On what was a monumental episode of AEW Dynamite, Team Taz were deterred from a beatdown of rivals Cody Rhodes, Darby Allin and their pals by the shocking debut of the legendary Sting.
It has been exciting to think about what this could lead to. Will he actually wrestle for AEW at the ripe old age of 61? Booker T certainly believes so. Or, will he perhaps serve instead as a bat-wielding cavalry, ensuring no heroic characters are put in serious harm? That role has certainly been used astutely in the past, with Paul Heyman deploying 911 and New Jack in such a manner to cover their shortcomings when ECW was still a thing.
We will probably learn more beginning next week, when ‘The Icon’ takes an AEW mic for the first time and addresses the fans. Until then, we as fans are happily gorging on speculation, suggestions and any morsels of insider info we can find.
Dave Meltzer and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (£) report that Sting had serious hopes of finally having a much-discussed match with The Undertaker, who retired earlier this year. Meltzer wrote that a cinematic match, similar to how UT actually bowed out at Wrestlemania 36 in the Boneyard match versus AJ Styles, was the Stinger’s hope for finally working with Mark Calaway.
Now, WrestleTalk’s Louis Dangoor claims to have an exclusive scoop that Steve Borden was unhappy with his time in WWE, which saw him constantly marketed as a relic from WCW despite the company folding 13 years before his arrival, defeated by Triple H at Wrestlemania 31 and pinned in his only other in-ring outing, challenging Seth Rollins for the WWE title.
While of course all such reports are best regarded as food for thought as opposed to an unconditional gospel, the most interesting tidbit of Dangoor’s piece was that Sting is unlikely to take bumps due not only to his advanced age but his neck injuries and spinal stenosis, which were further aggravated in the Rollins bout.
That would of course rule out Sting being advertised for bouts each week on TNT, like the good old days of WCW Nitro. But it does dovetail with the apparent enthusiasm for filming a cinematic showdown with fellow mystical being The Undertaker. It also makes the aforementioned idea of him simply making regular saves for big pops a good shout, and it probably doesn’t rule out a very carefully-booked tag team role once in a blue moon.
Wednesday’s Dynamite will no doubt make things a little more clear. But if Dangoor’s report that Sting is determined to finish on a high for the fans is spot-on, we can be confident that this head-turning new signing will be handled with a lot more care than it was in Stanford six years ago.