Exclusive interview: Stirring it up with The Street Profits
They may be new to NXT’s Tag Team division, but they’re hard to miss once you catch them. With overflowing charisma and unbound energy, we introduce you to The Street Profits. On one side is Angelo Dawkins, a three-sport national champion collegiate athlete in football, wrestling and track. His partner? A former United States Marine and record-setting track athlete named Montez Ford. Both sat with WWE.com to talk about their team name, their intentions and their bond.
WWE.COM: Describe to the NXT Universe exactly who The Street Profits are.
MONTEZ FORD: The Street Profits are for the culture. Dawkins and I represent everything now and current. We are two men with similar backgrounds who have faced hardship and troubled upbringings at times because of the environment that we lived in. We are just showing people that we made it. We’re also trying to spread the message that with hard work, direction and perseverance, you can make it, just like us.
WWE.COM: Your partner knows all about perseverance. Dawkins, you’ve seen a lot in NXT over the last five years. What drew you to a partnership with Montez Ford?
ANGELO DAWKINS: Well Tez [Montez] and I already knew each other before he came to NXT. Tez is from Chicago, and I went to Harper College, which is near Chicago, so we have always had that chemistry right off the bat. Me being at NXT for a while and him still being fairly new led to us talking about teaming up and seeing how this move would be super beneficial for us both. That’s how we decided to start teaming.
WWE.COM: I understand your partnership also came to be following a nearly career-ending injury for Montez a little over a year ago.
FORD: I really don't remember the night very much at all, but I was told I performed a body slam and after I did the body slam, I did a weird collapse straight to the ground. Then, I crawled to the outside apron to attempt a springboard 450, but I wasn't moving smoothly, and made a long gaze inside of the ring. I next tried to springboard, but lost my footing and landed straight on the back of my head. I believe I was already concussed when I collapsed after the body slam. I believe I knew I had to finish the match, but just capped myself off by landing on the back of my head. I was transported by a medical helicopter because I wasn't responding to any of the tests the trainers were performing and lost feeling from my shoulders down. My hands, arms, legs, nothing was moving. The incident happened at a reported 7:45 p.m., and I didn't respond until almost 1 a.m. The concussion put me out of work for over three months.
WWE.COM: Your NXT tenure hasn’t been as long as Dawkins’, but how did your background prepare you to join the sports-entertainment world and get acclimated quickly?
FORD: My mom and my sister were always strict and kept me on my toes. They always were on me, from my school work to my safety. Growing up on the south side of Chicago, all the way to Anson County, N.C., I've literally seen it all. My mom, my sister and I have all been through a lot together, from the death of my sister, Kenesha, to the passing of my grandmother, Eula. There was even a point of time when my mom got hurt from her job and got laid off. There were not a lot of funds coming through the house. We had no power throughout winters, and my mom wasn't getting any help from her ex-husband. I would go to Wal-Mart, make mix CDs for everyone and sell them at school. I would also volunteer around the neighborhood to either cut grass or perform maintenance duties, just to help my mom. This was all the last two years of my high school era. I joined the Marine Corps and served from 2008-2012 and also had all three of my children by 2012, so I had to learn the balance between pursuing a career and being a father. I've learned, lost and experienced so much at a young age, and I don't regret anything in the past because it's shaped me into the man I am today, and I thank God for everything.
WWE.COM: Both of you bring a unique, infectious energy to the ring. What do you like to do for fun away from the ring?
DAWKINS: We just like to sit back and chill. We could be watching football, basketball, going out with friends, etc. Tez likes to shop a lot, but me on the other hand, I like to stay home and play my PS4. I'm a big fan of taking naps as well.
FORD: We will also find a reason to celebrate anything. It could be his neighbor's best friend's dog's breeder's wedding planner's anniversary and we would go out and celebrate that. We try to celebrate everything 'cause there was a time when we didn't have everything, so now is that time to celebrate.
WWE.COM: What should people take away from the in-ring style of The Street Profits?
FORD: One thing they should take away is our unpredictability. No one, including us, knows what we are going to do next. Just like both of our backgrounds, we've had to adjust and find a way to make it and survive along the way. Our in-ring style is no different.
DAWKINS: Swag family. I mean it says it in our song. By swag, I mean our personalities and the way we present ourselves, which is different from any other team in NXT. People should also take away that our future is all about winning championships, or as I like to call it, the chip. We want that big gold to wrap around our waists.