This week’s AEW Dynamite turned back the clocks a bit as one of the greatest performers in pro wrestling history made his promotional debut. At the end of the episode, Sting came out and appeared on TNT for the first time in nearly 20 years.
Afterwards it was announced that Sting signed a multi-year contract with AEW and he also proceeded to break the single day record for t-shirt sales on ProWrestlingTees.com. AEW VPs The Young Bucks described the feeling they are experiencing just one day after the historic Dynamite when they were interviewed by Jon Alba on The Living The Gimmick podcast.
“Oh, man. I’m still on a high,” said Nick Jackson. “It was crazy; it felt big. When we got to the show that day, something was in the air. I know Moxley said that in his promo; it was true. I hope fans felt like it delivered because it sure did backstage, watching it.”
“I can’t even sleep. You know it’s a good night when I’m tossing and turning, and my brain won’t shut off,” said Matt Jackson. “I’m looking at the clock and I’m like, ‘God, it’s 5 am and I’m still awake!’ We didn’t even wrestle. That goes to show you that sometimes… for me with this job, just seeing the stuff that we’ve been planning finally happen, I get so much of a high out of that. It was a home run.”
At the end of October WWE pulled all Sting merchandise from their website and that likely made some wrestling fans perk up and wonder why they would do that. Just a few weeks later, we found out why as Sting joined their biggest rival in AEW.
Matt talked about Sting’s debut and what the reactions were backstage to a wrestling legend being there.
“This is something we’ve been sitting on for a little while. It was one of those things where you have this secret and you’re just living with it. It felt really cool,” said Matt.
“There was one fun moment where he was hidden in all day in his trailer in the back. When it was time to go, we have one of our guys from Atlas leading him through the entire commonplace area to the go. As he walked by, he just walked straight through where he needed to get to, and all the boys’ and girls’ heads were turning like it was The Exorcist. They were like, ‘What!?’
“It was really fun to see everyone have a mark out moment like that. When I saw the reactions to all the talent, I knew that it was going to be an even bigger moment on television. We had a thousand people up there yesterday. I knew it was going to be a huge moment and it was. It was chilling, and I think it was done perfectly because it was so simple. Him just walking up to the ring and the way he did it with the snow, the music. It was so well-done, and it was so well-received back here. I haven’t really even had a chance to look on the internet, but I can only imagine.”
Tony Schiavone was around for Sting’s last TNT appearance which was the final Nitro in 2001. He called the last WCW match between Sting and Ric Flair and he was on hand to commentate Sting’s AEW debut. Schiavone’s on-air reaction was genuine excitement and Nick shared his reaction to hearing Schiavone’s call.
“We marked out for that because we were huge? you know what’s funny? We were huge WCW fans more than RAW,” admitted Nick. “So, we lived those moments as kids and we marked out for them. I went up to Tony when he came back. I said, “Man, I loved it when you yelled that.’ He said, ‘I loved it too!’ It was a great moment though.”
The full interview drops this Tuesday on the The Living The Gimmick Patreon for free.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Living The Gimmick podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.