The WWE SmackDown tag team champion Street Profits were recently interviewed by Sports Illustrated to talk all things pro-wrestling, including their move from Raw to SmacKDown and their planned Survivor Series showdown against the New Day. Highlights are below.
How much respect they have for the New Day:
Montez Ford: Those three individuals paved the way and gave us something to look up to and aspire toward. They’re three similar people with similar cultural upbringings, and we have so much respect for the way they continue to reinvent themselves. They made their mark and continue to do amazing work in this industry. To see guys who look like us and act like us, that is so cool to see. Look at the mark in history they’ve made. That makes us want to do the exact same thing, and more.
Angelo Dawkins: I look up to them for a lot of reasons. When I first started, Xavier Woods was the guy who took me under his wing. He taught me the ways of going about being a professional. Watching all three of them, the way they carry themselves professionally, the way they compete, and the manner they take all obstacles head on. I was really laughing about the impression they did of us this past Monday. I was laughing the whole time. Kofi had me down to a T. One of our first backstage interviews on Raw, we were in Toronto, and that was where I’d partied a little too much with Ric Flair. I ended up having to chug a whole gallon of water, and I was pretty much asleep the entire time backstage, so hearing Kofi say ‘Fam’ every other word like I normally do, and falling asleep in between, and then Woods saying, ‘You can’t go full Dawkins!’, that was really good. I can’t wait for our rebuttal on SmackDown.
On Big E not being involved in their scheduled Survivor Series showdown:
Angelo Dawkins: That would have been fun, but I have a feeling Big E will still be there. He’ll be rooting for his boys, and we’re on the same brand as him. After the match, it’s going to be all love. We’ve got nothing but love and respect for one another. They set the bar, and we’re just trying to get to that level.
Montez Ford: Right now, Big E’s doing his thing, but I would not be surprised to see him ringside. We’ll see if he’s crazy enough to get involved. In some form or fashion, I think he’ll be there.
What this matchup will do for their careers:
Montez Ford: This is a chance to show we belong. We’re going to be in there with two superstars. Kofi is a former world champion. The fact that we’re in there with two men we look up to, sharing a stage as historic as Survivor Series, this is our opportunity to make our mark and show that we belong.
Angelo Dawkins: We’ve had success in WWE, but we know we’re the underdogs here. New Day has so much experience in these situations. They know how to make the most of it, and they’ve been carrying the torch of the tag division for the last several years. Me and Tez want to be in that category of tag teams—New Day, Dudley Boyz, Harlem Heat, Hardys, the Usos—we want to be in that discussion.
On their move to SmackDown:
Montez Ford: It was a shock to us. But we’ve been around this business long enough to know our history. Ted DiBiase became the world champion after paying off Andre the Giant to pin Hulk Hogan. That’s an all-time moment, we still remember it. For us and New Day, the way we did it, it made sense. It’s a great way to have us face each other at Survivor Series.
Angelo Dawkins: My first initial thought was we were headed for a match. New Day got drafted to Raw on Friday, and we were drafted to SmackDown a few days later. I thought we were going to wrestle them for the SmackDown tag Titles, and then they’d wrestle us for the Raw tag Titles. I thought we were going to wrestle twice, and I would have been down for it.
Wrestling without a crowd:
Montez Ford: We still want to grab your attention. Under the conditions we’re in, this is the safest and best way to entertain the fans. And it extends farther than TV. Maybe someone won’t see us on Raw or SmackDown, but they can still connect with us on social media. We want to be a constant form of entertainment.
Angelo Dawkins: We just came up to Raw last year, so it worked to our advantage because we were already spending every day at the Performance Center. That was part of our normal daily grind and working shows at the PC felt like being at home. I’ve been there since that place opened, so it felt good to me. But don’t get me wrong, I miss the crowd. That adrenaline, you can’t get it anywhere else. You can’t practice or prep for that kind of adrenaline, you just need to go out there and feel it.
What a difference Paul Heyman has made on their careers:
Angelo Dawkins: Paul made the biggest difference by offering these simple words, ‘Just be you.’ He wanted us to do exactly what we were doing and be ourselves. As soon as he said that, we just took it and ran with it. Paul put a lot of trust in us. I thank him dearly for that. Paul is the reason we ended up on Raw. He’s the catalyst for why we’re in the position we’re in right now. He saw us putting in work at the PC, and Paul said, ‘I want those guys.’ And when he felt like we weren’t being ourselves, he let us know right off the bat. Luckily it only happened once, but we always took the advice that he gave us. He trusted us, gave us a platform, and we’ve been executing on it ever since.
Montez Ford: To piggyback off what Dawk said, Paul was very determined to make sure we were being ourselves. He felt that was the best way to succeed, and he had faith and trusted in us to do what we needed to do. That spoke volumes to us. He was the pivotal point in our transition from NXT. I thank God for Paul.
Whether they’ll ever have a singles run:
Angelo Dawkins: The plan is to remain a team. If singles runs happen, we’ll be there to support one another. I’ll support Tez and I’m sure he’ll support me, but the main goal for us right now is to raise up into the upper echelon of the tag team division.
Montez Ford: If that ever happens, I feel like it will be a similar scenario to the New Day. They’re in support of Big E in his singles run. I want people I love and care about to succeed, whether it’s Dawkins going solo or seeing my wife be successful, I want to see that happen whether we’re together or whether we’re solo.