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Daniel Garcia Reveals Why He Went Back to the JAS; Did AEW Mess-Up By Ruining His Potential Babyface Turn?

Photo: AEW

Friday’s AEW Rampage on TNT, brought with it the ‘explanation’ of why Daniel Garcia ultimately folded back into the Jericho Appreciation Society, after what had been looking like a promising babyface turn.

Back on Wednesday night’s AEW Dynamite, Garcia made his allegiance known, turning on his idol, Bryan Danielson during Danielson’s match with Chris Jericho for the ROH World Championship.  Garcia nailed Danielson with the belt, enabling Jericho to score the victory. Following the match, Jericho hugged Garcia and thus the swerve on Danielson was complete.

When the Jericho Appreciation Society came to the ring on Friday’s Rampage, Anna Jay introduced Garcia by saying, “The man with the hour and the power, Daniel Garcia.”  The camera was on Jericho, who looked like he thought Anna was referring to him. Could this be a preview of something to come if jealously between Garcia and Jericho rears its head?

Meanwhile, when Garcia took the mic to address the crowd and the cameras, he shared: “Everybody has been asking me, why I did what I did this past Wednesday. Chris Jericho has always said that sports entertainers are superior, To be honest, for a little bit, I didn’t want to believe him, and I was being rebellious, and because you all told me I wanted to be a pro wrestler just like my hero …. and its dead, it’s over, don’t say it no more.  I will never be a pro wrestler, and although Bryan Danielson is my hero, he taught me so much about heart, about guts, about fighting spirit, but Chris Jericho hit me in the head with the Ring of Honor title; he taught me how to win! That’s when I realized that sports entertainers beat pro wrestlers every single time.  And guys, I got a little confession to make- my name is Daniel Garcia – and I am a sports entertainer.”

That explanation was met with plenty of jeers and some cheers.  But in the end, did AEW just screw itself with this storyline for Garcia, or is there another wrinkle of this to come?

What is your reaction to Daniel Garcia re-aligning himself with the JAS? Share your thoughts in the comment section, but first watch Garcia’s explanation in the clip below.

AEW

Mercedes Mone’, Formerly WWE’s Sasha Banks, Makes Her Highly-Anticipated AEW Debut

AEW Big Business in Boston, brought it with it the “CEO” on Wednesday night’s ‘AEW Dynamite’ on TBS.  Now, we are not talking about AEW chief, Tony Khan, we are talking about the WWE’s former Sasha Banks, and one of the top female wrestling star’s in the word, Mercedes Mone’.

Mone’, who in real-life is known as Mercedes Varnado, made he debut in front of her hometown crowd in Boston, and appeared at the opening of last night’s episode with new theme music to boot. While chants rang out for the “CEO”, Mercedes took it all in and was moved to tears.

Addressing the crowd and the TV cameras, she expressed, “Thanks for having my back these past two years.“ Mone’ then added, “You want to know why I’m here? Because I need to be here. I want to be here.”

Photo: deviantart.com/Youtube

Varnado has held gold  several times throughout her career including as: NXT Women’s Champion, WWE RAW Women’s Champion five times over, WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion and WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion on three different occasions. The biggest match in her career was when she and Bianca Belair headlined WrestleMania 37 and as the first two African-American women to do so.

As the story goes, back in May of 2022, then as Sasha Banks, Varnado walked out of the WWE during Monday Night Raw along with her tag team partner, Trinity Fatu (who goes by Naomi). At the time, the duo were the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions at the time, and then were suspended indefinitely.

Later, Mercedes under her new wrestling name Mone’, appeared in a January 2023 New Japan Pro-Wrestling pay per view, Wrestle Kingdom 17.  In May of last year, she sustained an ankle injury in a match with now AEW’s Willow Nightingale.

It had been speculated for well over a year that when Mercedes returned to wrestling, she would join AEW, while her former tag partner, Naomi has now returned to the WWE as of January of this year.

Watch Mercedes debut entrance from last night’s AEW Big Business below.

Now let us know, are you happy to see her back on U.S. TV and in the ring? How do you think her run will be in AEW? Will she eventually return back to the WWE?  She teased it during a recent interview with the Kicks Rocks Wrestling Podcast saying, “I know I’m going to be back there [in WWE] one day, okay? So it’s not over.”  However, in an updated version of the episode those remarked have been edited out.

