santana ortiz aew
Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Santana And Ortiz Compare The Inner Circle To The Avengers And Their ‘Standalone Movies’

Inner Circle, assemble.

Santana and Ortiz, also known as Proud ‘n’ Powerful, have been members of Chris Jericho’s stable since the beginning of their AEW run in 2019. Despite the duo’s background as one of the most renowned pairs in the wrestling world, the four-time IMPACT World Tag Team Champions haven’t won the titles in AEW yet. Some fans, and even fellow AEW star Eddie Kingston, have argued that the two men have been held back by their association with Jericho’s group.

As the argument continues to gain prominence the longer this drought continues, Santana and Ortiz shared their thoughts on the matter when speaking with  Stephanie Chase of Digital Spy. Santana addressed Chris Jericho’s previous comments that he wanted the faction to respectfully part ways after AEW Double or Nothing 2021 by noting that he feels it’s time for the members to prove that they can succeed on their own. After all, they’ve already made it clear that they can succeed as a stable. He compared this dynamic to Wu-Tang Clan, a group whose members continued to shine after it broke up.

“For me personally, I just felt like we had done so much, and we have proven to be very successful at being the group and stuff,” said Santana. “I just felt like it was time for all of us to, like you said, go our separate ways and start establishing ourselves in whatever we’re gonna continue doing and stuff like that. And then maybe eventually later down the line, we could bring it back together for a major moment and rock and roll again.

“But I always feel like the group is cool and we’ve proven that the group can be successful. But now let’s prove that each of us can be successful on our own. Almost like the Wu Tang Clan, they were such a great band together, they were so successful together and then when they all broke up and went their own separate ways, they all became successful. So I think that was more my mentality towards it.”

Likewise, Ortiz brought up the way groups like the Justice League and the Avengers rarely break up; instead, the members go off on their own adventures and have “standalone movies.” Ortiz noted that he and Santana are somewhat doing their own thing right now, and while he shared his stance that stables shouldn’t always have to break up in a hostile way, he also admitted that the Inner Circle is having some issues right now. Still, he also pointed to the way families have issues sometimes, though he teased that the turmoil in the stable runs deep.

“…We’re like the Justice League or The Avengers, they have standalone movies, you know what I mean, and their own side adventures,” said Ortiz. “And you’re just like., ‘Why isn’t the rest of the Justice League to help them in this world cataclysmic event? Like why isn’t Thor helping out?’

“And it’s kind of like yeah, at the moment, we’re having our standalone movies pretty much. And I like having the option to always come back to it, like why does everyone have to break up? Why does everything have to end in negativity or turmoil? Even though that’s kind of where it seems like it’s going right now, and only time will tell. You know what I mean, but you know, family fights. And we have our issues but you know, we’ll see where it plays out.”

As part of their current “side adventure,” Santana and Ortiz will team up with Jericho to face 2point0 and Daniel Garcia Wednesday night on AEW Dynamite.

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