The recent ROH Final Battle pay-per-view featured a Double Dog Collar match with FTR dropping the ROH World Tag Team Titles to ROH Hall of Famers The Briscoes. The bloody bout ended via referee stoppage. The Double Dog Collar match was the third contest between FTR and The Briscoes. FTR originally captured the ROH World Titles from The Briscoes at ROH Supercard of Honor XV in April. FTR then retained the straps over The Briscoes in a 2 of 3 Falls match at ROH Death Before Dishonor in July.
Harwood discussed the Double Dog Collar match on the second episode of his “FTR” podcast. He shared his thoughts on the match being announced at the last minute during the final AEW Dynamite before Final Battle, and noted that there were two other potential matches that they were discussing with ROH owner Tony Khan – FTR defending against Matt Menard and Angelo Parker, or FTR defending against Top Flight plus Menard and Parker in a Triple Threat.
“I found out about that the day before,” Harwood revealed. “I was in the gym working out. I thought going into this there were a couple of different options that we were toying around with Tony. One was we were going to work with 2.0 [Matt Menard, Angelo Parker]. The second option I’d heard was 2.0 and Top Flight against us. I hadn’t heard anything in the last few weeks, you know, nothing at all. I came and told my wife, I was like, hey, babe, I think maybe we might be off from Dallas this weekend. I might stay home with you guys, so we were pretty excited about having a weekend together. Well, we found out, now did we. I went to the gym. Two hours after I had told her that that morning, I got the text from Tony. He sent me and Dan (Cash Wheeler) a text. He had an idea, and he laid out the idea and I was very excited when he told me that.”
Harwood also discussed his mindset going into the Double Dog Collar match.
“Yeah, so I told you I found out on Tuesday, so I had Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to kind of piece things together in my mind and how I wanted the story to go, and how I wanted it to be told and things like that,” Harwood said. “And then obviously I had to get input from the other guys, too. But my mind just works that way and sometimes it doesn’t stop. I was very excited because, you know, I haven’t had the opportunity many times to work again, a match. I usually like telling my stories through wrestling and holds and things like that, so I haven’t had an opportunity to work a gimmick match like this. I was very, very excited. Also, the pressure I felt was off.
“This was a completely different match, plus you got to think of the limitations in a Dog Collar Match, then double that because there’s two dog collars in this match. And with a tag match, that limits a lot of the things that most tag matches today do in how they structure their matches and how they had this epic tag match, that’s going to limit a lot, but my anxiety was at an all-time low. I felt that the people were going to be ready for this match and they knew it was going to be brutal. Also, we weren’t the main event and I didn’t have the anxiety of having or feeling like I had to deliver this epic match, I just knew we had to be brutal and we’d already worked those guys twice and I knew that whatever we brought, they would try to bring even harder to us. So, I was okay going into it.”
FTR dropped the ROH World Tag Team Titles that night, ending their 253-day reign. Did Harwood have a problem with dropping the straps at Final Battle?
“No, I didn’t mind dropping the titles at all, especially to a team like The Briscoes,” he said.
Harwood continued and revealed that the original plan was to lose the titles to The Briscoes with their second rematch.
“We weren’t supposed to have that 2 of 3 Falls match,” Harwood revealed. “Me and Cash, we didn’t want to have that match immediately anyway, but Tony asked us to have this match and then in no uncertain terms, he basically said that PPV needed the match at Death Before Dishonor, so I was proud to have that match. The initial plan was for the second rematch to lose the belts to them, but we weren’t supposed to have the second rematch that soon. So the only option was to have those guys win the belts. If Tony, you know, is going to make this Ring Of Honor thing a viable contender, you know, number three wrestling promotion in the country, he needs a face of that division and I think that The Briscoes are the face of that division. So, I absolutely had no problem dropping the belts.”
The full episode from Harwood can be found at this link. If using any of these quotes in your own article on other websites, please credit Joshie Lopez with a H/T link back to WrestlingHeadlines.com for the transcription. Check out the latest episode of The Hoots Podcast below:
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