The Inner Circle On The Stadium Stampede Match, The History Of The Group And More

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Photo: AEW

Collectively known as The Inner Circle, Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Jake Hager, Ortiz and Santana have been one of AEW’s featured stables. On the newest episode of Talk Is Jericho, the former AEW World Champion hosted his stablemates and they all reflected on the history of the group.

Jericho on the formation of the group and other potential members when the stable was being planned:

Jericho: “I can’t even remember who the first choice of the different guys were, but I know at one point I was like, ‘I’d like to have MJF,’ and they said, ‘Well, he’s gonna do his own thing.’ And then I think, well Sammy’s kind of the same idea. I wanted a young, kinda upcoming, charismatic guy. Then I wanted a tag team, and one of the ideas that was suggested was Pentagon and Fenix, and I said it’s too gimmicky, I don’t want gimmicks, and then right after that it was what about LAX at the time, Santana and Ortiz. And we had met briefly, you were on the first cruise, but I didn’t really know you guys and didn’t really know much about you.”

Santana on admiring Jericho long before the formation of The Inner Circle:

Santana: “Ortiz and I, we bonded, and we became pretty much a tag team after reading “[A] Lion’s Tale”. That was the start of it. Ortiz has read it first, and then we were working together at the time, and he was like, ‘Yo, check this out, read this,’ and I read it, and I mean, we were like, ‘This is the blueprint. This is what we felt we needed to follow to get to where we wanted to get to.’ Yeah, so the fact that when they came to us, and they threw that idea, and we were like blown away, we were like, ‘Holy s—, this is awesome stuff,’ you know what I mean, especially like reading all the stories and, you know, watching your whole come-up and just respecting your whole career, so it was pretty good stuff.”

Hager on how the group has grown since its formation:

Hager: “It’s definitely very cool to see where we were back in October and to see where we are now because we have definitely like vibed together and like really gotten to know each other , gotten to know each other’s strengths and like really, really become close.”

Guevara on trying to prove himself within the group:

Guevara: “I remember, yeah, like you said, Santana and Ortiz in Impact and Jake Hager, you, and I’m like the youngest one there, the least experienced, and so I felt like I had some big shoes to fill, and that just made me want to work even harder. Every match that I was in, I’m like, ‘Alright, I’m in this bad a– group,’ like, ‘I gotta show out,’ you know?”

Ortiz on sharing the ring with Mike Tyson and other MMA fighters:

Ortiz: “Man, I was looking across the ring at Vitor [Belfort] and then Rashad Evans, I didn’t even know he was gonna be there. And I looked at him, and I was like, ‘Yo, that’s Rashad Evans.’ I was like, ‘Aw, man.’ I was like, ‘I need a knife or something, I can’t take these guys on legit.’ Jake is there, I’m about to stand behind Jake and be like, ‘Yeah, get ‘em Jake.”I was a little intimidated, I’m not gonna lie.”

The full episode is available here:

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