On AEW Dynamite: Winter is Coming, one of the most recognizable names in pro-wrestling history made his debut for the company. Sting appeared in a post-match segment marking his first time performing on TNT since the network was home to World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in the 1990s and early 2000s.
As recapped by Wrestling Inc., the legendary wrestler made his appearance on Wednesday night after a tag team match between TNT Champion Darby Allin and Cody and Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs. Following a post-match brawl between both teams’ respective factions, The Nightmare Family and Team Taz, the lights went out as Sting made his entrance to the ring. It was later announced that the WWE Hall of Famer signed a multi-year contract with AEW and will be cutting a promo on next week’s episode of Dynamite.
Following his entrance, Sting pulled out his signature black baseball bat, sending the members of Team Taz out of the ring as he focused his attention on Nightmare Family members Arn Anderson, Dustin Rhodes, and Cody. He then got in Allin’s face for several seconds before heading backstage and engaging the crowd with some “Woo!” chants.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) December 3, 2020
Rumors of Sting signing with AEW had been swirling for weeks, as reports suggested in late October that “The Icon” might be debuting at the Full Gear pay-per-view, which took place on November 7. While there was no mention of Sting’s name in teasers for the event, Miro asked who will be “[creating] the next big moment” in a preview clip. That development came mere days after Sting’s former employer removed all his merchandise from its online store, much like it does whenever someone parts ways with the company.
In May, shortly after reports first noted that Sting was no longer under contract with WWE, Chris Jericho seemed to hint at his possible move to AEW as he began wielding a baseball bat on episodes of Dynamite. This was seen by some fans as a nod to how Sting had been carrying the item around since he switched to his familiar The Crow-inspired gimmick on WCW in 1996.
At this point, it remains unclear what Sting’s role on AEW television will be, given how long he’s been inactive. The 61-year-old last competed in the ring in 2015 when he wrestled Seth Rollins at WWE’s Night of Champions pay-per-view and suffered a career-ending injury during their match. He was inducted into the company’s Hall of Fame in 2016 but only made sporadic appearances for Vince McMahon’s promotion in the years since then.