In WWE, we watch Superstars fly through the air, bending and twisting their bodies as they achieve extraordinary heights. They slam, kick and piledrive their way to the top. We marvel at their athleticism; we’re stunned by their bravado and moved by their words. We cheer their victories and boo their losses. Whether they are best friends, sworn enemies, brothers or married couples; they are storytellers and fighters who weave together matches steeped in physicality, psychology and sometimes humor.
For several hours a week, their goal is to become someone else and take us on a journey of escapism: Bianca Nicole Blair becomes Bianca Belair, Kenneth Crawford becomes Montez Ford. And when the show is over, they turn off their wrestling personas, the ring and lights are taken down, and it’s time to do it again in another city.
On the road for over 200 days a year, when their music hits, they are greeted by cheers around the world and are an inspiration to every fan watching. Belair and Ford are more than WWE Superstars, they are WWE icons to people, but more importantly they are each other’s backbone and support system.
The love and support they have for each other is tested the most when life doesn’t go according to plan. Injuries occurs, career paths move at different speeds, and the pressure of being the EST of it all can take a toll. But through it all, they have each other and those personal struggles are for all to see with Hulu’s WWE & Love: Bianca & Montez.
A highlight in the reality TV space, Love & WWE is a fun, exciting peek into their personal lives, starting from their ‘Road to WrestleMania. For eight episodes, viewers will watch a wild ride, as Montez continues his ascent and Bianca fights to hold on to her title. With the support of their tight knit group of friends, family and fellow superstars, the dynamic duo somehow always manages to pull off the impossible. This backstage access to WWE, puts on full display their love for each other, the business, and answers how their lifelong partnership makes them both the EST of the WWE.
In celebration of the series, The Koalition spoke to Belair and Ford to learn more about the importance of the show, how they deal with life pressures, the possibilities of motherhood and more.
“One of our main goals was just to try to be authentic and just be real. We’re so used to the camera being in our face when we are in WWE, [and] when we’re in the ring. We’re becoming these bigger [than life] characters [but] when we were home, we didn’t want to be performative, we just wanted to really show people what it’s like to be a WWE Superstar, the ins and outs. People see us in the ring wrestling for 5-10, 15-20 minutes, but they don’t see everything that it takes to get to that point. The hard work, the sacrifices, the way it affects our personal life and [we] really just [wanted to show people] wrestling is cool. [We want people to know] this is what a WWE Superstar looks like now. Wrestling is cool, marriage is cool, and really just showing [us] trying to figure it out and showing everybody how we’re doing it our way. [This show is us] inviting people in to be a witness to all of it,” said Belair.
Ford added, “I think showing the foundation of us is pretty much what the beginning show starts with, which is love. Now, we have our ups and downs just like anyone else, we have our peaks and valleys, our highs and lows. Our foundation has always been love and always will be love. One of the main components we wanted to show is you’re going to have all types of situations, events, emotions, but if you keep that foundation in love, you guys will pretty much pull through it all.”
Beginning their “Road to Wrestlemania”, the show tackles Belair defending her championship at The Royal Rumble while Ford hopes for a show stopping performance after coming back from injury. If that isn’t stressful enough, Bianca gets pressure to start a family. We follow the married couple as they balance outside activities as well Belair’s search for a higher purpose as she looks to cement her legacy. Pressures builds as Ford attempts to stand out in a crowded match and Belair faces unexpected setbacks as she adds too much to her schedule. While they may bend, they never break due to their willingness to communicate with each other.
“It’s really us just always coming to each other. We rely on each other so much, even when it comes to wrestling. We bounce ideas off each other, whether it’s a match, it’s gear, it’s our feelings, we always come together to make a decision together. Whether that’s trying to make a decision about babies, us having a child of our own. Even though I’m at the height of my career right now [what] if do we want the same thing? [What if] we don’t want the same thing? If not, how do we go about it? [We] always like communication and support. A huge theme of our marriage is support, just always being there to support each other, all the way down to the smallest details. It could be something around the house that I’m thinking about doing and I’ll come to her first, ‘Babe, you want me to put this juice in the refrigerator?’ All the way down to the smallest thing and anytime we do something, I’m always running to her first and always getting assurance from her, like ‘Hey babe was that okay?’ Just always making sure that whatever we do for or towards each other or outside that she’s comfortable with it.”
Like most WWE reality shows, family and friends are a huge part of the show and their lives. Superstars Omos, Liv Morgan and Angelo Dawkins provide much humor and grounding moments. Becky Lynch offers a sobering message about motherhood during a time of reflection. But the shining stars are their parents. Offering a laugh, a tender moment, advice or just their company; they are not just the backbone of the show but the backbone of Belair and Ford.
“We really wanted to show our parents. For me specifically, my parents have been there since the very beginning. I am where I am now because of my parents. I really wanted to include them in the show because I want them to reap all the benefits of everything they poured into me. You can’t have a show of Bianca Belair without her parents because they are so much a part of who I am. When my parents come around, a different part of my personality comes out. I just feel so at peace with them and they’re a huge part of our life. They come to all of our shows, even we’re trying to get quality time together, they’re there but that’s what’s important. It’s a huge part of who we are,” said Belair.
All episodes of Love & WWE: Bianca & Montez are streaming on Hulu. To learn more about the series, check out our full interview in the video above.