During the October 18th episode of Dynamite, Sting declared his intention to retire at AEW Revolution, slated for early 2024. This announcement was followed by the revelation that AEW president Tony Khan had a unique gift planned for Flair, set to be unveiled on the October 25th show.
The surprise gift was none other than Ric Flair himself, known as the Nature Boy. Tony Schiavone took the mic to emphasize Flair's significance to wrestling on TBS, as well as his impact on Sting’s wrestling journey. Flair stated that upon receiving a call from Tony Khan, he was eager to team up with The Stinger one final time.
This momentous reunion was cut short by Christian Cage, Nick Wayne, and Luchasaurus. The three wrestlers orchestrated a setup for a match involving Darby Allin, Sting, and an as-yet-unnamed partner at the upcoming Full Gear event.
On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer shed light on additional reasons for Flair's appearance. He suggested that AEW's upcoming TV rights negotiations were a contributing factor.
"I know that he was gonna go there right when that Dark Side of the Ring thing came out. I don’t know this but I was assuming that he was gonna go as the manager of Andrade. But he and Tony Khan had a verbal deal, and then after Dark Side came out, it was not the right time.
It’s the (TV) contract year and I think they’re really trying to hotshot as many stars for ratings purposes because of the name value and things like that, but by doing that you’re also ageing the show, and nostalgia when it comes to TV ratings is usually a short drug, not a long-term thing.”
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