FTR
FTR, June 2022.jpg
Dax Harwood (left) and Cash Wheeler (right) in June 2022
Tag team
MembersCash Wheeler/Dash Wilder[1]
Dax Harwood/Scott Dawson[2]
Name(s)Dash and Dawson
FTR
The Mechanics
The Revival
Las Super Ranas
Super Frogs
Billed heights5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) each[1][2]
Combined
billed weight
446 lb (202 kg)[1][2]
Billed fromAsheville, North Carolina
Guadalajara, Jalisco, México
Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina[1][2]
Former
member(s)
Tully Blanchard (manager)[3]
DebutJuly 17, 2014
Years active2014–present

FTR (often stylized as #FTR) is an American professional wrestling tag team consisting of Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood. The team is currently signed to All Elite Wrestling (AEW), where they are currently triple tag team champions in their first reign each with the ROH World Tag Team Championship from AEW's sister promotion Ring of Honor (ROH), the AAA World Tag Team Championship from AEW's Mexico based partner promotion Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (AAA), and the IWGP Tag Team Championship from another AEW partner promotion, New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW). Before coming to AEW, they were known for their time in WWE as The Revival, under the ring names Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson, respectively.

The team was created by Dusty Rhodes in 2014, then as The Mechanics, and later simply Dash and Dawson when they made their television debut on WWE NXT. The team adopted the name The Revival in 2016, referencing reviving the classic tag-team wrestling style of the 1980s, which has led to the two being compared favorably to the Brain Busters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard) and The Midnight Express, particularly the Condrey/Eaton version, two of the top teams of all time. The team uses the phrase "No flips, just fists" to convey their more traditional, mat based in-ring style in contrast to the more high flying style of some contemporary teams.

They are the first team to have won WWE's Raw Tag Team Championship (held twice), SmackDown Tag Team Championship (once), and NXT Tag Team Championship (twice), and are recognized by WWE as being the company's first-ever WWE Tag Team Triple Crown winners.[4] They are also the only people to have jointly won the WWE 24/7 Championship.

After being granted their releases by WWE in April 2020, the duo took the name of FTR, alternately using the letters to mean "Forever The Revival" as WWE had ownership rights to the name "The Revival". The initialism is also a reference to "Fuck the Revival", an inside joke and catch-phrase coined by the Young Bucks and Cody Rhodes on the YouTube series Being the Elite.[5][6] They made their AEW debut on the May 27, 2020, episode of Dynamite, winning the AEW World Tag Team Championship the following September at AEW's All Out pay-per-view. That year, Pro Wrestling Illustrated ranked them number one on their inaugural PWI Tag Team 50 list.

History

WWE

Origins and formation (2014–2015)

Wheeler and Harwood were longtime friends before being made into a team, and had wrestled together on the independent circuit. In 2012, Harwood was hired by WWE based in part on a match he previously had with Wheeler, and performed there under the name Scott Dawson, mostly in tag team matches on NXT and live shows.[7] Wheeler had hoped to join WWE, with the two also hoping to form a tag team there. In 2014, Wheeler joined the WWE Performance Center, and on his very first day of promo training, performed a promo with Dawson; WWE producer Dusty Rhodes immediately became convinced that the two needed to become a team. According to a May 2020 interview of the duo, Rhodes was not only highly influential in both the creation and development of the team, but had "unwavering faith" in them even as some of the other coaches had doubts, and was their "biggest supporter and pushed for [them] harder than anybody" until his passing in 2015.[7]

Wheeler and Harwood, who were both from North Carolina, acknowledged that their southern accents contributed to the lack of faith some coaches had for them at the Performance Center (with WWE chairman Vince McMahon's dislike for southern accents being well-known backstage). They were notably told that they would not get to do many promos, although Rhodes, a fellow resident of North Carolina, insisted that they should.[8]

In 2014, after returning from injury, Dawson teamed up with a debuting Wilder, with the two performing extensively at live events under the ring name The Mechanics.[9] The two made their on-screen debut on the July 31, 2014, episode of NXT, losing to Bull Dempsey and Mojo Rawley. They made only one further televised appearance in 2014, losing to Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady on the October 23 episode of NXT, but continued to wrestle extensively at live events.

