Every FTR 5-Star Match (According To Dave Meltzer)

Hamish Woodward

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FTR are one of the greatest tag teams in the world, and are in the conversation for the best of all time.

With numerous five-stat matches under their belt, Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler have turned the tag-team world on its head.

From their start in NXT to their run in AEW, the pair have confounded expectations and re-written the rule book on what makes the perfect tag team.

In this article, we’ll go through every five-star match FTR have had (so far!), as rated by Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer.

FTR Five-Star Matches

5. FTR vs The Young Bucks (AEW Full Gear 2020)

When FTR came to AEW after years of speculation, the one match fans were clamoring to see was FTR vs The Young Bucks.

The Elite threw many potshots at FTR during their time on Being the Elite, which helped build anticipation to a match between the two teams.

Fans never thought that’d get to see Young Bucks vs FTR, but when Cash and Dax were released by WWE in 2020, it seemed possible.

FTR defeated Adam Page and Kenny Omega at All Out 2020, winning the AEW Tag Team Championships in the process.

This set up a bout with The Young Bucks (although sadly in front of no crowd), which made for one of the best tag team matches of all time.

This was the first match FTR had rated five-stars by Dave Meltzer, although many consider their matches with DIY in NXT as that good.

  • Dave Meltzer Star Rating – 5.25 Stars
  • Cagematch Rating – 9.09
  • Atletifo Rating – 4 Stars

4. FTR vs The Briscoes (ROH Supercard Of Honor 2022)

The best match between FTR and Jay & Mark Briscoe is the very first match the pair had together.

Before there was ever a hint of a trilogy between two of the best tag teams of all time, there was merely a dream match that had been brewing since FTR left WWE and the fans had the chance to dream.

This match was one that was never meant to happen. FTR were once known as the Revival in WWE.

They were one of the top tag teams in the world, highly paid and likely to never leave. AEW was but a twinkle in Tony Khan’s eye and there was no real alternative in the US for them to work with.

Meanwhile, ROH was on the brink, with few viewers and very little going for it. Loyal to a fault (and unable to work for WWE due to past comments), the Briscoe brothers were stalwarts of the tag team division and legends for Ring of Honor.

Then, FTR left WWE to sign for AEW, whose owner Tony Khan bought ROH in 2022 with ideas of running it as a second show alongside All Elite Wrestling.

This opened up the doors for some dream matches to come to fruition, and the first of this lot became obvious – a tag team clinic in FTR vs The Briscoes.

Two of the best teams from rivalry companies doing battle in one of the most anticipated matches in years would come to a head at ROH’s first show with Tony Khan at the helm – Supercard Of Honor XV.

Battling for the Briscoes ROH World Tag Team Titles (in their record twelfth reign with the belts), the four men put everything on the line and put on a wrestling classic.

The best compliment that can be given to it is that is was so easy to watch. It had an old-school feel to it but featured modern wrestling tropes and ideas, leading to an excellent mish-mash that has exemplified FTR’s philosophy since leaving the WWE.

The bout had violence, technical precision, brutal strikes, classic submissions and blood: everything you could want from a top class professional wrestling match.

A scary moment on the outside brought the doctors to check on the four stars, but they quickly ended all fears with a huge brawl in the ring that brought the crowd to it’s feet and blew the roof off the arena.

When the dust settled, FTR hit their finisher and picked up a huge victory, winning the ROH Tag Team Championships.

This added to a fantastic 2022 which saw them win the AAA and IWGP Tag Team titles and solidified them as one of the best tag teams in the world, while also showcasing The Briscoes to a bigger audience than they ever have before.

It was the best match in the Briscoes vs FTR trilogy and one of the greatest tag team matches the world of pro-wrestling have ever seen.

  • Dave Meltzer Star Rating – 5 Stars
  • Cagematch Rating – 9.58
  • Atletifo Rating – 5 Stars

3. FTR vs The Briscoes (ROH Death Before Dishonor 2022)

The second match of the critically acclaimed trilogy between The Briscoe Brothers and FTR (Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood) came at Ring of Honor’s second pay per view under the stewardship of Tony Khan.

With their first match voted as one of the best tag team matches of all time (don’t worry, we’ll get to that), the second one had a long way to go to live up to the hype of the first. Luckily, the two men did all the could and had another all-time classic.

With the first win going to FTR in a normal singles match, this second fight needed something different.

Wanting to really find out who was the top dog between the two sides, they opted for a match that would answer that questions definitively.

You can luck your way into one fall, but two falls in a single match? That is where the beauty of the two out of three falls match comes from.

