wrestling / News

Dax Harwood Announces End Of FTR Podcast, Says ‘We Were Doing More Harm Than Good’ To Wrestling

April 19, 2023 | Posted by Jonathan Hunter
AEW Dax Harwood Image Credit: AEW

The FTR podcast is no more. On the new, and final, episode of FTR, Dax Harwood spoke at length about his mental health journey and battles with anxiety, depression, and bulimia. Harwood talked about how the negativity online, including fans wishing for him to lose his job or even die, have taken a toll. Dax spoke at length about his reasons for starting the podcast, and why he has decided to end it. Read on for his story:

On his reasons for starting the podcast: “When we started this podcast, we just wanted to do good for wrestling. I was looking forward to, and I still do, and I still did, looking forward to bringing my thoughts on psychology, in-ring action, what I thought was good wrestling, my love for Bret Hart, and break down some of the things that we had done in our career and some of our biggest moments.”

Dax on his friendship with Cash Wheeler: “I want to read a text really quick from Dan [Cash]. I asked him, I said do you mind if I read this on the show? He said ‘absolutely.’ He sent me a text after the tweets from Saturday. Saturday morning, he was checking on me to make sure everything was okay. I told him what was going on. He said ‘that sucks man, I’m sorry brother. But I want you to know: history is going to remember all this very differently when it’s all said and done. By the time we’re retired, the truth will come out. And you’ll be one of the ones people respect for actually being transparent and honest. And add to that, I said that you have more integrity than pretty much anyone else in wrestling, and are one of the few not afraid to speak the truth without hiding behind a source.'”

Dax on last words for Road Dogg: “That, to me, meant more to me than almost anything else we’ve ever had in our ten-year friendship. Because that’s it, man. I, to a fault, have stood up for what I believe in. And to a fault, I speak my truth. Never, as I’ve said before, have I pointed out or singled out one person and talked shit about them — except for Road Dogg, I did, but I felt like I owed him that. I could be wrong. I probably should have just not said a word, but that’s just not how I operate. I had an opportunity to spill my heart of how he made me feel, and how he made me feel so miniscule and so small, I had to let people know. Other than that, I never have talked bad about anyone that I work with.”

On how mentally hard this has been on him: “The only thing that I should apologize for is how the journalists and the news sites took a section of something I said and made it seem like was such a bad human being. I want to apologize not only to my fans, I want to apologize to the people who already didn’t like me. Fans of, for example, the Young Bucks, fans of Kenny Omega, fans of MJF or anybody else who I may have upset. I want to apologize to them because I never wanted you to hate me so much that you would say some of the things you said to me. Going into this podcast, I never thought that would happen. I hate that it happened. I thought I was way more mentally tough than I am. I admit that I’m not. I don’t think that I can handle some of the things that are said. I also don’t know if I want my daughter, ten years from now, to read some of the things that are said about me. Ultimately, we all wanted to do good for wrestling, you and I. I don’t think that this podcast, as much as we tried, as hard as we tried, I don’t think the podcast was reflecting that. For whatever reason.”

Co-host Matt Koon on rumours that AEW or Tony Khan shut the pod down: “AEW did not ask Dax or pressure anybody to stop the podcast. AEW did not pressure anybody, Tony Khan did not pressure anybody, Dax and I haven’t had a falling out. Any of those other things. We’re not so upset by the trolls that we’re leaving, we’re not so upset at the Meltzer and Alvarez that we’re leaving. We really just don’t feel good about the fact that what we’re doing is hurting wrestling, or hurting AEW. This company that’s trying to make the wrestling world a better place.”

On wanting to go good for wrestling but not: “I don’t mean just the people that I worked with. Those are some of the people. People that I used to work with. Fans… I kinda feel like we made life more difficult for them, myself included when I was a fan, where their life did almost revolve around wrestling because they loved it so much, and I was the same as a kid. I feel that we were causing more harm than good, even though we were trying to do good. I guess we didn’t portray it that way. We were more of a detriment to professional wrestling than we thought and we never wanted to do that.”

On getting Cash, CM Punk, and others heat: “A lot of the times, doing the right thing is not received as doing the right thing. And sometimes what we perceive to be the right thing… is not the right thing. People that I respect, people that I love? Like, dude, I got Cash so much heat because I said CM Punk was my friend and I wanted to wrestle with him. I got Cash heat! I don’t want that. He doesn’t deserve that. I don’t deserve that. Punk doesn’t deserve that. No one deserves that. And it was all because of me. Now, I think the best course of action is to just stop the podcast. I’ve always said I wanted to leave wrestling, as cliche as it sounds, better than I found it. I felt that Cash and I were on our way there. I think this was a bump in the road.”

On loving doing the podcast: “I’m not saying I will never do this again. I loved it! This was something I looked forward to doing every day. It took me away from real life. I was able to express my passion, my love, my gratitude to wrestling in a way I’d never been able to. Now, I can’t do that. So it sucks! I think it’s a mature decision on both of our parts, and it’s something we have to do.”

On how meaningful the fan relationships have become: “One of the most rewarding moments of my life is going to these meet and greets, having people come up to me, hugging me, and crying to me and saying how much my podcast has helped their life. Or helped their anxiety issues. Or takes them away from what their real life might be at the current moment. That’s the thing that sucks the most, that I won’t be able to provide that for people anymore, and I hate that. By the same token, I can’t go on knowing that I’m causing any kind of anguish to anybody.”

If using any of the above quotations, please credit FTR h/t 411mania for the transcription

article topics :

Dax Harwood, FTR, Jonathan Hunter