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Byrons Interviews

A family history explored: Bianca Belair discusses her influential ancestors
NXT fans are beginning to become familiar with Bianca Belair’s power inside the ring, but it’s not just her competitive nature that drives Belair to be The EST of NXT. The NXT Superstar also finds motivation in her family tree, having come from a long line of trailblazers, including men and women who helped break new ground during the Civil Rights Movement. In celebration of Black History Month, Belair spoke to WWE.com about her remarkable family history and how it continues to inspire her to this day.

WWE.COM: What does Black History Month mean to you?

BIANCA BELAIR: Black History Month is a time to celebrate, learn, acknowledge and pay tribute to African Americans’ past, present, culture, struggles and achievements. It has always been an important aspect in my life growing up because it taught me my roots. Black History Month also reminds me of how far we have come, and it motivates me. If African Americans can win the Olympics, desegregate public places, become artists, authors, doctors and engineers, contribute to agriculture, mathematics, astronomy and medicine, invent hot combs and haircare products, traffic lights, and become President, then I can do it, too. If they could create history, then so can I.

WWE.COM: Let’s talk about your family history. I understand that your family tree is chock full of groundbreakers in the African American community.

BELAIR: My great-grandfather, Edward N. Toole, was the first licensed African American electrician in Durham, N.C.; he was still a licensed and practicing electrician in 1993 at the age of 95. His father was also the son of the governor of South Carolina.

(more…)



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Byrons Interviews

Exclusive Q&A: Why No Way Jose has something to prove to the NXT Universe

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but in the case of No Way Jose, absence has made the heart grow hungrier for competition. After making his return to NXT television last week, Jose spoke with WWE.com about his goals and his plans to take his game to the next level.

WWE.COM: How does it feel to be back on NXT?

NO WAY JOSE: It’s like I never left. The NXT Universe always welcomes me with open arms. As soon as I walk down the entrance ramp — well, I guess dance, not walk — that energy, that rhythm, the emotion that hundreds or thousands of people give someone, makes you experience an unexplainable emotion and fills you with so much joy.

WWE.COM: What led to you stepping away?

JOSE: I’ve been away for a little bit. I had to go handle some things, face a little adversity and grow from it. Now I’m back, and the most important thing is what I do from here. Like many people, I began to focus on the past because I wasn’t 100 percent satisfied with the present. The more I progressed, the more I seemed to take a step back, and I knew this was a pattern that couldn’t continue. Somewhere in there, I lost a part of me, and I knew I had to get it back.

WWE.COM: Now that you are back, how has your mindset changed since you’ve been away from the ring?

JOSE: Well, before my last match with Cezar [Bononi], there was a man named Lars [Sullivan], a huge, powerful, anomaly of a man. And what he did was show me that I needed to tone back on what brought me to the dance, which is the dance. I need to tone back on the hip swivels, and I need to turn up the intensity in the ring.

(more…)



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