Wrestletalk Magazine – Issue 42 – June 2022
English | 40 pages | pdf | 10.66 MB

Reports circulated last month that WWE has an interest in bringing FTR, formerly known as THE REVIVAL under their roof, back to the company. DAX HARWOOD and CASH WHEELER left WWE in 2020 after asking for their release on several occasions. They felt WWE didn’t value tag team wrestling and it didn’t take a genius to work out that AEW, where THE YOUNG BUCKS are executive vice presidents, would be the perfect home for them. They were going to let their contracts expire, but WWE let them go once they really knew they wouldn’t re-sign.
Responding to Fightful’s report, Harwood said: “I think we know about as much as everyone else does. We left that place because they didn’t put a focus on tag team wrestling and we knew there was a ceiling to where we could go in the company. We wanted to do more, we wanted to be known as the greatest tag team of all time and we had to leave there to do that. “I told Tony [Khan], because obviously he heard about it, I told him that there’s no way that we would ever talk contracts with anybody while we were working for him. We have way too much respect for him, and our word means something. “And then I started thinking, ‘Do they want us? Or do they want AEW to not have us? It’s cool for CODY to do what he’s done, but there’s just so many unknowns there. Would they ever focus on tag team wrestling the way we’ve been able to the last two years?” Wheeler chimed in to speculate in how much has changed in WWE in the two years that they’ve left, but the pair did go on to say they would go wherever their love of wrestling takes them. “I don’t know how much has changed there as far as what we wanted tag team wrestling to be. And now, we’re getting to show everybody what tag team wrestling can be and what our vision of it is,” said Wheeler.
For what it’s worth, I don’t believe FTR have any desire to return to WWE. Unless the money was outrageous and they satisfied their creativity in the few years away from the company, I can’t see it.
And I’m also not sure Wrestletalk Magazine would throw outrageous money at a tag team. That’s not indicative of the mega-talented FTR, it’s indicative of WWE’s outlook on tag teams. VINCE MCMAHON wants solo stars – even out of his tag teams.
A solo star he may well want to acquire is MJF. AEW’s top heel, who is still only 26, has been very open about what he values in his next contract and that’s money.
In 2024, MJF will be a free agent and he has not been shy talking about it. When he agreed to do an interview with ARIEL HELWANI outside of AEW’s control, TONY KHAN is said to have reacted angrily to MJF’s comments about WWE, but more so doing the interview full stop.
I can tell you from speaking to a couple of talents after that incident that they became wary of doing anything to annoy Khan when it comes to public comments. MJF told Wrestling with Freddie that he believes Vince McMahon will offer him serious money when he hits free agency in 2024 and he’s previously remained adamant he won’t sign a new AEW deal before then. “I genuinely believe WWE is going to be willing to do whatever it takes to get me to jump ship, because to have me is to pretty much take a sniper rifle and shoot the heart of All Elite Wrestling, because that is exactly what I am. “I’m the glue because everybody around me hates my guts. Everybody wants to punch me in the face. I am the top tier guy that everybody has a problem with. When you take your biggest antagonist—even though, personally, I feel I’m a protagonist—when you take your biggest antagonist and you take them away, what do you have? “What is the Batman without The Joker? He’s nobody. He is boring and has no intrigue whatsoever. There is just no success without having that thorn in your side. I got no problem being that thorn because it makes me a s**t ton of money. So, yeah, I do believe that these people are going to shill out a lot of cash for me.” MJF is the most curious case because this is exactly what his character would say and do and that man almost never breaks character. I won’t ruin the perception he’s been able to create, but I do think he is ambitious and he absolutely should be.
Anybody worth anything in wrestling today would be wise to let their contract run down and have both WWE and AEW battle it out for them. MJF is smart enough to know that but more importantly, he’s crazy talented and young enough to do it.

For more from Alex McCarthy, check out the TalkWRESTLING podcast

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