As with the Royal Rumble I felt it was best to turn things over to a Black woman to discuss the significance, and Tonya graciously agreed to do that again. She’s the author of this piece. Find her at @TheWitchMilitia on Twitter.
I sat down to watch Night 1 of WrestleMania 37 this past Saturday with a familiar nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach. It’s that feeling you get when your favorite WWE Superstar has a big match and the one thing you want most in the World for the next however many hours is for them to be the victor. But I was not feeling this way because of one wrestler, no. I felt this way about two: Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair.
For the first time in WWE history, two Black women were facing one another for the Women’s championship……AND WERE CLOSING THE SHOW. I had not been nervous for either of the ladies until the show started. Before that, it always felt like it was a dream.
Yes, the match was advertised. No, WWE did not hint that it would change. But if you know like I know, you never put ANYTHING past WWE until the day of the show. And sometimes not even then. So I kept that match in this “dream” state of my mind so I could not worry myself about any minor details I did not like during the feud. None of the tag team booking mattered. The build. Nothing. And I am not afraid to admit it. The fact that it was Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair was enough for me.
As the night grew longer, that dream was racing full steam ahead towards reality. It was do or die time. Never before had ONE Black woman been trusted to this extent in ANY wrestling promotion to main event THE biggest show of the year, let alone two. As often happens, my mind went through the worst case scenarios. But I quickly shrugged them off as neither Sash nor Binky have ever disappointed me as a fan.
Before I address the actual match, I would be remiss if I did not mention how beautiful both women were in their gear and how both appeared to theme their wardrobe after other Black women’s wrestlers, particularly Naomi and Alicia Fox for Sasha and Jazz for Bianca. It was a nice touch.
I appreciated the crowd and the ladies for taking a very brief moment to acknowledge how absolutely awesome it was that the match was taking place. I appreciate it even more that it was brief and, for the duration of the match, Sasha and Bianca beat each other’s asses the way a championship match warrants.
Sasha is the best wrestler in the World and she proves every single time she is in these situations. If that match had been anything less than stellar, the bulk of the blame would’ve gone to her (from management, the folks who actually count in these things) and she showed out and showed her ass. It was a masterclass on how to make someone a star. I absolutely believe there is no one in wrestling who could have made Bianca look better that night.
As for Bianca, she proved each and every naysayer with their “she’s not ready, let Sasha win” arguments sit down and shut up. She was female Brock Lesnar in her first main event except she actually LANDED her big spot from the top rope! The future of the WWE women’s division is not only safe in her hands but, if WWE allows it, will reach highs the old sexist bastards who book the show never thought imaginable.
Because that’s what Black Girl Magic does. We take impossible dreams and turn them into a reality like a boss because we’re the EST of everything we touch. Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair are living proof! I am so proud to say that two Black women delivered one of the best main events in WrestleMania history.
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