Chris Jericho Explains Why TNT Was Not Happy With Sting’s Surprise AEW Debut

Fresh off his AEW in-ring debut, Christian Cage joined his long-time friend Chris Jericho on the latest edition of the Talk Is Jericho podcast. Cage was revealed as the mystery signing that Paul Wight had teased last month, and Cage revealed what his contract status was at that time.

"We had some discussions about how it was going to go down, and when he (Tony Khan) and I talked, we kind of had talked about it being a surprise, and having that kind of element of just showing up, and surprising everyone and doing it that way," Cage said. "It's funny on the Wednesday, on Dynamite when [Paul Wight] made that announcement, I wasn't signed yet. We had talked about it, but it actually wasn't a physically signed deal at that point in time. There's benefits of doing it both ways. At the end of the day, Tony's a promoter, and he has to promote his pay-per-view coming up, so I get why he went the direction that I did.

"All I can do is trust Tony's vision and what he wanted, and Tony is a very passionate guy about every single performer on his roster. He cares about every single person, so he's not going to try to put anybody in a bad spot coming in by any means. I trust his vision. I know there was a little bit about the surprise and this and that. It wasn't The Rock. It wasn't Goldberg or whatever, but here's the thing too, I don't think it's any secret that wrestling fans are very opinionated, and when you light a spark, it turns into a wildfire no matter.

"So it doesn't matter who showed up. There was going to be people that were disappointed or whatever. When you make that kind of announcement, you're giving people the option to pick who they think should be over there, who they want to be and all those sorts of things. So at the end of the day, I don't care because I know once I get in the ring, what I'm going to do."

At the "Winter Is Coming" episode of Dynamite, Sting made his surprise AEW debut. The appearance was not announced or leaked anywhere, but Jericho revealed why TNT did not like Sting's surprise debut.

"I thought it was cool too because I know when we had Sting has a surprise, the network was like, don't do that again," Jericho revealed. "That's why Paul Wight was announced on social media because TNT said we don't want surprises. We want to take advantage of the rating. So I think we had a big surprise, then we had a big announcement and then we use that big announcement to announce the next big surprise. I think that's one of the reasons too to kind of spread it out a bit as well."

Cage has not been in AEW that long, but Jericho asked Cage what he thought of the AEW locker room so far. Cage revealed a conversation he had with Cody Rhodes where Rhodes explained to Cage why his involvement with AEW was important not only for fans but the locker room as well.

"WWE has their way of doing things, and it works," Cage prefaced. "And I've been there for years, and I have nothing bad to say about my time there or what WWE has done for me and put me in the position to do, but it seems less hectic to me and less frantic in a sense. I felt like the talent were more sure of themselves as performers and what they were going to do. That was my initial thought. Obviously, it's a very young roster with a lot of thirst for knowledge. I really really felt that there was a real thirst for knowledge, and I didn't even think about it because when I first got there that night, I got there very late on the first night.

"I showed. The pay-per-view had already started. I went on a bus, and I was sitting in there. And Cody was in there, and we were talking. He was saying, 'This is a big deal that you're here,' and I was like, 'Aw, thanks man. Appreciate it.' He goes, 'No, not just for fans but for everybody in the back here. You and I, we grew up on [Hulk] Hogan, on Macho Man on all those superstars like that. Everybody back here grew up on you. They grew up on Jericho. This is a big deal. When you walk through there, watch their jaws drop. That's what's going to happen, and I was like, man, I didn't really think about it like that. It's humbling. It really is, so it was a cool moment."

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.