Photo Credit: Lee South / All Elite Wrestling

Mike Santana Details How The Parking Lot Brawl With Best Friends Came Together

Mike Santana has revealed how Proud-N-Powerful’s Parking Lot Brawl with Best Friends came together.

On September 16, 2020, Santana and Ortiz squared off against Chuckie T & Trent in a parking lot fight. The vicious brawl saw all four men beat each other to the brink of death until Orange Cassidy arrived to turn the momentum in Best Friends’ favor.

During a recent interview with SEScoops Managing Editor Zack Heydorn, Santana revealed how the pandemic influenced the idea for a parking lot fight with Best Friends.

“Honestly, to be real, and I’m sure nobody has even said this… that whole match and that whole story came from a lot of frustration. There was a lot of frustration, at least from my end, and from what was going on during that time. It was the pandemic so there was a lot of stuff going on; you know everybody was dealing with a lot of stuff,” Santana said.

He continued, “But during that time we were just stuck doing the Inner Circle stuff. We were just stuck in the group of that group thing. For the first, you know whatever, it was cool and we were doing cool stuff or whatever, but then I was like, ‘We came here to be a tag team. We came here to continue being the best tag team in the world.’ That was like getting to me because I felt like we just started getting shoved into the background of this group. You know it is what it is.”

Santana revealed the pandemic as well as father’s demise took a toll on him, noting that he used Chris Jericho’s angle with Orange Cassidy to pitch a feud with Best Friends.

“Plus, the added stuff of my dad passing away and then the pandemic happening – so there was just a lot of anger (laughs). It was a going on for me. I was just like, ‘Yo! What are we even doing? What are we doing? We’re doing nothing. That’s what we’re doing.’ I was really pi**d so I saw that Jericho at the time was working with [Orange] Cassidy. They were doing their whole deal. I was like, ‘Orange Cassidy has the Best Friends… like he’s part of that team or whatever. So why the hell aren’t we working with the Best Friends while Jericho is working with Orange Cassidy.’ So that was my whole thought process.

“It made perfect sense and it was like the whole group going against Orange Cassidy. I was like, ‘Why do we have to go against one guy when he was a team of his own and we could do our own thing with them. So I took it upon myself and I wrote out like maybe 10 to 12 weeks of TV myself. I was like, ‘What do I gotta lose. Screw it. I’m frustrated. We’re doing nothing. This is the perfect opportunity for us to work with these guys, and we were already cool with Best Friends. We’ve know them for years. We had a good relationship with them. Let me just write out these few weeks of TV.'”

The former AEW World Tag Team Champion said he emailed his pitch to Tony Khan, the Young Bucks, and everyone involved with the creative process.

“So then I write it out and I sent it to everybody. I literally emailed it to Tony, to the Bucks, to everyone. And everybody was like, ‘Yo! This is pretty cool.’ I collaborated with Tony and moved things around and then we eventually got to the parking lot brawl,” Santana said.

He further stated that his idea for the parking lot brawl was different from what came out, but because both involved parking lot and cars, AEW went ahead with it.

“My idea, my visual of it was much different but it was parking lot, cars, let’s do it.”

Mike Santana Ortiz AEW
Image Credit: AEW

Santana reminisces about Proud-N-Powerful days with Ortiz

Elsewhere during the interview, Santana was asked to comment on his past association with Ortiz and if he fondly remembers the pair formerly known as Proud-N-Powerful.

“Yeah, man. I look back on it very fondly, honestly,” Mike Santana admitted. “Like you said, it was an amazing run. We did some really cool stuff; we traveled the world together. We literally became one of the best tag teams in the world. You know, we literally made something from nothing. Just two Puerto Rican kids from New York that had a dream and the balls to chase it like we always used to say.

“And now I feel like just me personally; I felt like it was that time. Like our personal things are our personal things. It is what it is, but me personally, I’ve done a lot of the things I’ve wanted to do. We did more than what I expected us to do, and I’m happy with it. And I’m content with it, and now it’s just time to focus on myself and do what I gotta do.”

Since coming back from injury on the August 23 episode of Dynamite, Santana has turned his backstage issues with Ortiz into a storyline feud.

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