AEW Tag Team Champions Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler of FTR were on the AEW Unrestricted podcast to celebrate AEW’s one-year anniversary. Harwood called winning the tag team titles at All Out the biggest milestone of their careers, and he explained their goals in AEW.
“I feel being the AEW Tag Team Champions is probably the milestone of our career and probably the most important victory of our career only because we bet on ourselves, and we want to make tag team wrestling mean something. And we want to the division revolve around a championship,” Harwood expressed. “I feel like sometimes, championships and the belts get watered down and muddied, but we want to make this championship mean something.
“That’s why we came up with the 20-minute ‘Brush with Greatness’, so we can have matches on television. And now, we make the championships mean something by making the rules and building the rules for ourselves. 20-minute time limit – you get to see the championship defended on TV on a weekly basis, but you only got 20 minutes to do it. So, it makes the championships even more important.”
FTR have been outspoken for their love of old-school tag team wrestling. Harwood said that they’ve seen wrestlers like Arn Anderson and Ric Flair be unselfish in the ring, and that is the philosophy that they have adopted in AEW.
“We saw guys like Arn, Bobby Eaton, Barry Windham, Flair – all these guys who are so unselfish in the ring, and that’s what we want to do,” Harwood said. “We want to be completely unselfish in the ring and take the guys that we’re working, whether it’s a Private Party, or Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy, or TH2, we want to take these guys and elevate their game, because if we can elevate their game, our stock rises within. And then, AEW’s stock as a whole rises, and that’s what we want to do. We want to make our own impact, but at the same time, we want to make our own impact within AEW’s impact.”
FTR have not been with AEW during it’s entire year but they’ve still had many memorable matches since their debut. Harwood talked about how emotional their All Out match was, and named some of his favorite matches of theirs so far.
“Obviously, winning the tag team championships was very emotional to us. We couldn’t get emotional when it happened because the humidity, and the heat, and going 35 minutes. I don’t know how I survived,” Harwood admitted. “It took me four days to get over that match. That’s no exaggeration.
“We were sitting in the hotel and I just could not move for three or four days, but once myself and Cash got back to our hotel, he bought a six-pack of Blue Moon, and we shared that. It was very emotional for us because we got to sit there and talk, and say, ‘man, we made it. We did it on our own,’ and so, that match with Hangman and Kenny Omega, that was very emotional. But also the match with Butcher and Blade because those guys, before we got here, they were great talents.
“They still are great talents, but they hadn’t found their footing, and then we had that match with those guys. And I think it showed the audience what they could actually do, and now they’re on TV on a weekly basis. So, I’m very, very proud of that.
Harwood continued naming his favorite matches of theirs. He highlighted their match against Jurassic Express, noting that after that match, people started caring more about Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus.
“I’m very proud of the most recent match we had with with SCU because we put it all out there, but maybe overall, Jurassic Express, because regardless of how they feel about us backstage, regardless of how they feel about our style backstage — I said it in an interview and I meant it, we were going to make people care about them,” Harwood expressed. “I didn’t care if they cared about their athleticism and the cool moves they could do.
“Even just for that one moment, that 15-minute moment, we were going to make people, the audience, care about them, and I feel like from the response we got from Twitter, people actually cared about them as they understood that Luchasaurus was the big buddy, the big brother. And they understood that Jack Perry was this good looking babyface who they could feel for, and that’s what we wanted to make them feel.”
Harwood revealed that he got a text message from Anderson after that match. Anderson praised FTR for helping out Jungle Boy by making “people give a s–t about him.”
“Also, getting a text message from Arn Anderson that night and telling me how great — I’m getting emotional thinking about it right now — how great the tag team match was, and how we did a favor for Jungle Boy because we made the people give a s–t about him, basically,” Harwood revealed. “And things like that are things I’ll never forget and things I live this business for.”
Wheeler admitted that it’s hard to choose a favorite match of theirs because they’re still new to AEW compared to other talent that have been with the company since it started. He noted that they do not have live events to get their reps in with some of the tag teams that they’ve never worked with before. He also said that ever since they’ve aligned themselves with Tully Blanchard, they’ve started hitting their stride.
“It’s hard for me to choose a favorite match that we’ve had so far because I feel like every match we’ve had, we’ve kind of got our footing a little bit more. Obviously, made a big jump coming over to AEW and we didn’t really know a lot of the tag teams,” Wheeler noted. “We haven’t ever worked with any of them before, so every time we step in the ring with any of these teams, it’s been the first.
“And that’s different because normally, we would do live events, and we’d get some reps with guys, and kind of get a feel for the chemistry, and how to work around their style. And we never had that opportunity here. But like Dax said, working with Butcher and Blade, I felt we were able to help them figure out their style, and it also helped us out. And then every time we’ve stepped in the ring since then, especially since we’ve gotten with Tully, I feel like we’re just now hitting our stride.
“Like he said, the Jurassic Express match might have been my favorite, but I really enjoyed the Private Party match too, and then this SCU match. I mean the SCU match is probably my favorite right now just because I loved the pace we all kept, the intricacies, and the teamwork. We didn’t compromise either of our styles. We stayed true to who we all four are, and I just really enjoyed how it flowed.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.