Bianca Belair beat Sasha Banks in a fantastic main event match at WrestleMania 37. The match begun with emotion as Bianca teared up during a moment where she was one-half of the first black women to main event WrestleMania.
Banks vs. Belair was a feud loaded with talent, and was arguably the easiest story to tell with both women claiming to be the best in their division. Instead, WWE opted to overthink this one with mid-card comedy and an unnecessary supporting cast.
In what became a theme across all WWE programming—even WWE NXT when Karrion Kross was forced to tag with “Stand and Deliver” opponent Finn Balor—Banks and Belair unsuccessfully chased the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships. The fruitless chase saw both Banks and Belair take losses, weakening the feud and sabotaging any notion that the two best women in the division were competing for one its richest prize on Friday nights.
The legacy of Banks vs. Belair was salvaged by history as they became the first black women to main event WrestleMania. Of course, while a feel-good stat, the fact that it took this long to feature two black women in the main event of a scripted sport is flat-out embarrassing. Just imagine if Applebees celebrated the fact that it named its first black Employee of the Month in 2021.
It didn’t hurt, however, that the pair had an excellent wrestling match that elevated Bianca Belair to her first world title in WWE. The match was also the first WrestleMania main event in a decade that featured two full-time stars as the theme of up-and-coming acts across WrestleMania persisted. Night 2 will see recent NXT call-up Rhea Ripley challenge Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship in a match where Ripley is a sizable favorite.
As one of the more successful NXT call-ups in recent memory, Belair figures to be a fixture atop WWE’s roster, and at WrestleMania, for years to come.