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AEW

Sting Goes Out on Top in the Perfect Finale to His Legendary Career at ‘AEW Revolution’

They could not have done it any better. For weeks leading up to the Sunday’s AEW: Revolution pay-per-view, the questions remained, would AEW live up to the hype and deliver to “The Icon” Sting a befitting goodbye, when in his previous returns during his legendary career were less than stellar in TNA and WWE?

The answer was “Yes!” Every box was check-marked. It was revealed in the post-match media scrum and in subsequent articles and online, that Sting had a major hand in who he wanted to wrestle against in his final match, and how his sons would be involved in his last appearance in AEW and in a pro wrestling ring, and more.

When it came down to the main event at the historic Greensboro, North Carolina, home to the classic NWA 1988 match with Sting vs. Ric Flair, that set the tone for him becoming one of the greatest to ever do it. Now in 2024, Sting was about to enter the ring for the last time in emotional fashion with more than 16,000 in attendance and a worldwide audience watching at home.

Photo: AEW

First, a video package rolled where Sting is seated inside a movie theatre as he watches his life in wrestling up on the screen pass by. After it comes to its conclusion, he looks to camera ready for battle for the last time. Back to live action, two versions of Sting appear at the top of the entrance ramp. And, in another emotional moment, it is revealed that the two men in the iconic wrestling gear from two different eras of Sting’s career were his two sons; one dressed as “Surfer Sting” and one dressed as “Wolfpac Sting”. In fact, Sting’s sons, Garrett and Steve Jr. were a part of his final act, as they two were beaten down by the Young Bucks a few weeks back on AEW TV.

Next, Sting himself enters and the crowd erupts as the Texas Tornado match in which he is a part of takes off. In it, Sting and his partner Darby Allin are defending the AEW World Tag Team championships against the Young Bucks, Matthew and Nicholas Jackson. The match delivered death-defying moves including: Sting taking a suplex off the stage and through a table, and Darby Allin putting his body on the line crashing through a pane of glass after he dove off a ladder.

Several dear friends and wrestling luminaries were in attendance or involved in the match including Ric Flair who jumped into the ring to protect Sting at one point, and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat who was the guest timekeeper. However, both were knocked out by superkicks by the Bucks for their trouble. Those in the audience were former pro wrestlers, Lex Luger, Magnum TA, Scotty Riggs, Nikita Koloff, and Diamond Dallas Page, plus others from Sting’s extended family.

Photo: AEW

In the end, Sting scored the win performing his signature move, the Scorpion Death Lock, on Matthew Jackson. Sting and Darby Allin retained the AEW World Tag Team Championship. Fans were relieved that Sting went out a winner and many cried tears of joy.

Next, Sting was next celebrated in the ring as confetti was shot out, and fans chanted “Thank you. Sting!” When, there were only five minutes left of air time on the pay-per-view, Sting began to thank Greensboro, the crowd, his family and AEW, when suddenly time ran out and unfortunately the show ended. However, after the match, his final words to the crowd and the company were posted on social media (you can watch it below). In the post-‘Revolution’ media scrum, Sting even called Sunday night, a “Top 3” match of his career.

Photo: AEW

Sting was key WCW’s success in the Monday Night Wars in the mid-to-late nineties against the WWE, when his version of “Crow” Sting coming down from the rafters to fight Hollywood Hulk Hogan and the NWO were epic. The story built for over a year with Sting barely uttering a word, but he ultimately became everybody’s hero in a story of good vs. evil. And that’s the case with Steve “Sting” Borden, too. He will be remembered as one of wrestling’s good guys, in front of the camera and to everyone that knew him behind the scenes.

So, what did you think of the way AEW honored the iconic Sting and his final match? Were you happy with all the special moments before/during and after the match? All we can say and to echo those sentiments from those in attendance and around the world, “Thank you, Sting!”

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AEW

AEW’s Tony Khan Talks Hiring of Soap Vet Jennifer Pepperman, Sting’s Retirement Match at ‘Revolution’ and His Well-Deserved Send-Off

On Thursday during a media call, AEW President, Tony Khan fielded questions from the press leading up to Sunday’s AEW: Revolution pay-per-view (8 pm ET). Khan spoke on a myriad of topics including: the hiring of former One Life to Live executive producer, Jennifer Pepperman, and that Sunday will be the final match of the iconic Sting’s wrestling career.

