FTR Shoot Down Claims of AEW Roster Being Overcrowded

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Current AAA & ROH Tag Team Champions FTR (Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler) defended their titles against The Young Bucks on this Wednesday’s edition of Dynamite, continuing an incredible run of form for the duo.

The pair recently spoke with Dallas News, and were asked about whether they felt AEW’s roster had become bloated, with the company recently signing free-agent talents such as Keith Lee, Toni Storm, and Samoa Joe. Harwood disagreed, instead praising Tony Khan for assembling such a talented roster.

“I think that Tony Khan is trying to assemble the greatest roster in the world, one of the greatest rosters he possibly can because he wants to put on the greatest product that he can, and anyone who complains about that, I’ll say they are a fool. Because he’s doing this – he spent a [expletive]-ton of money to bring back CM Punk. You think he did that for himself? Or do you think he did that for the enjoyment of the fans and he wanted the fans to be happy? I think it’s the latter part. And, on top of that – I’ll say it and I’m not worried about getting heat because nobody can kick my ass – if any of the wrestlers are upset because of all the guys coming in, well, step up. I want [Khan] to bring in every great tag team in the world right now because that’s competition for me.”

Harwood continued, reaffirming his belief that the duo are the best tag-team in the world of wrestling today, and implored any free-agents to test themselves against them in AEW.

“And I want to show him and I want to show the millions of people around the world – we say it with all the humility going out of our bodies – there’s nobody better than us. So, I hope Tony keeps bringing in talent. I hope he brings in the greatest talent from around the world because I want to sit that talent down and say, ‘Watch this. We’re better than you are.”

Dax Harwood

Cash Wheeler goes on to note that Khan’s recent acquisition of Ring of Honor gives the AEW President another roster to oversee.

“He’s got two rosters now to fill, which you’ve got to keep in mind. He’s got to fill two full rosters. But, like Dax said, AEW is still in its infancy. When AEW started, they had to build from scratch. And you don’t know who’s going to work on TV, who’s not going to work on TV, who the fans will accept, and who they won’t. So, you’ve got to just sign everybody and hope after a couple years you’ve kind of got a better read on everything – what’s established, what isn’t. You can’t plan for things that are completely unexpected. So, some of these names that became available to him, he never could have foresaw that coming. None of us could. So, when it was available, he would be a terrible businessman to not pursue that because it’s going to make his company better. And it’s going to make his talent better because now they have another brain to pick. He’s not signing schlubs. He’s signing people that can help.”

Wheeler also commented on the need for ROH to have enough shows to showcase their roster to the best of their ability, as well as the inevitable nature of future budget cuts that will need to be made by Tony Khan.

“A lot of the talent we have right now, also, are very young talent. They don’t need to be exposed every week on TV to make those mistakes. They need some YouTube shows, they need some independent shows, they need some ROH shows that might not be on TBS in front of a million people or more. They need the exposure before they earn that right to be on AEW television. Yeah, he’s got two rosters to fill out. He’s got some young talent he’s got to get seasoning on and grow. He’s got established talent that he’s finally getting where he needs. And it’s going to weed itself out over time. There’s going to be contracts that aren’t renewed. And that’s OK. He’s honoring the contracts still. They don’t need to be told anything other than, ‘We’re not renewing.’ We’re journeymen. We go from one place to the other if it doesn’t work out, but if you want it bad enough you’ll get another opportunity somewhere. You just have to go out and get it.”

Cash Wheeler

Following on from this, Dax Harwood explained that the knowledge and experience being brought to the companies by the new signings is invaluable.

“If you’re building a franchise, a sports franchise, and you have these young players who have never played on a mainstream outlet, such as AEW, they’ve all played on these small independent shows. They’ve never been on national television. Why in the hell wouldn’t you hire the Hardy Boyz or Sting or CM Punk or Bryan Danielson or Jon Moxley or FTR? Why wouldn’t you hire them to help teach them TV wrestling? They understand professional wrestling, to an extent. They understand athletics. But man, you’ve got this knowledge of guys who have worked decades on television, and we can pass that knowledge to them. So, when Sting and Moxley and all those guys decide it’s time to hang it up, you’ve got these young guys now primed and ready to go.”

Dax Harwood

Wheeler closes by sending a message to those talents that may feel threatened by the influx of signings coming into AEW, and highlighted their need for patience when waiting for opportunities.

“I think a lot of it also is a mindset of a younger generation, just because we came up in a time where you had to be a little more patient, you didn’t get things as sudden. And now, people are having their first-ever match on live television, they’re debuting on live TV, they’re getting signed within a year of starting wrestling. It’s not their fault, they just don’t know any better. But it’s me, me, me, now, now, now. So, somebody like Adam Cole gets signed – ‘Well, there goes my TV time.’ Not really ‘there goes your TV time’ if you want it and you’re good enough, you’re going to get it. You just have to keep grinding. If it doesn’t happen right away, that’s OK. Just keep grinding because eventually the cream always rises. If you’re good enough, it’s going to show itself. Patience is something that’s a virtue, and it’s been lost.”

Cash Wheeler

With FTR recently capturing the ROH Tag Team Titles at Supercard of Honor XV, fans can expect to see Harwood and Wheeler appear on both AEW and ROH in the near future, as the pair continue to prove their quality wherever they turn up.

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