TNA's Mike Santana Discusses His Decision To Return To Wrestling After Lengthy Absence

From June of 2022 until August of 2023, Mike Santana stood on the sidelines, waiting to make his in-ring return. Santana's journey back to the ring was far from easy, though, as he simultaneously battled a serious knee injury and a struggle with addiction. During a recent interview with the "Battleground Podcast," Santana revealed the newfound motivation that accompanied his eventual in-ring return after getting clean.


"When I came back [to wrestling], I told myself I want people to know what my motivation is now," Santana said. "I want people to know what my purpose is, and the only way people were going to know that is, is if they knew the real thing ... I always think about like I have way too much to lose now. My daughter's getting older. She's realizing a lot of things; she's much more aware of things. I refuse to go back to that [lifestyle]. I said when I had a kid, I never want to give my child the same life that I had. The fact that I was on that path, that s*** broke me, because I know what it's like to lose my father, and my father was a brother to me. And the fact that I was giving my daughter that, how selfish is it?"


Apart from wanting to more clearly showcase his purpose, Santana's openness about his previous addiction also stems from his desire to continue holding himself accountable. So far, the former TNA World Tag Team Champion has done just that by remaining sober since February 2023. Two months after celebrating the one-year anniversary of his sobriety, the former AEW star made a surprise return to TNA Wrestling.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Battleground Podcast" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.