When AEW first hit the wrestling scene, many wondered who would rise to prominence in the burgeoning promotion. One team that quickly established their dominance was Santana and Ortiz. The duo left an indelible mark on All Out 2019, stunning fans and contemporaries alike.
That night, the Lucha Brothers and The Young Bucks, two teams synonymous with tag team excellence, faced off for the coveted AAA Tag Team Championship in a harrowing Escalera De La Muerte match. Just when audiences thought they'd seen it all, Santana and Ortiz stormed the arena, ambushing both teams and announcing their arrival in dramatic fashion.
Their presence was further solidified on the inaugural episode of AEW Dynamite. Partnering with Chris Jericho, they battled The Elite in a much-anticipated main event. The night didn't end there: the formation of the Inner Circle was punctuated by including Jake Hager and Sammy Guevara.
Together, they decimated The Elite, creating an alliance that would dominate headlines for years.
Inner Circle's Changing Loyalties
The ensuing three years witnessed Santana and Ortiz navigating the tumultuous landscape of AEW, often with Jericho at the helm.
As Jericho's trusted enforcers within the Inner Circle, they played pivotal roles in the group's ascent. However, allegiances shifted when Jericho, the first-ever AEW World Champion, created the Jericho Appreciation Society, leaving many questioning Santana and Ortiz's place in the company.
Tragically, Santana's trajectory was interrupted at the Blood & Guts event in 2022. Competing alongside Ortiz, Eddie Kingston, and The Blackpool Combat Club, he suffered a debilitating knee injury against Jericho's team.
This setback sidelined Santana for an agonizing year, leaving fans eagerly awaiting any news of his recovery. After months of anticipation, there's a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Fightful Select has broken the news – Santana has been officially cleared to return to in-ring competition.
Fueling this excitement, Santana has been teasing fans with cryptic vignettes on social media, alluding to an imminent comeback. As AEW's landscape continues to evolve, one can't help but wonder: what's next for Santana? Only time will tell, but one thing is sure – his return will be monumental.