Tony Khan has weighed in on what it means to have Sting in All Elite Wrestling.
The roster of AEW has grown considerably over the past three years, with many ex-WWE Superstars now residing in the Tony Khan-helmed promotion. One of the most shocking names to sign with the company, however, was Sting.
A legendary figure during the Monday Night Wars, “The Icon” rocked up in AEW on the famed Winter Is Coming 2020 broadcast of Dynamite, instantly forming an alliance with then-TNT Champion, Darby Allin. Though he’s only wrestled seven matches for the promotion, all of which were tag team encounters alongside Allin, the fan support for seeing Sting wrestling again has been strong.
Now, talking to Inside The Ropes’ Kenny McIntosh for issue 17 of Inside The Ropes Magazine prior to his Greensboro, North Carolina match with Darby Allin and CM Punk against The Pinnacle’s MJF and FTR, Tony Khan has detailed exactly what it means for him to have such an influential figure from wrestling’s past in his promotion:
“It’s been one of the highlights of my life. Sting is one of my childhood heroes—he is such a great part of what we do in AEW now. It’s amazing to think that it’s all come together so quickly. Really, even just a couple of months before Winter Is Coming last year, it would have been unthinkable for me to think about Sting possibly coming to AEW. I was so surprised when I got the phone call.
Certainly, when Sting and I first talked, he did not expect to be this active in the ring. Now here we are, approaching the Holiday Bash, and live on TV, Sting is going to return in Greensboro, which is such an important city to the history of his wrestling career. It’s unfathomable – we can’t find any record of it – but Sting hasn’t wrestled in Greensboro in 27 years. There’s been WCW shows there since then, but we can’t find any records of Sting wrestling on them, so 6 October 1994 was the last record that I have been able to find where Sting wrestled in Greensboro.
What’s amazing is the matches that he’s in are just as good as any Sting match from the past. I think his tag match with Darby against FTR was fantastic and one of the best television tag matches that you are going to see, and Sting is a part of it. He was just tremendous in that Arthur Ashe Stadium match and he keeps getting better. He had been out of action for six years, and he has had this great run of matches since he came back to the ring this year.
It feels like he has got a lot more left in the tank. It’s incredible, and I don’t think anyone thought that he had it in him – especially Sting when he started – how much he would be wrestling or how great he would feel.”
Sting had previously announced his retirement during his induction speech at the 2016 WWE Hall of Fame, owing to neck injuries sustained in his Night of Champions 2015 match with Seth Rollins. Prior to this, the two-time Hall of Famer had been a regular fixture within IMPACT Wrestling, where he was a multi-time World Champion, which led to a brief WWE career.
He made his in-ring return at the 2021 Revolution pay-per-view, teaming with Darby Allin to take on Team Taz’s Brian Cage and Ricky Starks in a cinematic Street Fight. “The Stinger” has since wrestled The Acclaimed, The Men of the Year, and 2point0.