Dax Harwood’s FTR podcast just launched a few months ago, but it feels like longer since almost every episode has made headlines on sites like this one.
The show’s covered a lot of things, but what gets attention is Harwood’s account of issues he and his friend & partner Cash Wheeler have had with others behind-the-scenes at WWE and AEW, or updates on FTR’s contract status & future plans. Lately the duo’s relationship with CM Punk has been a hot topic, with Dax’s podcast comments about the lightning rod star and his impending return to AEW fueling the fire.
But Harwood says none of that was ever his intent for the pod. What it’s become, and the way others have responded to it, led to his decision to end it.
On the just released final episode, he said:
“When we [Harwood & co-host Matt Koon] started this podcast, we just wanted to do good wrestling. I was looking forward to, and I still do and did, looking forward to bringing my thoughts on psychology, in-ring action, what I thought was good wrestling, my love for Bret Hart, and breakdown some of the things we had done in our career and some of our biggest moments. I knew that we would probably ruffle a few feathers. I know that I can.
“The only thing I should apologize for is how the journalists and the news sites took a section of something I said and made it seem like I was such a bad human being. I want to apologize to, not only my fans, I want to apologize to the people who already didn’t like me and fans of, for example, the Young Bucks, fans of Kenny Omega, fans of MJF, or anybody else who I may have upset. I want to apologize to them because I never wanted you to hate me so much that you would say some of the things you said to me.
“Going into this podcast, I never thought that would happen. I hate that happened. I thought I was way more mentally tough than I am, but I admit that I’m not. I don’t think that I can handle some of the things that are said. I also don’t know if I want my daughter 10 years from now to read some of the things that are said about me. Ultimately, we all wanted to do good for wrestling. I don’t think that this podcast, as much as we tried, as hard as we tried, I don’t think the podcast was reflecting that for whatever reason.
“With fans, I feel like we kind of made life more difficult for them because there are a lot of fans, myself included when I was a fan, where their life did almost revolve around wrestling because they loved it so much. I was the same way as a kid. I think we both feel that we were causing more harm than good, even though we’re trying to do good. It just didn’t come across that way. I guess we didn’t portray it that way. We were more of a detriment to professional wrestling than we thought and we never want it to be that.”
In particular, Harwood says his pitching a Punk & FTR vs. The Elite match for All In at Wembley Stadium and sharing messages Punk sent him about wanting to return to AEW & pro wrestling resulted in death threats, calls for his job, and insults being directed at his nine year old daughter. Dax apologized to Wheeler and Punk for any toxicity that came their way as a result of the podcast, and spoke about how much Cash’s recent support meant to him.
Both Harwood & Koon said there was no pressure from AEW or owner Tony Khan to shut down the show, and didn’t rule out the possibility it could return at some point in the future.
You can check out the final episode of FTR with Dax Harwood here.