The duo resurfaced and picked up their first televised win on the July 29, 2015 episode of NXT, defeating Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady. At NXT TakeOver: Respect, The Mechanics were defeated in the semi-finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic by eventual winners Finn Bálor and Samoa Joe. In the following weeks, the team name was changed to "Dash and Dawson". On the October 28 episode of NXT, Dash and Dawson would attack Amore and Cassady before their match, completely laying out Amore while decimating Cass' knee, leaving him unable to compete.[10]

NXT Tag Team Champions (2015–2017)

Scott Dawson (left) and Dash Wilder (right), as NXT Tag Team Champions in 2016
Scott Dawson (left) and Dash Wilder (right), as NXT Tag Team Champions in 2016

Due to an earlier non-title victory over the NXT Tag Team Champions, The Vaudevillains, Dash and Dawson earned a title match on the November 11 episode of NXT, and won the match to become the NXT Tag Team Champions for the first time.[11] They made their first successful title defense two weeks later, defeating The Vaudevillians in a rematch.[12] Afterwards, they successfully defended their titles against Amore and Cassady at NXT TakeOver: London. Beginning in February 2016, Dash and Dawson began performing under the team name The Revival.[13]

The Revival made their first appearance on WWE's main roster at Roadblock, successfully defending their championships against Amore and Cassady. On April 1 at NXT TakeOver: Dallas, The Revival lost the NXT Tag Team Championship to American Alpha (Chad Gable and Jason Jordan), ending their reign at 142 days.[14] On June 8 at NXT TakeOver: The End, The Revival regained the titles from American Alpha, thus becoming the first team to win the NXT Tag Team Championship twice.[15] On the July 6 episode of NXT, The Revival defeated American Alpha in a two-out-of-three falls match to retain the titles. At NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II, they retained their titles over Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa. In a rematch against Gargano and Ciampa (now called DIY) at NXT TakeOver: Toronto, The Revival would lose their tag team titles in a two-out-of-three falls match after scoring the first fall via pinfall, ending their second reign at 164 days. The match was later named "WWE Match of the Year" for 2016.[16] At NXT TakeOver: Orlando, The Revival would lose to The Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar) in a triple threat elimination match for the NXT Tag Team Championship that also featured DIY, in what would be their last match in NXT.

Raw Tag Team Champions (2017–2019)

On the April 3 episode of Raw, The Revival made their main roster debut, defeating The New Day. The following week on Raw, they defeated The New Day once again. On April 14, Wilder subsequently suffered a fractured jaw during a live event, and was estimated to be out for eight weeks, putting the team on a temporary hiatus.[17] On the July 10 episode of Raw, The Revival attacked The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff Hardy) after their match against Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, and became embroiled in a three-way feud; however, shortly afterwards, Dawson suffered a ruptured bicep, putting him out of action for an estimated five months.[18]

The Revival returned again on the December 18 episode of Raw, defeating Heath Slater and Rhyno. At Raw 25, The Revival lost to Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, marking their first defeat on the main roster. On January 28, 2018 at the Royal Rumble pre-show, The Revival defeated Gallows and Anderson. On SummerSlam pre-show, The Revival lost to The B-Team (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel) in an attempt to become the Raw Tag Team Champions. At Survivor Series, they were part of Team Raw, but lost to Team SmackDown in the 10-on-10 Survivor Series tag team elimination match. The Revival were the final team eliminated in the match.[19]

Following this they began a feud against Lucha House Party (Kalisto, Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado) and suffered various losses in handicap matches labeled "Lucha House Rules".[20] On the December 17 episode of Raw, The Revival defeated Lucha House Party, The B-Team and Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar) in a fatal-4-way match, earning a shot at the Raw Tag Team Championship.[citation needed] Throughout the next two weeks, The Revival faced Bobby Roode and Chad Gable for the titles, but Dawson and Wilder were unsuccessful in winning the titles in controversial fashion each time.[citation needed] Shortly after, Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer reported that the duo asked for their release from their WWE contracts. This information was reported following their bout against Lucha House Party on the January 14, 2019 episode of Raw.[21]

