Belair left no questions unanswered in defeating Banks to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship to close out Night One of WrestleMania 37 in unforgettable fashion.
The EST was clearly overcome with emotion at the outset, however, as she faced the biggest moment of her career.
Belair and Banks not only joined the exclusive pantheon of women to main event a WrestleMania but also made history as the first African-American women to face each other in a singles match on wrestling’s Grandest Stage.
What ensued was a back-and-forth classic that was only apt for The Showcase of the Immortals.
The EST of WWE puts it all on the line against Sasha Banks in a SmackDown Women’s Title showdown. Presented by Snickers. Snickers satisfies. Catch WWE action on Peacock, WWE Network, FOX, USA Network, Sony India and more.
Belair quickly impressed with an awesome display of strength, catching Banks’ tope to the outside and carrying her up the steps before tossing her back in the ring. While the champion responded by rearing her veteran savvy, neither woman claimed an advantage for long. Banks’ first miscalculation saw her collide face-first with the post after trying to use Belair’s braid against her, but Banks later fired back by countering a 450 Splash with double knees to the midsection.
Banks’ mean streak of old began to surface as The Boss hurled Belair into the steps and executed an especially devious version of the Bank Statement, assisted by the use of Belair’s own ponytail.
Belair’s second bid for the 450 later found the mark, though it only netted a near-fall, spurring stunned bewilderment on the challenger’s face.
Banks again tried to use Belair’s own hair against her, though it became clear she had gone to the well one too many times, as The EST whipped her across the abdomen for a thunderous strike that echoed throughout Raymond James Stadium and left a nasty wound on Banks.
Both countered each other’s attempts at the K.O.D. and the Backstabber before Belair stunningly one-upped the veteran, planting Banks with the K.O.D.
And with the count of three, Belair became a champion for the first time in her WWE career, already securing her place in the annals of sports-entertainment history in her WrestleMania debut.