A moment of surreality hit FTR last Friday in Webster, MA as they found Bret Hart standing in their corner. It was at a Big Time Wrestling show where Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood came out with their pro wrestling role model in a match that was steeped in squared circle history.
“That night was a culmination of a journey that’s been ongoing for more than 30 years,” Harwood said in a new “Sports Illustrated” interview. “I was watching the King of the Ring pay-per-view 29 years ago, where I got to see Bret Hart wrestle three matches and tell three different stories that night. That’s also the night I told my mother I was going to be a pro wrestler.”
The ROH Tag Team Champions were going up against Brian Pillman Jr. and Brock Anderson while having Brock’s legendary “Enforcer” of a father Arn Anderson support them at ringside. Harwood and Wheeler have always received the physical and stylistic comparisons to the Brainbusters, and even in today’s day and age, Harwood understands he still doesn’t fit the mainstream pro wrestling prototype.
“I know who I am. I don’t have the total package—I’m not tall, I don’t have the body, I have a southern accent. Overcoming all those odds and getting to perform with my hero—not just my favorite wrestler, but my lifetime hero—it was the greatest night of my career. If you saw me smiling, it’s because I couldn’t hide that look on my face.”
FTR won the bout by serendipitously cinching in stereo sharpshooters, and Harwood noted that they wanted “Hitman” in on the action.
“We asked Bret if we could finish the match with a triple sharpshooter,” Harwood says. “Bret said, ‘I haven’t done a sharpshooter in 10 years.’ Then he paused, thought about it, and said, ‘But I’ll try it.’ It didn’t go the way he wanted, but he f—— tried it. That’s the type of man he is. He believes in us, and he wanted to make that moment as special as possible. He felt that we’ve given something to him, and he wanted to give back to us.
“The match was good, but nothing will top the moment. That’s what meant everything to me,” Wheeler added.
For months, fans have been clamoring to have Hart manage Harwood and Wheeler in AEW. From a contractual standpoint, that could reportedly still happen if all parties wish, but the fact that Hart, Harwood, and Wheeler simply happened is all that matters to FTR.
“It would have been cool to have that moment on TV, but I’m glad it was just that one night,” Wheeler says. “It’s going to be with us for the rest of our lives. My only regret is that we couldn’t pause time.”
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