Real Reason AEW Is Booking Ric Flair

Ric Flair debuted as Tony Khan's "gift" to Sting on AEW Dynamite...

Sting Ric Flair Tony Schiavone

Impending television rights negotiations may be driving AEW's decision to use Ric Flair.

On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer reports that with AEW's television contract up for renewal this year, the Tony Khan-helmed promotion is "trying to hotshot as many stars for ratings purposes because of the name value." Flair would fit the bill as one of the biggest stars in professional wrestling history.

Meltzer noted that using such names as the 74-year-old Flair risks ageing the show, typically providing a short-term boost as opposed to long-term.


Per the report, Khan had a verbal agreement in place with Flair for the legend to join AEW in 2021, potentially as Andrade El Idolo's manager. This was reneged when Ric's sexual misconduct allegations stemming from the 2002 Plane Ride From Hell spiked in public awareness following a Dark Side of the Ring episode on the subject.

Flair was introduced as Khan's "gift" to the soon-to-retire Sting on last night's Dynamite. Sting, 64, is to step away from wrestling forever at AEW Revolution 2024 next February, and counts Flair amongst his greatest career rivals following their many battles in WCW and beyond.

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Andy has been with WhatCulture for six years and is currently WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A writer, presenter, and editor with 10+ years of experience in online media, he has been a sponge for all wrestling knowledge since playing an old Royal Rumble 1992 VHS to ruin in his childhood. Having previously worked for Bleacher Report, Andy specialises in short and long-form writing, video presenting, voiceover acting, and editing, all characterised by expert wrestling knowledge and commentary. Andy is as much a fan of 1985 Jim Crockett Promotions as he is present-day AEW and WWE - just don't make him choose between the two.