There was some concern over this past weekend that the SmackDown Women's Championship match between Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks might be canceled for Saturday's SummerSlam event. The pair were booked for matches at live events on both Saturday and Sunday but were absent from the show due to "unforeseen circumstances." PWInsider's Mike Johnson reported at the time that multiple sources within the company were concerned about the status of the match, but came back on Wednesday with some good news.
"...PWInsider.com has been told they are 'cleared' to perform and barring 'something unforeseen' will be at Friday Night Smackdown and Summerslam this coming weekend," Johnson wrote. Belair and Banks closed out last week's SmackDown with a contract signing, ending in Banks bringing out Carmella and Zelina Vega as her backup for a three-on-one attack.
The pair first met in the main event of WrestleMania 37 Night One back in April, with Belair defeating "The Boss" to win her first championship in WWE. The two made history by being the first women of color to wrestle in the main event of a WrestleMania, and wound up winning an ESPY for their groundbreaking match. Both have since discussed the historical significance of that match.
"It was, that whole month was such an exciting thing for me," Banks said on the Just Women Sports podcast in June. "We had no idea who was going to main event WrestleMania. The year before I was telling my best friend, Bayley, like 'I'm going to main event WrestleMania 37.' It was always my dream to main event a WrestleMania. So I was just putting it out there in the universe and really just striving and working towards it. So the month before WrestleMania, I really thought, I heard rumblings that it was going to be the guys. And I was like 'okay, what can I do? What can I do? What can I do? All I can do is be me and just keep doing my work as best I can and show Vince that if I'm not the main event, I don't know what main event you're going to have.'
"It was legit the Wednesday before WrestleMania I found out that we were the main event," she continued. "And I was again so nervous because I was asking around 'did you get the card? Did anyone tell you?' And they're like 'you're not the main event.' And I'm like 'nobody told me that!' I'm like 'okay, I still have time because Vince hasn't said anything. I'm going to go to rehearsals and if I find out, all I can do is maybe ask Vince and that's all I can do.' I went to rehearsals and TJ Wilson, who's our producer, he told me that I was the main event. And I just instantly started crying and was just like 'wow. No way!' Like I knew it, it's something that I wanted. Just to finally to hear the words that 'you're the main event.' It was so overwhelming, it's bringing back tears. It's crazy, it's crazy, because it's the biggest thing you can ever do in wrestling. My heroes haven't gotten to do what I've done. So not only that, and just being a woman and being an African American woman. We're checking off so many things. But the biggest thing that I got to check off was my biggest dream in my heart. Fully accomplishing that last checkmark on my list of everything I had written down since I was a kid. That was just last month and I am on vacation right now still soaking that in. I'm just ready for what's next."