On the February 11 episode of Raw, The Revival finally defeated Roode and Gable for the titles, marking their first tag team championship win on the main roster.[22] The following two weeks on Raw, The Revival were booked to lose to two different teams from NXT. This string of losses included against DIY and the team of Ricochet and Aleister Black.[23][24] The team successfully defended their titles against Black and Ricochet and Roode and Gable at Fastlane, when Dawson pinned Gable.[25] At WrestleMania 35, The Revival lost their titles to Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder, ending their reign at 55 days. The following night on Raw, The Revival fought Hawkins and Ryder in a rematch, but failed to regain the titles. At The Shield's Final Chapter, The Revival once again unsuccessfully fought Hawkins and Ryder for the tag team championship in a triple threat match also involving Aleister Black and Ricochet.

After being drafted to Raw in the Superstar Shake-up, The Usos began a rivalry with Dawson and Wilder where The Usos would repeatedly embarrass The Revival on numerous occasions. On the May 20 episode of Raw, The Revival defeated The Usos.[26] At Super ShowDown, The Revival lost the rematch.[27] On the following episode of Raw, The Revival defeated Hawkins and Ryder, and The Usos in a triple threat tag team match to win the Raw Tag Team Championships for a second time.[28] The Revival defeated The Usos at Extreme Rules to retain the tag titles. On July 29 episode of Raw, they lost the titles to Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson in a triple threat match that also involved the Usos, ending their second reign at 49 days. On the August 12, 2019 post-Summerslam episode of "Raw", during a scheduled tag team match where The Revival were facing Lucha House Party (Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik, with Kalisto), the 24/7 champion R-Truth ran out from backstage, being chased by several wrestlers. The match was called off and The Revival performed a "Hart Attack" on Truth and simultaneously pinned him to become the first co-champions of the 24/7 Championship. However, in the same night, R-Truth pinned Dawson, with the help of Carmella, to regained the title.[29]

SmackDown Tag Team Champions (2019–2020)

Following SummerSlam, The Revival began to appear on SmackDown Live, aligning themselves with Randy Orton in a feud against The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods).[30] On September 15 at Clash of Champions, The Revival defeated The New Day's Big E and Woods to capture the SmackDown Tag Team Championship, making them the first team to hold the Raw, SmackDown, and NXT Tag Team Championships, and thus the first-ever WWE Tag Team Triple Crown Champions.[31][4] As part of the draft, The Revival was drafted to the SmackDown brand. As Randy Orton had become drafted to the Raw brand, this signified the end of The Revival's alliance with Orton.[32] On the November 8 episode of SmackDown, The Revival lost the SmackDown Tag Team titles back to The New Day's Big E and Kingston, ending their reign at 54 days.[33] They received a rematch for the titles at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, but was again defeated by The New Day.[34] Later that same night, The Revival also aligned themselves with King Corbin, assisting him in defeating Roman Reigns, but that alliance ended quietly.[35]

On the January 31, 2020 episode of SmackDown, The Revival lost to John Morrison and The Miz in a fatal four-way tag team match also involving Heavy Machinery (Otis and Tucker) and Lucha House Party, in a match where the winner would earn a Smackdown Tag Team Championship match at Super ShowDown; this would The Revival's final televised match in WWE.[36] On the February 7, 2020 episode of SmackDown, they attacked Intercontinental Champion Braun Strowman alongside Sami Zayn and Shinsuke Nakamura, in their final appearances in WWE.

On April 10, The Revival were granted their releases from WWE, fifteen months after their request in January 2019.[37][38][39] In an interview the following month, the duo explained that they had asked for their releases because "the tag team division doesn't get respect, it doesn't get the time that we think a lot of these teams deserve and we want to take chances on ourselves", and that they felt that otherwise they would have "no legacy aside from our NXT stuff".[40] They also stated: "The tag team titles, they don't really mean anything", pointing out that Braun Strowman had "steam-rolled the entire tag team division" by himself before winning the Raw Tag Team Championship with 10-year old non-wrestler Nicholas Cone, a son of WWE referee John Cone, at WrestleMania 34.[40] According to the duo, WWE management originally thought that The Revival was bluffing in order to receive a push, and that the push they received shortly after (they won the Raw Tag Team Championship the following month, with three more title wins later the same year) was a result of it, even after they repeatedly insisted that they did not want to win titles because they believed WWE's tag team championships were meaningless.[41]

