Wrestling history is filled with a lot of ‘What Ifs’ as many of us wonder what could have happened if things had turned out differently.
One of the best what-ifs in wrestling is finding out that the original line up for well-known factions and how they were different from the final product and it makes us wonder what could have been.
Angel Medina is a perfect example of this and he was set to be a part of one of TNA/Impact Wrestling’s most popular stables until plans changed.
Who Is Angel Medina?
Angel Medina was a pro wrestler who competed from the late 90’s into the 2000’s after being trained by the legendary Johnny Rodz and wrestling in a few promotions in Mexico and Japan.
Medina’s career peaked when in 1999 he joined Extreme Championship Wrestling or ECW where he competed with such names as New Jack, Balls Mahoney, Nova and Chris Chetti before becoming a member of the ‘Da Baldies’, a very famous stable during ECW’s hay day.
Due to ECW’s financial issues and eventual buy out by the WWE in 2001, Medina decided to wrestle for the International Wrestling Association or IWA for a number of months and even became a seven-time IWA Hardcore Champion.
Angel would leave the IWA before getting an important phone call by the former TNA Tag Team and X Division Champion, Homicide but more on that a little later…
Who Were LAX?
The Latin American Xchange otherwise known as LAX, was one of the most impressive stables in TNA (and later Impact) Wrestling from the mid-2000s and late 2010s.
The group began after Konnan turned his back on BG James aka Road Dogg after the inclusion of Billy Gunn into the Three Live Kru faction as well as Konnan’s decision to attack BG’s father, Bullet Bob Armstrong with two other wrestlers one of whom being Homicide.
Following a few shake-ups, in the beginning, Konnan would bring in Shawn Hernandez into the group and from that point forward the group dominated the tag team division whilst not being afraid to tackle perceived issues of discrimination they believe was going on at the time.
However, the group almost had another member joining the group in form of Angel Medina after Homicide called Medina to give him a spot in LAX but the question is why didn’t this happen?
Things Falling Apart
Angel Medina gets a call from Homicide and he asked if he wants to be a part of the Latin American Xchange and become his new tag team partner but it never came to pass.
So why is that exactly? Well to understand that we have to talk about another player in the story in the form of Dutch Mantell.
Dutch Mantell or Zeb Colter to anyone who saw his WWE work back in the mid-2010s was a big name during his time as he would serve as a manager and booker for various promotions including the IWA but he also provides a place for some of these wrestlers to stay at including Medina.
According to an article and Medina, there was an incident where a wrestler working for the IWA brought back a female to a condo that Mantell provided and the two went on to have on to…handle some business so to speak.
long story short Mantell found out about this and asked Angel if the wrestler was here but he said no (which was a lie) and after Dutch kicked the both of them out, he told Angel to never lie to him again among other things and their relationship began to sour from there.
So around the mid-2000s Homicide calls Medina to join LAX as previously mentioned but he was denied this opportunity why? Well as it turns out Dutch Mantell was a booker for TNA at this time and when he heard that Medina was being brought in, he nixed those plans and instead was replaced by Shawn Hernandez.
The Aftermath and LAX’s Legacy
After it was revealed that Hernandez would be the one to join LAX, Medina was upset about the whole thing mostly due to the fact that he found out that this decision was made by Dutch and considering their history within the IWA wasn’t so good.
Medina would allegedly say that he would piss on Mantell’s casket when Dutch passes away… which just shows you how rocky their relationship is said to have become.
Angel would retire from pro wrestling after this but make a comeback in the late 2010s competing in other promotions.
Meanwhile, the Latin American Exchange would go on to become multiple-time TNA and Impact Tag Team Champions and be the most popular stable in the company until Homicide and Hernandez broke up as a tag team in 2009.
The faction over the years would include other members like Shelly Martinez (later known as Salinas in TNA) and even TNA’s Spanish commentary Hector Guerrero (member of the legendary Guerrero Family).
In 2017, Konnan returned to Impact with a brand new version of LAX with Homicide returning as an on and off member in addition to new members Diamante, Santana and Ortiz.
From 2017 until their departure from Impact in 2019, “The New LAX” as they were called at first would go on and dominate the tag team division, taking on teams like oVe, The Rascalz, The Lucha Brothers and The North before all three of the newest members would eventually go to the brand new promotion, All Elite Wrestling and the rest, as they say, is history.