The legendary wrestler, Sting, appeared on All Elite Wrestling Dynamite Wednesday in a return that has shocked the industry.
Following his retirement from the WWE in 2016, the “Stinger” returned to the square circle during Dynamite’s AEW special “Winter is Coming” episode after the end of the team match between Darby Allin/Cody Rhodes and Rickie Starks/Will Hobbs.
During a post-match defeat, Daily’s Place went dark before an eerie video package was played. It was not clear who or what was announcing this package, but as soon as the word “Sting” appeared, the arena erupted.
Sting did not become physical, just staring at Cody, Cody’s manager Arn Anderson – Sting has a long history dating back to her days at the WCW – and Allin, whose aesthetics many fans compare to that of the legendary wrestler.
The performance set the social media on fire on Wednesday night, as it continued throughout the evening.
Shortly thereafter, AEW issued a press release confirming that the company had signed a multi-year, full-time contract with Sting. Sting is one of the elite.
“The surprise launch of Sting was a great way to celebrate our biggest Dynamite episode to date,” said Tony Khan, AEW CEO and GM, in the press release. “When AEW launched, I was thrilled to reintroduce wrestling to TNT after a very long absence. Sting defeated the legendary Ric Flair in the final wrestling match, which will be on TNT for more than 18 years until Dynamite’s debut in 2019. Now, almost two decades later, it’s so exciting to welcome Sting to AEW and bring him back home to TNT!
So what does this mean for Sting and for AEW? At 61, it’s hard to imagine Sting getting too physical in the ring. His last match was on WWE’s Night of Champions pay-per-view in 2015 against Seth Rollins, where Sting suffered a serious injury.
Sting would make headlines in WWE’s Hall of Fame in 2016, where he announced his resignation in his speech.
The unofficial diagnosis was spinal stenosis, which is the same injury that retired Edge – but we all know how that story ended.
Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio–by WrestleTalk– said Wednesday night that Sting would not take a beating for AEW out of caution about the wrestler’s neck injuries. This would lead us to believe that Sting would be used as a character or in the series and would be involved in fights, much like 62-year-old Arn Anderson has been used in recent months.
The seeds for Sting’s appearance on AEW began in late October when the WWE picked up the wrestler’s merchandise from his online store. Reports at that time confirmed that Sting’s “Legends” contract with the WWE had expired several months earlier. Normally, WWE is allowed to sell goods from “Legends” for up to six months after the contract expires.
This step confirmed that Sting was no longer officially associated with the WWE. As with the launch of the AEW in 2019, speculation and rumors about Sting’s move to the upstart action made the rounds when news of the expiration of his contract spread.
Sting will return to AEW Dynamite next week in a talk segment. Fans will learn more about why Sting is in All Elite Wrestling and the story he will be part of when he does.
What did you think of Sting’s appearance on AEW? Who do you want to see the wrestler interact with? Let us know in the comments section.