The are they, are they not staying? situation regarding FTR’s AEW status drags on. On this week’s FTR with Dax Harwood podcast, his opening language seemed to lean toward an impending exit.
The title and premise of the show was former boss Triple H. This in itself, looked like a pointer of sorts.
That some duly criticised on Twitter. The podcast account even quote retweeted it with the blithe remark: Or, a podcast topic. It would be naive to assume Dax Harwood and Matt Koon don’t meticulously plan the podcast and how FTR aren’t aware of its implications on their career. It’s more than just a place for musing over things, it can be a tool to get things rolling or support the gimmick.
It was telling that Dax stated he couldn’t reveal their decision because they were still under contract. That, taken on face value, would indicate they can’t say anything that could be misconstrued as a breach of AEW terms. Technically, they won’t have been able to hold talks with WWE yet. If they were staying with AEW, there’d be no contractual restraint to making the announcement.
Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the once lost art of kayfabe. Resurrected here to make us ponder if they are/are not resigning. As I stated on Twitter, it’s either a great swerve or Dax is trying his best to prepare AEW fans for disappointment. He goes on to ask for understanding in the podcast, that he’s done what’s best for his family.
This could either mean more money with WWE or less dates away from home by staying with AEW.
All the issues that made him leave WWE in the first place could resurface, but if I’d been lucky enough to live out the dream as a professional wrestler, I’d be lying if I said the idea of a big WrestleMania moment wouldn’t prove tempting. But not many will get the Cody Rhodes style perfect return on the Grandest Stage of Them All. And such moments are fleeting and fade fast if the rest of the run is a painful slog.
The uncertainty of their status risks alienating notable portions of their fanbase regardless. From a selfish point of view, this writer wants them to remain with AEW. Both weekly TV shows are watched and every PPV, sometimes the Dark and Elevation get added. As for WWE, it’s only the Premium Live events and the odd highlights package.
If they make the switch, I can’t see me coming along for every minute. Despite Triple H’s improvements to the product, WWE television still fails to match my expectations of what a wrestling show should be. Any spare time would go to NJPW first.
Aside from WrestleMania, there is still more they can add to their legacy in AEW. They could restore credibility to the Tag Team division. Quite how it’s gone from the strongest tag team pool on the planet to having The Gunns as champions is a mystery, a crime, and Tony Khan’s biggest failing since starting AEW.
Having FTR win the belts, and spend a significant amount of time overcoming all challengers, while reclaiming gold from elsewhere, holds more weight than a pop at a WWE event. By staying in, they can be accredited with any rise the company sees, perhaps one day filling a stadium under the AEW banner.
Still, the choice is theirs. But the extended wait risks causing more damage than any pay-off is worth.
Listen to FTR with Dax Harwood on all major providers of Podcasts and via Megaphone.