Former AEW World Tag Team Champions FTR have suggested that Tony Khan doesn’t get enough credit for being a “creative genius.”
Upon capturing the AEW World Tag Team Titles from Kenny Omega and Adam Page at All Out in 2020, the duo became the first team to capture both AEW and WWE tag team gold. Over the following months the team retained the titles over the likes of SCU and Best Friends.
However Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler where defeated by The Young Bucks at Full Gear that November, ending their reign at 63 days. Over the ensuing 12 months the duo have fought to reclaim the gold, finally earning a shot at champions, Lucha Brothers at Full Gear 2021.
Speaking during a new interview with Steven Muehlhausen of DAZN, FTR opened up about their journey back into title contention. Dax explained that while it’s been a tough run, the pair have hit their stride in the last three months.
“I think this last year has been a roller coaster too. I think after losing the match to The Young Bucks at Full Gear and losing the AEW Tag Team championships, we tried to find our footing again. We got intertwined into the Inner Circle and Pinnacle feud. But I think, and I think Cash will agree with me over the last three months, we’ve hit our stride, and I think we’re on the biggest roll we’ve ever been on,”
Cash agreed saying that during the last year the pair went back to basics to work their way back to the top.
“Yeah, I think it was a re-evaluation year for us. It was a reset. We lost at Full Gear last year. That was a pretty low point for us. We put a lot of pride into what we do. We put a lot of pride into being the champions, especially the AEW Tag Team champions, so that hurt. I think we had to take a step back, and we had to just find ourselves and what worked for us from the beginning and kind of reset. We went back to the basics for us, and we just had that chip back on our shoulders.
We work best when we’re angry. We’re best when we’re annoyed. I think we’ve just went out there, and we’ve gotten back to what made FTR, FTR, and it’s been a lot of fun. I think people know that. They’re there along with it.”
Over the last few months in particular, FTR have clashed with a wide range of different opponents, something not lost on the two men. Dax praised AEW President Tony Khan for giving them the opportunity to have those matches, commenting that he doesn’t get the credit he deserves for being a “creative genius.”
“But also, I don’t think I’m not kissing up to him. I don’t think he’ll watch this, so I don’t give a damn. But Tony does not get the credit he deserves right now for being, and it’s overused but creative genius. He loves professional wrestling. The best thing about this company is that he’s not afraid of that word. I think in a few years, people are going to look back and say, ‘Man, he really is smart’. He really knows what he’s doing, and he’s got a knack for telling stories and putting matches together and the why’s and how’s. He’s really great,”
“Right now, he’s a man worth eight or $9 billion, and the people are just regurgitating what they hear online from some of their favorite podcasters that he’s a quote-unquote money mark. Furthest from the truth. But he’s got to have money. Vince was a money mark if you think about it. He had to buy a company from his dad, and he had the money. It’s asinine even to think that. He’s a huge wrestling fan who was blessed to have the money that he has, and he’s trying to put on the best wrestling product in the world, I think. Obviously, I’m biased that he is putting on the best wrestling product we’ve had in a long time.”
Cash agreed, commenting on the positive and negative affects of social media with regards to public perception.
“I agree. I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves, but I think he will. The world just seems like it can be so cynical sometimes, and we talk about it all the time is like an echo chamber. It can be a cynical echo chamber and not all the time sometimes.
Some amazing things come from social media, but sometimes it can be a sounding board of negativity. I think right now; people are combating. Some people love it. Some people hate it, and they just want to clash. They want to attach to something so that a large majority of people that are vocal about it, I think, don’t even know the full details. They don’t look into it.
Like you (looking at Harwood) said, they regurgitate information, or they just move the goalposts. They keep saying he can’t do something, and he does. Then it’s like, ‘Well, it’s only because but he can’t do this’. It’s gonna keep happening, and he’s gonna, as far as I am concerned, he’s gonna keep delivering, and the company is gonna be around for a long time succeeding. Then finally the respect will come.”
You can follow all of the action from AEW Full Gear with Inside The Ropes.