On the December 7, 2022 episode of AEW Dynamite, FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) challenged The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens & Max Caster) for the AEW Tag Team Championships.
FTR went into the match as the reigning AAA, IWGP, and ROH Tag Team Champions and looked to add more gold to their collection. FTR previously mentioned that they expected to face The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) at AEW All Out 2022 in a match for all the titles, but the Bucks lost the titles in July and AEW went in a different direction.
Speaking on his FTR podcast with Matt Koon, Dax discussed how the bout with The Acclaimed came together and FTR's goal in the match.
"It would have been a cool moment," Dax said about potentially adding more gold. "I hate giving away the magic, but I have to get with the times, I guess. That was Cash and I's idea, the match with The Acclaimed. We wanted to have that match with them because I felt, whenever we were at our most popular in the summer, the opportunity was missed with us. I've expressed this to Tony (Khan) and we've had talks, and he has his reasons, and when he explained his reasons, they are good reasons. I felt like our opportunity was missed and there was a time where we could have went over the threshold and there was an opportunity to make us, not just the top babyface tag team, but maybe the top babyface act in the company. Right up there with (CM) Punk and Mox [Jon Moxley]. We should have, of course, I feel this way because we're all egotistical in some way. I felt we should have been the team to topple one of the top heels in the company. That would have set us at the top and I felt we could have helped the company in that aspect, but it never happened. Cash and I wanted to do that for The Acclaimed. We wanted to give them an incredible wrestling match. It was two babyfaces, at the same time being polar opposites. One team is full of energy and full of life and oozing charisma and rapping to the ring. The other team has this guy here [himself], a 38-year-old balding mustache [laughs]. I wanted to give them a great match and we wanted to make sure they were looked as the top tag team in the company."
Dax continued, explaining why they didn't want to win the AEW Tag Team Titles from The Acclaimed in that match.
"At that point in time, we didn't want the tag belts. We felt, if we did get the tag belts, one, this team that had, just like us, gotten organically over, the people loved and cared about them, they may be upset with us. Two, not just because my bags were heavy, but I didn't want to have four tag team belts walking around because I felt the people would think we're getting pushed down their throats. I knew that if we lost in the right way, we could make them feel sorry for us and make them love us even more," he said.
Dax pointed out Cash's reaction, noting his emotion and expression, to the loss and how that moment helped gain more sympathy with the fans. He called Cash the most underrated worker in the business.
Less than a month after looking to add a fourth title to their waist, FTR are now beltless after losing the ROH Tag Team Titles to The Briscoes (May & Jay Briscoe), the AAA Tag Team Titles to La Faccion Ingobernable (Dragon Lee & Dralistico), and the IWGP Tag Team Titles to Bishamon (Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI).
The full episode of FTR drops on Thursday, January 5 on all podcast platforms. Fans can check it out at FTR With Dax or on YouTube at Watch Dax.
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