The past year has seen a number of events in social and political activism, and we’re honored to share in this worldwide wave of freedom and unity. One such event was the release of “That’s Not Wrestling 17 (Free The Revival/FTR)Geeks + Gamers” on December 31st, 2016. FTR stands for “Free The Revival” and is a re-imagining of the once popular (and now defunct) TNRW series. The format follows the original TNRW formula with a few changes: Wrestlers are free to decide when and where to fight, and there is no pre-determined order in which matches will be fought. Each match is fought by a wrestler with a special skill or
This week, FTR organized it’s first gaming tournament. If you aren’t familiar with the name, you might be familiar with the revival of the “That’s Not Wrestling” wrestling show. The revival took place at WrestleMania 33, and was a success.
That Isn’t Wrestling #17: The Revival Isn’t Wrestling (again)
All In, FTR, AEW TV, and more!
Thank you for visiting Geeks + Gamers, and welcome! I talk about FTR, AEW TV, All In, and more this week!
A few years ago, the stars seemed to be aligning for a major change in the world of professional wrestling. Everyone was talking about a huge new company with a television contract and “real, sport-based wrestling.” The contemporary wrestling fan’s existence of “eating crap and learning to enjoy the flavor” has finally come to an end. Wasn’t it? Every Thursday, join me here to dissect the acts of the stupid, dangerous, and desperate in pro wrestling… well, in AEW.
There’s a high possibility you’ve seen Dash Wilder (Cash Wheeler) and Scott Dawson (Dax Harwood), AKA FTR, on your television whether you’ve been watching AEW for the past two years or it’s only just grabbed your interest. FTR, like a number of other wrestlers on the roster, has been mishandled in AEW as well as in WWE, in my view.
It’s a difficult reality for me to face. But, because you know me, I’ll simply say what I see! FTR is, in my opinion, the best tag team in the world today, therefore the fire in my belly that I’ve carried with me is for the sake of development! They just signed a multi-year contract last year, so they won’t be getting their freedom anytime soon. The most we can hope for is that AEW and its tag division clean up their act and allow some of the Top Guys do what they do best.
I’ve also prepared a little surprise for your ears!
Click play, crank up the volume, and keep scrolling down.
Tag Team Wrestling Makes a Comeback
“The American Dream” is a popular phrase in the United States. Dusty Rhodes saw Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson’s strong connection and immediately teamed them together as The Mechanics. They debuted on July 17, 2014, and have since dominated the NXT tag division.
It wasn’t just the wrestling fans who were amazed by their attention to detail in the ring; it wasn’t just the normal wrestling fans who were paying attention. Until Dash and Dawson came, Randy Orton, the resident underwear model, was doing “Ravishing” Rick Rude’s gimmick of turning the ladies in the audience into uncontrolled messes live on TV. Inadvertently, the Revival acquired this torch and started turning heads on all fronts. Even your wife saw how these two masculine, Southern strong men stood out amid the rest of the business, which was concerned with flips and being beautiful.
While at NXT, The Revival had a huge impact, and it was really heartbreaking to see them depart. There was a trend forming surrounding talent being called “up” to the main roster, and it wasn’t a good one. The Revival bid their farewell on the WWE Network after great bouts against The Vaudevillians, American Alpha, DIY, and others, and the road from here began a downhill slope.
In WWE, this term is often misused.
On April 3, 2017, they were promoted to the main roster after beating The New Day on Raw. The New Day, The Lucha House Party, and The B-Team would all utilize them extensively in their comic escapades after that. In February 2018, nearly a year after leaving NXT, they defeated Bobby Roode and Chad Gable for the Raw tag championships. After just 55 days, they’d hand the belts up to Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder. In May, they would reclaim them, but only for 49 days.
The next notable thing they did was establish a nice little stable with Randy Orton just as they were about to leave. Despite the fact that they held the Smackdown tag team championships for 54 days, they were basically minions. After Orton was drafted away from them to Raw, it was like jumping off a cliff. Stupid costumes were prepared, and a back shaving routine with Drunky and Jay Uso took place; they were nothing but laughable fodder.
However, they were the first (and perhaps only) tag team to hold the NXT, Raw, and Smackdown tag championships at the same time. So it’s not that WWE didn’t believe in them, but I think Vince McMahon needs to play his silly games again. He has to trust you before he can really embrace you. He has to humiliate you on video, so the clip is available to him anytime he wants to tighten your leash.
The duo began wearing trunks with the words “FTR” on them because they were dissatisfied with virtually every aspect of their job at WWE. According to The Revival’s social media, the WWE had a mindset that said “screw The Revival.” Wilder and Dawson were given their freedom by WWE in April 2020 after refusing all offers to stay with the company.
