After months of rumors, “The Icon” Sting has appeared on AEW TV for the first time with a thrilling debut on this week’s Dynamite.
Below is a recap of Sting’s appearance:
Post-match, Hobbs gets back in the ring and runs over Allin. Arn gets into the ring and swings away on Hobbs! He drops Starks with a punch. Starks then beats up Arn, but Dustin Rhodes runs out for the save. Bulldog on Hobbs, spinning powerslam on Starks. Brian Cage runs out and drops Dustin with an F-5. Cody takes an F-5, Hobbs has the FTW Championship now and Hobbs goes to hit him with it, but the lights go out.
Music plays and a video plays on the big screen. Sting walks out! He pulls out his trademark black bat. Team Taz bails out of the ring. Sting walks up to Arn Anderson and looks at him for a moment. He goes to Dustin, looks at him, then goes over to Cody in the corner. Sting gets up and makes his way to Darby Allin and gets right in his face for a longer period of time. Sting then walks to the ramp and gives a few “Woo!” chants to the crowd and walks to the back.
Following the segment, the Dynamite commentary team confirmed that Tony Khan had signed Sting to a multi-year contract.
Check out Sting’s AEW debut below.
According to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, AEW plans to feature Sting as a regular character on TV and not just as a legend making sporadic appearances once in a while. Meltzer noted AEW wanted to bring in “a star from the old generation of TNT as a regular” since such a move could potentially help draw in fans from yesteryears.
It was noted that AEW will be careful with the 61-year-old Sting and that “he won’t be taking any bumps”, despite being used as a regular character on TV. In the event that Sting does anything physical, it would be done with utmost precaution, added Meltzer.
With AEW already releasing new Sting merchandise, Meltzer made a note of the timing behind Sting’s debut. “They timed this right before Christmas,” he said, while adding that Sting’s arrival gives the company a great boost going into the holiday season.
After Sting’s WWE legends contract expired in May, WWE pulled all of his merchandise in October. Typically, most WWE alumni re-sign their legends contracts. However, when Sting didn’t re-sign, the writing was on the wall for him to join AEW, according to Meltzer.