Dax Harwood is Renee Paquette’s latest guest on The Sessions. The former WWE & current AEW star opens up about a number of issues, ranging from his childhood eating disorder to getting treatment for anxiety as an adult.
Lots of headlines coming out of this interview. The most in-depth conversation of my career. Thanks Renee. https://t.co/O1OQVJ5y0X— Uncle Dax FTR (@DaxFTR) February 22, 2022
It’s the latest welcome example of wrestlers sharing their personal stories to help dispel the stigma associated with addressing mental health. Those aren’t the headlines the FTR member is generating however.
The quotes that are trending come from the end of the pod, and Dax’s accounting of his issues with WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels. Paquette runs through some questions about Dax & Cash Wheeler’s friendships with legends like Edge, Randy Orton, and Bret Hart. Then she just tees this up by asking. “What’s your deal with HBK?”
“Obviously, as a kid, you either had to be a Bret or a Shawn guy. I’ve said this many a times, Bret has this — he’s over in a unique way. He’s not Hulk Hogan over, he’s not Steve Austin over. He’s not the biggest star in wrestling history. But the way he was over is so unique that it’s never been replicated. It may not ever. You can call me a mark if you want, I don’t give a damn. But I’m the motherfucker who’s texting him on a weekly basis because we’re friends. As a kid, he made me feel a certain way.
“I think that’s why I wrestle, and Cash too, we wrestle the way we do. Because I love the cruiserweights and their stuff was incredible, but Bret made me feel a certain way. And I want to make people feel that way, too — emotionally, they’re never gonna love me the way they love Bret, but I want an emotional connection in every match we have, just like he had.
“And so, as a kid, I chose Bret over Shawn. And then, NXT, Shawn came on board, and he was a teacher. He was a big fan of me and Dan [Cash’s real first name]’s. We got injured. Dan broke his jaw. KENTA gave him the Go To Sleep, broke his jaw. Maybe two weeks later, I gave Sheamus a lifter. Tore my bicep. I went through a real bad phase then because I was like, ‘Man, this is not going to work for us. This is a run of bad luck.’
“We came back to TV and then at Raw 25, we were booked to do the deal with Hunter & his friends where they just beat us up. And I was so upset because, for a lot of guys, it’s ‘Oh, it’s just a paycheck, who cares.’ But not to me. There’s a legacy I want to leave. But that happened, and I talked to Shawn. It was the first time we talked since the PC days, and I told him, ‘Man, this happened, tore my bicep. I went through a really dark period. I thought I was going to quit. But thankfully,’ just like I’ve told you, ‘I have the greatest wife in the world, and she has supported me, and she brought me out of this funk. She brought me out of a dark place, and I’m here now and I’m super happy.’
“And he said, ‘I was the same way. I was in this very dark spot. I met my wife, she’s beautiful, she pulled out of this dark spot, too.’ And I was like, ‘Ah, that’s so awesome.’ He said, ‘Look, you and your partner are way too talented to be doing what you’re doing tonight. You’re way too talented to stay at this point. Just keep your nose to the ground and keep grinding, and you’re going to get over.’
“‘Ah man Shawn, thank you so much.’ So we had this bonding moment. And then we got in front of his friends, X-Pac, and Hunter, and Billy, and Road Dogg, and Scott [Hall]. And as soon as we got in front of his friends, he started making fun of me, and making fun of my situation, and what happened with my bicep. And I was just like, man, I just poured my heart out to you, and as soon as we get in front of your friends, cause we’re going over them beating the shit out of us, you decide to take all that stuff and make fun of me about it.
“I never, ever forgot it, and as soon as we were done with the business of Raw, one person said thank you to us, and that was Sean Waltman. Everyone else was so cold to us, and treated us like we were just the shit on the bottom of their shoes — except for Sean Waltman. I’ll never forget that for Shawn, and I hope there’s a day that comes where we can have a conversation, sit down, and I can ask him why he did that, and we can reconcile if he wants to.
“But yeah. If I love you, I love you. If I don’t, I don’t.”
There’s two sides to every story, and hopefully there’s some misinterpretation on Harwood’s part. But on the face of it, this sounds really shitty — and perhaps a sign that some of Michaels’ character flaws from his youth still flare up when he’s around his boys from that era.
Give Renee & Dax’s entire convo a listen here.