33-year-old star reveals he was unhappy in AEW; was plotting his exit a year in advance

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Photo credit: AEW's official X account

A former AEW star revealed that he was unhappy during his time in AEW. He also mentioned that he was plotting his departure a year in advance.

Mike Santana was part of All Elite Wrestling from its inception. He was a big part of the roster due to his involvement with The Inner Circle. However, Santana's role on the roster diminished drastically once the group disbanded.

While billed as one of the top tag teams in the division, Santana and Ortiz were never able to win the AEW World Tag Team Championship. Santana was even involved in a feud with Ortiz but he just wasn't able to regain his past glory. Hence, he eventually parted ways with Tony Khan's promotion.

In an interview, that is yet to be released by Fightful, the preview suggests that Mike Santana admitted that he was plotting his exit well over a year in advance. He even mentions that he was hinting at seeing out his contract by posting countdowns on X (formerly Twitter) owing to his unhappiness in All Elite Wrestling. However, his injury pushed his exit plan further back.


Cody Rhodes was responsible for Santana and Ortiz choosing AEW over WWE

When Santana and Ortiz left TNA, they received interesting offers from both All Elite Wrestling and WWE. However, they decided to choose Tony Khan's promotion and the rest is history.

During an interview with Chris Van Vliet, Mike Santana mentioned that they had given their word to Cody Rhodes and hence they joined All Elite Wrestling despite there being a very lucrative offer from WWE.

"Oh, yeah. When our contracts were coming up with TNA, there was interest with AEW and WWE. We had spoken to WWE extensively and they made it very hard for us to turn them down. But our thing was, so Cody was the one who hired us, right, and we had spoken a while back and we had given Cody our word before anything, and our word is everything. So by that point, they asked, 'Hey, have you signed anything?' And we're like, 'No, but we gave out word and we would like to stick to that,'" said Santana. [31:10 - 31:53]

You can check out his comments in the video below:


It remains to be seen what the future holds for Mike Santana now that he is no longer signed to All Elite Wrestling.

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