FTR’s Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler recently spoke with the Dallas Morning News and commented on people who complain about AEW’s overcrowded roster, Tony Khan trying to put together the best roster he can, and more.
You can check out some highlights from the interview below:
Dax on complaints about an overcrowded AEW roster: “I think that Tony Khan is trying to assemble the greatest roster in the world, one of the greatest rosters he possibly can because he wants to put on the greatest product that he can. And anyone who complains about that, I’ll say they are a fool. Because he’s doing this – he spent a [expletive]-ton of money to bring back CM Punk. You think he did that for himself? Or do you think he did that for the enjoyment of the fans and he wanted the fans to be happy? I think it’s the latter part. Yeah, it’s easy to say all these guys from WWE are coming over, but the guys that are coming over are professional wrestlers. That’s what we are. We’re not WWE guys. We’re professional wrestlers. I mean, God, I was barely making it – same thing with Cash – on the independent circuit because we wanted to be successful professional wrestlers. And right now, we’re still a brand new company and Tony is trying to assemble the greatest roster that he possibly can so fans can enjoy the greatest product they can. And, on top of that – I’ll say it and I’m not worried about getting heat because nobody can kick my ass – if any of the wrestlers are upset because of all the guys coming in, well, step up. I want [Khan] to bring in every great tag team in the world right now because that’s competition for me. And I want to show him and I want to show the millions of people around the world – we say it with all the humility going out of our bodies – there’s nobody better than us. So, I hope Tony keeps bringing in talent. I hope he brings in the greatest talent from around the world because I want to sit that talent down and say, ‘Watch this. We’re better than you are.’”
Wheeler on Tony signing talent: “He’s got two rosters now to fill, which you’ve got to keep in mind. He’s got to fill two full rosters. But, like Dax said, AEW is still in its infancy. When AEW started, they had to build from scratch. And you don’t know who’s going to work on TV, who’s not going to work on TV, who the fans will accept and who they won’t. So, you’ve got to just sign everybody and hope after a couple years you’ve kind of got a better read on everything – what’s established, what isn’t. You can’t plan for things that are completely unexpected. So, some of these names that became available to him, he never could have foresaw that coming. None of us could. So, when it was available, he would be a terrible businessman to not pursue that because it’s going to make his company better. And it’s going to make his talent better because now they have another brain to pick. He’s not signing schlubs. He’s signing people that can help. A lot of the talent we have right now, also, are very young talent. They don’t need to be exposed every week on TV to make those mistakes. They need some YouTube shows, they need some independent shows, they need some ROH shows that might not be on TBS in front of a million people or more. They need the exposure before they earn that right to be on AEW television. Yeah, he’s got two rosters to fill out. He’s got some young talent he’s got to get seasoning on and grow. He’s got established talent that he’s finally getting where he needs. And it’s going to weed itself out over time. There’s going to be contracts that aren’t renewed. And that’s OK. He’s honoring the contracts still. They don’t need to be told anything other than, ‘We’re not renewing.’ We’re journeymen. We go from one place to the other if it doesn’t work out, but if you want it bad enough you’ll get another opportunity somewhere. You just have to go out and get it.”
Wheeler on how his arm feels after gruesome injury last year: “It’s not too bad. It’s progressed. There’s still going to be some weirdness to it, some tingling and just a little bit of grip strength stuff still. But, all in all, it’s fine. I can tape it up and even without being 100%, we’re the best tag team on the planet. So, it’s not going to stop us.”
Harwood on what will happen with ROH: “I think now it’s going to be less of a developmental system, as some people have alluded to. I think it’s going to be more of what it was in its heyday. I think Ring of Honor fans and professional wrestling fans are lucky that someone like Tony Khan bought the rights to Ring of Honor, because he’s just as big – maybe more – of a wrestling fan that everyone else out there watching. And he wants Ring of Honor to be successful. He wants to continue to be the proving ground of professional wrestling, and to have the greatest professional wrestlers come through that area.”