Last weekend, four-time Impact Wrestling Tag Team Champions Santana and Ortiz made their debut for All Elite Wrestling (AEW).
This week the tandem lost a match with their Impact careers on the line against The North in Mexico.
Their debut for AEW was very much a mirror image of their debut in Impact a little under 30 months ago. Back in March 2017, Homicide and Konnan came down the ramp to confront Reno SCUM and Decay, while Santana, Ortiz and Diamante came through the crowd to beat them down and establish themselves as big time players. The next week the team won the tag team titles for the first time.
The only real difference between the debuts was the fact that when Santana and Ortiz arrived in Chicago, they were household names. Back in 2017, the EYFBO boys were mostly only known to those paying close attention to the New York/New Jersey independent scenes and CZW.
While their final title match in Impact was not necessarily a home run, they hit some key spots, showed some of the trademark tandem offence that made them such an instant hit two years ago and they put the current tag team champs over clean, which is what all departing stars should do.
I’ve written in this column before about how this incarnation of LAX were the aces of the tag team division and their evolution to that position was evident in this bout in Mexico City. Compared to when they started, their in-ring work had greater fluidity and was faster and they had a clearer presence and aura; the aura of champions. It was an aura and an undeniable connection with the crowd that made it possible for tag team matches to main event big Impact shows time and time again under the Callis & D’Amore regime.
This incarnation of LAX have attempted to push boundaries and challenge expectations throughout their tenure with Impact. Some of it has worked, some of it hasn’t and some has generated real buzz but that’s exactly what good main event acts do – strap the company to their back and put the work in.
From the 5150 street fight at Bound for Glory 2017 in which the crowd struggled to see most of the action to Barbed Wire Massacre 3 and from their wars with the OGz to their spotfest spectacles with the Lucha Brothers, Santana and Ortiz have been ever-dependable, ever-reliable and a highlight of any show they’ve been on. They’ve broken records, they’ve had redemption angles and they’ve told stories with both nuance and overplayed drama.
While they may not have torn the house down in Mexico, they leave Impact Wrestling as one of the promotion’s great tag teams. I wish them the best in AEW, a move that they wholeheartedly deserve and one that will give them an even greater platform to excel.
The LAX names lives within Impact though, so the question now worth considering is: what’s Konnan’s next move?
The Week in Review
- A much better show this week than last week, highlighted by the LAX match, TJP against Golden Magic and the return of Brian Cage.
- Havok against Su Yung was entertaining for what it was and while the non-finish irritates me, it does lead to an inevitable blow-off in either Vegas or at Bound for Glory.
- Moose and Fallah Bahh delivered once again and it’s Ken Shamrock next for Moose. Joy.
- The Ace Austin/Eddie Edwards stuff continues to suck and on that note, Johnny Swinger is coming back. That’s going to pop a real number, just you mark my words.
- The Deaner compound skits are quite enjoyable and now the Desi Hit Squad appear to have a new member on the way and he’s a man who likes to shuffle…
- Cage vs Callihan for the World Title at Bound for Glory was announced – will it go on last?
- Next week we’ve got Tenille Dashwood vs Kiera Hogan, Dr. Wagner Jr. vs Texano Jr., Michael Elgin in action, Ace Austin vs Eddie Edwards and a tag team street fight involving Jake Crist, Sami Callihan, Tessa Blanchard and Tommy Dreamer.
Well, until next time…