Santana felt he & Ortiz were stagnant and in a rut prior to AEW Parking Lot Fight

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Proud and Powerful reflect on some of their most memorable concept-based matches in AEW.

The duo known as Proud and Powerful (Santana & Ortiz) joined All Elite Wrestling at the 2019 All Out pay-per-view. They appeared on the first episode of Dynamite during which The Inner Circle was formed (Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Jake Hager, Santana & Ortiz).

Along with competing with their fellow Inner Circle members, Santana and Ortiz are a team on their own and one of their fondest two-on-two tag matches from their time in AEW is the Parking Lot Fight they had with Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent).

Stephanie Chase chatted with both Santana and Ortiz. Santana felt that at the time, he and Ortiz were stagnant and in a bit of a rut so they used that as motivation to present the effort they did in that match.

Santana: I mean it’s the Parking Lot Brawl. I think that’s been our crowning moment there and you know, where we — a lot went into that match and a lot of emotion and a lot of — we had a lot of fire and we had a lot of motivation behind that and we told ourselves like — we kind of felt at that point in time that we were kind of like in a stagnant, like rut a little bit and we were like, ‘Let’s prove who the hell we are’ and so that was a lot of the motivation that we had behind that and look what came out of it so…

Ortiz brought up the 2021 Stadium Stampede match where The Inner Circle bested The Pinnacle (MJF, Dax Harwood, Cash Wheeler, Wardlow & Shawn Spears). Ortiz shared that while The Inner Circle rappelled down from the top of TIAA Bank stadium to start the match, he almost lost a finger and detailed how that came close to happening.

Ortiz: You know when you’re extremely high up or something, you kind of get that feeling in your chest and your stomach? You got butterflies, I wasn’t feeling it, so I was like, ‘Okay, I think I’ll be okay’ and it was just — it was a countdown, so, I was like, ‘As soon as they say, one, go, I’m just not gonna think about it and I’m gonna go’ and we did and that’s kind of exactly what happened and a little insight, I almost lost my finger. I wasn’t wearing gloves so when I jumped and out of instinct, I grabbed the rope in front of me but you have this carabiner hooked up and it’s like this thick, metal carabiner, so when the slack of me getting pulled up, it cut my finger so I actually wrestled the rest of Stadium Stampede with like a bandage around my finger and it cut pretty deep. Like it left a scar but, I was like man, if I would’ve grabbed it differently, my finger just would’ve went flying off but I had no choice but to do the entrance because it was one take, that’s it. But yeah, luckily I didn’t lose my finger so…

On AEW programming, Santana and Ortiz have opted to distance themselves from Chris Jericho and Eddie Kingston as they’ve had several back and forth exchanges. Santana is scheduled to challenge for the ROH World Title at TERMINUS 2 in February.

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