FTR had a monumental 2022 in AEW and beyond, collecting titles and dream matches like trading cards. That’s why they have been named Daily DDT’s Tag Team of the Year for 2022.
Check out the voting results here:
- 1. FTR – 76%
- 2. The Usos – 11%
- 3. Two tied – 5%
The bid to be the best tag team in the world has long been dominated by The Usos and The Young Bucks. While they continued in their rich vein of title wins and marquee contests in their own right, FTR outdid both teams in each aspect throughout 2022.
The ‘Top Guys’ won two championship titles throughout the year, enjoying dream bouts against the likes of The Rock N’ Roll Express, Young Bucks, and Briscoes. When it comes to accentuating what makes tag team wrestling great, FTR were the golden standard flag-bearers.
They were undoubtedly the best tag team in the world.
A year in focus: What did FTR do in 2022?
They started the year already the AAA Tag Champions, the most prestigious titles in Mexican tag team wrestling. But their first major contest of the year came against the legendary Rock N’ Roll Express for Big Time Wrestling in January. The AEW stars went over the WWE Hall of Famers on the day but the bout turned back the clock for Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson who were on their final run as a pairing.
Having teased the bout at the end of ROH Final Battle 2021, prior to the brand going on hiatus, FTR were booked against The Briscoes for the Ring of Honor World Tag titles at Supercard of Honor. It was the brand’s first PPV under Tony Khan and the AEW stars once more went over. They had collected both the ROH and AAA tag titles and added another blockbuster match to their catalog.
They put both their titles on the line against The Young Bucks next. A sequel to their 2020 show-stealer. Unlike the time before, Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler got their win and thus retained their titles. Like the time before, the bout was another glistening entry into FTR’s collection of dream matches.
With Forbidden Door on the horizon, FTR made their intentions known for the IWGP Heavyweight titles. With United Empire taking the titles at NJPW Dominion from Bullet Club, and later gatecrashing the ROH tag title match against Roppongi Vice, the stage was set for a ROH/NJPW Winner Takes All four-way at the end of June. They took the titles, a third prestigious title in yet another prestigious territory. Champions in the USA with Ring of Honor, in Mexico with AAA, and in Japan with New Japan Pro Wrestling. The Young Bucks weren’t the only sequel FTR logged in their diary, once again putting the ROH straps against The Briscoes at Death Before Dishonor in a 2 Out of 3 Falls match.
While not all sequels deliver this match delivered yet another physically intense pro wrestling tale. FTR logged another AEW PPV victory alongside TNT Champion Wardlow as they defeated Jay Lethal and IMPACT Wrestling invaders The Motor City Machine Guns at All Out 2022. An admittedly bittersweet moment as FTR vs The Young Bucks III had been expected for the AAA, ROH, IWGP, and AEW tag titles on the line. Logging another classic bout FTR defeated Aussie Open with their IWGP straps on the line at NJPW Royal Quest II.
As the year drew to a close time was ticking for Dax and Cash to grab their fourth concurrent tag reign. Their pursuit faltered with their loss to Swerve in Our Glory ahead of Full Gear, after having been the #1 Ranked Tag Team in AEW they had lost their opportunity. As one door shut, another opened for the ‘Top Guys’ as they teamed with Ricky Steamboat for his return to the ring. They defeated the team of former NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis, Brock Anderson and Jay Lethal.
December appeared to be a month of transitioning for the gold-laden FTR. They reached the final boss, The Acclaimed for the AEW tag titles. But it was not to be their night. Their attempt to take titles turned into an attempt to keep their titles less than a week later.
While The Young Bucks trilogy never manifested there was another threequel to come. One year from their original confrontation, The Briscoes and FTR met for the ROH tag titles at Final Battle, in a Double Dog Collar Match. Forget about the trope that the third is the worst when it came to this bout, exceeding the two prior with a bloody battle of compelling storytelling. The Briscoes took their titles back to extend FTR’s losing streak and start the snowball of title losses, as seen when Dralistico and Dragon Lee won the AAA belts in their final bout of the year.
Although their tag exploits are the focus of this award. It cannot be ignored that Dax Harwood had a number of high-profile classics in singles action. The FTR pair also clashed with one another to qualify for the Owen Hart Foundation Men’s Tournament. As can be expected by two that work together so fluently, their match against each other was a marvel of in-ring storytelling.