Facts About FTR That Only Hardcore Fans Know

Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood, better known as FTR, have had themselves a rollercoaster of a career since debuting as a team in 2014. Starting in WWE's developmental territory, NXT, they quickly gained popularity as The Revival for their old-school "no flips, just fists" style. The name, "The Revival," was supposed to indicate to fans that Wheeler and Harwood were in WWE to "revive" classic tag team wrestling. They did just that by winning not only the NXT Tag Team Championships, but the "Raw" and "SmackDown" Tag Team Championships as well.

Wheeler and Harwood would eventually leave WWE and become known as FTR in All Elite Wrestling. The team has been on the forefront of tag team wrestling for AEW since their debut. Once jumping ship, FTR found themselves winning tag team gold outside of the United States, capturing the AAA Tag Team Championships in 2021, and later the IWGP Tag Team Championships in 2022. Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood's short career has had its fair share of bumps in the road, but there were also many times when FTR found themselves on the mountain top.

Dusty Rhodes created the team in NXT

Before FTR was known by those three simple letters, Dax Hardwood and Cash Wheeler were The Revival in NXT. Cash Wheeler, known as Dash Wilder in NXT, had previously been in a tag team with Garrett Dylan. The team did not gain much traction and Wheeler later suffered a torn ACL, breaking up the team for good. When Wheeler returned, him and Dax Hardwood, then known as Scott Dawson, formed The Revival with the help of wrestling legend, Dusty Rhodes in 2014. In an interview on "Talk is Jericho," Wheeler mentioned that Dusty was a huge supporter of their tag team and Wheeler believes the team would have disbanded without this unwavering support.

Dusty gave The Revival some strong pieces of advice when they first formed as a team. Cash Wheeler remembers that after their first promo class, Dusty told them to spend a lot of time together and "become shadows" of one another. Cash Wheeler reminisced about a pep talk that Dusty Rhodes had given The Revival in the early days of NXT. "The way you guys work, look, and talk," Dusty said, "you're gonna have to work harder than anybody else to get where you wanna go. But I know you can do it." Wheeler revealed that this line still sticks with the team today.

Why the Ucey Hot storyline was so cold

After FTR debuted in NXT, they found success within the brand winning the NXT Tag Team Championships twice, before moving up to the main roster in 2017. FTR found similar tag team championship success on the red and blue brands by capturing the "Raw" and "SmackDown" Tag Team Championships. However, as their career moved closer to 2020, the team began to devolve into a comedy tag team where they were the butt of all the jokes. The pinnacle of this was their rivalry with The Usos in 2019.

The storyline consisted of The Usos sneaking into The Revival's locker room to reveal that Cash Wheeler shaves Dax Harwood's back after a shower and the introduction of "Ucey Hot" a week later. The "Ucey Hot" segment involved The Usos putting their brand of vapor rub into the trunks of The Revival before their match with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. "Ucey Hot" was activated by sweat, causing The Revival to drag their behind around ringside like a dog with worms. Some fans saw this segment as disrespectful to what The Revival had accomplished up to this point. 

In an interview with talkSPORT, Wheeler mentioned why he felt they were put into this storyline: "I think the lack of focus on the tag team division causes long-term storylines to not happen a lot." This lack of focus on tag team wrestling eventually made FTR leave WWE in 2020.

Triple H tried to bring FTR back to NXT before they were released

In April of 2020, FTR was granted their release from WWE after growing frustrations with the direction of tag team wrestling in the company. FTR started to get pulled from their main roster booking and they knew that their time with WWE was reaching the end of the line. Triple H was aware of FTR's frustrations over creative decisions in the tag team division and he knew that FTR was vital talent to the brand. He offered FTR another spot on the NXT roster, which FTR had a hard time shutting down because of their love for the NXT brand.

In an interview with talkSPORT, Dax Hardwood says all the interactions before their release were "all professional and all respectful," but FTR knew the writing was on the wall for their WWE careers. They knew regardless of where they went in the company, they would eventually just become "cogs in the machine" once again. FTR knew they were destined for greater things in the world of tag team wrestling.

Vince McMahon openly apologized to FTR

In addition to FTR having problems with the direction of tag team wrestling in WWE, they also felt that the chain of communication in the company was broken. On an episode of "Excuse Me: The Vickie Guerrero Show," FTR talked about their frustrations with WWE's line of communication. Vickie Guerrero, who worked for WWE for years, even chimed in on this problem: "Everyone wants to get Vince their ideas, and you have to go through so many people to get to that one person, which can be nearly impossible."