During the two's last months in the company, Vince McMahon personally designed an entirely new gimmick for The Revival. However, the duo found the proposed characters "less than flattering", with Wilder stating that he laughed out loud when McMahon gave them pictures displaying their offered new looks.[42][43] The designs, which have since leaked online, had the two wearing lipstick, bright colors and tassels and carrying glow sticks, with Wilder also wearing suspenders and a large "Shatter Machine" sign on a chain necklace.[40][44] The duo stated that they had immediately told McMahon that these new characters were "bad", and that while they would portray them if WWE wanted, they would still leave the company once their contracts expired in June 2020. In the same May 2020 interview, Wheeler and Harwood stated their belief that this was the moment McMahon and WWE executives realized that the two actually intended to leave the company; this resulted in The Revival being permanently taken off-television until their release.[43]

Following their departure from WWE, the team released a video on their social media pages using the new catchphrase "Fear The Revolt" (FTR); this resulted in their new ring name being largely reported to be The Revolt. Furthermore, Wilder changed his ring name to Cash Wheeler while Dawson changed his to Dax Harwood (with both now using their real-life last names, while Wheeler was now using the first name he originally wanted in WWE).[37]

On May 10, 2020, the duo received a cease and desist letter over the usage of the name "The Revolt" by the attorney of Caleb Konley and Zane Riley, a duo who had been using the name on the independent circuit since 2015; the letter stated that "[Wheeler and Harwood's] conduct is not only unlawful, it is truly shameless that they would willfully steal a name from those that worked so hard to build it up". A letter sent by Wheeler and Harwood's attorney, Michael E. Dockins, the following day, announced that Wheeler and Harwood's team name was not The Revolt but "FTR", which "would mean different things depending on their storyline and creatives", and that they could keep using the "Fear The Revolt" catchphrase regardless. While Konley and Riley claim that Wheeler and Harwood, who knew them personally, knew about their previous use of the Revolt name, Dockins stated that his clients "were not aware of and, at worst, have no recollection of ever knowing of [Konley and Riley]'s claimed rights in a REVOLT-inclusive trademark."[45]

All Elite Wrestling (2020–present)

Debut and World Tag Team champions (2020-2021)

On the May 27, 2020 episode of Dynamite, Harwood and Wheeler made their All Elite Wrestling debut as FTR, saving The Young Bucks from an attack by The Butcher and The Blade thus establishing themselves as babyfaces in the process.[46] They made their in-ring debut on the June 10 episode of Dynamite, where they defeated The Butcher and The Blade.[47] During the following weeks, FTR had interactions with The Young Bucks and the AEW World Tag Team Champions Kenny Omega and Hangman Page, including a match at Fyter Fest where FTR and The Young Bucks were defeated by The Lucha Bros and The Butcher and The Blade in an eight-man tag team match.[48][49] In July 2020, after appearing on AEW television for two months without signing contracts, Harwood and Wheeler signed multi-year contracts with AEW.[50][51]

On the August 12 episode of Dynamite, FTR hosted Tag Team Appreciation Night where they invited Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard and The Rock 'n' Roll Express to the show. However, after a scuffle between Tully Blanchard and Ricky Morton, FTR would attack Rock 'n' Roll Express thus turning heel in the process.[52] The following week, FTR would recruit Blanchard as their manager as they defeated Private Party.[53] On the August 27 episode of Dynamite, FTR defeated The Natural Nightmares, Best Friends and The Young Bucks in a Gauntlet match to earn an AEW World Tag Team Championship match at All Out.[54] At All Out, they defeated Omega and Page to capture the titles, making them the first team to have held tag team titles in both AEW and WWE.[55]

On September 16, 2020, FTR defeated Jurassic Express members Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy in a non-title match following interference from Blanchard.[56] On September 30, 2020, FTR successfully defended their tag team titles on Dynamite against SCU members Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky.[57][58][59] On October 7, 2020, FTR retained their titles after defeating Hybrid2.[60][61][62] On October 14, 2020, they would again successfully defend their tag team titles, this time against Best Friends.[63][64] On November 7, 2020 at Full Gear, FTR would lose their titles to The Young Bucks in a match which saw manager Tully Blanchard banned from ringside.