Both teams gave it their all in an action packed bout. They wrestled for 43 minutes in a match neither side take a breather at any point. An incredible amount of offence was given out by both teams, with FTR having the lions share of the attacking intent.

The first fall was won by The Briscoes – partially avenging their loss from the first match.

They pinned Dax after a Doomsday Device – their finisher which was made famous by the Road Warriors – before beginning to isolate the former WWE Tag Team Champion and trying to wear him down to score the second, deciding, fall.

This worked for a time, before Cash Wheeler managed to get a long-awaited hot tag and wrecked house, leading him levelling up the scores at 1-1.

Given he is seen as the “lesser” of the two men in AEW, as Dax Harwood has been given big singles matches against CM Punk and Bryan Danielson (among others) it was good to him getting a huge moment in one of the best matches of 2022.

The last fall was excellent with their big move exchanges. Both teams gave it absolutely everything with a series of huge moves and hitting all their signature spots, much to the delight of the paying crowd in the main event of the show.

While a slightly overexaggerated ref bump may have slightly taken some precious points out of the match rating, in my eyes it did not hurt the bout one bit.

The superbly technical and hard hitting match ended with a move rarely seen – a top rope piledriver – to wow the crowd who thought they had seen everything.

FTR picked up the win it what would be the best tag team match of the year, if not for the other FTR vs Briscoes matches in this incredible trilogy.

  • Dave Meltzer Star Rating – 5 Stars
  • Cagematch Rating – 9.42
  • Atletifo Rating – 5 Stars

2. FTR vs Aussie Open (NJPW Royal Quest II)

At the one-night-only event in London, Aussie Open challenged FTR for their IWGP Heavyweight Tag team Champions, in a match that showed AEW fans just how good they way.

NJPW fans knew exactly that, having watched their body of work for the past year. To them, it was a classic performance from two of the best wrestlers in the world.

The match told a perfect story, playing the heel/face role brilliantly. Aussie Open play perfect foils to FTR here. cutting them off at every opportunity and getting the crowd to cheer for the AEW duo.

The English crowd got more and more into the match the longer it went, building to a crescendo that they simply needed to see FTR defeat Aussie Open, making it one of their best matches yet.

  • Dave Meltzer Star Rating – 5 Stars
  • Cagematch Rating – 9.30
  • Atletifo Rating – 4 Stars

1. FTR vs The Briscoes (ROH Final Battle 2022)

This match was also one of Jay Briscoe’s last ever matches, as he died shortly after the event in a car crash.

One of the greatest tag team trilogies of all time came to an end at ROH Final Battle 2022.

This match had very little build – it was only announced days before the show and had no real build at all, other than the challenge by the Briscoes – but it delivered on pure in-ring excitement and incredible brutality that you simply do not see in wrestling.

Dax Harwood was chained to Mark Briscoe, while Cash Wheeler was locked in by the neck to Jay Briscoe.

The Dog Collar match can end by pin fall or submission, but anything goes in this match as the opponents are connected by a long steel chain by the neck. The chain can be used to great effect as a weapon, which was utilised beautifully during this match.

In a match like this, you may expect the chains to get in the way of the action. However, they did anything but.

The two pairs put on some incredible in-ring work while tethered together – just as they had done in previous matches sans collars – and the match would have been match of the night even without the chains.

However, they used to steel in many creative ways, including Cash Wheeler yanking Jay away to stop him helping his brother, before FTR hit him with double team moves as his brother watched helplessly.

Blood poured down the face of all four men and harkened back the classic JBL vs Eddie Guerrero.

They paid tribute to a number of legends during the bout, most transparently when Dax Harwood wrapped a chain around his head to hit a diving headbutt, in honour of the late Dynamite Kid.

Other gruesome spots included a suplex onto chairs, choking with a chain and even a ref bump that saw blood poor from the head of Mike Posey, being one of the first times ever a referee has bladed in a major promotion.

The match came to a close after Jay hit Harwood with a superplex onto a pile of chairs in the ring, before choking him out with the chain that bound them together.

Dax Harwood refused to tap, and the referee only called the match once he had lost consciousness and his health was at serious risk.

This was the end of the FTR vs Briscoes trilogy and somehow didn’t even manage to be the best one. With their victory, The Briscoes extended their record and became 13 time Ring of Honor tag team champions, ending FTR’s reign at 253.

This was Jay Briscoes final match with ROH, as he passed away soon after in a car crash.

  • Dave Meltzer Star Rating – 5.25 Stars
  • Cagematch Rating – 9.64
  • Atletifo Rating – 5 Stars

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