Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler were on hiatus from AEW for a while to recover from various injuries. It seemed like a scenario where they might actually sit out the remainder of their AEW contracts, which are said to expire in early April.
That all changed this past weekend at Revolution, when FTR returned to AEW and jumped right back into the tag team championship mix with The Gunns. Following their return, PW Insider reported on the belief that FTR is locked into long-term deals with AEW, and their absence was storyline driven.
On the latest episode of FTR with Dax Harwood, Dax responded to that report by first saying that nothing has changed:
“That is very surprising to me, because zero has changed.”
“We got a call from Tony [Khan], and this was maybe five days before the pay-per-view...I’m just guessing that he either heard a clip, listened to the podcast, or read one of the headlines where I said we were ready to come back, our bodies were healed, we were just waiting for the call, and we wanted to do what was right by business because we are contracted through April.”
Harwood went on to praise Khan for changing the wrestling industry by giving everyone who works in it another major option on the table besides just WWE.
Dax said the decision that he and Cash Wheeler will make by April about their future in pro wrestling involves a lot of factors, but ultimately comes down to what makes them happiest. They aren’t playing a game to squeeze every last dollar out of the potential bidders.
“I would never play someone, especially someone I’m as close to as Tony, especially someone who I was as close to as [Triple H], who I owe a lot to, I would never play them for monetary gain. Our choice right now is strictly on happiness. That’s all.”
“So, the pros of staying in AEW is a great schedule where I can come home and be with my family. The pros of WWE is...they are the number one money-making professional wrestling company in the world. And monetarily, they could offer us a great deal too. But in WWE, I don’t feel like we will be able to have a kind of schedule that we would like to do. Another pro for AEW is that, unless Tony changes his mind come April, we will be able to do...New Japan, doing the independents, going out and being able to do Comic-Cons and things, and meeting some of our fans. Those are the pros in AEW. And WWE, they are on a creative high right now, and I think that they could be able to keep that creative high up. They are the number one wrestling promotion, one of the top entertainment acts in the whole wide world. They have a proven track record, you know? So there’s a lot of things that we got to weigh.”
Everything Harwood said up to that point made sense, as that does indeed look like the pros and cons of WWE vs. AEW from an outside fan perspective. However, even though Harwood’s initial “zero has changed” statement seemingly implies that Insider’s report is wrong, he somewhat hedges and doesn’t go as far as to directly refute the report:
“I don’t want to say that report is right or wrong, because it doesn’t matter. Half the people are gonna go on Twitter and say, ‘Oh he’s lying.’ Actually all of them, 100 percent are gonna say that I’m lying. Most of them will say that I’m lying and trying to work them.”
“I will say that these reports are going to say whatever they want, and that’s okay. I will just say nothing has changed, and please allow everything to play out, because come April you will be able to understand what we’re doing and where we’re going.”
As someone who blogs about pro wrestling and is regularly accused of being pro-WWE, anti-WWE, pro-AEW, and anti-AEW all at the same time, I’d advise Dax to not let potential reactions on social media affect what he says on his platform, especially if that approach is just going to make matters more confusing to his audience.
From my “best guess” perspective, it looks to me like FTR will be sticking with AEW, because the WWE pros are mostly focused on money, which Dax says is not the whole ballgame compared to family and schedule.
But if Tony Khan’s financial offer is not in the range of what WWE can offer FTR, then they can absolutely return to WWE, with the hope that Vince McMahon doesn’t take creative control and bury them again. That is assuming FTR is not already locked down long term in AEW, of course.
Where do you think FTR will end up come April, Cagesiders?