The Pinnacle (2021–2022)

On the March 10, 2021 episode of Dynamite, FTR and Blanchard attacked The Inner Circle along with MJF, Wardlow, and Shawn Spears, with their new group being named The Pinnacle.[65] On the October 16 special episode of Dynamite, FTR - disguised as luchadors called Las Super Ranas - defeated The Lucha Brothers to win the AAA World Tag Team Championship for the first time. After The Pinnacle dissolved FTR turned face, after siding with MJF’s rival CM Punk.

Championship glory (2021–present)

FTR made a surprise appearance at ROH Final Battle, attacking the newly-crowned ROH World Tag Team Champions The Briscoe Brothers and setting up a match between the two teams, which took place at Supercard of Honor XV. FTR would win the match and become ROH World Tag Team Champions for the first time, and with their AAA Tag Team Titles, became double champions. On June 26, 2022, FTR added the IWGP Tag Team Championship from New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) when they won a Three-way Winner Takes All tag team match against IWGP Champions United Empire (Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb) and Roppongi Vice (Rocky Romero & Trent Beretta) at AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door, making them triple champions (AAA, ROH, IWGP).

Professional wrestling style and persona

FTR have been praised for their old-school style and knowledge of tag team wrestling.[66][67][68] According to Harwood, the tag team approach to wrestling is having boundaries and rules and work with them, usually breaking them.[69] Pro wrestling booker and manager Jim Cornette, known for his old-school approach, has praised the team on several occasions.[70] The team uses the phrase "No flips, just fists"[71] to convey their more traditional, mat based in-ring style in contrast to the more high flying style of some contemporary teams. The duo said that they were modeled after The Brain Busters and the Condrey/Eaton version of The Midnight Express.[72]

Dusty Rhodes gave Wheeler his WWE ring name, Dash Wilder; Wheeler wanted to call his character "Cash" instead of "Dash", but Rhodes preferred the latter because it reminded him of his son Cody's nickname, "Dashing", while Wilder was chosen due to its similarity to Wheeler.[73] After the two left WWE, Dawson and Wilder changed their names to Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler, now using their real last names while paying tribute to Demolition's Ax and Smash.[74]

The duo's finishing move, called "Shatter Machine" in WWE, was inspired by the "Codebreaker" used by Chris Jericho, whom the two saw as a major inspiration; although WWE staff had told them they didn't need it, the two asked for Jericho's approval to use the move, which he gave them. The duo confirmed after leaving WWE that they would change the move's name.[75] As FTR, the duo renamed the move to the "Goodnight Express", an homage to The Midnight Express.[47] They later renamed the move again to "Big Rig" after the late Brodie Lee. FTR also uses an assisted spike piledriver called the "Mind Breaker" as their double-team finishing move in AEW, modeled after the Brain Busters's own finisher.

In November 2020, Harwood and Wheeler revealed in an interview with Talk Sport journalist Alex McCarthy that FTR wanted to join AEW, despite being offered a huge amount of money to stay in the WWE, because they kept getting pulled from main roster events in the WWE. Harwood stated "We knew it was time for us to move on because money is great, and I am so fortunate and lucky to take care of my beautiful wife and perfect little six year old daughter because of professional wrestling, but that's what it's because of – professional wrestling."[76] Wheeler stated "Once we got pulled from all of our dates on the main roster, it was down to NXT as the option and we talked to Hunter at length, there were offers on the table that were very tempting because we loved NXT and we loved our time there, but at the end of the day like Dax said, we knew that our time there was done."[76]

Other media

The Revival made their video game debut as playable characters in WWE 2K17,[77] and have since appeared in WWE 2K18,[78] WWE 2K19,[79] and WWE 2K20.[80]

Championships and accomplishments

Notes

  1. ^ The Revival simultaneously pinned R-Truth to become co-WWE 24/7 Champions, making the team co-holders of the title.

References

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Preceded byKenny Omega and Adam Page 3rd AEW World Tag Team Champions September 5, 2020–November 7, 2020 Succeeded byMatt Jackson and Nick Jackson