Mike Santana has addressed his split from long-time tag team partner Ortiz.
Santana missed over a year of action from the ring after suffering a serious knee injury in the Blood & Guts match in 2022. But prior to that taking him away from the ring the writing seemed to be on the wall for his long-time partnership with Ortiz as the two had fallen out in a major way.
Now the two men look set to put their personal issues aside and do business in the ring after a back and forth on social media was followed by Ortiz confronting his now former partner at Rampage Grand Slam.
Speaking on Fightful’s In The Weeds, Mike Santana addressed splitting from his long-time tag team partner and admitted there were personal issues between the two and he wasn’t immediately thrilled at the prospect of going up against Ortiz:
“In life, there come moments where you look back at everything and are like, ‘This was cool and great accomplishments that we did, but sometimes you want more.’ Sometimes, you don’t want to be comfortable. I’m the type of person where comfortability makes me uncomfortable, and I like that. Wrestling, just like with any job, you want to progress and you want to get better and move up and be a bigger name and do this and that.
“For me, personally, I realized that it’s about that time. For me. I’m happy with everything that we’ve done and with the run that we had. It was great. We got to accomplish a lot of things together. We came up together, we helped each other get through a lot of things. Sometimes, things happen for a reason. There is a lot of personal stuff, but that’s between him and me and for him and me to deal with. We decided to be professionals and we have a job. We decided to do that job.
“Did I initially want to do it? No, I didn’t feel like there was a need for me, personally, but we’re pros and we have a job, so let’s do our job and make the best of it and move forward.”
Mike Santana says injury layoff opened his eyes
Santana was asked if the time off through injury had offered him some perspective on the situation and says it did but he was ready to move on from the tag team before he was hurt:
“Yeah, but I was feeling like that way before the injury. I was just not in a good place mentally with anything. When you have nothing but time to think and sit with yourself, you have to put a lot of s**t in perspective and have to make a lot of decisions.”
“For me, personally, everything happened the way it needed to. I look at this injury and everything, from my dad passing away, from the struggles at work, everything happened the way it needed to happen to get me to where I am today. Today, I am the best version of myself that I’ve ever been. It is what it is. Sometimes you have to go through the s**t to get to the light. The injury itself, it did a lot to me. It was definitely one of the things that it opened my eyes to.
“We all have a window in this business. I’m 32 years old. I’m not old, but I ain’t exactly that young either. I want to make the absolute most of my time and truly make the best of it. I want to be able to look back and be like, ‘I did that’ and be content and happy with what I’ve done.
“At the end of the day, my main thing now is growing and having fun doing it. I always said, just like with any job and profession, if you ain’t working to move up or get promoted or be bigger than what you are, what the hell is the point, what are you doing? Not everybody has that same mindset, and that’s okay. I’m just speaking of myself.”
It remains to be seen when and where Mike Santana and Ortiz have their eventual showdown but both men will surely be hoping a singles career pans out for them in AEW.