Tony Khan Pulls SCANDALOUS Surprise On AEW Dynamite

Tony Khan's "gift" to Sting was...

Ric Flair

In a move likely to attract a degree of fair, understandable criticism, given the increased awareness of his Plane Ride From Hell scandal since 2021, Ric Flair debuted on last night's AEW Dynamite.

AEW founder and CEO Tony Khan promised the retiring Sting a "gift" one week after the 'Icon' had announced his intention to retire from wrestling in February. The segment, which was advertised in advance, began with Sting, Darby Allin, and Tony Schiavone in the ring, with Sting delivering a promo before handing the mic to Schiavone. Tony teed up the announcement, Also Sprach Zarathustra played, and out came Flair.

Sting's greatest rival, to whom the 64-year-old is intrinsically linked, spoke of the history they'd made together, claiming that he'd ride the retirement wagon with Sting if he'd let him. This preceded an interruption by Christian Cage, Luchasaurus, and Nick Wayne.


Flair has been linked with an AEW role for several years, though it had never come to fruition until last night. The 74-year-old's last high-profile wrestling appearance came in his retirement match on 31 July 2022, which featured AEW personnel Andrade El Idolo, Jay Lethal, and Jeff Jarrett.

A Dark Side of the Ring episode on the Plane Ride From Hell, during which Flair is alleged to have sexually assaulted flight attendant Heidi Doyle, aired on 16 September 2021, increasing public awareness of the long-standing accusations.

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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.