Aubrey Edwards and Tony Schiavone celebrated AEW’s one-year anniversary on the AEW Unrestricted podcast by bringing in all of AEW’s champions, including the AEW World Tag Team Champions, FTR. Recently, FTR have been under the guidance of Tully Blanchard, and Dax Harwood talked about what it is like to have Blanchard as their manager.
“It has been a very big treat, not only because he is a hero of ours, someone we’ve looked up to and obviously patterned ourselves after, but there are little things. For example, we had an interview with Tully and the interviewer asked about the about the gauntlet match and our thoughts going into the gauntlet match,” Harwood recalled. “The interviewer asked about our advantage going last. ‘We’re going to go in there and picking the bones.’ That’s the usual answer, but for Tully, he told the story of what a gauntlet match was and how after a few minutes, 10 minutes, maybe the rest [of the competitors] are starting to get going and they’re getting warmed up.
“We’re coming in cold. That’s the disadvantage, and so, just that little piece of the interview, the little piece of the promo, he told a little story and gave us some adversity to overcome in that interview. And just picking up little nuances like that is a treat for us.”
Cash Wheeler continued on Harwood’s point, talking about how they never thought of wrestling in the way Blanchard sees it. He notes that Blanchard’s knowledge is something that cannot be found anywhere else.
“Yeah, normally everybody plays up how advantageous it is to be last, and we didn’t know Tully was going to do this because this was all on the fly,” Wheeler revealed. “Tully starts talking about how it’s a disadvantage to us a little bit because the momentum is on whoever we’re coming in against because they’re warmed up. Their momentum is just rolling. When you’re starting out, you’re cold; you got to get rolling. And we had never thought of it that way.
“So, just seeing how his mind works compared to everyone else’s and being able to pick his brain. After that, as soon as we stopped rolling, we just went off to the side with Tully and he was like, ‘Yeah. I mean, it’s something that you guys should think about – how to spin it to where it’s not just a positive for you. That it’s a bit of something for you guys to overcome,’ and that kind of knowledge is just something that you can’t find anywhere else.”
Schiavone noted that Blanchard is someone that is serious when the time calls for it, and it shows through his eyes. Harwood agreed, and said that seriousness is something that is missing in wrestling today. He also said that he has never seen someone as passionate as Blanchard, and he is not only proud to be AEW Tag Team Champions but also proud to have Blanchard alongside them.
“That’s one thing I feel like is missing in wrestling today is the seriousness, and he takes his business very seriously because back in the day, they drew their money and they made their money on how many fans they could draw,” Harwood explained. “They didn’t have time to tell jokes. They didn’t want to tell jokes because they knew or they thought that telling jokes and being funny wasn’t the way to draw people in, and so when the red light’s on, he’s ready to go and he’s ready to make that money.
“I haven’t seen too many more people in the business — and I’ve been working for 15 years now and I’ve been working on national television with a national company for over eight years combined, and I haven’t seen very many people as passionate as he is. And it’s easy; it could be easy for Tully Blanchard to be jaded because of how the business treated him after 1989, but he’s not.
“He’s ready to go, and he’s ready to make money, and he’s ready to make this work, and that’s what we’re proud of. And we’re proud of, most importantly, being the tag team champions. And we’re very proud to represent the division, but we’re even more proud that we get to do it beside Tully Blanchard and have his knowledge.”
FTR won the tag team titles at All Out, and Wheeler spoke on what being tag team champions means to them. He said that they want to leave a legacy in wrestling while also helping to elevate the other tag teams in AEW.
“Everything we’ve ever said, whether it’s on screen [or] on social media, when it comes to being the champions, we mean it,” Wheeler asserted. “It is the be-all end-all for us because at the end of the day, if you’re the champion, you make more money, you’re in higher profile matches, you’re the focus, you’re the focal point of most storylines, and the show is going to revolve around the champions almost always. That’s something we want.
“We want to be the axis that everything can revolve around. We want to be the guys that can go in there with any team and raise their profile at the same time as we’re raising ours and raising AEW’s. As much as we like to be sarcastic, and joke around, and be a–holes, when it comes to being champions, that’s really what we want because we want to cement our legacy.
“We want to go down as guys like Arn and Tully, guys like The Rock’N Roll Express, guys like Midnight Express. We want to be remembered not two years from now – 20 years from now. And if we don’t take it serious, and it doesn’t mean a lot to us, and we just kind of take it as a prop, then this is all for nothing.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.