Hernandez weighs in on Santana & Ortiz's tag run in AEW, thinks they needed Konnan

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2023/08/06/hernandez-weighs-in-on-santana-ortizs-tag-run-in-aew-thinks-they-needed-konnan/

A look back at the L.A.X. versus OGz program from Hernandez’s perspective. 

There was a point in 2018 when the new L.A.X. (Santana, Ortiz & Konnan) were feuding with Homicide, Hernandez and Eddie Kingston. There were two matches between them with the first taking place at Slammiversary 2018 and the second at Bound For Glory that same year. 

Hernandez guest appeared on the Great North Wrestling Podcast and explained why he was a little bitter about the program. He said when the focus in only on who’s next, the current can be forgotten about. He went on to praise Santana and Ortiz, adding that the match they had at Slammiversary was supposed to be a one-off. 

We (Homicide & myself) wrestled Santana and Ortiz on an indie show probably a year or two before that (our IMPACT Wrestling program) and they’re really, really talented guys. The O.G. L.A.X., that was a little bit of a bitter pill for me to swallow because remember when I was talking to you earlier, L.A.X was almost like a joke before I got into it. So for me to pass the torch to someone and I’m still active… I still have small issues now with wrestling where everyone wants, ‘Hey, who’s the next big wrestler out there? Who’s the next big thing? Who’s the future?’ Every time you want the future, this guy and this guy who’s two or three years, not ready for television, you’re forgetting about two or three guys who are in the current stage who still can go, who still can do their stuff, who still can help these guys get there. So it was a little bit bitter but those guys are beautiful kids. They listened, they sold. All their stuff was really, really snug, very, very good so the matches, obviously turned (out) really well because — another fun story, that match was only supposed to be a one-and-done. We were supposed to wrestle those kids for the pay-per-view, put ‘em over and that was it. Here’s the torch, boom. But, obviously the match went so well, we went from July to September.

Following up on that, Hernandez was asked for his thoughts about the tag run Santana and Ortiz had in AEW. He thinks they’re amazing, but they weren’t ready to not have Konnan by their side. Hernandez mentioned that when Konnan was not managing him and Homicide, there was a disconnect in terms of connecting via the microphone. 

He added that that’s why they were paired with the likes of Shelly Martinez and Héctor Guerrero. Hernandez feels Konnan should’ve been with Santana and Ortiz in AEW. 

I honestly think and this is my opinion, Santana and Ortiz are amazing wrestlers, they were not ready to not have Konnan next to them, because he knows — Konnan with the verbiage, it can make anyone unstoppable. He made them believable to go against me and Homicide and Eddie Kingston. When you take the mouthpiece away, you know, like for us, when we were L.A.X. and Konnan quit and went back to AAA, they didn’t like how I talked on the mic because it was a huge step down from Konnan and how Homicide talked on the mic. Why do you think we got Héctor Guerrero? Why do you think we got Shelly Martinez? We went from the hottest thing ever to, oh man, they can put on awesome matches so let’s put them in multi-man matches, let’s put them in eight-man tags or something like that because they didn’t want to invest in the character at all… So when you’re having guys like Santana and Ortiz, and they’re still young in the business, remember when Konnan was on the mic for us, I didn’t ever talk, Homicide never talked. So when those kids have the godfather of Latino wrestling in your face and they’re next to him and they don’t get the mic time, it’s not the same believability it (is) when he’s there. If I was AEW, I would’ve brought Konnan with them. There’s no way, without a shadow of a doubt — it’s foolproof. He did it for me and Homicide, he did it for Ortiz and Santana, he can do it for anyone. It’s virtually foolproof to have him bring Latino stars and him spout his verbiage and elicit crowd responses. Yays or boos, whatever you need him to do and make money. That’s where AEW dropped the ball. Not bringing Konnan with them.

Santana has been sidelined since the summer of 2022 when he suffered an injury in Blood & Guts. Ortiz recently shared that he’s now taking bookings to wrestle. 

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit the Great North Wrestling Podcast with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.