Austin-East Magnet High School students were surprised with a visit from alum and WWE Champion Bianca Blair at a homecoming weekend pep rally at the school.
WWE Superstar and A-E graduate Bianca “Belair” Blair made a surprise visit during a pep rally at her alma mater on Thursday, Sept. 16th, in advance of her appearance at the Friday Night Smackdown event at Thompson-Boling Arena on Friday.
Blair is happy to be home in Knoxville for the first time in 2-years. She graduated from Austin-East Magnet High School where she set records as a track athlete. Her jersey is showcased among the school’s accomplished sports athletes. At A-E, Blair succeeded in many sports including track and field and hurdles well enough to be recognized by ESPN writer Sean Hurd.
During her college years, she also competed in CrossFit and powerlifting. She completed her college career at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, where she was also All-SEC and All-American in sports and in the classroom with grades that placed her on the SEC’s academic honor roll in 2011 and 2012.
Blair applied with the WWE on a whim and was accepted. She joined WWE in 2016, where her competitive nature carried over into the ring using her long hair braid to whip opponents to shreds. In a short time, a star-winning, professional wrestler emerged. This year Belair has won the WWE’s Royal Rumble event in January and the Smackdown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 37 in April.
Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs, who performed with WWE as Kane, also made an appearance at Thursday’s pep rally, wearing blue-and-red socks in honor of the Roadrunners.
Belair told students that she loved being a student at Austin-East, and wouldn’t have achieved her success without the school.
Belair said the thing she remembers most about her alma mater was the camaraderie, adding that “I always say I’m 2800 made” – a reference to the school’s address at 2800 Martin Luther King, Jr., Avenue.
“I’m really just pushing the message (to students), don’t forget where you come from, be proud of where you come from, but strive for greatness,” she said. “Because if you come from Austin-East, greatness lives inside of you.”
Friday Night WWE Smackdown at Thompson Boling Arena
WWE IS COMING HOME TO KNOXVILLE
WITH THE FIRST EVER
FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN LIVE ON FOX FEATURING THE E.S.T. OF WWE AND KNOXVILLE NATIVE BIANCA BELAIR.
SEE UNIVERSAL CHAMPION ROMAN REIGNS AND SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS THE USOS VS. FINN BALOR AND THE STREET PROFITS IN A 6 MAN TAG TEAM MATCH.
ALSO SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPION BECKY LYNCH VS. BIANCA BELAIR, PLUS THE RATED R SUPERSTAR EDGE SETH ROLLINS AND MANY MORE!
Tickets Available online, click here KnoxvilleTickets.com and the Thompson-Boling Arena Box Office.