Update: Santana is currently injured with AEW sources estimating him to be out for up to 12 months
AEW star Santana could be on his way out of AEW, after recent Tweets indicated he was awaiting his AEW release and is unhappy with the company.
As one half of Proud and Powerful alongside tag team partner Ortiz, Santana has been a key part of AEW since it’s inception, making his debut on the first episode of AEW Dynamite. He immediately joined up with Chris Jericho as the founding members of the Inner Circle.
While he did manage a five star match against Best Friends, success has been few and far between in AEW for Santana. This could be the reason for Santana’s release at the end of his deal, with him being rumoured at being unhappy at not being a part of the AEW Tag Team Championship title picture.
He recently posted a reaction gif to a fan telling Santana and Ortiz to “go for those tag team titles” The gif showed him on AEW Dynamite turning to the camera and laughing, indicating that he found it humorous and that he is unhappy with his current creative direction in AEW.
He had a similar reaction when being asked the same question on Ethan Page’s vlog, indicating that is a continued source of disappointment for the former LAX member
Santana AEW release
Santana’s AEW release could also be sooner than you think. The star has been continually posting an apparent countdown on his Twitter profile, assumed to be a countdown until his contract with AEW expires and he is free to leave.
His latest addition to this venture came on April 28th 2022, when he Tweeted out “126 days”. This would indicate that his contract with AEW expires on September 1st, 2022 and he would be released from his AEW contract on that date.
This makes sense, as it was around a month before his debut on the first episode of AEW Dynamite. This would put it at 3 years after signing his initial deal, which is the reported length contract all the original AEW wrestlers signed for (although many have signed contract extensions, like with Kenny Omega’s contract).
Santana and Ortiz
With Santana being wantaway from AEW, the question beckons as to what will happen to Ortiz. The two seem to be inseparable and are one of the top tag teams in AEW, so to see anything come between them would be a shocking endeavour.
Sadly, it looks like just that has happened. Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select recently speculated on his post-AEW Dynamite stream (covering the Blood & Guts special on AEW Dynamite) that there may be an issue between Santana and Ortiz.
The duo are no longer seen side by side on TV anymore, and have not teamed together in a regular tag team match since April. The two also barely interact on Dynamite and Rampage, despite being front and centre in one of the biggest feuds in AEW in the battle between the Blackpool Combat Club and the Jericho Appreciation Society.
He also noted that Santana has been taking multiple bookings outside of AEW as a singles wrestler and not alongside his partner Ortiz. This would indicate he is looking ahead at his future after a September AEW release and could be looking to move along onto a singles career rather than stay as a tag team wrestler.
Santana’s AEW contract expires on September 1st, 2022 and he is not expected to sign a new deal. This would put an end to Santana and Ortiz and would see the group split up for the first time in years.
Fightful Select have confirmed that Santana is injured and will be out for “8 to 12 months”. They confirmed that he has sustained an ACL injury at Blood & Guts, but that there were no plans for WWE to stop using Ortiz. He will likely move into a singles role in AEW while Santana’s role remains a mystery.
“The Proud & Powerful member was sidelined at the Blood & Guts event, as he went down during the match, and was taken away for medical attention. Since then, details have been few and far between. AEW sources indicated last week that Santana had sustained an ACL injury, which he told several people we spoke to he sustained an ACL injury. He was at an event in Puerto Rico this weekend to relinquish a title, and was seen on crutches. In addition, we’re told that he let a few people there know that he’d not had surgery yet.
None of this information has been confirmed by AEW, though we did reach out to both they and Santana.
As of now, we’re told there are no plans to stop using Ortiz that anyone in AEW has heard about. As previously reported, Santana and Ortiz have not been on great terms, and haven’t competed in a 2 on 2 match in months. Santana was also accepting bookings as a solo act for quite a while before the injury.
Note: AEW sources expect him to miss 8-12 months”