The Owen Hart Foundation Tournament is the closest the late, great Owen Hart has come to being involved in professional wrestling since his passing. Through the acceptance of his widow Martha Hart, All Elite Wrestling (AEW) has been given the chance to honor his memory with what he was born to do — pro wrestling. The men’s and women’s tournaments are just the beginning of AEW honoring Owen, but it’s one that has clearly hit home for a lot of wrestlers in AEW. It’s become the tournament in the promotion as names like Samoa Joe and Adam Cole have already worked their way in through qualifying matches. But none of those qualifying matches have meant as much as the one we are getting between FTR — Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler.
FTR has shifted its focus from simply being a part of The Pinnacle to instead wanting to prove night in and night out that there is no better tag team on the planet than “Six Star “FTR. It’s been the flip of the switch that has allowed FTR to show who they truly are as human beings, making them the hottest act in the world right now as a result. But the reason their first and only singles match (according to them) is as special as it feels is that it is a match built on the love of pro wrestling in more ways than one.
FTR Collides: Dax Harwood vs. Cash Wheeler is About The Love of Pro Wrestling
When the match was announced between Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler, it was met with instant appreciation by fans, and for good reason. The reigning AAA and ROH World Tag Team Champions have often worn the story of their careers on their sleeve. As a result, they often never hold back how they feel about themselves as a tag team. “Living Legends” is often written on their gear and merchandise while they unapologetically call themselves the “Top Guys.” No one ever said these two guys who’ve become fan favorites needed to be humble. They are not and it’s because more often than not, FTR backs it up.
Confidence like FTR’s can lead to success, even if they don’t have the over-the-top athleticism some pro wrestlers have. They’re forged by old-school wrestling and are one of the only teams in wrestling who wrestle the way they do. It’s what makes them unique and one of the best because they’ve mastered their abilities and who they are together. This doesn’t happen without embracing one another with open arms to tell this story and to show the world why they see only themselves as the best in the world.
When talking about the love of professional wrestling, no one shows it with their style as FTR does. As students of the game. FTR embraces the greatest before them instead of disrespecting them. They’ve become champions around everywhere they’ve been since becoming a team. As The Revival, they helped revitalize tag team wrestling in WWE. The duo won the NXT Tag Team Championship twice while also adding the Raw and SmackDown Tag Team Titles as well. FTR is still the only team to achieve such a feat to this day. They’ve since added the AEW World Tag Team Championship pretty much the moment they walked into AEW, a reign they still want to best when the time comes (which should be soon).
FTR has two pairs of tag titles around their waist with the AAA and ROH World Tag Team Championships but they’ve made clear it isn’t enough. Being the best is more than those championships to them. They parted ways with Tully Blanchard because they weren’t reaching the heights they should have been at. We’ve seen how the switch has changed them for the better and they’re now able to wear their love on their sleeves because of it.
So how do they further display this love of their art? By clashing one time in a tournament qualifier that is built for one of their pro wrestling heroes. It doesn’t get more “storybook” than that.
The best way I can think to pay respect to Owen is to wrestle the guy I look up to and respect the most.
If I lose? In my eyes I lose to the best wrestler in the world and my best friend. If I win?
What does that make me? https://t.co/9PBEH6HLdr
— Daniel “Cash” Wheeler (@CashWheelerFTR) April 25, 2022
The most important part of this match being about the love of professional wrestling can be captured in this tweet. There are layers to this but Cash Wheeler captures it all in just a few sentences. Not only is this to honor the late, great Owen Hart but to wrestle the man he calls his best friend. Wheeler and Harwood may not be brothers by blood, but they are brothers in every sense of the word. When these two go one-on-one for the first and only time, fans around the world are going to be able to feel the love they have for each other and professional wrestling.
The weight of the words Wheeler tweeted out there might be for him and him alone, but it only adds to the wonderful importance of the match. He views Dax Harwood as the best in the world. Wheeler looks up to his best friend and notes that if he is somehow able to beat him, what does that make him in his mind. It’s special. It’s deep. It’s the beauty of this great profession.
When talking about how the match came about, Wheeler and Harwood gave the world a good idea as to why this means so much to them.
“That was our idea, totally,” Wheeler told the Wrestling Perspective Pod when discussing how the singles match came to be. “We had to fight for it, but that was completely our idea.”
Harwood continued, noting that this was the perfect scenario for the match.
“We’ve always wanted to have a match, but we didn’t just want to have a match just to have a match,” Harwood told the Wrestling Perspective Pod. “There had to be a reason. This is the perfect reason.”
Everything FTR does is given the care and attention it deserves. For fans and wrestlers alike, the one thing they can always agree on is their love for the sport of professional wrestling. It’s why this match means so much to so many people. With the addition of CM Punk to the commentary team for this one, it will be an ode to Owen, Bret Hart, the Hart Family, and everyone who loves pro wrestling. It’s going to be a special match and one the wrestling world will remember for years to come.
Now hit the wonderful theme song until Wednesday night.
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