Dave Le Greca and Bully Ray welcomed FTR to the Busted Open podcast to talk about their debut on AEW and the reaction it has gotten in the AEW locker room. Dax Harwood said he was telling the truth in their Dynamite interview with Tony Schiavone where he said they were not welcomed into AEW. He talked about the resentment some members of AEW had towards them.
“Just a couple of weeks ago after our match with SCU, we got an opportunity to get on the mic and talk a little bit, and I started the interview off with, ‘we weren’t a welcome addition here in AEW.’ That was the honest-to-god truth,” Harwood recalled. “We walk into AEW, and we knew this was going to happen because we were former WWE guys. We walked into there, and there was some resentment from some of the younger guys there. I think it’s because of our attitude towards the business, our attitude towards professional wrestling, tag team wrestling and the rules.”
Harwood continued saying the backstage vibe was tense, but he and Cash Wheeler are fine with that as they enjoy the competitive nature of pro wrestling. He says the locker room can be buddy-buddy, and they don’t mind shaking up that atmosphere to achieve their and AEW’s goals.
“So the backstage vibe at first was kind of tense, and that’s OK with us,” Harwood said. “We thrive on that. We enjoy that. We enjoy the competitiveness of professional wrestling. If we’re all friends and we’re all trying to help each other out, at the end of the day, no one gets ahead, but myself and Cash, as a unit, as a tag team, we want to be the top, I don’t mean to make a pun of this, but we do want to be the top guys in AEW.
“We want to help AEW grow, and we want to help make them a contender and a viable force in professional wrestling for years to come for the fans and for the boys. So the the locker room, I think, can be, at times, a little buddy-buddy, and we can come in and shake that up a little bit. I think that’s a good thing.”
Harwood said that their in-ring debut at AEW was special to them because Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard were present. He talked about being indebted to the veterans of the pro wrestling industry and how they always try to seek advice and critiques from Anderson and Blanchard whenever they can.
“As far as Arn and Tully, I cannot accurately describe to you guys how much respect, love and admiration we have for the guys that have worked so hard that have come before us and have allowed us to make a living in professional wrestling,” Harwood stated. “I think that some people lose sight of that. The only reason we are allowed to make a great living in professional wrestling is because of guys like Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Ricky Morton, Ric Flair and then all the way up to Edge, Christian, Bully Ray and the Hardy’s.
“You guys laid the groundwork for us to make the living that we’re allowed to make, and we’re forever indebted to you. Every TVs, we are almost to the point of annoyance talking to Tully and Arn because we want to make our presentation better, but overall, we also want to make the product better. So we’re constantly talking to them, constantly asking them to critique us and the show. We’re lucky to be there. We want to shake things up, and Arn and Tully are incredible.”
Wheeler agreed with Harwood’s statements on the AEW locker room vibe. He talked about how they’re not afraid to do what best for the tag team division and AEW.
“It can be a little too buddy-buddy there,” Wheeler agreed. “We’re not trying to stab people in the back. We’re not trying to step over people. You can’t start a fire with a little friction. We’re here to start a fire. We want to shake things up. We want this place to be as hot as it can possibly be, and we know that if everybody’s too worried about hurting their friends feelings, they’re not going to be doing what’s best for the long-term goal.
“They’re just worried about hurting this guy’s feelings in the moment. So we’re not afraid to hurt some feelings. We’re afraid to step on some toes. We’re not afraid to piss some people off. If that’s what’s best for the division as a whole and what’s best for the company as a whole, we’re here to do that.”
FTR were on The Jim Cornette Experiencing a month ago, and Harwood said that no one at AEW knew except for AEW President Tony Khan who gave them the OK. Cornette has been very critical of AEW, and the fact that FTR were on his podcast, Harwood explained, made them “the biggest heels in the locker room.”
“We did Cornette’s podcast not too long,” Harwood added. “We talked to Tony Khan and asked him if it would be OK if we did that, but no one else knew about that, and man, when we got to TV the next day after that podcast aired, we were the biggest heels in the locker room.
“Everyone, even our buddy MJF, was so pissed off with us because they thought we went rogue and went on Cornette’s podcast to bury The Young Bucks and AEW. We were not a very well-liked pair in the locker room that day.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Busted Open with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.