For a Black women growing up from being the little Black girl who loved to watch wrestling, the match- up between Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair was historical and one of the proudest moments of Black Girl Magic.
Mercedes Varnado aka Sasha Banks started off wrestling in Chaotic Wrestling before signing with WWE in 2012. She was able to crossover outside of wrestling by appearing on Season 2 of the The Mandalorian as Koska Reeves.
Her WWE accomplishments has been many, but here are the ones that stood out.
|NXT Championship – 1 time|
|WWE Raw Women’s Champion- 5 times|
|WWE Smackdown Women’s Champion- 1 time|
|WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion- 2 times (with Bayley)|
|3rd Women’s Grand Slam Champion|
|4th WWE Women’s Triple Crown Champion|
Sasha had said this about the match.
“It’s because of the work and the talent behind it, and not just because of the color of my skin or anything else, and because of the workflow that Bianca and myself have put into this,” Banks said. “I can main-event, not just because I’m a woman or woman of color, but because I put in the work just like everybody else.”- Sasha Banks
The story for Bianca started to come more into play after her WWE Chronicle and then with her fabulous win at the 2021 Royal Rumble. As her chronicle had stated Bianca had a different road before becoming a professional wrestler. Bianca was a former collegiate track and field athlete. She also was a former gymnast. Her dream was to be a CrossFit competitor before that was derailed by her medical condition intercostal chondritis.
Bianca had mentioned that when she was training to be a wrestler, that she watch old women’s matches and gravitated to Jacqueline and Jazz. Something Sasha also said. It is important to note that after Jazz lost her title in June 2003, there was no Black women that held the women’s championship belt until 2010 when Alicia Fox became the first Black Woman to hold the WWE Diva’s Championship. Alicia was the only Black woman to do so.
When Bianca won in January becoming the first Black woman and 2nd Black person to win the Royal Rumble, it was like the stars aligned for this moment.
“We’re representation for all the Black women that came before us and laid a foundation and all the groundwork before us. It’s us physically in the ring, but they are in this match right along with us. So I just want them to know that we’re paying tribute to them, we’re honoring them, we’re representing for them.” -Bianca Belair
Both ladies stepped in the ring on Night One of WrestleMania 37. WrestleMania is the biggest event of the year for WWE. The crowd was electric as they waited excitedly for this match to begin. There were over 25,000 fans there at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida. The made themselves known by chanting both women name all over.
The match started off with some shoves and moves that both women were able to counter flawlessly. Sasha was the established champion, but Bianca was no push over as she proved with her raw power besting Sasha’s savvy moves.
This match was filled with emotion. A highlight was after Sasha was able to do a suicide dive which connected, Bianca took Sasha and rolled backwards with her. She held Sasha over her head, walked up the ring steps and dropped Sasha back into the ring over the top rope.
The Dream Coming True
Before the end of the match, Bianca and Sasha struggled with Sasha trying to hold onto Bianca’s signature braid. Bianca was able to free it and she used her braid to whip Sasha much like she did in NXT. Bianca hit so hard that we could all hear the sound. I gasped loudly when I saw it. Bianca was able to finish it off with a KOD and a pin and become the new Smackdown Women’s Championship.
This was the moment tears came to my eyes, as not only did I see two Black women headline Night 1 of WrestleMania, but Sasha gladly putting over Sasha on the grandest stage of them all. So many people seemed to think Sasha would have a problem with doing this. However, I was able to see pictures and videos of Sasha holding her side on the floor grinning hard as Bianca had her moment. Two Queens showcasing their greatness on the biggest stage.
Both women went out there and did the damn thing. They tore the house down. They showed all the Black women and all the Black little girls wanting to be a wrestler, being a fan, a lover of sports wrestling entertainment, that it could be possible to achieve your dreams. The absolute meaning of Black Girls being magical af!