During this past Wednesday's episode of AEW Dynamite, the Nature Boy Ric Flair made his long-awaited debut in the company. The WWE Hall of Famer has been unhappy with that company for some time now, and rumblings of him making the leap to AEW first began a couple of years ago.
Flair was presented to Sting as Tony Khan's gift to the WCW icon before he retires at next year's AEW Revolution PPV. The legendary pro wrestler said he wants to be part of what comes next for his old friend but it's not been made clear exactly how much we'll see of him moving forward.
In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer provided new insights into Khan's decision to bring Flair in now and how long he'll be around for.
"Khan wanted him to be part of the Sting [retirement] storyline and he’s supposed to be on the show as part of this through March," the historian explains. "I believe part of this is also that AEW will help promote his 'Whoooo' energy drink, or at least that is what is being talked about."
Earlier this week, Meltzer also addressed why it took this long for Flair to appear on AEW television.
"I know that he was gonna go there right when that Dark Side of the Ring thing came out," he said, referencing the backlash Flair faced for his role in the Plane Ride from Hell. "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," Melzer added, "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."
Tony may be getting desperate, but for most wrestling fans, it's just a joy to see Flair and Sting once again standing in the ring together.