These days, it’s hard to fill three hours of (mostly) live programming every week. WWE’s “Raw” has turned to its rookie tag team champions, the Street Profits, led by the charismatic Montez Ford, to keep audiences engaged for 180 minutes each Monday.
Viewers’ (red, plastic) cups have runneth over as former U.S. marine Ford (real name Kenneth Crawford) runs his mouth and frog splashes opponents from heights air traffic controllers generally monitor.
While he and pro-wrestling partner Angelo Dawkins continue to dish out L’s in the ring, they’re also being used these days in comedic vignettes with rival tag team The Viking Raiders. To date, the two squads have competed outside the squared circle in basketball and golf. Tonight, they’ll head to the bowling alley.
TheWrap chatted with Ford (‘Tez is pictured above, left) last week, before he traded in his kicks for gross rental shoes. Read a portion of our Q&A below.
TheWrap: Do I *want* the smoke?
Montez Ford: Of course you do, man. So the thing about wanting the smoke is it’s a way of life. It’s a terminology that is, like, pretty much when I start my day, it’s a brand-new day. I’m blessed that it’s a brand-new day that I haven’t seen before. And we want the smoke is pretty much asking, whatever happens that day, whether you got to pay a bill, whether you got to go to work, whether you got a really hard CrossFit workout, whether it’s a deadline you gotta meet, whether it’s a board you have to go on, or a competition, or anything you have to do in which you have to excel, we want to smoke it like, alright just bring it. It’s another way of saying bring whatever has coming to me. You know?
TW: What do you bowl?
MF: On a good day, maybe a 110, maybe a 120, if I’m being generous… I was looking at the score sheets up there and they have people up there getting 300s, bowling 237s, bowling 210s. And I’m like, hold up, wait a minute, you mean to tell me I’m below the damn average? So going into bowling is going to be one of them things where I’m going to have to get my wrist extremely taped up, make sure it’s suitably placed so I can throw it straight down the aisle. But bowling is tricky though, too. Bowling is one of those sports where I feel like you have no mistake, from taking the ball and throwing it down the lane, it’s like really no mistakes. Because if your wrist is off one bit, then the ball shifts and it’s a gutter ball and that’s it. So we have no room for error upcoming this week when it comes to bowling.
TW: When is it time for a tag team to split up?
MF: That’s a good question. When is the right time for a tag team… I think when one of the individuals starts feeling themselves. I think when one of them starts feeling themselves and the other individual is going like, ‘You know what? I’m better than this guy. I’m way better than this guy. I’m sick of this guy. He’s late. He doesn’t try to do anything. He doesn’t work. He’s not trying to be No. 1. He’s not trying to be champion. He’s not trying to be on TV Guide, TheWrap. He’s not trying to have interviews at 2:30 in the afternoon. He’s not trying to be No. 1 in the press. He’s not trying to be God. He’s not trying to do anything.’ I think that’s when it starts coming to the point where it’s like, OK, when one of the guys feel like they have accessed me, if they have got to trim the fat, then I think that’s when it’s like OK. When other guys feeling themselves, when the egos start showing up, I think that’s when it’s time to cut the cord. But right now there’s no egos, ‘case [Angelo] Dawkins is a pretty hefty guy, so I can’t really defend too many of the big guys when it comes to like some type of in-ring competition. So he’s probably gonna be around me for a long time.
“Raw” airs Mondays at 8/7c on USA Network.