FTR vs Young Bucks – The Sequel

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April 6th 2022, almost 18 months removed from their first match, FTR and Young Bucks faced each other in a highly anticipated rematch. This time on AEW Dynamite, live from Boston, in a dual championship match.

When everybody thought about these two pairs facing off, they probably never would’ve thought of them in their current roles. FTR couldn’t get any more over as babyfaces, while the Young Bucks continue to shine as obnoxious heels.

The heat between the two teams was felt before even the bell rang, when the Bucks threw their ring jackets straight at Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler, who had his back turned. The first portion of the match is a great opening babyface shine for FTR. It’s immediately packed with great details too, like when Matt tries to counter Cash’s side headlock takeover with a headscissors but fails and so, immediately adjusts into a roll up. Dax and Nick do some solid wrestling next and the match builds to a great double sharpshooter spot. Nick gouges Cash’s eyes and the Bucks get in control. Matt Jackson unloads the littlest of little Bret Hart offense with the gut punch, russian legsweep and middle rope elbow drop, locking eyes with Dax, who considers Bret his hero, before delivering the latter.

One of the best things about FTR is their ability to set up mesmerizing hot tags and Nick Jackson is widely regarded to have the best hot tag in the industry. With the roles reversed, it was the Bucks getting heat on Cash while building the hot tag to Dax. And my goodness was it fantastic. Cash fought off both Jacksons, Matt crawled in to grab his foot but just as Cash was about to tag Dax, Nick knocked him off with a superkick on the apron, a parallel from their first match where Dax charged at Nick and knocked him off the apron to prevent the hot tag. And if Nick is said to have a great hot tag, then Dax matched him there. Such a great set up of the tag, Dax unloading the best worked punches in pro wrestling today, Bucks bumping all over the place, match so great the crowd popped for a cradle.

With the roles reversed from their first encounter, Bucks use FTR’s playbook against them in this match. Matt Jackson stopping Cash from getting to his corner by doing the slide synonymous with Dax Harwood, a referee distraction resulting in a belt shot to the head of Cash, a spot regularly done by FTR during their feud with the Lucha Bros, resulting in a nail biting false finish where Dax had to save his partner.

Young Bucks hit the BTE Trigger on Cash and he dropped his foot on the ropes at the very last moment. The referee counted to three anyways but the match re-started. The Bucks got Cash in the position of the Meltzer Driver but Dax grabbed Nick in mid air, hit a slingshot powerbomb, Cash reversed the tombstone, and then the finish.

These two teams come up with a finish that blows me away every single time. At Full Gear 2020, FTR betrayed their ideology, going for an ill-advised flip and costing themselves the match. This time though, they used the Bucks’ own BTE Trigger against them. BTE – the joke, the show where this feud started, the show where the Bucks mocked FTR, the show that played host to why The Revival even became became FTR. They hit the move, kiss Matt Jackson on the cheek, Big Rig and retain their AAA and ROH World Tag Team Titles.

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An excellent main event, not just one of the best Dynamite matches but one of the best AEW matches in general. A match that likely stays very high on people’s match of the year lists. Both teams brought some of their best traits to this match. The dramatic and greatly nuanced nature of the story which the Young Bucks excel at and the classical wrestling bits straight out of FTR’s brain. Personally, I still feel they have reserved the perfect match but if the phrase “near perfect” needed an example, it’d be this.

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