By pinning the not-so-dynamic duo of Colten and Austin Gunn in the main event of Dynamite, FTR not only became the new AEW World Tag Team Champions, but effectively announced that they had re-signed with the promotion long-term, spurning any interest that may have existed in free agency from WWE.
But why? Did AEW offer up more money to keep the team around than WWE? Does WWE really have a hiring freeze that not only cost them the “Top Guys,” but also “Switchblade” Jay White? Fortunately, Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler opened up on that very topic in an interview with Uproxx and let it be known that, in the end, Tony Khan simply got what made FTR FTR better than Vince McMahon.
“I think that Tony (Khan) gets Dax and Cash, FTR, better than Vince,” Harwood said. “I think he understands that we are average, everyday human beings that just caught on with the fans because they can relate to us, because we’re either family men or just regular human beings. We just enjoy physicality and we enjoy fighting, and I think that they can live their lives through us. (Vince has) a business track record that proves that he is obviously very intelligent to the business, but I think he thinks he knows what the Revival was better than we did. That’s why he came up with all those cartoon costumes he gave us. In contrast, Tony understands that no one knows who we are better than us, and no one can display our characters or show our characteristics better than we can.”
“The conversations we have with Tony, the relationship we have with Tony compared to [Triple H] or Vince, we get along well with both those guys over there,” Wheeler added. “Vince, to our faces anyway, was always very respectful, respected our work. Same with Hunter. But with Tony, I feel like we can have open, honest discussions with him about how we feel, where we think we need to change something or pivot. And I know that he’s receptive to it.”
Now granted, FTR's decision to stay in AEW wasn't solely based on booking; the duo have already noted some of the other reasons why they wanted to stick around in AEW, with Harwood telling a hater on Twitter “that schedule keeps me away from my wife and daughter too much & AEW will allow us to give back to wrestling.” Still, it's certainly interesting to see WWE miss out on two more of the top talents potentially headed to free agency, as stealing away FTR would have been a pretty big loss for AEW.
7 ⭐️ FTR
10X Top Guys
New AEW World Tag Team Champions pic.twitter.com/ECZoCCvO65
— Uncle Dax FTR (@DaxFTR) April 7, 2023
FTR name their dream match at Wembley Stadium.
Elsewhere in their interview with Uproxx, FTR were asked about All In II, which is slated for Wembley Stadium this summer. Noting just how big of a shot the company is expecting, Harwood threw some fuel into the fire and shot his shot on the dream match he wants to see in what could be the biggest non-WWE show this century.
“Wembley Stadium is huge for AEW,” Wheeler said. “AEW has to be ambitious right now. We’ve done so much as a company over the past three years that everybody said we couldn’t do. When Tony said we’re going to sell 20,000 (tickets at Arthur Ashe Stadium), that seemed ridiculous to people at the time. Everybody wants to keep moving the goalposts. Everybody wants to keep saying you can’t do this. I love that we’re going to Wembley because even if it’s not completely to the brim full, 50-, 60-, 70,000, whatever it ends up being, that’s huge for this company. As a company that’s only a couple years into its existence. You can’t play it safe all the time. The roster right now is so deep, why not go for it?”
“CM Punk and FTR versus The Elite,” Harwood added. “That’s gotta be it, right? If you want to sell 50,000 tickets and take this company to the next level, that’s it, that’s me dreaming. That’s the dream match. That six-man tag in Wembley Stadium could help launch AEW to the next level.”
CM Punk and FTR versus The Elite, you say? You know what? While Kenny Omega-Will Ospreay III for the IWGP United States Championship would be the natural match selection for the show, especially if “The Cleaner” wins match two and “The Commomwealth Kingpin” goes over in his home country, going all-in on the biggest feud in AEW history would be one heck of a way to celebrate what could be the definitive show in the promotion's history. Book it, TK.