No, not the popular 80’s singer from The Police. I’m talking about one of the icons of 90’s wrestling, the franchise of WCW, the master of the Scorpion Deathlock, the Icon – Sting!
Rumours abound about Sting’s wrestling future, as his deal with TNA has not yet been renewed. This re-opens the debate as to whether or not the Venice Beach native should sign a contract with WWE for the first time in his career. There has been talk of a potential blockbuster match at WrestleMania against the Undertaker, and WWE are certainly keen to have him on board, and have been very complimentary about him in recent years. They named him as the greatest superstar in WCW history, and also the greatest superstar to never perform in their company. High praise indeed, and although it may be seen as the ultimate goal for wrestlers to end up working for WWE, it’s not necessarily the case for everyone.
Looking back, Sting is best known and most fondly remembered for his late 80’s early 90’s run in the now defunct WCW. With his bleached blonde hair (complete with scorpion tail at the back), good physique and painted face he was the ultimate fan favourite. He won his first world title from Ric Flair at the 1990 Great American Bash in Baltimore, and he continued to feud with the Nature Boy throughout their tenure at the company.
Sting went on to win a further 8 world titles for the company (9 if you include the International title), to go along with the 2 United States championships, 3 World tag team championships and 1 World television title. One of his biggest angles involved him seemingly being disillusioned with the WCW in 1996 after the NWO ‘takeover’, not speaking on mic for over one year and mainly appearing in the rafters of the arenas. He would return to take on the NWO and specifically Hulk Hogan for the world title.
After WCW was sold to Vince McMahon in 2001, Sting chose to sit out his old contract rather than join WWE, as he was concerned about how they would portray the Sting character. He would go on to join TNA in 2003 for sporadic appearances at first, and signing fulltime in 2005, where he won their version of the world title 5 times. Whether or not this period with TNA will be remembered fondly in the annals of time remains to be seen. However if Sting were to join WWE, his back catalogue with NWA/WCW and the run he would have with WWE would be his legacy, and the TNA run erased from time.
But what would be the pros and cons for Sting (and us the fans) if he were to sign a contract with WWE? As stated earlier there is the rumoured matchup between him and the Undertaker, that would have been one of the ultimate fantasy matches had it happened 15 years ago, and many fans can indulge in a bit of nostalgia about the old days. There is also an array of other new matches that the wrestling public won’t have seen before. Sting has a chance to perform on a national stage one last time, and pass on his experiences to some of the younger talent in the locker room. Entering WWE now would surely cement his place in their Hall of Fame in the next couple of years, and he would have a recurring role as one of their legends. There is also the lure of one last big pay day.
On the down side, if he does sign on to face the Undertaker, he is signing to lose, as he won’t end the Undertakers WrestleMania winning streak. Has too much time passed for people to care? It’s been 13 years since WCW closed its doors, so if anyone was harbouring for his return then their interest may have waned by now. His gimmick is somewhat tired and could do with a revamp, and his match quality has deteriorated badly.
On top of that the current road schedule would be too much so his contract would need to be on a limited date / part time basis. Sting has also been wary of how WWE would treat his character. Look at how they buried Diamond Dallas Page when he was used around the time of the invasion angle, and he was quickly gone from the company after that. Most importantly though, is he just too old for this now? Should he just make way for younger talent? He will be 55 come WrestleMania and although it shows impressive longevity, when you compare that to Taker who is winding down at 48, Booker T also 48, and road agent Michael Hayes who has been retired for some time is 9 days younger than Sting, then maybe the time has come to call it a day.
However in conclusion, although it might be tempting for Sting to call it a day on his career now, and bow out having said no to any temptation from Vincent Kennedy McMahon over the years, for the sake of cementing his legacy I believe a brief stint in the WWE would be the fitting way for such a respected professional to end his career.