Dax Harwood agreed with her feedback and mentioned that the man at the top of the communication pyramid at the time, Vince McMahon, even agreed with the frustrating process of pitching an idea. "In our very last meeting with Vince," said Harwood, "he actually apologized to us, because the system was broken. And the crazy thing is, Vince wants to hear those ideas, whether he wants to use them or not. Just like everyone, he wants to hear those ideas." Unfortunately, nothing changed, and FTR was happy they had made the decision to move on from WWE. 

FTR made Bayley and Sasha Banks fall in love with tag team wrestling

Bayley and Sasha Banks were the inaugural Women's Tag Team Champions in 2018, and had a successful run as a tag team. Sasha and Bayley heavily credit the success of their tag team to the help of FTR. On an episode of "Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette," Bayley admitted that at first, her and Sasha didn't quite have the ring psychology of tag team wrestling down. She went on to say that her and Sasha would sit down and study FTR matches and eventually fell in love with the in-ring psychology that a tag team must possess in order to be successful.

In addition, FTR recommended matches for them to watch and point out specific details of what made the audience pop and get deeper into the match. Dax and Cash had a deep understanding of tag team wrestling and Bayley and Sasha Banks were the perfect students. Bayley summarized her learning sessions with FTR by saying, "All the passion that they have for tag team wrestling, it made us want to make them proud, too." All this guidance led to Bayley and Sasha being named "Tag Team of the Year" in 2020 by Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Fittingly enough, FTR was the runner up to claim that accolade.

They were sued over their original post-WWE name

Immediately after leaving the WWE, FTR was looking to rebrand themselves elsewhere. They started by filing trademarks, one of which was "Fear The Revolt." With this trademark filed, they began to hype the next chapter in their career using this newly coined phrase. FTR, which once stood for "Fear The Revival," was predicted to now go by the name "Fear The Revolt." Regardless of whether that was the plan or not, it never came to fruition due to two independent wrestlers by the names of Caleb Konley and Zane Riley.

Konley and Riley had been wrestling under the tag team name "The Revolt" for several years on the North Carolina independent wrestling circuit. The legal representation for Konley and Riley stated in the Cease-and-Desist lawsuit that, "Dax and Cash may enjoy playing heels, but this is not the ring ... They cannot steal their former friends' intellectual property without consequence." Wheeler and Harwood's legal representation claimed that FTR had tried to work out a deal with The Revolt, but nothing went forward. Dax Harwood took to Twitter to rebuke the claims saying, "We were only EVER going to go by FTR. FTR is and always will be our name. All you had to do was ask, instead of assuming."

The meaning behind the letters FTR

FTR entered AEW under that name. The letters F.T.R. have stood for various things over the years, but one of the most popular meanings started thanks to the Young Bucks and Cody Rhodes. 

In 2017, FTR, who at the time were still wrestling for WWE, engaged in some chummy Twitter banter with The Young Bucks over who the best tag team in the world was. Cody Rhodes, who was a few years away from finding himself as an EVP for AEW, couldn't help himself, but to chime in on the conversation.

Rhodes tweeted, "F*** the Revival," in response to who he thought the best tag team in wrestling was, which gained a lot of traction around the internet wrestling community. This expanded in popularity after Cody used the phrase multiple times on "Being The Elite." After Cody's tweet, #FTR became a trending term as others speculated what the "F" stood for. FTR themselves have chimed in saying that the letters can change in meaning depending on the situation. After their AEW debut, Cash Wheeler fueled the speculation by tweeting, "Fear The Revolt — F**k The Rest — For The Revolution."

FTR almost got physical with a WWE producer

It is no secret that FTR had their frustrations with WWE management during their time in the company. However, things almost got physical between FTR and a WWE producer during a live event in the Greensboro Coliseum. While on the "Elite POV" podcast, FTR recalled a time where they got so heated with a WWE producer that they almost "beat the s**t out of him." In the interview, Dax revealed that Cash was the half of the tag team that loses his temper the quickest. Something happened between the producer and Cash Wheeler that got him so heated he asked for Dax's help on giving the producer a beating. 

