Since Don Callis was invited into Tony Khan’s house as a guest commentator, many rumours and fantasy bookings have circulated for matches between AEW and Impact wrestlers. A number of these focus on champions in both promotions, especially with Kenny Omega wanting to increase his collection, but what about the rest of the rosters? Wrestlers wanting to prove they are the best in the world suddenly have a chance to back up their boasts.
FTR (Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood) are one of the most outspoken groups in wrestling, with their claim to being the best tag team on the planet borne out with top spot in the PWI Top 50 Tag Team List for 2020. Here are 5 dream opponents for FTR to cement their position as the best in the world.
#5 – Madman Fulton and Ace Austin
While it may seem like Fulton and Austin have been thrown together as a tag team on Impact because there was nothing else planned for the duo, they have quickly become a force in the tag division. They impressed in an unsuccessful challenge for the tag titles at Bound For Glory XVI, having captured the AAW Tag Team Championships a few weeks prior.
The mixture of power and agility from Fulton and Austin would provide a stern test for FTR, and the dynamics of the match would be interesting to see play out. Madman Fulton easily has the strength and size advantage, and Ace Austin’s speed and high flying style is a perfect foil for Cash and Dax’s approach as a tag team. This would be a match FTR would be easily expected to win from the neutrals, so a good showing from Fulton and Austin would provide a good kick up the backside for Tully Blanchard’s charges to step their game up and not take any team lightly.
#4 – Havok and Neveah
OK, so AEW hasn’t yet pulled the trigger on matchups between male and female wrestlers, but Impact has a history, albeit with limited success.
However, a match between the formerly-named Killer Death Machines and the artists previously known as the Mechanics would be an exceptionally hard-hitting affair.
Havok and Neveah are both extremely talented and have proven themselves over the years to be a formidable tag team before joining forces in Impact, including a run as the holders of the Guardians of Rise Championship. They are at their best when paired against technical wrestlers, as it allows their devious and villainous behaviours to take centre stage. When you factor in the old school reluctance to strike a woman from Wheeler and Harwood, who would no doubt try to force a technical match against strikes galore from their opponents, the dynamic of this match would be an intrigue for many. Again, FTR would be expected to take an easy victory, but Havok and Neveah would have something to say about that and prove that women can hold their own.
#3 – The North
Josh Alexander and Ethan Page are one of the most intense and entertaining tag teams in wrestling and have been since they debuted as Monster Mafia back in 2011. Their rebirth as The North has seen them celebrate two stints as Impact Tag Team Champions, including a record-breaking 380-day run, and the award of Tag Team of the Year (2019). They also rank the highest of all Impact tag teams on the PWI list, coming in 4th.
If these two teams do hook it up in the ring, we can expect a hard-hitting, technical affair with plenty of nods to tag team wrestling of the past. All four are students of the game, and old school fans would no doubt notice a deep dig into their influences throughout. Neither team is afraid to utilise shenanigans either, so there’s a potential bonus of having this in an AEW ring with Rick Knox trying to keep the peace. Throw in the recent storyline of Page’s shift to his alter-ego, and while this match would never headline a show, it would keep eyes glued to it from bell to bell. Unfortunately, Page’s contract situation may prevent this from happening.
#2 – The Good Brothers
You expected this, right? A key part of the infamous Bullet Club, who arguably changed the wrestling landscape with their formation. Seven-time tag champs. Current Impact Tag Team Champions. Anderson and Gallows were never going to miss out in this top 5.
Arguably the most in-demand team on their release from WWE, when the Good Brothers turned up on Impact instead of AEW a lot of fans felt robbed of the opportunity to see a proper feud between them and FTR – having been largely disappointed in the way WWE used both teams. Gallows and Anderson are already heavily involved in the Omega-Callis storyline and are scheduled to team with the AEW World Champion against Rich Swann and the Motor City Machine Guns on January 16, 2021.
This early inclusion provides an easy opportunity for The Good Brothers to show up on Dynamite, with FTR standing up as proud members of the tag division to repel the “invaders”. Add in Gallows and Anderson’s background with The Young Bucks (and other members of the AEW roster) in Bullet Club, the potential twists and turns in this storyline are endless.
#1 – The Motor City Machine Guns
Possibly the most underrated tag team on the planet, Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin have come a long way since the days of being managed by Kevin Nash in TNA. Both were a key part of the early success of the X Division, with Sabin still holding the record for the number of reigns as X Division Champion (8), and were praised for their showings against veterans Team 3D including their infamous “upset” victory at Genesis 2007.
Sabin and Shelley are rightly considered pioneers in evolving the style of high-paced technical combinations in tag team wrestling, and their series of matches against Generation Me (The Young Bucks) in 2010 remains a highlight in both teams’ careers.
Masters of in-ring psychology, and adaptable to almost any style of in-ring competition, MCMG would provide a fantastic match up with FTR. Physically, similar, but stylistically opposed, the speed and combinations of MCMG against the quick tags and physical dominance of FTR would ensure the match would be an instant classic and could be a shining light to future generations of tag team wrestlers.
These five teams would all put on amazing matches with FTR. Each one brings a unique approach and skillset, all very different from what Cash and Dax are used to facing – both in AEW and previously in WWE. Even in Gallows and Anderson, familiar foes from their days on Raw, with the shackles of Vince’s control removed a match between the two teams in 2021 would be a very different prospect to what we have seen previously. By hosting some of these matches on Impact, you add the extra benefit of Tully Blanchard taking his team “on tour” to prove their point, which opens up a lot of doors with potential partner organisations if this kind of approach continues in the future.
With several high flying, younger teams appearing on AEW and challenging for the titles, the more technical match-ups on offer between FTR and Impact tag teams would not only be a welcome change of pace but also showcase the fact that tag matches don’t have to be spot fests – fitting nicely into the “No Flips, Just Fists” tag line.
At the very least, new opponents from Impact would force Cash and Dax to adapt and overcome if they truly want to be known as the best tag team in the world.