When All Elite Wrestling (AEW) erupted onto the professional wrestling scene in 2019, the tag team division witnessed the rise of a powerful duo – Santana & Ortiz. Associated with the renowned Inner Circle faction, alongside wrestling icons Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, and Sammy Guevara, they stood out as a promising tag team.
However, in spite of their prominence, they never clinched the Tag Team Championship belts. The dynamics began to change dramatically in June 2022. Santana was sidelined due to a severe ACL injury sustained in the intense Blood & Guts match, resulting in over a year-long hiatus.
During this hiatus, murmurs of dissension between Santana and Ortiz began to surface, indicating a possible rift in their previously solid partnership.
Strained Alliance Emerges
While the two jointly participated in the exhilarating Stadium Stampede match at AEW All In London, representing the Blackpool Combat Club, their alliance was visibly strained, evident in the absence of their previous synergy.
Last night's episode of AEW Rampage unveiled a poignant video promo from Mike Santana. He reflected on his wrestling journey, emphasizing his determination to carve a singular path. Santana mused, “The road I’ve chosen is one that must be taken on my own...
I'm not here to be another guy in the game. I’m here to be the game. The nastiest is yet to come”. This candid reflection from Santana spurred Ortiz into action. Taking to Twitter, Ortiz candidly voiced his perspective on Santana's sentiments.
While expressing gratitude to Santana for his forthrightness, Ortiz's message bore an undertone of challenge, suggesting that Santana might as well have expressed his feelings face-to-face.
As the wrestling community digests this revelation, the future of this former tag team remains shrouded in suspense.
What a way to find out years of having your back meant nothing.Good luck without your "crutch" Just remember it helped you walk for the last 14+ years.
Hope your legs are good. Thank you for being honest for once. But you couldn't say it to my face?You know you still can, right? https://t.co/KWrXLiCDe1 pic.twitter.com/qKBWlqQJvq — Proud~N~Powerful Ortiz (@Ortiz_Powerful) September 9, 2023
Will AEW pave the way for an explosive feud between these erstwhile allies? Or is a different narrative in the works for these talented performers? Only time will spill the secrets of the squared circle.