Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair’s match at WrestleMania is a moment that is long overdue and highly anticipated by Black wrestling fans.
Professional wrestling is a space where many “firsts” are still occurring for those who represent marginalized groups. These moments are to be celebrated as the proverbial “glass ceiling” continues to shatter. Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair are poised for such a moment when they face off at WrestleMania. Seeing two black women in a prominent feud for a singles title in professional wrestling is a moment that many have waited for and is long overdue at the same time.
In Banks and Belair, WWE has two special and exceedingly rare talents. The energy and confidence that these two ladies exude while in front of the camera radiates off the screen. WWE boasts a very stacked roster, regardless of gender, but there are few people like Banks and Belair that can command eyeballs at a moment’s notice. They are both the type of performer that hooks in fans and can get lapsed viewers to stop before flipping off the product. WWE recognizes this and in a rare moment, they have elevated both ladies at the perfect time to take advantage of this powerful moment.
Representation in entertainment matters. Seeing Belair and Banks facing off at the top the biggest annual professional wrestling event is something the industry needs. Not only for those athletes that toil in the ring with few examples of someone that looks like them rising to the top. But also, for those children that fantasize about being professional wrestlers and cling to the personalities that look like them. This is not just about the two ladies that will do battle on one of the two nights of WrestleMania, this is a moment for everyone that looks like them and dreams of achieving in any form.
Back in 2019, the wrestling community rallied around Kofi Kingston as KofiMania lifted him to the WWE Championship. It was a moment that represented the dedication and achievement of his career, but it was also a moment that brought Black wrestlers and fans together as many wept at the optics of the New Day standing in the ring with the title and Kingston’s family. No matter what else happened this year, KofiMania stands out as perhaps the most important moment to many from 2019.
Banks versus Belair at WrestleMania is a similar moment, not only for people of color but specifically women of color in professional wrestling. Society finds so many ways to malign women of color and professional wrestling is guilty of the same. In many ways, women of a certain demographic are pushed to the forefront and praised more heavily by fans and media members alike. Therefore, it is so important to see two women like Banks and Belair buck all those trends and demand such a vital spot in this show.
Sasha Banks versus Bianca Belair is the WrestleMania moment that fans have pleaded to see. Now, only weeks remain between the sight of these two ladies locking up for the WWE SmackDown Women’s title. Everything about this moment should be praised and celebrated. It truly will be a moment in Black Excellence.