AEW Music Producer Mikey Rukus was on a recent episode of AEW Unrestricted with Aubrey Edwards and Tony Schiavone. Rukus discussed his journey to AEW, and he revealed when he finds out about the surprise appearances. He also revealed his reaction to finding out Sting would be making his AEW debut.
“It varies from time to time. There have been times where I just kind of found out in passing,” Rukus stated. “When we were working on the first Double or Nothing, I got a text message, I want to say, probably from Keith Mitchell. It said, ‘Hey, you’re putting that Bret music together, right?’ I was like, ‘Bret what? What are you talking about?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, we got Bret Hart. We need some music,’ and that was my first ‘oh s**t’ moment. And I hadn’t even joined the company full-time yet. We were just still in the midst of talking, and I got that call and I was like, this is really happening, Bret Hart!
“So that was the first one, and then a couple of other times, it was the night before a show. Tony [Khan] would call me the night before All Out and says, ‘Matt Sydal is coming in, so we need something for a high flyer.’ So sometimes that comes into an overnight work thing or an early get up early in the morning. With Sting in particular, we had a little bit of time. I was texting Tony about something. I don’t even remember what it was. He just said, ‘Hey, I have a project that I’m working on that that you can get started on if you like,’ and I was like, ‘Hit me.’ And he said, Sting,’ and I just kind of stopped and I was like, ‘Oh s**t. When do we need this?’ This was before Thanksgiving.
“I actually had time to panic because normally, I don’t have time to panic, and that’s really what it was. Panic set in. That’s the first time that’s ever happened because over the last several years, every interview that I had ever done, somebody said, ‘If there was one person you can make an entrance theme for, who would it be?’ And I would say Sting all the time. So when he texted me Sting, I was like, it’s time for me to keep my mouth shut and just figure something out here.”
Rukus detailed the process behind working on Sting’s entrance music. He also revealed his reaction to Schiavone’s iconic “it’s Sting” line.
“I’ve watched Sting ever since I was 10, 11 years old, and I went back and started looking at the different themes that he had had from the different promotions,” Rukus recalled. “And Tony was very specific that he wanted to reignite The Crow style, The Crow theme and the gimmick and everything like that. So I wanted to be able to create something that touched on the essence of that story but started a new chapter, and I wanted it to be something that stood on its own.
“I wanted to have the essence of Game of Thrones since we were doing ‘Winter is Coming’ and just kind of incorporate it and take it to a level that I hadn’t done with any of the other themes previously, and I’m blaming Tony Schiavone for this 100%. When Sting walked out and I heard the music play, and Tony said, ‘It’s Sting,’ I cried. I sat in my chair silent, and I’m shaking from head to toe and it’s all Tony’s fault. He did that.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.