Major Stars Nearly Signed For WWE Before AEW’s Creation

Major Stars Nearly Signed For WWE Before AEW’s Creation

After they left Impact, Santana & Ortiz (formerly LAX) were in high demand. WWE was desperate to sign the tag team, but they eventually signed with AEW and debuted after the main event of All Out.

Now known as Proud N Powerful, the duo sat down with Chris Van Vliet to discuss the past year, and how they very nearly signed for WWE before AEW made them an offer.

Ortiz said:

“We were about to turn down WWE. We sat down and didn’t want to burn a bridge. We never want to burn a bridge anywhere because that’s not how we do business. [Santana] had this whole spiel, ‘This is what we’re gonna say so we don’t burn a bridge.’ We go, we get cut off, and they’re like, ‘Listen, really think about your decision.’ We stop, hang up the phone, and are about to turn them down but it’s like ‘Damn, they’re really making this hard for us.”

Santana then added that WWE pretty much offered the pair a blank cheque, and claimed the promotion said: “Pretty much they were like, ‘Write your own ticket and we’ll make it happen.'”

They said that they were in talks with a number of promotions before AEW was even created, and that the only reason they didn’t sign for WWE or ROH was because of AEW.

“Before [AEW] was a thing, we were already in talks with [WWE]. We were either gonna stay in IMPACT, we might go to WWE or maybe Ring of Honor. In our head, we made a good amount of noise in IMPACT, but I feel like we needed to bring up our name a little more. We can go to WWE and cash it in now, but I feel like maybe we bring up our name value more and be more wanted by them.

“They were interested enough to offer us something and we had people there pulling for us to bring us in. But I feel like we would have got lost in the shuffle. When we first got the offer, it was like, ‘We’re not going to get into a bidding war with anyone.’ Then it was ultimately, ‘Alright, what do you want?’ It was only because of AEW.”

Ortiz explained that ultimately the decision was whether they wanted to risk getting lost in the WWE shuffle, or perhaps be part of history by joining something new like AEW.

“Honestly, the ultimate decision was, do we want to be apart of something that’s already establish or do we want to be apart of something new and make history. No matter what happens with AEW, we will always be apart of the first ever main event on the first ever television of AEW.

“Do we want to be apart of history or fade into black? Best case scenario, we’re going to be small fish in an ocean. There’s so many people [in WWE], it was gonna be an uphill battle. Not saying we wouldn’t be able to do it, but we could be apart of history and change. It’s changing wrestling for the better. No matter what happens with [AEW], it’s changing wrestling for the better.”

5 years ago by Andy Datson


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