An AEW star has reflected on missed opportunities.
Santana and Ortiz began teaming together while with IMPACT Wrestling in 2017. Two years later the pair landed in AEW and went on to become part of the Inner Circle which was headed up by Chris Jericho.
Although they were initially heels, the duo’s popularity rose quickly and many fans called for them to be crowned World Tag Team Champions. However, the big title win never came and the partnership fell apart in the summer of 2022 with real-life animosity bringing the team to an end.
After Santana spent almost a year on the sidelines due to a serious knee injury, the pair briefly reunited alongside the Blackpool Combat Club Stadium Stampede at All In, but the on-screen reconciliation was brief. The tension between the pair was obvious and they ended up squaring off in a No Disqualification Match on Rampage.
Appearing on the Shining Wizards Wrestling Podcast, Ortiz reflected on his time teaming with Santana, admitting the star was “very adamant about not working with me anymore.” When it was put to him that AEW dropped the ball by not making them tag team champions, the star said they almost won the gold twice, but plans changed.
“I tend to avoid it at times but that stuff (opinions from fans that Ortiz & Santana should’ve gotten AEW Tag Title run), it’s almost hard to avoid because we’re constantly tagged in stuff about that.
To answer your question, how I felt about it, ah, I think we could have forced a hand a little bit more when we did have the opportunities that we had and I can’t completely blame the company because I mean, there was talks about it but it was almost like it was never the right time, right? It just wasn’t our time and it was just kind of because we were always intertwined with a huge storyline with The Inner Circle and it would have been hard to sway off and kind of go do our own tag thing and go after the Tag Titles.
So, it actually was supposed to happen more than once. But just due to stuff out of our control, out of my control, it just never seemed to pan out. It’s not like those people on the internet that were clamoring for us to be Tag Team Champions — it was noticed by the people in AEW and above and it almost happened two times. It just never panned out.
I won’t get into the weeds of things, only because I think I’ll get in trouble if I do (he laughed). That’s pretty much it. It was supposed to happen. It just never did unfortunately.”
Santana Didn’t Want AEW Match With Ortiz
Speaking in October, Santana gave his take on the situation and also referenced the personal issues between himself and Ortiz. With regard to their on-screen feud and match, Santana revealed he initially didn’t want to do it, as he didn’t feel there was a need for the rivalry, but in the end, he had a job to do.
H/t to POST Wrestling