AEW stars Santana & Ortiz have explained why they chose to sign with the promotion instead of WWE when they had the choice.
Since the debut of AEW Dynamite, the former LAX members have been a member of Chris Jericho’s Inner Circle faction, usually as its designated tag team.
Speaking on the latest episode of the AEW Unrestricted podcast, they explained their inclusion in the group was the deciding factor in them choosing AEW.
“(Chris Jericho and the Inner Circle) was one of the deciding factors for us actually coming into the company because right before we went in, we had offers to go to WWE or AEW. We were on the fence, initially. Many other factors but one of the swaying decisions for us was Chris specifically wanted us to be a part of the Inner Circle. We were like, wow, man. He’s a huge – not to get so long-winded about it – part of our bonding experience.
“When we started to become a tag team, we both read Jericho’s first book, Lion’s Tale. We were like, this is the blueprint to be a wrestler. This is it right here. He was a journeyman. He wrestled everywhere. This is what we want to do. Watching guys like him, Dean (Malenko), Eddie (Guerrero) and we wanted to be true journeymen, and we bonded over his first book. So fast forward to us. Cody’s just like, ‘Yeah, Chris asked for you by name. He wants you to be in his stable’. We’re like, what? What’s going on right now?
“It was just one of those real weird full circle moments where we bonded over his first book and now we’re a part of his journey and a part of his his legacy. It was just crazy when you look at it. We grew up watching him and all these guys, and this whole experience, the past two years has been insane. With everything that’s gone on personally in my life, with everything professionally and the whole pandemic, it’s just been crazy, insane.
“Yes, we knew about the Inner Circle, and it was awesome. And we just heard about this group that he wanted, and we heard Sammy (Guevara) was going to be in it. And we didn’t hear about Jake (Hager) until the day of. We all get along, and we definitely, obviously over the two years, have developed a legitimate friendship, and it’s awesome. I love working with those guys.”
Santana & Ortiz are currently embroiled in a feud with FTR in a sub-story of the Inner Circle vs Pinnacle saga. Their last match was ended early and the program is currently on hold due to a nasty arm injury suffered by Cash Wheeler.
Quote via Wrestling Inc
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