AEW stars and Inner Circle members Santana and Ortiz were the latest guest on Talk Is Jericho to talk all things pro-wrestling, including why they initially decided to leave IMPACT and WWE being an option for them over AEW. Highlights from the interview can be found below.
How they had options between AEW and WWE following their departure from IMPACT:
Cody had contacted us, and it was just like, ‘hey, how long do you have left at IMPACT?’ Based off that, we already knew we had another option,” Ortiz recalled. “At the time, we were trying to negotiate with IMPACT. We were like, ‘hey, we need a little bit more money,’ and they were kind of going back and forth with us, which I understand. They’re running a business, so they’re not going to just outright give us exactly what we want. Just going back and forth with that and knowing that, we had other options, and also, WWE was an option at the time because [Jeremy] Borash now works there. That was our in, so we were just like, ‘okay, what are we going to do?’ It was a couple of weeks out from leaving IMPACT and we still didn’t know.
How they loved working at IMPACT but feel they ran their course there:
We were really sitting there and trying to make the decision, and they were like, ‘alright, just stay for one more year. Just do one more year and we’ll figure something out.’ We were going over it in our heads. ‘What are we going to do? We’re going to just stay here? People are going to turn on us, and if we stay here and they kind of feel like we’re going to leave, maybe they bury us or something sh*tty happens.’ It was like, ‘hey, we’re willing to do business the right way. We’ll lose on the way out. We’ll put over whoever you want to put over.’ We just felt like it ran its course, and we love the people there.
Say they wanted a challenge:
We loved working there. We just felt that we needed to grow; we felt like we were a big fish in a small pond. Not that we weren’t being challenged, but we wanted a challenge to try to work our way up.