Earlier this year Sting’s contract with WWE officially expired, making him a free agent, and on Wednesday night he made his AEW debut during the Winter Is Coming edition of Dynamite.

Fightful Select reports that the initial the initial reaction to Sting’s debut was shock and excitement, and that no one had heard about it until he was backstage just before his debut.

However, it seems that it was not a surprise to everyone backstage as one talent noted they had known about the signing “for a while.”

Following Sting’s debut Tony Khan confirmed he’s signed a multi-year deal, and he also issued the following statement:

“The surprise introduction of Sting was a great way to celebrate our biggest episode of Dynamite yet. When AEW launched, I was ecstatic to bring wrestling back to TNT after a very long absence. Sting defeated the legendary Ric Flair in the final wrestling match to be shown on TNT for more than 18 years until the debut of Dynamite in 2019. Now, almost two decades later, it’s such a thrill to welcome Sting to AEW and bring him back home to TNT!”