A myriad of topics discussed by FTR.
Nearly two months have passed since CM Punk returned to All Elite Wrestling as a part of the launch of the company’s new Collision show on TNT. On the first two episodes of Collision, Punk and AEW World Tag Team Champions FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) headlined the shows together.
Going into this week’s Collision, Harwood and Wheeler were interviewed by DAZN Wrestling. They touched on what it means to them to have Punk back with AEW. Harwood called Punk one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time. He brought up what Punk has been able to accomplish even when the business was against him.
He went on to state that WWE has wanted Punk back for years but AEW was able to land him. Dax believes Punk is the second-biggest name in wrestling behind Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns or maybe on the same level as Reigns. Wheeler chimed in and stated that Punk is integral to the success of Collision and added that he can see the effect Punk has on younger talents.
Harwood: Well I mean, I think that — I’m sure a lot of people are going to say, oh, of course Dax thinks that but I think that (CM) Punk is one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time. You look at his track record, his résumé and the things that he’s done in professional wrestling, especially when, you know, the business at one point was completely against him and what he represented and who he was and he made a name for himself and became one of the biggest stars our industry’s ever seen and he left the other promotion, he left WWE on his own accord and they wanted him back. They begged to have him back for years and years and years and he never went back and AEW landed that and having, in my opinion, the second biggest, maybe up there with Roman Reigns, the biggest name in professional wrestling today only helps everybody else and the company because it’s bringing more eyeballs to the product and he also has something to prove. I don’t think he’s come back just for nostalgia, as a nostalgia act. I think he’s come back to reclaim his spot as best in the world.
Wheeler: I think it makes us a better company, it makes AEW as a whole a better company on Wednesdays and on Saturdays and it just makes our roster better and the stronger roster that we can have as a wrestling company, the better wrestling it’s gonna be because we’re such a young company and we need all the help we can get and having a guy like CM Punk, a name like CM Punk who — not just because we think so. The metrics and the numbers back it up. He’s one of the biggest stars wrestling’s seen in the past 20 years. So I mean, Saturdays, right now, he is so integral to the success of Collision and we know Saturdays aren’t an easy day for that. We know that we’re gonna have stiff competition but we’ve built something really special on Saturdays and I think it’s got a lot of positive momentum and a lot of that is attributed to CM Punk and you can see just the effect he has on younger talent too. He’s helping elevate Ricky (Starks) right now, he’s helping elevate so many young guys and he has these young guys that he wants to help elevate and that’s his goal so, I think it’s just gonna help the locker room all around to have him be here.
It is official that Harwood and Wheeler are defending the AEW World Tag Team Championships against The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) at All In at Wembley Stadium. Harwood feels it has potential to be the biggest match of FTR’s run together. He said there’s a sense of underlying tension between them and The Bucks that comes from a competitive place. Cash thinks it could be the biggest tag match of a generation.
Harwood: I think it has the potential to be the biggest match of Cash and I’s career. Before we even came to AEW, all you heard about was FTR versus Young Bucks or excuse me, The Revival versus The Young Bucks. What would happen if those two teams got in the ring? And the first match we had was during the pandemic and I love that match and I’m very proud of that match. But, if we could have had that Full Gear match, 2020, in front of 10,000 people, it would’ve been that much more special and then our second match was on a Dynamite and I actually enjoyed that match better than the pay-per-view match and this one, I feel there’s some underlying tension between the two teams. Not saying we dislike each other but there’s some underlying tension because we think — and you know, this is a shoot. We honestly think we’re the best tag team of the generation and could be the best tag team of all-time and I think they feel the same way about themselves…
Wheeler: Don’t get me wrong, match one in Jacksonville, I really, really enjoyed that. The crowd was great but it was a limited crowd because of the pandemic. Match two, we only had about a week’s notice and again, I love that crowd in Boston, they were a fantastic crowd for it but, as Dax was saying, The Revival versus The Young Bucks was a dream match for years and it always felt like it needed the biggest platform possible and now, after all this time, we finally get it. It really is the biggest platform possible. Wembley could be and probably will be the biggest, highest-attended wrestling event in history and what better way to have what could be the biggest tag team match of a generation than right there, Young Bucks, FTR, AEW World Tag Team Titles, Wembley Stadium, All In. Who’s the best?
On the marquee for the August 12th episode of Collision is CMFTR challenging House of Black (Malakai Black, Brody King & Buddy Matthews) for the AEW World Trios Championships. Wheeler spoke highly of House of Black and feels they have a lot of untapped potential. He think they could be one of the biggest attractions in wrestling.
Wheeler: I think the three of those guys together (House of Black) and separately too but, that group has so much untapped potential still. They’ve barely even scratched the surface. All three of the guys could be successful singles wrestlers or they could do any pairing of tag teams. Trios, already the champions obviously so I mean, Malakai (Black) can be world champion any time. Buddy (Matthews) and Brody (King) can come after us any time. Whatever you wanna do, those guys all — and the three of them together especially and with Julia (Hart), that whole package, it has such a cool look and such an aura about it that they could be one of the biggest attractions in wrestling. Especially that now, again, we have this Saturday show, we have Collision. We have two extra hours of TV every week to spread out and get people seen and now I think we can really see them flesh out those characters and flesh out everything they’re capable of and like I said, they’re just scratching the surface and this is gonna be the start of their real run right here so I’m looking forward to working with those guys. I know how good they are, I’ve seen them in action. Like Dax (Harwood) was saying, we’ve wrestled Buddy at some point years and years and years ago. We knew he was good then, he’s only gotten better since. So, I think House of Black can be one of the biggest attractions in wrestling but, Saturday in Greensboro, they’re not gonna beat CMFTR.
Following up on that, the interviewer asked if CMFTR capture the World Trios Titles, can they see a match happening between them and The Elite (Kenny Omega, Matt & Nick Jackson). With what occurred post-All Out 2022, Cash feels as more times goes on, the more likely it is that they’ll get to that point. He does not want to outright say it’ll happen because he isn’t sure, but he hopes it does.
Harwood: I think if the cards fall in the right place and you know, the story’s right and the opportunity calls for it, then hell yeah. We can do it (CMFTR vs. The Elite).
Wheeler: It’s hard to know with all the moving parts that are involved and I don’t wanna speak for anybody, but I think wrestling is all about making the most money for yourselves and for the company you work for and I think that everybody here all agrees with that and the more time passes, the more likely I think it is that we can get to there but, you never really know and I don’t wanna say yes but, I hope so.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit DAZN Wrestling with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.