The most significant tag team in professional wrestling right now is probably FTR. In Ring of Honor, Lucha Libre AAA, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and pretty much any independent fed with enough money to present the duo with an interesting opportunity, FTR are top guys through and through.

Sure, The Usos have been the tag team champions in the WWE for what 500 days—505 to be exact—and the duo of Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood aren’t even the tag team champions in their own company, that honor belongs to The Acclaimed.

It’s simple to overlook that it almost didn’t happen when considering FTR and their in-ring efforts over the past two years. That’s right, Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson, the team known to the WWE Universe as The Revival, were Cash and Dax before they debuted in AEW as tag rope-loving heels with a very bayou bluesy theme and an old El Camino. FTR, meanwhile, had a very different meaning that was made popular on Being The Elite indeed.

They won the NXT Tag Team Championships twice, the RAW Tag Team Championships twice, the SmackDown Tag Team Championships once, and even the 24/7 Championship in 2019, making them the only team to ever hold the 24/7 title. Their runs with The Fed started in 2014 and they have won all of these titles.

AEW’s FTR

FTR/The Revival had excellent matches in WWE, including their matches against #DIY, American Alpha, and Undisputed Era, all of which are well worth seeking out. However, their “signature” matches may have occurred outside of The Fed, with their series in Ring of Honor against The Briscoes ranking among the best tag team matches you will ever see.

Who knows what would have happened if FTR had not specifically requested their release after deciding not to re-sign with the company, especially after Paul “Triple H” Levesque took over creative. However, given the way the company pitched the duo’s ideas, it is understandable that neither performer was willing to hold out to see if McMahon would retire two years from now.

Those are some of the worst costumes I’ve ever seen, good grief. How difficult was it for FTR to pass up the security of WWE for such an undefined opportunity, even though they seem happy with their choice to bet on themselves?

The duo is so well-positioned for the future that they could even leave televised wrestling behind for a year in order to work exclusively on indie shows. Thankfully, Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful was able to approach the chattier half of FTR at WrestleCade and ask him that very question.

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Ftr Bets on Themselves Over WWE’s Security.

When Sapp questioned Harwood about how the pair went about asking WWE to release them, Harwood boiled it down to their love for the business and how that love isn’t always a negative thing.

That’s my downfall again, that’s our downfall, Harwood said. “So sure, we entered the premises that evening with the intention of requesting our release. We played our game. I’m not angry at all because Hunter and Vince were unavailable all day because they were really busy, which is normal for a TV day.

AEW’s FTR

However, after our match against Lucha House Party, we returned to the back and announced, “Hunter, we need to talk to you now.” We were drenched in perspiration. Can you give me five minutes, he asked. Certainly, we replied. He entered from behind. I don’t mean for this to sound incredibly conceited, but it probably will. However, we were aware that we could improve upon what we were doing and the way tag team wrestling was being presented.

If we had stayed, the previous administration would have kept us in a rut. We ought to have stayed in a rut and never achieved anything. Now that we can venture out, we are able to establish a reputation for ourselves.

Even though Mr. McMahon was the one writing the checks, Harwood knew that tag team wrestling wasn’t Mr. McMahon’s cup of tea. The Revival still had a lot they could have done in WWE.

You get what I’m saying when I say, “I can’t be furious at Vince.” stated Harwood. “Enjoy I said, it’s cool if he doesn’t like tag team wrestling. First, it’s his business, but second, it’s acceptable. His disapproval of it is his view.

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It’s okay if he doesn’t like Cash and me in particular. The fact that he was the only billionaire boss giving us that much money at the time is just awful. But that’s absolutely okay, and I don’t have any bad feelings toward him, the business, or anything like that.

If AEW hadn’t appeared, perhaps FTR would have remained an inside joke on a few Ring of Honor/New Japan wrestlers’ YouTube vlogs rather than becoming the tag team moniker of Harwood and Wheeler. Fortunately, Tony Khan showed up and offered a strong substitute; the outcomes speak for themselves.

 

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