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Bianca Blair (born April 9, 1989) is an American professional wrestler currently signed to WWE, where she performs in their developmental territory NXT under the ring name Bianca Belair.
Blair was a track and field athlete, more specifically a hurdler, who had what ESPN writer Sean Hurd called “a volatile six-year track career” that saw her attend three universities in all. She first attended the University of South Carolina and then Texas A&M University, and later did not compete at all for a year, before completing her college career at the University of Tennessee, where she became All-SEC and All-American as well as being named to the SEC’s academic honor roll in 2011 and 2012. She was also a CrossFit competitor and powerlifter, having appeared in RX magazine, Femme Rouge magazine, and CrossFit.com. Blair was forced to abandon her CrossFit career due to intercostal chondritis, also known as shifting rib syndrome.
PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING CAREER
Blair entered her information into the WWE prospects database shortly after the premature end of her CrossFit career “more on a whim than with an actual plan”, according to Hurd. Less than two weeks later, she received a social media message from 20-year WWE veteran Mark Henry, who had come across Blair’s profile on the CrossFit circuit, saying he could get her a tryout, but emphasized that she had to do the work. After two official tryouts, Blair signed a contract with WWE on April 12, 2016, and was assigned to the WWE Performance Center. Blair made her first appearance during an in-ring segment at an NXT house show on June 25, 2016. On September 29, 2016, she made her in-ring debut during an NXT live event in a losing effort against Aliyah. On the May 3, 2017 episode of NXT, Blair made her television debut in a battle royal to determine the No. 1 contender for the NXT Women’s Championship, where she was eliminated by Billie Kay and Peyton Royce. On June 23, Belair defeated Aliyah to qualify for the Mae Young Classic. On July 13, Belair defeated Sage Beckett in the first round of the tournament. The following day, Belair was eliminated from the tournament in the second round by Kairi Sane. Belair made her singles NXT television debut on September 20, 2017, defeating Lacey Evans.