Dax agreed and FTR waited for the producer to be done filming an upcoming segment. The team waited and waited, but filming went on for so long that the team cooled down and thought differently. FTR went on to say that the producer knew they were coming for him. Harwood added that he believes the producer was "trying to stay as busy as possible" knowing that FTR wanted "to kill him." Cooler heads prevailed, but if they hadn't, FTR's exiting from WWE may have come a lot sooner.

FTR teamed with Ricky Steamboat at a Big Time Wrestling event

Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat is one of the pillars that helped revolutionize wrestling in the '70s and '80s. He was a wrestler ahead of his time and is respected by many in the wrestling business. Ricky Steamboat returned to a wrestling ring after an over 10 year hiatus on November 27, 2022 at Big Time Wrestling's "Return of the Dragon" event. In an interview with Wrestling Inc.'s Senior News Editor Nick Hausman, The Dragon mentioned that there were talks about this return match and potential partners long before the match happened. At the time of the initial talks, FTR were on a heel run and this did not mesh with the over-the-top babyface persona of Steamboat.

As Ricky's return match started to become a reality, AEW had turned FTR babyface. Steamboat thought this was the perfect duo to team up with since FTR had been in WWE when The Dragon was a trainer there. Steamboat remembered taking a liking to FTR because he felt they had a good sense of the business and had grown a lot as a team since their training days. FTR and Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat were a perfect foil to the team of Jay Lethal, Brock Anderson, and Nick Aldis. Steamboat won his return match alongside FTR with stereo Figure Four Leg Locks.

Their feeling on what the biggest missing piece of modern wrestling is

FTR takes the art of tag team wrestling very seriously. They study in-ring action and are always trying to improve their ring psychology. However, Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood feel like their is a major element missing from modern professional wrestling. While on an episode of "Culture State," FTR discussed this missing piece in relation to their matches with The Briscoes. Harwood points out that in their matches with The Briscoes, it is less about the big moves and more about the selling. He mentions that people don't leave remembering a big suplex spot, but rather the feeling they got from the match.

Dax talked more specifically: "That's what's missing in wrestling, is the emotion. My wife will watch when I'm on. She has no idea what a 450 feels like, or a Shooting Star Press, or even a Snapmare, you know? She doesn't know what those feel like, but she knows what sadness feels like, and frustration, and happiness ... So when you can make people feel that then you've got them, and that's when it becomes a classic." FTR continues to live up to their "no flips, just fists" persona that started in WWE, stealing the show and making the audience feel the emotion around the world.

FTR needed extra security detail after winning the AAA Tag Titles from the Lucha Brothers

FTR added international flair to their title collection when they won the AAA tag titles on an episode of AEW "Dynamite." The team dressed up in whacky "lucha inspired" attire and called themselves "The Super Frogs." The Super Frogs were clearly a parody of Lucha Libre style wrestling, but the team picked up the victory and the titles from some of the best luchadores in the world, The Lucha Brothers. This blatant disrespect enraged Mexican wrestling fans and, although FTR had won the titles in the United States, it was only a matter of time before they would have to defend them in AAA.

On an episode of the "Elite POV" Podcast, FTR talked about the feeling when they went to Mexico to defend the AAA Tag Titles for the first time. Wheeler and Harwood described that it felt "like the territory days" to them. They were in a foreign area and were defending championships that they had stolen from the hometown heroes. Dax Harwood also discussed the need to buff up security for their arrival, because "they literally wanted to kill us. They had to have every security guard they had on site as well as every policeman they had on site to escort us back to our locker room because the people hated us so much. I think that was the best part of wrestling internationally."

FTR's relationship with Edge

Edge made a huge return in 2020 at the Royal Rumble. He looked in-ring ready and showed very little ring rest during the Royal Rumble and his time in the ring after. FTR were the engines behind helping Edge get ready for this shocking return. On an episode of "The Sessions with Renee Paquette Podcast," FTR talked about his long time friendship with Edge. FTR says Edge called them to help train him back into ring shape because Edge knew they wouldn't "take it easy" on him. FTR was honored by this and said that, although Edge is a friend, they still view him as a hero.

Edge sneakily acknowledged his friendship with FTR during a storyline with Seth Rollins. In the storyline, Rollins broke into Edge's house. Edge called his wife, Beth Phoenix, and told her to go to her brother's house for safety. On the phone call, Phoenix told Edge that "Daniel and David" were coming to their home. This was a reference to Daniel Wheeler and David Harwood, better known as Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood in AEW. This subtle Easter egg is also one of the few times AEW talent have been nodded at on WWE programming.

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