FTR's match in the qualifying round of The Owen was feverishly anticipated by large chunks of the AEW audience. It was built to via numerous conversations of the two taking inspiration from Bret vs Owen at Wrestlemania 10 and an excellent Road To promo.
So to put another spin on the many excellent wrestling podcasts and Twitter accounts that have already pointed out how similar this match is to Bret/Owen and Bret/Perfect, we are going to analyse, compare and contrast the statistics that resulted from this match.
First off, huge advantage to Cash in terms of actually landing offence as he almost doubled Dax's total. That's only half the story when it comes to Cash's striking, 50% resulting in strikedown is huge as anything over 30% is unusual. In terms of a match structure it's also unusual for one of the competitors to dominate so strongly in terms of volume and quality of strikes, these are often split between the wrestlers.
So what did Dax get in the way of an advantage in this match out with the pin to sell his in-ring? Nothing in terms of quantity of offence; he was more than doubled in terms of grapples and found himself locked in submissions for over 100 seconds. Cash even countered more of Dax's attempted offence. A few big moments in the match and his recent history in singles actions were deemed enough to maintain Dax's strength in the eyes of the audience, and the actual win of course!
The story of this match is of a hot start where Cash overwhelmed Dax at the start and again in the middle of the match. Dax utilised more of the offence very rarely in this match; only in four minutes of this match, compared to Cash's nine. However the decline of Cash's offence is startling. This slump is offence is even more pronounced when we group the match into 3-minute chunks.
In comparing the striking split between Dax and Cash to other similar matches, you can see Dax has taken up a comparatively generous position as Bret did against Owen and Hennig. Dax went a step further by bumping hard on 50% of Dax's strikes. Dax, in fact, went further than Bret did against Owen, as Bret did actually use more grapples than Owen in that particular match.
This match was again more similar to Bret vs Owen than any of the others when you look at the volume of reversals. Dax's recent performance with Punk comes nowhere near it, neither does the fiercely contested Hart vs Perfect. The volume of reversals utilised by Dax and Cash is only rivalled by Bret vs Owen, albeit even in their longer match they were out done by the pace at which Cash and Dax went back and forth.
By levelling out the time differences between the matches we can see how FTR married state of the art TV wrestling with carefully paced Bret Hart-inspired storytelling. There are gifs floating around containing side by side comparisons of the FTR face-off with sequences in both Bret vs Owen and Perfect vs Bret. However grapple and strikedown numbers are almost more akin to offence-rich New Japan matches.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. If you have any thoughts or observations on how Dax vs Cash mirrored classic matches and brought them into the present with an updated flavour, please share in the comments below. For our most up to date source of in-ring statistics follow us on Twitter @PWMusings.