Pepperman, who made news last week when she jumped from rival WWE as Senior Writer/Producer to AEW as its VP Content Development, brings with her experience as not only the former EP of Prospect Park’s One Life to Live, but as a Daytime Emmy-winning director for One Life, As the World Turns, as well as the digital series, After Forever.

Khan addressed the addition of Pepperman and what she brings to the table for AEW, “I love the world of soap operas and I think it’s fascinating the work she’s done. She’s an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and it’s a very different medium than soap opera, but obviously there are similarities. It was a unique hire when she joined pro wrestling and now she’s learned the wrestling business. There are a lot of wrestlers that have great experience working with her and so she was a popular hire. I think she adds a lot.  She would add a lot to any women’s story. She can add ideas, but she also adds ideas to men’s stories. I think any aspect of it wrestling or television that you’re working on, Jen, can be insightful, and she’s very additive. I wanted to bring Jen in to help just with AEW all across the board.”

“Jen is somebody who’s got a really great wrestling mind,” Khan expressed. “It’s really nice to have somebody like Jen who has experience in pro wrestling but also a lot of experience in television.  A lot of the people who had worked with Jen previously, had really great things to say about her, and on my visits with her I really liked her a lot. She was very excited about what she’d seen in AEW and she’s fitting in great. We’ve done a lot of shows now, and she’s been doing a great job catching up on it. She brings a lot of knowledge of pro wrestling and television from outside AEW.”

Photo: AEW

It’s going to be a sad day for Sting fans all around the world, when he wrestles in his final match this Sunday. Khan shared how important it was to him, to AEW, and to Sting, for him to go out with one final historic match. “I’m very excited about AEW Revolution, first and foremost being Sting’s last pro wrestling match and Sting’s retirement,” Tony shared. “I think he’s been a huge part of pro wrestling for my entire life. He’s been a hero since I was very young and when Sting came into AEW, I was so excited. This is exactly where I hoped we would get – setting up an incredible retirement match for Sting this Sunday at Revolution. He’s an incredible pro wrestler and an incredible man, and giving him the send off that he deserves – these past few years has been really important to me and now having a match for the weekend with high states, a personal rivalry, a great story, it’s going to be a tremendous show. It’s got certainly something that nobody will ever forget and that is Sting’s final wrestling match.”

The Greensboro Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina is where Sunday’s AEW Revolution will emanate from. Khan believes, “It’s the perfect place to pay tribute to Sting’s great career in the Greensboro Coliseum. It was where Sting really first arrived on the national map in 1988.”

Sting appearing on Wednesday night’s AEW Dynamite was also special. Khan felt, “It was very fitting that he had his final appearance last night on TBS.”  Tony added, “Sting coming down from the rafters one last time I thought was a perfect way to cap off the final ‘Dynamite’ before ‘Revolution” and the final ‘Dynamite’ of Sting’s career. After 37 years on TBS .. and being so identifiable with it, it’s pretty special and pretty rare, and it’s befitting the great career and the great person that we have in Sting.”

While some feel Sting may be back in some capacity with AEW behind the scenes, Khan says anything is on the table. “When Sting came back in 2020, he did not need the money. Sting is very, very well off and has earned a lot of money in his career and is taking care of it very well,” Tony related. “He’s really a great person and he’s made great investments and he does this because he loves it. He loves the fans and he wanted to have a great run in wrestling and for these past three years, that’s exactly what we’ve done.  So for me, I would love to have Sting back in AEW anytime. I know he said he would like to come back. We won’t hold him or force him to come back at any point. Now is a great time for Sting to take time for himself and his family after this and whatever the result is Sunday, I think Sting can take pride that he’s had the most incredible final run.”

So, what did you think about the words Tony Khan expressed on the hiring of Jennifer Pepperman who brings both her soap opera and wrestling experience to AEW? We have always said that pro wrestling is a ‘soap opera in the ring’ and apparently Khan knows there is link to the two as well.  And, are you ready for Sting’s final match in his legendary career? Weigh-in via the comment section below.

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