Continuing tensions have resurfaced within a seasoned tag team of All Elite Wrestling (AEW), revealing an ongoing struggle that has persisted over the years. Santana and Ortiz burst onto the AEW scene with a splash at All Out 2019, capturing attention as they disrupted the heated showdown between the Lucha Brothers and The Young Bucks.
Their assault on both teams followed a high-stakes conflict over the AAA Tag Team Championship in an intense Escalera De La Muerte match. Their meteoric entrance onto the AEW stage reached its zenith on the inaugural episode of Dynamite.
The duo, joined by Chris Jericho, faced off against The Elite in the main event. The match's culmination marked the entrance of Jake Hager and Sammy Guevara into their ranks, leading to the formation of the formidable Inner Circle faction.
Jericho Era Bonds Tested
Santana and Ortiz found themselves inextricably linked with Chris Jericho's trajectory over the subsequent three years. Their allegiance within the Inner Circle was steadfast, as they stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Jericho, taking on his battles and sharing his triumphs.
However, the camaraderie took an unexpected turn when the inaugural AEW World Champion, Chris Jericho, pivoted to establish the Jericho Appreciation Society. Recent reports indicate that the enduring partnership between Santana and Ortiz has become strained.
Santana's most recent appearance in the AEW ring was at Blood & Guts in 2022, an event marked by his unfortunate knee injury during a tag team match alongside Ortiz, Eddie Kingston, and The Blackpool Combat Club, against Jericho's faction.
This backstage tension was perceptible, hinting at a rift between the longtime comrades. Notably, a fall out was rumored at the time, with Konnan—a figure who had worked closely with both wrestlers during their TNA tenure—voicing his concerns on his Keepin' It 100 podcast.
Konnan disclosed that Santana and Eddie Kingston had nearly come to blows due to unresolved issues: "It breaks my heart because I spent a lot of time with them and I’ve said before that they’re like my sons. I heard it almost got physical with Santana and Kingston over this.
It’s not a good look, bro. I really hate seeing that these two guys who could have gone to WWE and really f*cking blown up, that they separated." While Ortiz's presence has been less visible, with his last appearance on AEW television dating back to March, he recently made a comeback on August 13th at an independent show.
Despite the fervent hopes of fans for a harmonious reunion between the two teammates, recent updates from Fightful Select have indicated that Santana and Ortiz's relationship remains strained. However, the report also implies that there's still potential for them to mend fences and potentially collaborate in the future.
As the AEW tag team scene evolves, the story of Santana and Ortiz continues to unfold, leaving fans intrigued by the possibilities that lie ahead.