FTR On AEW Signing Former WWE Superstars: "AEW Cannot Just Hire Independent Wrestlers”

“The people we’ve signed, they’re all signed for a reason – because they’re so good at what they do.”

Since its inception, AEW has featured big-name former WWE talents, leading to some sections of the wrestling fandom to criticise the company for relying too much on ‘former WWE guys’, especially in the wake of AEW picking up many talents from the WWE releases of the past year.

However, as two former WWE talents plying their trade in AEW, FTR don’t understand why some fans get upset by this, telling TSN:

“There are a lot of fans, and it boggles my mind, who are upset by this,” Dax Harwood said. “They’re upset by seeing a lot of former WWE talent [in AEW]. They’ve got to understand AEW cannot just hire independent wrestlers because if they only hire independent wrestlers for a television product, it’s almost like the blind leading the blind. You have to have people who are experienced in television wrestling because it’s a completely different beast from just professional wrestling.”

Cash Wheeler concurred, "The people we’ve signed, they’re all signed for a reason – because they’re so good at what they do and they’re going to help everybody else in the process, so the company gets better by signing these people. And I hate when people call them ‘ex-WWE this’ or ‘ex-WWE that’ because yeah, we’ve worked there. We’ve all worked there at some point, but that doesn’t make us their property or like we didn’t learn these things some time before that, also. We’ve all learned these things from decades of hard work, decades of putting in the grind and going all over to get good enough to where we can get jobs with the best wrestling companies in the world and it just so happens that now there’s another huge, great wrestling company and that hasn’t been around for 20-plus years. So now there’s options and there are going to be people coming over and that’s just how it’s going to be, but that doesn’t mean the company is going to be the next whatever. They’re killing it right now. They’re signing the people that need to be signed and wrestling is better because of it.”

Indeed, every major promotion you can think of takes talents from elsewhere, from Vince McMahon expanding the WWF in the 1980s, through the rise of WCW, to TNA/IMPACT, NXT, AEW, and beyond. It’s part and parcel of the pro wrestling industry.

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Written by Jack Atkins

Scripts, news, and features writer. Anything with words, basically.