Knoxville native, WWE Superstar Bianca Belair loses a close match at NXT Championship

Source: (MGN)
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WVLT) -- Bianca Belair, a WWE Superstar, competed in the NXT Women's Championship Sunday evening in Portland, Oregon.

Belair faced off against Rhea Ripley in the match. Ripley pulled through and won the battle.

"An exchange of blows with Ripley on the top turnbuckle, Belair gains the advantage and lifts her over her head and slams her with a military press slam. Belair attempts to hit Ripley with the KOD but she escapes," says WVLT's Josh Edmonds who watched the match.

"Ripley climbs up top and attempts a suplex to the outside, Belair fights it but only to get hit by the Riptide for the 3 count, Rhea Ripley retains the NXT Women's Championship," said Edmonds.

The Knoxville native joined the WWE franchise in April of 2016. She attended Austin-East High School, where her brother is the head football coach.

Assistant Principal, Alvin Armstead, told WVLT News' Gwendolyn Ducre that the school is "very proud of Bianca's success."

Belair is no stranger to championships. As a track athlete at Austin-East, she swept TSSAA state titles in the 100m hurdles and 300m in 2006 and 2007, helping the Roadrunners win the 2007 state title.

Before coming back home to the University of Tennessee in 2011 as a walk-on, Blair spent the 2008 track season at the University of South Carolina and the 2009 season at Texas A&M. She was also named SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2011 and 2012. In 2011, she was named the Herb Neff Award recipient, which goes to the best Lady Vol walk-on.

The NXT Women's Championship is Sunday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. on the WWE Network at 7 p.m.

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