2022 has been the year of FTR or, more specifically, the year of Dax Harwood, the team’s follicly challenged heavy. Since leaving WWE and, really, since dropping the AEW World Tag Team Championships to the Young Bucks in July of 2021, Harwood has been on a tour de force across the professional wrestling world, with tag team championship wins over the United Empire, Great-O-Khan and Jeff Cobb, and Roppongi Vice at Forbidden Door, over the Lucha Brothers on AEW Dynamite, and over The Briscoes, Jay and Mark, at Supercard of Honor, and wrestling singles matches against everyone from “Speedball” Mike Bailey to Claudio Castagnoli, Will Ospreay, CM Punk, and even Bryan Danielson, who he is booked to wrestle on the final Dynamite of November.

And yet, despite working some of the biggest bouts in the industry as one of the top acts in AEW, the second-biggest promotion in American professional wrestling, Harwood and Wheeler aren’t totally satisfied with their role in Tony Khan’s company, and not just because he won’t “book them, brother.” No, after basically running the table in every promotion they’ve worked in – they’re called 7-star FTR for a reason, after all – the duo may want to take a step back and focus on wrestling smaller shows against dream opponents like Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, as he detailed to Sean Ross Sapp in an interview with Fighful.

“It’s very intriguing, very exciting. Here’s the thing. Hunter took a chance on us in 2015, and he put the tag belts on a relatively unknown, relatively unproven tag team, and he let us run with it. Then he gave us American Alpha, and he can use Enzo and Cass, and he gave us DIY, and he gave us that platform. Then we went to the main roster and things happened, and when we were ready to go, Tony Khan picked us up. So I have loyalty to both of these guys for what they have done for me and done for my family. But also, I’m never satisfied in wrestling. There’s a lot of stuff I wanna keep doing, and I’ve got a short amount of time to do it. So Cash and I have talked. Our deals come up at the end of April. I’d have to check with my lawyer, Mike Dawkins, but I think that’s right, the end of April. We’ve even thought about, what if we just take a year off of TV wrestling, you know what I mean?”

Would TK allow FTR to leave AEW uncontracted in their pursuit of a run through the insides? Or would the billionaire co-owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars consider signing the duo to a deal anyway, even without a minimum number of dates, in order to keep the team away from the temptations of Paul “Triple H” Levesque and his federation? Only time will tell, but after being put on the back burner by AEW in favor of over, younger, homegrown teams like The Acclaimed, it’s clear FTR has caught the indie bug in a major way and aren’t exactly looking for treatment.

FTR want to take things in a different way than WWE’s Johnny Gargano.

When asked by SRS about how FTR’s time away from AEW would compare to Johnny Gargano’s time away from WWE, where he didn’t work a match and instead focused on his family, Harwood provided an interesting contrast to what his time might look like.

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“Yeah, and we may take a different approach than Johnny because Johnny, I think he’s a little younger than I am, I would imagine so,” Harwood said. “We’ve talked about it, and our approach would be, take a year off of TV wrestling, maybe, and do things that excite us. We’ve been able to do that quite a bit this year, like starting with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express match, and we had a fucking knockdown, drag-out match that I’m so proud of because, in my opinion, you can ask Ricky and I think he’d tell you the same thing, it was their best match they’ve had since 1990 with the Midnight Express. We’ve been able to do things like New Japan and AAA and tonight with Mike Bailey. Those are things that excite me because I love wrestling so much. So if we do take a year off of TV wrestling, I don’t think you’ll not see us. You might not see us mainstream, but it would be so Cash and I could one, rest our bodies because we haven’t been able to do that in sight years, but two, we could do things that make us happy and bring joy to us, and then we’ll go from there, I guess.”

Would you like to see FTR become fixtures of Fite and IWTV, working matches in “bingo halls” against everyone from the American Wolves to the Motor City Machine Guns and even The North in matches that, because of inter-promotional contractual situations, can be hard to put together on television? Or would you rather see FTR go on another historic run on television, either for WWE or AEW, as champions once more? Come April, we may soon find out.