Let us be honest with ourselves. FTR didn’t have the best start in AEW.

I know some FTR diehards will strongly disagree with that statement, but it’s the truth to me. At first, they weren’t working out and you wondered what was missing.

We always knew they had talent, ability, and tag team expertise. FTR always had those things. However, when they first came into AEW it felt at times it all wasn’t clicking. Some of it would, but the spark elsewhere would be missing. They had all the puzzle pieces but they weren’t always coming together. This led to high-profile matches that would get mixed reviews and some of us scratching our heads in disappointment. This is what we wanted, wasn’t it? FTR in AEW wrestling the best tag teams in arguably America’s best promotion.

What wasn’t working?

What was working though was FTR never stop betting on themselves. They never stopped working on themselves, and they never stopped preserving. They weathered this storm, weathered these criticisms, kept doing what they did, stayed consistent, stayed persistent, never wavering, never changing, and now in 2022 FTR is firing on not only all cylinders, but they’ve added a cylinder or two.

In 2022, with all apologies to the Young Bucks, FTR might very well be AEW’s best tag team. Through hard work, dedication, and never settling FTR has found themselves in a massive spotlight riding a wave of support both online and during live events.

They truly deserve it, and it’s been magical.

But something else was born through this, and that is what I want to discuss. A bonus, a surprise, a treasure was offered. With the emergence of FTR having the best year of their career, we’ve got a bonus tidbit of greatness. That bonus tidbit was Dax Harwood wrestling solo. Dax Harwood has emerged as an amazing singles wrestler, worthy of rooting for, worthy of high accolades, and being put into high profile matches that you are guaranteed net positive results.

It is safe to say Dax Harwood has been in several of my favorite AEW Matches this year, which being he is primarily a tag team wrestler is an amazing achievement.

Dax Harwood has been put in top-level singles matches and has fit like a glove. He doesn’t feel out of place, he doesn’t feel lost or not in his environment. If anything, his performances give off an aurora in which he welcomes the different environments and venues to show off and perform his craft. It gives him an extra canvas to work on if you will. Dax Harwood has been given an opportunity to shine in singles opportunity and thankfully, the brightness of his performance hasn’t blinded us yet. Otherwise, we’d be missing out on being able to see something truly special.

Dax Harwood is so easy to root for. How hard he works underneath as well as how comfortable he comes off when in control. His passion and emotion come through both in his words, body language, and action. You want him to get a big singles victory. Yes, he has a victory over his tag team partner but now with some significant and top-notch matches under his belt (Such as C.M Punk and ESPECIALLY his match with Will Ospreay) imagine how the crowd is going to react when he gets that big victory. It’s going to be amazing, and well earned.

Dax Harwood is an excellent example, perhaps one of the best examples going right now, of getting over by losing. Sure he’s lost to Punk, Ospreay and Adaom Cole (in Cole’s best AEW match). But in each of those losses, even though you know what the likely outcome was, he would achieve a moment, a second, a flash of “what if he wins?” then he comes close and makes a believer out of you before your beliefs are shattered and you come crashing back into reality. That is high-level pro-wrestling at its finest.

Dax Harwood is pure pro-wrestling. Dedicated to the craft, already in excellent form but striving for that platform above excellence. I would put his matchup against Ospreay against his and Wheeler’s work against the Briscoes. I’d put his matchup against Ospreay against anything else AEW has put out this year. I thought it was that damn amazing. And it wasn’t just Ospreay, who for all our gripes is a top-tier talent, showing up and Harwood benefitting from it. Harwood kicked ass and made the most of his opportunity. He made it clear that he believed in the ring with one of the top ten wrestlers in the world, and he went toe to toe, fist to fist, tooth, and nail with him.

Dax Harwood has become a highlight of 2022.

All I need from Harwood now is that big singles victory. Having a great match, and I have no doubt it’ll be a great match, against one of AEW’s big guns. He’s proven he can hang, come close, and make you believe he can win, now I need to see him win. Harwood deserves it, no he’s earned it. Harwood with the big singles victory would be one of my favorite moments in 2022 and will be an amazing compliment to the indisputable tag team run he’s having with Wheeler.

Harwood has become a grizzled, hardened, but respected babyface singles competitor. Someone we always knew could go in a tagged environment who now has the add-on of being able to say he can be highly relied on as a singles wrestler, and he’s not picking and choosing. He’s doing it both at the same time, which is even more incredible. In a lot of ways, Harwood is making himself a low-key candidate for wrestler of the year in AEW.

If that’s making you laugh, you shouldn’t.

That would be rather foolish of you. Both his tag work and singles work are some of the best AEW has seen. His fiery passion comes through in both. He’s with no argument on the best run of his career, and Wheeler is with him the entire way working his ass off as well (While this article is about Harwood shout out to Wheeler for being an incredible talent on his own.) Why shouldn’t Harwood be in the discussion? He nails it out of the park almost single time. When he speaks his promos feel authentic, real, raw, and full of passion and you believe him. You believe you’re going to Harwood at his best, and why wouldn’t we believe that? That’s exactly what we’ve gotten in 2022.

FTR has finally arrived in AEW and AEW is better for it.

Equally as important, Harwood has stepped into the singles realm and has firmly shown he belongs with the likes of Punk, Cole (He possibly outshined Cole at that), Ospreay, etc. I hope he gets more singles opportunities in 2022. I hope he gets that big victory. Hell, Harwood singles champion? Why not, even if it’s a short run, I think it would be something positive and worthwhile to invest in. Harwood has proven to be that reliable. Even if a singles title is never in the cards, and being he wrestlers primarily tag, I understand, I’d love for him to get himself in the TV Title mix and make us believe he can do it. If he does do it, I’ll be the first to jump off my couch in excitement at the accomplishment. 

I love tag team wrestling, when done right it’s the best, and I never want to see FTR break up. I don’t want Harwood to ever stop being in FTR so he can pursue singles.

However, getting a few singles matches a year while he remains a tag team wrestler is an incredible prospect. AEW’s best tag team wrestler at the moment, who can transition to singles and kill it at any point, is an amazing weapon to have in your pocket. The fans believe in Harwood, the fans are behind Harwood, and Harwood rewards them with incredibility each and every single time.

That’s top tier pro wrestling, that’s top tier talent, that’s….. A Top Guy.