Chair Shots: Sting to the WWE- Boom or Bust?
Jan 31, 2014 - 9:27:27 AM
Tell me if you’ve heard this one before.
All indicators point to this being the year that Sting finally joins the WWE.
Yes, we’re at that time of the year again where the Sting rumours start running rampant. We’ve already had two reports stating that the Icon has already signed a deal with the WWE and will either debut in a non-wrestling role at Wrestlemania XXX or the Monday Night Raw the following evening. While this may be very well possible, I’m sure that the WWE will be keeping a tight lid on this for as long as they can to grab that surprise pop when they really debut Sting. Of course all this could still be speculation, as nobody really knows at this point his status.
Sting has shown over time that he is a very loyal soldier. He stuck with WCW until the very end, after being courted for many years by Vince and company to come to the WWE. When WCW folded, and their wrestlers started coming onto WWE programming, Sting became the biggest hold-out of the roster; he remained the elusive apple that Vince was not allowed to bite. I’m sure there were a lot of reasons behind Sting’s choice not to sign with the WWE, but topping that list was his distrust of how they would treat his character. Sting (or Steve Borden) became a born-again Christian in 1998, and had some severe reservations that Vince would want to exploit the Sting character to go against his moral beliefs.
If you look back at the way most of the WCW wrestlers who came into the ‘E were treated, you’d see why Sting was concerned. Diamond Dallas Page became a stalker. Booker T. and Buff Bagwell were hung out to dry in one of the worst Main Events in Raw history, and in general the WCW guys were treated like red-headed stepchildren. At the time, Sting probably made the right decision in not joining the organization, but in terms of then vs. now, it was probably the time he SHOULD have joined the WWE.
He certainly would have come to the WWE with some pretty hefty credentials.
• NWA World Heavyweight Championship
• NWA World Television Championship
• WCW International World Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
• WCW World Heavyweight Championship (6 times)
• WCW United States Championship (2 times)
• WCW World Tag Team Championship (3 times)
Of all the WCW wrestlers that had joined the WWE at the time, none would have had the notoriety and prestige surrounding their arrival like Sting would have had. Would he have still had to pay his dues in the WWE? Absolutely, because at that time Vince was in all his glory. He had defeated the enemy and was going to do everything he could to rub it in the faces of anybody that was left. But I feel as though Sting would have been strong enough to survive that and have a very successful WWE career. But that was then, and this is now.
Now, Sting is 54 years old. By the time he would debut in the WWE he would be 55. That would make him the OLDEST active wrestler on the WWE roster, assuming the WWE gives him an in-ring role. Comparatively, The Undertaker, whose body has taken so many beatings that he can only wrestle a couple of times a year max, is 48 years old. Quite honestly I thought they were closer in age than that. A lot of people feel as though Sting should hang up the tights; that he’s got nothing to prove by coming to the WWE and that his legacy in professional wrestling is already cemented. Personally, I tend to fall into that category.
I’m a Sting fan, no doubt. I was in attendance at the Baltimore Arena, sitting 7th row ringside when he won his very first World Championship from Ric Flair at the Great American Bash. That was also the night we saw the debut of El Gigante, but that’s best left forgotten. The fans went wild that evening, and Sting’s momentum only kept going from there. His storied rivalry with Flair and the Horsemen went down in history as one of the longest and most hard-fought rivalries ever. No, Sting isn’t the best in-ring technician to ever grace the squared circle, but he always had that “It Factor” about him that drew in fans all over the globe.
Yet I worry what kind of reception Sting will get when/if he comes to the WWE. I suspect that Vince hopes that the WWE Universe will gasp in amazement that they finally landed the elusive Sting. He wants jaws to drop and fans to cheer like they’ve never cheered before. But I just don’t see that happening. To a lot of the WWE Universe, Sting is that guy that always thought he was too good for the WWE. He constantly snubbed his nose at their offers and opted to stay with WCW, and then afterwards, TNA. Then there are those fans that just really won’t care one way or the other. Since Sting has NEVER been in the WWE, and since TNA’s ratings are so small, there is probably a large portion of the younger WWE audience that may have no idea who Sting is. I know as part of the IWC, that’s hard to believe, but they are out there- no question.
However the larger part of the audience is the one that I’m a part of; the part that feels that Sting coming to the WWE happened about 10 years too late. I would have loved to have seen Sting in the WWE back in his prime. But now, he’s a shell of his former self, and at times a parody of his own character. For the past year or so it seems as though Sting just doesn’t care anymore about what he’s doing. He cuts the same promo time and time again, waving his black bat around, and threatening to hit people with it. His in-ring work, which as we mentioned was never going to be exceptional, has now degraded to the point where he can barely leave his feet for a Stinger Splash. And then there’s his physical condition. You know how nobody wants to see Ric Flair take his shirt off anymore? Well Sting is to the point in his career where he can’t wrestle without keeping a t-shirt on. A man that once had one of the best physiques in wrestling is now getting into the saggy old man physique stage.
You can tell when wrestlers get to that stage in their career. The New Age Outlaws just returned to the WWE, winning the tag team championships after being off television for quite some time. Billy Gunn, now 50 years old, is wrestling with a t-shirt on. And while the Outlaws still get a crowd reaction, you can see that they’ve lost a step or two in the ring. The reaction times are slower, the moves are slower, and the matches just aren’t as energized as they used to be. That is exactly what I think will happen if Sting gets in the ring. I really don’t want the man to embarrass himself.
Reports also state that a part of the deal may include Sting being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame next year, and I think that’s great for him to have that honor, but he would still be one of those wrestlers inducted into the Hall that have zero ties to the WWE. I’m not saying that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be inducted, but it seems to lessen the honor some since it is after all the WWE Hall of Fame. If Sting has signed, I’d suspect that we’ll see him used a lot in promotions of the WWE Network, in relation to all of the NWA/WCW content. The WWE will probably also release a Sting DVD collection, since they own all of his work up to his time in TNA. But reports also state that we’ll probably see him in the ring, and I just really don’t want to see that anymore. I don’t want to see Sting vs. The Undertaker in 2015; maybe in 2005 but certainly not ten years later.
If you step back and look at things, the only thing Sting really brings to the table at this point in his career is his name recognition. I’m sure the WWE will call it a big win if and when they sign him, but for most fans, I don’t really think they feel he brings any tangible value to the WWE, and that’s a real shame. Plain and simple, Sting waited too long to join the WWE. He stuck to his morals and his beliefs and it may have cost him a shot at being a huge star in the biggest wrestling organization in the world. As a longtime wrestling fan, I’ve got a lot of great memories thanks to Sting. I just don’t want him to taint his legacy like Ric Flair continues to do.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter. It’s been a crazy week in professional wrestling and one can only imagine it won’t stop anytime soon. As usual, thanks for reading. I couldn’t do this without the support of my readers and my fellow MP writers.
Until next time,