WWE doesn’t want talented workers going to All Elite Wrestling. We’ve seen them make moves in the past and we’re likely not done seeing Vince McMahon’s company sign Superstars who are on AEW’s radar.
While speaking to Chris Van Viet, Santana and Ortiz discussed how much pressure WWE put on them. They said that the company made it very difficult for them.
Ortiz then went on to explain that WWE’s interest level seemed to raise considerably as soon as AEW became a reality.
“Before this [AEW] was a thing, we were kind of already in talks with them. We were like, ‘Alright, we’re either going to stay in Impact, we might go to WWE, or maybe Ring of Honor.’ We were playing it this way, we were like, ‘Alright, we’ll see what’s up.’ We were kind of in our head, it was like, ‘Ehhhh, we made a good amount of noise in Impact, but I was like, I feel we need to bring up our name value a little bit more, we can go to WWE and we can cash it in now, but I feel like maybe we bring up our name value a little bit more and be more wanted by them.’ They were interested enough to offer us something, and we had people kind of pulling for us there to bring us in, but I feel like we would have got lost in the shuffle, and when we first got our offer, it was like, ‘Ehhhh, we’re not going to get in a bidding war with anyone.’ And then it ultimately went down to, ‘Alright, what do you want.’ Which was awesome, and it was only because of AEW.”
All Elite Wrestling is presenting a real alternative for pro wrestling fans. This is something that they set out to do and Proud n Powerful wanted to be a big part of that. This fact really played into their decision making process as well.
WWE wasn’t able to sign Ortiz and Santana, but it certainly wasn’t for lack of trying.