FTR’s liberty… Apparently
The two would rename themselves Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood, respectively, and FTR as a group. There have been a few theories about what the name may really mean, including “fear the rebellion” and “screw the rest.” It’s an orphan acronym, and I’m fairly sure it’s never been verified. In any case, FTR made its AEW premiere on Dynamite on May 27, 2020.
Despite AEW’s history of delivering mediocre debuts 90% of the time, everyone, including me, was thrilled. They teamed up with Tully Blanchard and defeated Kenny Omega and Adam Page at All Out on September 5, 2020, to win the AEW Tagteam Championships. Now that they’d left Vince’s world of politicking, petty games, and insecurity, things seemed to be looking up…
Things don’t seem to be much different in AEW than they are in WWE. It seems to me that AEW also engages in a game of “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” FTR lost the belts against The Hardy Soyz The Young Bucks on November 7, 2020, at Full Gear, after just 63 days with the gold.
It didn’t happen right around the time you’d anticipate a rematch and/or rivalry between the two claimed best tag teams in the world to start. Creative forces would neatly take FTR away, and the Bucks would still have the belts when I write this in September 2021.
It was at this time that I anticipated to see some “FFTR” trunks emerge.
Same Old Shit in Accident & Emergency Wrestling
When FTR and Tully joined MJF, Wardlow, and Shawn Spears to create The Pinnacle, they disappeared from the tag team championship picture. For the most part, they managed to stay away from two-on-two tag bouts. The faction’s only goal was to aid MJF in his protracted rivalry with Chris Jericho and The Inner Circle. FTR was defeated in the rear, and Jericho flushed their leader’s head down the toilet. They were also covered in the Stadium Stampede’s smell.
To make things worse, Jericho was in the midst of a “What if Chris Jericho was the major star during the Attitude Era” phase in which he was repeating a slew of classic WWE skits, spots, and angles. Jericho’s bubbly-spraying vehicle was one of these time-wasters, as FTR had to jump/roll about and sell being “shot” with Jericho’s lack of creativity in liquid form. On many levels, it’s a fucking disgrace.
After then, things started to become a little shady. Due to a lack of expertise in making a ring safe, Cash Wheeler was wounded “in a strange accident.” After minor contact, one of the turnbuckle hooks had not been checked, and it sliced a severe gash on Wheeler’s arm. Thank goodness no one’s face, neck, or throat was smashed into that corner!
According to reports, the injury did not endanger Wheeler’s career, although he did have some motor problems at first. He took a few weeks off to recuperate and prepare for their comeback to televised tag team wrestling.
Last week, the guys returned to Dynamite to face Santana and Ortiz in an exciting but short battle, which FTR would eventually lose!?! Oh, the fucking abyss!
What Does the Future Hold for FTR?
With all due respect, FTR has done nothing except vent their complaints on Talk is Jericho, win a few of bouts, put The Young Bucks over, and return to being underutilized and/or mocked since leaving WWE.
I’m not saying the WWE is a step forward, but they’d be better suited in NXT, Impact Wrestling, or even the NWA. I realize that the NWA is probably overcrowded over there right now, and that NXT is too close to WWE, but Impact would really benefit from their presence. When The North was on top, Impact was putting on some fantastic tag bouts last year and beyond. There’s nothing they stand to gain by altering what they’re doing now.
Fingers crossed that CM Punk’s entrance and consequent lifting of the bar in the AEW main event scene has set off a chain reaction. Along with the women’s division, The Young Bucks’ Daycare AEW tag team division is in in need of a big kick in the buttocks; I’m not the only one who thinks so. The fanatical, death-spot-craving die-hard fans in attendance will only respond as ferociously while the spots are still fresh in their minds. We’ve all been conditioned to expect anything to be used at least 300 times before it’s considered somewhat obsolete, much alone overdone, thanks to WWE.
AEW has put in a lot of effort to catch up to WWE. AEW already has four weekly programs, four pay-per-views each year, and a management simulator mobile game. The next console video game will be intriguing, but that’s a story for another day! Soon, AEW will have reached the pinnacle of their absurdity, leaving followers searching for something new and realistic to dig their teeth into… else they’ll just walk away, labeling wrestling “fake” and/or “silly.”
Those that stay around to see whether anybody can amuse them while suspending their disbelief are in extremely capable hands with Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood around!
That does it for this week. Thanks for stopping by. If you like videos about wrestling, help yourself to PUTTING IT BLUNTLY: AEW Double or Nothing NXT Takeover 36, & WWE SummerSlam 2021 reviews on my YouTube channel. Keep your eye on GeeksandGamers.com once AEW All In has finished for results on Sunday night; I shall also be recording a PUTTING IT BLUNTLY for it.
NOTICE OF VACATION: There will be no Another Week of Wrestling (6th September) or That’s Not Wrestling (10th September) next week; I will return on Monday, September 13th, and Friday, September 17th.
Rachael Hope created the background artwork.
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