One half of current NXT Tag Team Champions Street Profits, Montez Ford recently spoke on the Not Sam Wrestling Podcast about the beginning stages of his wrestling career and how it took form into what fans now know as the current tag team Street Profits.
Firstly, Ford dialed his past back by giving background on what he was doing prior to NXT. Ford spoke about his transition from the Marines to professional wrestling.
"So, from 2008 to 2012, I was in the United States Marine Corps and afterwards I moved towards the south a little bit and worked for this plastic shipping department working twelve hour shifts," Ford recalled. "Afterwards, I was thinking how this a rough, extreme job. It's not really doing too much for me here. I don't think I can advance enough to be able to take care of my kids. It became a culture shock because the military is structure-based and everything is timed, deadline, whatever, you have to be efficient because everything is timed. Then you get to the civilian world and everything is slower. People aren't moving as fast; it's pretty much, you have to go. That is what lead me to obtain my dream which is WWE/NXT. I had worked in the plastic factory for a couple of months and eventually I went back to this government website where you can submit your resume and they help you get government jobs from your past experience. I actually got a contracting job in San Diego.
"I had already gotten my tryout with the WWE in 2013 but at the same time, they said I had spoken well, but they said to 'just keep sending us emails, pictures, and eventually we will try and get you another opportunity'. On the process of that, I did the contraction job in San Diego, I kept hitting up the HR department and just kept hitting them up, hitting them up, sending them emails of pictures and videos and showing my progress. I remember gaining forty pounds of muscle from the last time I was there until the second time I was out there, and second time I went out there I had the tryout and here we are.
"I am strictly working doing some classes through school because with the military you have GI Bill where you can take classes, so while I was working I was trying to obtain my degree in Criminal Justice on the side, I wasn't wrestling on the weekends. The only wrestling experience I had was with NXT. The only wrestling experience was watching it every chance I had."
Since developing through NXT and becoming a Tag Team Champion, Ford first had to discover and sculpt his character. Ford shared how he was paired with Angelo Dawkins and how the two molded their team into a championship caliber unit.
"The whole Street Profits act, it's crazy how it started," Ford said. "It was a taping where I think I had ironically I went against Steve Cutler on the same tapings that Angelo Dawkins went against No Way Jose. At the time, a couple of people came to us with the idea of us being a tag team. We started tagging in the Florida shows and just trying to get a groove of: 'What do we want to present to the world?' We already know who we are but it is just a process of putting me and Dawkins together and who we are as people and trying to translate it into professional wrestling. I think the art of NXT is putting your personalities through what we do in the ring. Just putting the personalities on board and trying to understand what we are trying to bring into the world. Once we had the tapings, a couple of ideas of putting us together and we ended up meshing together.
"Everything that has been put together as far as Street Profits is Dawkins and I just bouncing ideas off of each other and doing things while we are out there. Like I said, having the staff and everyone having us find different ways of doing our acts and performing and making sure the audience is captivated by it and understands it. Everything is a flow and I just want to thank everyone that has helped us along the way and getting the flow of who we are because our culture is different. Everyone out there that is performing has a different culture and a different way of expressing themselves and it just seems like we are a t the point now where everyone can understand it.
"We don't want it where there will be people to not understand us or that we are being too offensive. We are just going out there and being expressive. There are a lot of things now that are being misunderstood, whether for the wrong or right reasons. Our thing is just constantly just trying to get people to understand that this is what we do and if it does get to the point where we say, 'Oh, if they don't understand then forget them.' No, we want to be able to communicate with everybody and that is the beauty of it. To bring everybody in."
Street Profits defeated three other NXT Tag Teams in a wild ladder match to win their first NXT Tag Team Championship at NXT TakeOver 25 earlier this month.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Not Sam Wrestling Podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.