Backstage Report On Cash Wheeler's Injury Status, FTR Losing AEW Tag Titles

Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood of FTR dropped the AEW World Tag Team Championship to Ricky Starks and Big Bill last week on "AEW Collision," to the surprise of many viewers. The match lasted just a couple of minutes, with the new champions dominating the entire time. The latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter has some additional details as to why the title change took place and why it played out the way it did.

According to Dave Meltzer, although some in the company were told that Wheeler had broken ribs, it turns out that the former champion went in for x-rays and found out his ribs were not broken. Although Wheeler would have been able to continue on as a tag champion without missing any time, Harwood came up with the idea to do the title change as a way to surprise the audience, with the intent of building to a rematch between the two teams in the near future.

Harwood's idea was to have a quick match where Wheeler gets taken out of commission early. That would leave him to have to face both Starks and Big Bill alone, and Harwood would quickly find himself overwhelmed by the pair. When the match played out on Saturday, it seems everything went according to Harwood's plan. The hope was to make the new champions come across as very strong, and now it just remains to be seen where things go from here.

Over the course of 2023, Starks has received a prominent placement within AEW. Although he's been lacking in major wins since, Starks ended his rivalry against Chris Jericho with a big win at AEW Revolution. Starks went on to feud against CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, and "Switchblade" Jay White over the last six months, forming his association with Big Bill back in August.