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FTR Uses The Dark Knight And Transformers To Describe The Emotional Hook Of Tag Team Wrestling

FTR says they don’t consider themselves to be “old-school” but rather have an affinity to staying grounded in reality.

During an interview with the Culture State Podcast, FTR’s Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood spoke about the state of tag team wrestling and whether wanting to deliver matches people will remember for a long time is part of their private conversations. Cash said it might not translate directly, but he used superhero movies to explain the difference between hooking fans on an emotional level compared to being entertaining without substance.

Cash: “Yeah, that’s part of our public conversation. That’s something that we obviously get people upset at us a lot for it. It’s not like we’re saying that people today don’t know how to. It’s just, they refuse to have the confidence in themselves to. I’m not saying that it’s this comparison that makes the most sense, but it’s a Michael Bay Transformers movie versus a Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight. They’re superhero films, but one’s a lot more reality-based, one’s much more memorable based on the emotion you felt as opposed to all the nonsense that you saw in Transformers. I love all those things, but I remember Dark Knight way more than I ever remember anything Michael Bay made because it’s all style, no substance. And that’s it.

“You said it’s an old-school style, but I don’t think it’s even old-school style. We just try to be grounded in reality. We try to have logic, we try to tell stories that make sense, and a lot of that is just lost for a cheap pop based on a fantastic maneuver and it’s again, it’s a car cash analogy. When you see a car wreck, you’re like, ‘Woah, did you see that?’ When you’re watching NASCAR, it’s what we watch for. When you see a car wreck and it’s somebody that you know involved, it’s oh my god, are they okay? Now you’re emotionally invested in that. I feel like so many people are doing the NASCAR wreck analogy as opposed to making somebody care about the person doing it.

Dax said FTR has never set out to reach a certain rating in a match, but they aim to hook fans on an emotional level.

Dax: “He brought up the Michael Bay thing and Dark Knight situation. I’ve equated it to, you’ve got a car crash movie, if not a car crash, a disaster movie, and you’ve got a drama. And the disaster movie, you’re gonna watch in the theater and you’re gonna have fun, you’re gonna enjoy it, you’re gonna drink your drink and eat your popcorn. You’re gonna finish it and it’s like, ‘Oh, that was a lot of fun.’ And that’s something like that movie, I don’t know what it was, but just a movie about people getting killed and brains going everywhere. That’s the movies they remember for one night, and then tomorrow they forget. And then you got Citizen Kane, which is a movie that was made almost 100 years ago, and people still equate it as the greatest movie of all time because of how they felt.

“That’s what’s missing in wrestling is the emotion. My wife will watch when I’m on. She has no idea what a 450 feels like, or a shooting star press, or even a snapmare. She doesn’t know what those feel like. But she knows what sadness feels like, and frustration, happiness. She knows what that feels like. So when you can make people feel that, then you’ve got them, and that’s when it becomes a classic, when you make them feel. And I’ve never ever, ever, ever, ever in my 18 years of wrestling said, ‘Okay, how can I have a five-star match?’ Never in my life have I, and I never will. But I will think, ‘Okay, how can I make them feel this way?’ And that’s the difference in I guess the styles.”

FTR recently won the IWGP Tag Team Championship and will defend their ROH World Tag Team titles at Death Before Dishonor on July 23. Read more about how the duo compared the way the Young Bucks avoided facing them to the feud between Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan at this link.

Read More: FTR On Holding Three Sets Of Tag Team Titles: We’ve Done What Shouldn’t Be Possible

If you use this transcript, credit the Culture State podcast and h/t WrestleZone and link back to this post.