NXT

WWE NXT: The world is in Bianca Belair’s hands

Bianca Belair was one of the standouts of WWE Royal Rumble weekend this year, and even though words like “optimism” and “patience” seem like a sentence to an eternity of disappointment when this specific company is concerned, it’s clear that Belair is headed for greatness sooner rather than later.

If you are a fan of Bianca Belair, know that I stand with you when you tell me that she deserves better. Belair lost to Shayna Baszler in two WWE NXT Women’s Championship matches last year, and that disappointed so many fans who were ready to cheer their lungs out for a babyface champion EST.

Those losses were demoralizing, and it made many of us question if NXT and Triple H truly understood the magnitude of Belair’s potential. Here is a wrestler who had entire crowds singing and dancing to her theme, fans mimicking her trademark hair whip move, and contemporaries praising her as the next big thing.

Yet WWE didn’t deem her worthy of holding the NXT Women’s Championship on two separate occasions, having her lose despite analyst Sam Roberts’ grotesquely negative remarks about the babyface challenger.

But hope’s wings have a way of fluttering through even the heaviest of downpours, and Belair soared in the 2020 Royal Rumble.

Baszler would later tie this mark, but Belair first broke the record of the most eliminations in a Women’s Rumble match with eight. She was on fire. Decorated champion Alexa Bliss, legend Molly Holly, former tag team champion Nikki Cross, Mandy Rose, Candice LeRae, Sonya Deville, Dana Brooke, and the experienced Tamina were all tossed out of the ring by the EST.

That’s quite the list of names. And while Belair would eventually be eliminated, only the actual winner of the match – 10-time champion Charlotte Flair – could throw her out.

Charlotte has kept her WrestleMania 36 opponent close to the vest, and maybe that’s because WWE still haven’t figured out who she’ll face. Most fans seem to think it will be Rhea Ripley in a match that will put over the NXT Women’s Championship to yet another level of prestige.

But what if it’s not Ripley? As crazy as it is to even contemplate this result after her strong booking to close 2019…what if she loses the title to Bianca Belair at TakeOver: Portland next month?

And Belair goes on to face Charlotte in a dream WrestleMania match between two confident former collegiate athletes who are at the top of their all-around games in WWE.

Charlotte once called Belair “the future” of WWE, and she’s praised the EST effusively on multiple occasions.

As much criticism as Charlotte gets for always winning, her success has always been used to elevate others. Becky Lynch became the company’s top star after feuding with Charlotte, Bayley had the best title run of her career after defeating Charlotte, and Carmella became a star in 2018 after ending Flair’s title reign.

So if Charlotte has a chance to challenge anyone at WrestleMania, could she push for Belair to be her opponent and put over the EST in the biggest way possible?

The win would certainly feel special. Charlotte broke Asuka’s undefeated streak, won a new title in a historic Triple Threat, and main evented last year’s show. She beat Trish Stratus in her final match at last year’s SummerSlam. So defeating Flair one-on-one at a big show is a massive deal. It’s not impossible, but if Belair were to pull off the feat, it would be an outrageous win.

Of course, there’s a risk that she would lose, Charlotte would become the NXT Women’s Champion, and another storyline would begin.

But even if Belair isn’t the destined opponent for Charlotte at WrestleMania this year, her performance in the Royal Rumble is a clear indication that WWE haven’t forgotten about Belair’s massive potential.

She truly has the opportunity to be, as Flair said, the future of WWE. Belair has the charisma, knowledge of what works, ability to connect with the audience, promo skills, in-ring presence, strength, move-set, and “It” factor to be a top star in this company.

We’ve worried if WWE has simply glossed over her ability, and these fears remain valid. But in the back of my mind, I always say that talent wins out. And as we’ve seen time after time, Belair has shown that she is more than good enough in EVERY aspect to ascend.

Next: How much longer is The Fiend's shelf life?

The world is in her hands in 2020, and it will be exciting to see how she continues to make waves in WWE. There’s a real chance she wins a title this year and breaks out as a superstar.

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