Bianca and Montez: A Love Story for The Culture

With the Hulu debut of Love & WWE: Bianca and Montez, viewers and fans got an inside look at the lives of the EST of WWE and decorated tag team specialist as husband and wife. Throughout eight episodes, Belair and Ford proved that as long as they have each other, the world is theirs to conquer.

2023 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals
2023 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals / Jamie McCarthy/GettyImages

In 1991, wrestling fans were highly invested in the on-again, off-again love story of the late "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth. Having endured a separation after Randy's controlling nature took over, they finally reunited at Wrestlemania 7 after Savage lost his retirement match to The Ultimate Warrior. The audience cheered and cried tears of joy as Randy lifted Elizabeth on his shoulder and claimed her as his lady love. 30 years later at Wrestlemania 37, a similar picture took place as Grand Slam Tag Team Champion Montez Ford ran out to celebrate his wife Bianca Belair winning the SmackDown Women's Championship in the first Black woman-led main event with Mercedes Moné (FKA Sasha Banks). He ran to the ring, slid under the ropes, and lifted Belair on his shoulders with pride.

Their marriage is a beautiful representation of what it means to have a healthy love match and it is on full display in their Hulu reality series Love & WWE: Bianca and Montez. The show beautifully bridges the gap between wrestling's passionate fanbase and newcomers by inviting them into their vibrant relationships and careers in WWE. Let's explore how this show encompasses the joy of Black love while inviting people into the world of wrestling through their eyes.

Welcoming Reality Show Fans and Newcomers into the Wrestling World

A common theme throughout Love and WWE is the introduction involving fans asking questions about their lives and careers. Ford and Belair would then go on to answer a few of them with their opening monologue. As they were on their different paths to Wrestlemania in 2023, they explained the various assignments, appearances, and premium live events they had to participate in and how it could propel them into the Mania scene. This format felt warm and welcoming in so many ways. Imagine turning on a show that feeds into another universe that you may not know about and you feel lost. Love and WWE solved this problem by using their diehard fans, the couple themselves, and their past content to help new viewers understand the ins and outs of WWE. Casual fans or reality television fans might have heard about Wrestlemania in passing, but they may not know that the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber PLEs are key elements on the path to the Grandest Stage of Them All.

Bianca and Montez put a bow on it by expressing their hopes as to where their matches and challenges could take them. For example, Montez told the audience that his dream was to be a WWE Champion and how a great showing at Elimination Chamber could be the catalyst for his solo career outside of the Street Profits. With a formula like that, this could invite new fans into the wrestling fold and may give birth to new athletes who may want to pursue wrestling as a career. Love and WWE has the effect of Total Divas and Bellas, but with a warmer approach that makes it stand out among other reality shows.

Highlights Relatable Relationship Ups and Downs

At first glance, Bianca Belair and Montez Ford seem like the perfect couple. Both possess qualities that people aspire to. They are athletic, gorgeous, and living with great purpose. But Love and WWE showed that though they are successful, they have the same obstacles as any other long-term couple. During the series, Belair and Ford are bombarded with questions by family and friends about having children. While Montez is more than willing to start a family with Bianca, the EST is hesitant due to her career aspirations. The longer a couple is together, the more scrutiny they receive for not accomplishing societal expectations in a certain amount of time and they felt that pressure until Belair got advice from her lovely mother to do what was right for her. Another issue that they faced was finding personal time for each other between their differing traveling schedules.

In one episode, Montez tried to make a candlelit dinner for them, but Bianca fell asleep. How many couples have made plans to watch a show together or have private time, but fatigue from the everyday grind gets in the way? As fans of wrestling, we tend to forget that these stars who put their bodies on the line are humans just like us. Just because Bianca and Montez exude excellence does not mean that they do not have their ordinary moments. That makes them so relatable in a great way.

A Positive Love Story for The Culture

Montez Ford, Bianca Belair
Bianca Belair and Montez Ford Visit the Empire State Building... / Arturo Holmes/GettyImages

The most important contribution of Love & WWE: Bianca and Montez is the image of healthy Black love. Historically in reality shows, couples, scripted or otherwise, have a tendency to lean into toxicity in order to gain ratings. Disrespect, infidelity, commitment issues and abuse are subjects of shows such as Love and Marriage: Huntsville, the Love and Hip-Hop franchise and the like. But Bianca Belair and Montez Ford give a great example of how enriching and joyful Black love can be. They genuinely enjoy each other's company and seek to take care of each other in every way possible. When Montez had to travel to wrestle on SmackDown and he saw how sad it made Bianca, he arranged for her childhood friends to come see her and keep her occupied. Belair also expressed her love for Ford by making his gear for Elimination Chamber and openly wept as his dream to participate in Wrestlemania came into focus.

Watching them support each other, love their families, and fill in areas where the other falls short is necessary in a society that tends to highlight dysfunction. Love and WWE is a gift to Black people in and out of wrestling with its representation of romance with no trauma. These two have accomplished so much in their careers and they have each other to share it with. The Grammy-winning R&B singer/songwriter Victoria Monet once sang "How does it make you feel to be loved for real?" With Love & WWE: Bianca and Montez, we find out.