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Mike Santana’s AEW Departure: The Truth Behind Proud-n-Powerful’s Split

3 Key Points

  • Mike Santana chose to leave AEW’s Proud-n-Powerful tag team.
  • Personal issues with partner Ortiz led to the team’s dissolution.
  • The split seemed rushed on AEW TV due to backstage circumstances.

Inside the Ring: Proud-n-Powerful’s Breakup

Professional wrestling fans recently witnessed a shift in the landscape of AEW’s tag team division with the breakup of Proud-n-Powerful. Mike Santana, one half of the formidable duo, made a notable return during AEW All In’s Stadium Stampede match. However, his partnership with Ortiz came to an abrupt end shortly after a storyline on AEW Rampage back in October.

The behind-the-scenes drama that led to Proud-n-Powerful’s split has now been unveiled. Ortiz, in a candid discussion on the Shining Wizard Wrestling podcast, clarified that the dissolution was not AEW’s preference but rather a consequence of his strained relationship with Santana.

Unpacking the Teardown

According to Ortiz, the company found itself in a position where they had little choice. “Me and Santana just couldn’t get it together personally,” Ortiz admitted, expressing how Santana was unwavering in his decision to sever their work ties. This left AEW wrestling with the only logical option—to break up the team.

Ortiz detailed how the breakup unfolded onscreen, describing it as rushed and not reflective of the thought-out program initially intended. Even with prior plans for a multi-week build-up across AEW shows such as Dynamite and Rampage, external pressures influenced a quicker resolution.

Behind the Curtain Tensions

The tension between Santana and Ortiz spilled over into their professional storyline, impacting the production quality of the split. Ortiz shared his perspective on how the separation was portrayed in AEW programming, noting the tension backstage and the challenge it posed. “It just never panned out the way it was,” he reiterated, conveying his frustration over the hasty change in direction that left fans with an underdeveloped resolution.

It’s clear from Ortiz’s revelations that the abrupt end of Proud-n-Powerful was not a planned storyline arc but a reflection of real-life discord. The wrestling community now watches with anticipation to see what the future holds separately for Santana and Ortiz within AEW.

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