The Road to WrestleMania is often romanticized. It’s a journey to the land of giants. A map to sports entertainment’s Mecca. It’s also a high-stakes pursuit where most superstars spin out. For Bianca Belair and Montez Ford, their partnership is a driving force to keep calm and carry on.
“It’s the busiest time of the year. It’s the most hectic time of the year,” Belair told CBS Sports while promoting Hulu’s “Love & WWE: Bianca and Montez” reality series. “It’s very stressful because you’re trying to figure out how you’re going to get to WrestleMania. You want to be on that stage. So you’re very vulnerable. You’re going through a lot of emotions.”
Check out the full interview with Bianca Belair and Montez Ford below.
Belair and Ford met in 2016 in WWE’s developmental program. They’ve successfully navigated most of their professional wrestling careers together. Belair is a three-time women’s champion. Ford and his teammate Angelo Dawkins, known collectively as the Street Profits, are the second Triple Crown tag team champs in WWE history. However, not all forms of success are weighted equally.
Belair was a tour de force immediately after joining the main roster at WrestleMania 36. She hasn’t missed or lost at a WrestleMania since. That includes a milestone match with Sasha Banks in 2021, the first time two Black superstars headlined WrestleMania and only the second tentpole main event helmed by women. Ford’s success, while substantial, has been a shared endeavor with Dawkins. Ford desires a main event singles run. He’s admittedly had thoughts of, “I’m not just Bianca Belair’s husband.” It can be tough to see your partner achieving your dreams. It’s a constant reminder of unfulfilled ambitions. But Ford knows not to let intrusive thoughts shift to envy. He instead celebrates Belair’s achievements and uses them for motivation.
“I am her husband so anytime she’s successful or does something groundbreaking or landmark, that’s my success too essentially,” Ford said. “But there’s also the part of me, the kid that’s loved this since a child, that always wants to do something for myself. I don’t want to be the only one bragging, I want her bragging too. What I do is use those thoughts to motivate myself. I’m very, very patient. I know the business has different ways of things happening. I feel like patience, hard work and endurance will always push you through.
“I remember one of my favorites of all time, Macho Man [Randy Savage], would always talk about how, ‘The cream rises to the top, brother.’ It’s kind of the same thing while being on this journey. And the things she’s doing are now motivating me when it’s my time. I just use those thoughts to better prepare myself. I see the things she’s doing and know that when it is my time, not only will I do the same things but push the bar even higher.”
A unique form of support is available to partners who work together in a specialized space. It’s a non-verbal understanding of the other’s needs. Ford grounds Belair and makes her laugh. Belair reminds Ford that his humor — a gift greater than his remarkable athleticism — should not invalidate his frustrations.
“Wrestling is such a huge part of our lives,” Belair said. “To me, this is my safe space. My husband always says, ‘This is my peace here.’ If I need to vent or I need to bounce ideas off of someone, it’s going to be my husband.”
“With this business and everything changing all the time — and even life — emotions don’t have an appointment time. They just show up,” Ford added. “You can’t put a limit on what she’s able to discuss. That might be the time when it’s time for her to talk. You have to realize you’re a husband, you’re a worker, you’re a partner, you’re a friend. All those things at any given time all at the same time.”
There is an emphasis put on asking important questions during interviews. But silly prompts sometimes lead to insightful answers. Even when asked something as harmless as, “Who has the better eyebrows: Ford or Dwayne Johnson,” Belair’s devotion to her husband is unwavering.
“I gotta go with my husband. He’s my husband!” Belair exclaimed. “He’s got some nice ones.”
“My eyebrows are thick too,” Ford added. “The Rock’s are nice and shaped up though.”
Love and laughter are abundant when speaking with the couple. Those qualities will be crucial as Belair and Ford hope to succeed at the Royal Rumble this Saturday. The Road to WrestleMania 40 isn’t clear but cutting through the fog is easier together.
Hulu’s “Love & WWE: Bianca and Montez” premieres on Feb. 2 with all eight episodes available to stream.