Santana made waves with his promo package on Friday night Rampage. Not only did he declare his intentions to roll solo moving forward, it also solicited an unhappy response from Ortiz.
On the surface, this was a strong character promo from Mike Santana as he develops his future role in AEW returning from injury.
Santana: There comes a time in everyone’s life where you reach a fork in the road. When you get there, there’s decisions that need to be made in order to proceed in the right direction. Some roads are easy and lead to mediocrity and comfortability. And some roads come with new challenges that force you to grow.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned through this process is that you can’t depend on anyone to have your same passion or drive or, hell, to even have your back the same way that you would. With that being said, the world has been asking all these questions. And now the world is about to get all their answers.
The road I’ve chosen to take is one that must be taken on my own. No crutch, no crew, straight dolo, exactly how I like it. All I’ve done my entire life is bet on myself. But I’ll tell you this, I’m not here to be another guy in the game. I’m here to be the guy. And I know I’m going to piss a lot of people off, and you can ask me if I give a damn. I ain’t here to make friends. I’m here to make money. And if you ain’t down, you’re going to get run down.
The nastiest is yet to come.
When I first saw this promo air on Rampage, I couldn’t help but notice the editing to include this image of a passive Ortiz alongside an aggressive Santana as the promo topic was the difference in passion.
It seemed strange. Maybe that’s just my mind reaching for straws as a potential story develops. Or maybe there is fire where there is smoke. It reminded me of items from our Rumor Roundup about tension between Santana and Ortiz from last year. Like this one:
While discussing the tension between AEW wrestlers Santana and Ortiz, Keepin it 100’s Konnan mentioned that they still aren’t talking to each other. Konnan also heard that things almost got physical between Santana and Eddie Kingston over this. Santana wants better booking and might leave AEW once his contract expires, while Ortiz is more laid back and happy to be getting paid.
Whatever the case, Ortiz was not happy about Santana’s promo. He viewed the crutch line about being a reference to their tag team history. Ortiz responded on social media.
Ortiz: 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?
Santana blasted back.
Santana: Wow. First thing you said to me in 14 months. No text, No call. No, “I hope your recovery has gone well,” but of course paint me to be the bad guy like you’ve always done. Guess you forgot about our last conversation about this. Either way, I’m happy. I hope and pray the same for you.
Wow.— Mike SANTANA (@Santana_Proud) September 9, 2023
First thing you said to me in 14 months. no text no call. No I hope your recovery has gone well but of course paint me to be the bad guy like you’ve always done. Guess you forgot about our last conversation about this. Either way I’m happy I hope and pray the same for you https://t.co/q6h4Hnajz1
Hmm, spicy drama is brewing. Time will tell if Santana and Ortiz are working or shooting. If taken as genuine, then these exchanges give credence to past rumors. There’s always a chance they could be formulating a fresh storyline based off those rumors. It’s not the first time a shoot turned into a work. This is the wacky world of professional wrestling after all.
Honestly, it would be a shame to see a long-term friendship dissolve in real life. Santana and Ortiz have been around the world winning tag team gold together. No matter where their paths lead in the future, hopefully they can find a resolution on a personal level.
What’s your reaction to this situation with Santana and Ortiz? Where do you stand on the work or shoot scale?