The FTR tag team of Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler used to be known as The Revival’s Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder. Since leaving WWE a few months ago, they have since moved on to AEW where they debuted two weeks ago on Dynamite. In a recent podcast with Jim Cornette, they revealed they don’t have official contracts with AEW yet and instead they’re basically working there on a handshake deal for now.
The Jim Cornette Experience podcast with FTR was very long and I listened to the whole thing. I didn’t think FTR came off as whiners about their WWE experience. They just felt like they weren’t being used the right way and that’s why they asked for a release from WWE in January 2019. That release wasn’t granted back then and then they spent over a year in the company until they were released this past April.
Here are some interesting comments from the podcast with regards to the WWE creative process, the lack of long term vision according to FTR and more. Thanks to WrestlingInc for the transcript.
Dax Harwood on what a WWE Producer that used to wrestle for WWE told them about their matches:
“A lot those guys that are producers that are working there now that were working for the company in ’94, ’95 and ’96, they said the exact same thing you just said. I remember after one of our matches, a producer came up to us, and he said, ‘there is not a tag team in the world that is better than you guys. There’s not that many workers in the world that are better than you guys. I don’t know what is wrong with Vince. I don’t know what is going on with Vince. This is not the Vince that I worked for.’ They finished with the typical keep working hard and you’ll get to where you want to go.”
Dax Harwood told a story about what Vince McMahon told them after a match:
“We had a match with New Day. All four of us came to the back, and we were so proud of the match. We loved it so much. We were happy because it wasn’t an action-packed match. It was a match that told a great, little story. The fans got behind it, and they loved it. We came to the back, and Vince was waiting right in the middle of gorilla with his hands in his pocket. Of course, Johnny Ace was agreeing to everything he said, and one thing I’ll never forget, Vince looked at me and Cash and he said, ‘everyone tells me you’re the next Arn and Tully. You’re the next great tag team. Well, that’s your problem. You guys are Arn and Tully. You’re just great professional wrestlers.’ To me and Cash, we took that with meaning and pride. He meant it as an insult.
“I’m thinking to myself, ‘you’re comparing us to two of the greatest of all time, who have drawn a s–t ton of money in the business and you’re meaning it as an insult?’ He just didn’t get us. He didn’t understand us, and that’s perfectly fine he didn’t. It’s his company. It’s his money, and he can do whatever he wants.”
Harwood clarified what he meant on Twitter.
Guys, he said, “Well that’s your problem. You ARE Arn & Tully. You’re just great professional wrestlers.”
Sorry my southern accent was too thick for y’all to understand. #FTR✌🏼
— Uncle Dax FTR (@DaxFTR) June 7, 2020
Cash Wheeler noted they never found out what Vince McMahon may not have liked about them:
“I don’t know what it was about us that he didn’t like or that somebody didn’t like or didn’t see anything in. We’re not the first, and we won’t be the last. I wish I had some sort of answer. I wish I had some sort of closure on it where I can say definitively this is what it was. This was our fault for this or our fault for that, but I’ll never know. I’ll always wonder what it could have been, but I’m not gonna dwell on it either.”
Dax Harwood spoke about how others in the company tried to talk to Vince McMahon for them in order to get Vince to utilize them more:
“There were a ton of guys and not just tag teams. Arn told us, and Fit Finlay told us. Every single producer on every single live event had rave reviews for our matches, and we would have opportunities with top guys on TV. We would watch them. We would watch Roman Reigns. We watched Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy. We watched the greatest wrestler they have their right now, Randy Orton.”
“We watched them all go up to Vince after matches and bring us over and say, ‘we want to work with these guys.’ This is the thing that kind of bothers me a little bit was that the fans. They just look at the story part of our career. ‘Well, they got to work with Roman Reigns and Randy Orton, and they got three championship reigns, but what they don’t understand is we got to work with Roman Reigns for two weeks. We beat Roman Reigns on television in tag team matches.”
“We put him down with the Shatter Machine for two weeks. Then the next week, nothing. It was taken away. The same thing with Matt and Bray. The same with Randy, who has become one of our mentors and one of our close friends who we talk to every single day. He fought for us so hard to get us on TV with him every single week because he believed in our work ethic, and he believed in what we brought to the table. We watched him go to Vince every single week or Hunter or whoever and say, ‘we gotta keep this up.'”
Cash Wheeler claimed that there just wasn’t much long term booking in WWE during their time there:
“I’m not trying to insult anybody, and it’s not anybody’s fault really, but there’s no long-term vision for a lot of the booking. So honestly, I’m not exaggerating. I’m not trying bury anybody here. You don’t know what you’re doing that day much less the next week.
“You find out what you’re doing a lot of the time at 5:00 or 6:00. At 8:00, well, where is this going. We don’t know. We’ll have to figure it out. It’s just hard to keep up any consistency or any momentum when nobody knows.”
Dax Harwood gave an example of plans changing when they were working with Randy Orton:
“I remember there was a time we were in MSG, and we were supposed to have a deal with Randy and New Day. It was the time when Kofi was going to get his deal back with Randy where they jump off the table. At 8:15, the plan had changed three times, but we were told this is what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna be with Randy.”
“At 8:15, it changed and, we were completely off the show. I think we were supposed to be in a PPV in the next couple of weeks with those guys. I don’t want to harp on this because I don’t have any ill feelings towards WWE. I’m looking at my wife and my daughter on a swing set that I got to pay for because of WWE, so I owe them everything that I have, but in the grand scheme of things, as far as the business goes, it was very difficult to have to deal with that every single week.”
TJR Thoughts: I wanted to share this because they gave a specific example of plans changing in WWE. They mentioned how something was planned, then another thing completely different happened and that kind of thing always happens in WWE.