Former AEW Talent Mike Santana Opens Up About Leaving The Promotion

After being among the first talents to join up with AEW back in 2019, Mike Santana has broken away from the promotion, departing AEW when his contract expired earlier this year. For Santana, it was a long time coming. In an appearance on "Insight with Chris Van Vliet," Santana confirmed he had been looking to leave AEW for quite a while, which was delayed by him suffering a serious leg injury when he teamed with Ortiz, Eddie Kingston, and Blackpool Combat Club to take on the Jericho Appreciation Society in Blood & Guts.

"My decision to leave AEW came well before my injury," Santana said. "I got hurt in June of 2022 and at that point, I was just dealing with so much in my life personally and professionally at work, and I was just burnt out. My contract was coming up in September, I believe. And I had already made the decision that I'm not going to re-sign, and I just needed to take a break and deal with the things that I needed to deal with. And yeah...then the injury happened. So, a lot of that was going on during that time."

As to whether AEW was interested in re-signing him, Santana doesn't know and also made clear that it wouldn't have mattered either way.

"I'm not sure," Santana said. "But I wasn't really actively pursuing it...Like I said, it was June when I got hurt...And I wasn't...actively pursuing [and saying] 'Oh, are you guys going to re-sign us?' Because already in my head, I was like 'Yeah, I need to get away. I need to take a break.' But I'm sure something would have worked out and they probably would have re-signed us. But yeah, man. During that time, it was a very dark time for me."

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Insight with Chris Van Vliet" and provide an h/t to Rllegends for the transcription