Without a doubt, NXT boasts one of the best women’s divisions in all of professional wrestling.
Names like Rhea Ripley, Io Shirai, and Candice LeRae, among others, are always synonymous with high-caliber talent and quality matches.
Another woman that comes to mind is Bianca Belair. Since her debut in 2016, she has impressed many with a unique blend of speed, strength, and athleticism that very few women in WWE possess.
She quickly became a fan-favorite, holding her own against the likes of Ripley, Shirai, Shayna Baszler, Mia Yim, and most recently, Charlotte Flair. Belair has seen her fair share of title opportunities, but has yet to capture any championship gold.
So, why is that? Why is someone of her talent not already the face of the division?
My answer is rather simple: she is just the victim of poor timing.
When the Knoxville, Tennessee native first entered the title picture, Baszler was in the midst of one of the most dominant championship reigns in recent years. It wouldn’t have mattered who they put in front of her; until Ripley came along, no one was dethroning The Queen of Spades.
This included Belair, who unsuccessfully challenged Baszler twice for the NXT Women’s Championship. The first match took place at NXT TakeOver: Phoenix, where her 367-day winning streak came to an end.
The second match came just three months later at NXT TakeOver: New York. While it was a fatal four-way that included Shirai and Kairi Sane, Belair still took the loss after being submitted by Baszler.
The next several months saw her feud with Yim, participate in WarGames, and help Team NXT win their match at Survivor Series.
Ripley went on to defeat Baszler in December to become the new NXT Women’s Champion. Shortly after, Belair won a women’s battle royal to earn another shot at the title. Her opportunity came at NXT TakeOver: Portland, but she was once again unsuccessful at capturing the gold.
Before and after her match, however, she got into it with Ripley’s WrestleMania 36 opponent, Flair. She felt that the champion was overlooking her and focusing too much on a match that—at the time—wasn’t even official.
Flair ended up attacking Belair after her match at TakeOver: Portland, so The EST of NXT challenged her to a match. The Queen accepted and the two squared off on last week’s episode of NXT, where Flair emerged victorious. She then added insult to injury by attacking Belair’s ankle with a chair afterwards.
It remains to be seen whether or not this will lead to Belair’s inclusion in the title match at WrestleMania. If it does, it’s only for her to take the pin so Flair doesn’t lose clean. In my opinion, that is the worst thing that could happen to her.
While being a part of the biggest show in sports entertainment isn’t a bad thing, her losing again could kill any momentum she’s built up over the past year.
What they do with her next could make or break her career. If it were me, I would leave her out of the title picture for a little while. Not because she doesn’t deserve it, but she’s had three title matches over the last year and several number one contender matches as well. Any more and the fans could start to turn sour on her.
For now, it might be best to focus on other members of the NXT women’s division while still keeping Belair a prominent feature. Once a new champion is crowned, maybe then she can get her time to shine. A move over to RAW or SmackDown could be another option as well.
If she does end up leaving NXT without ever holding the championship, it would be another case of being in the right place at the wrong time. I believe that if Baszler and Ripley weren’t at the top of their games, Belair would have already held the title by now.
Regardless of what brand she’s on, hopefully she’ll become the face of their women’s division at some point.
Only time will tell if she gets to add some championship gold to her already impressive career. It’s definitely fair to say that she has deserved better, but unfortunately this time around, it was completely out of her control.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @Shalenehixon21. Thanks for reading!