet to be determined.

Since returning from a hiatus at TLC in December, Charlotte has tagged often with Raw Women's champion Asuka, and they even held the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships for a time before dropping them back to Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax.

Recently on Raw, there was some miscommunication between Charlotte and Asuka, which saw Flair accidentally boot The Empress of Tomorrow in the face. Then, The Queen announced to the world that she wants to face Asuka for the Raw Women's title.

When asked about possibly facing Asuka at WrestleMania three years after first doing so at WrestleMania 34, Flair could barely contain her excitement:

"It just gave me goosebumps thinking about it. She's incredible, and she's really carried the Raw division throughout these difficult times. And, to have an opportunity to face her again, I think would be incredible. I would just want to see how we can make it different. And also, I feel like going into [WrestleMania] 34, she had nothing to prove and I had everything to prove, and here we are in 2021 still shoulder and shoulder. So, it'll be interesting to see where this story will go."

One person could potentially throw a wrench into Charlotte's plans, though, and that person is former NXT Women's champion Rhea Ripley.

Ripley is being advertised for an upcoming debut on Raw, and she and Flair already have some history, as they faced each other for the NXT women's championship at WrestleMania last year with Charlotte coming out on top.

Flair doesn't know when, but she has little doubt that she and The Nightmare will meet again soon: "I've said this a million times, we have so much unfinished business. ... I'm looking forward to her debuting on Raw and our paths crossing, whether it's before Mania or after Mania, I don't know, but I'll be ready. I hope she's ready!"

WrestleMania season always creates a ton of excitement among WWE fans and Superstars alike, but there is a different buzz in the air this year given the difficulty that the COVID-19 pandemic has created.

WWE has run shows with no fans in attendance for the past year, but there will be fans present at Raymond James Stadium for WrestleMania 37, and Charlotte couldn't be more excited:

"You never realize what you have until it's gone, right? I know that sounds so cliche, but being able to make eye contact with the fans when you're walking down your entrance is like the best feeling ever and creating and feeling that emotion as a performer. Yes, it's been different, and the ThunderDome is incredibly innovative, but to feel live emotion is gonna be a whole different level. As a whole, I think just sending a positive message to the world that eventually things will get back to normal as well is important, but I'm so excited."

Wrestlers like Belair and Flair have had to find different ways to connect with their fans during the pandemic, and one way they've been able to do that is with their involvement in the Topps WWE Slam: Card Trader app.

Card collecting has been booming during the pandemic, both in terms of physical and digital cards, and seeing herself on a trading card is something that is still surreal for Belair:

"It's a wild feeling. It's really hard to put into words how I feel. I think for me it's even crazier because I never dreamt of being a WWE wrestler when I was a kid. So, now to be a WWE wrestler—and I've fallen completely in love with WWE and now I can't imagine myself doing anything other than being a wrestler now—to now I have a Topps card and I see my face on these cards, knowing that people are collecting them and buying them, it's an amazing feeling.

"It's a little overwhelming sometimes, it doesn't seem real sometimes, but all I can say is that I'm honored and it gives me so much joy to know that I'm on a Topps card and people are actually collecting them. I have to pinch myself sometimes to see, like, is this really real."

Charlotte said being on a Topps card is "full circle" after seeing her father, WWE Hall of Famer "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, featured on cards when she was a kid. Charlotte added:

"I don't think it ever really hits you or becomes normal. Like, you forget. It's kind of like, when you're walking down the street and someone's like, 'Oh my gosh, it's Charlotte, can I have a picture?' I guess you never take it for granted, but you're also like, 'I mean that much to people,' it's very cool."

Bianca and Charlotte have played a huge role in women's wrestling and have reached new heights in WWE, so there will undoubtedly be many more trading cards and huge WrestleMania matches ahead of them.

For now, they are focused on WrestleMania 37, and given the major roles they are likely to have on the WrestleMania card, their performances will have a significant hand in making the event a success.