Tony Khan pens tribute to Sting, details origin of partnership with Darby Allin

Image Courtesy: AEW

AEW President Tony Khan has written a glowing tribute to Sting on the eve of his retirement match.

Khan stated on X that Sting had reached out to him in 2020 and that the AEW boss seized on the opportunity to organize a surprise return to TNT 25 years after the veteran’s first appearance on the network.

Sting’s partnership with Darby Allin was Khan’s idea, although he admits he could not have imagined that the pair would become close friends, calling their partnership “a bond far stronger than any wrestling hold”.

In full, Khan stated:

Tomorrow night, Sunday, March 3, the Greensboro Coliseum in North Carolina will be packed for AEW: Revolution, and fans from around the world will be watching live on pay-per-view to witness the well-deserved sendoff for professional wrestling’s most enduring icon: @Sting.

Sting first contacted me about All Elite Wrestling in 2020, expressing interest in a comeback. Seizing the opening, I convinced him to make a surprise return to TNT, 25 years after his first appearance on the network, at AEW Dynamite: Winter Is Coming.

Sting in AEW would fit like a glove. The Stinger had kept himself in incredible condition, and for his return to the ring, I recommended a partnership that grew to be a bond far stronger than any wrestling hold.

In our early phone conversations about a comeback, I told Sting that I saw a great deal of him in a tremendous young wrestler named Darby Allin, and I thought that they could be a great team, although I never imagined what close friends they’d become outside the ring as well.

Sting’s surprise arrival in AEW kicked off a mentor-protégé relationship with Darby Allin, which led to a tag team street fight at AEW: Revolution 2021 against Team Taz, Ricky Starks and Brian Cage, as Sting stepped in the ring again for the first time in years. Sting and Darby continued teaming in exciting matches for years to come on TNT and TBS, leaping off of stages, balconies, and ladders with reckless abandon as they accumulated an undefeated record.

Finally, they captured the AEW World Tag Team Championship, and they went to bask in the glory of a victory celebration with Sting’s family, only to have the timeless moment stolen in an abominable attack by AEW’s jealous EVPs, Matthew and Nicholas Jackson, going against everything that the company is meant to represent when they desecrated a legend and hurt Sting’s loved ones.

And now, at AEW: Revolution, this Sunday, 3 years after the comeback began, it all comes down to one last grudge match, The Final Showtime: Sting and Darby Allin defending the AEW World Tag Team Championship against Matthew and Nicholas Jackson, the Young Bucks.

Before we all gather on Sunday to witness the culmination of one of the greatest runs in wrestling history, the AEW locker room and Sting’s family wanted to share their favorite memories in tribute to The Icon himself. We cannot thank him enough for everything he’s given us over his nearly 40-year career.

The final paragraph refers to a video posted by The Players’ Tribune of AEW talent and Borden family members leaving voicemail messages for Sting.

About Neal Flanagan 822 Articles
Based in Northern Ireland, Neal Flanagan is a former newspaper journalist and copy editor. In addition to reporting for POST Wrestling, he co-hosts The Wellness Policy podcast with Wai Ting and Jordan Goodman.