I can’t decide if there are more theories on whether Sting is going to the WWE or how many Ultimate Warriors there were. You know that the WWE is loving all this buzz. It seems that rather than hating and insulting the Internet Wrestling Community (IWC), they are learning how to use us. The IWC loves wrestling and they are a part of wrestling now whether WWE likes it or not. For example, look at Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg at WrestlemaniaXX or the Edge/Lita/Matt Hardy storylines. We as the IWC are generating a lot of buzz around this storyline.
There are wrestlers that I like and then there are wrestlers who mean a lot to me: Rowdy Roddy Piper, Undertaker, La Parka, Octagon, Arn Anderson, Tommy Dreamer, Sandman, New Jack, Necro Butcher, Terry Funk. And then there’s Sting.
I started watching wrestling in the mid-90’s, a few months before the first night Scott Hall walked through the crowd and started the nWo. Sting was the center of the company, the franchise. Sting was the embodiment of everything good and right with the world. He didn’t cuss, he always did the right thing for the kids (the little Stingers). Everything that Hulk Hogan said he was, Sting actually lived. Sting was the hero. Regardless of Hogan and Savage, the company began and ended with Sting.
I loved Sting. I had his action figure (I still do actually. I held onto it for my kids.). Blue tights and spiky blond hair. One time in Psychology in high school, we were supposed to bring in something that reminded us of ourselves. I brought in my Sting action figure. I don’t remember all the reasons I chose him to represent me, probably because he never gave up, he always did the right thing and, quite frankly, was a hero of mine. I also remember in creative writing in high school, writing a 2 or 3 page short story on Sting in the rafters waiting to descend. Right, I was a big nerd, but I idolized my wrestling heroes, and he was at the top of that list.
And for those of you who are new to the wrestling world, it was different then. You had something called “dream matches.” We used to talk about them all the time. I always wanted to see Sting vs. Bret Hart (major disappointment), Shane Douglas (post-ECW) vs. Ric Flair, Giant (Big Show) vs. Undertaker. To a lesser extent, we still have the dream matches today. AJ Styles or Samoa Joe vs. anybody in WWE, Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Mistico, anybody in Ring of Honor vs. anybody in WWE, Japanese wrestler vs. American wrestler, Hogan vs. Austin. But it’s not like it once was. Sting was on everybody’s dream list.
Now, the rumors are flying rampant that Sting is going to WWE. Is part of me excited? I gues… But how do I really feel about this? Let’s look at the former WCW wrestlers who joined after Vince bought WCW.
Ric Flair-Ric Flair was treated like a secondary figure in Evolution, nicknamed Judge Smalls by some people in the IWC. He was given the send-off he deserved (and then promptly squandered), but the time before that was a waste of a legend. Not that Flair wasn’t to blame for all of it, and not that he wasn’t a main-eventer of a focal point of the company, but he was not the Flair I knew in ’96.
Scott Steiner-WCW ended with Scott Steiner on top. When he came to the WWE, they put him in the main event program without giving him any credibility. And I’m not sure whether it was Triple-H tanking it or Steiner just had all that ring-rust, but it went down as one of the worst matches in Royal Rumble history. Inexplicably, within a few months, he was in a tag team with Test where they were both wanting to hump Stacy Kiebler.
Goldberg-We all know what happened with Goldberg. Matter of fact, I even remember hearing Sting do an interview (with http://www.pwinsider.com I think) where he said “From the moment they put the wig on Goldberg…” There was a vignette where Goldust walked into Goldberg’s dressing room and put his wig on Goldberg, since they were related somehow. (You read that right. I can’t make this up.) To relive this awful segment, click here. The Goldberg character was destroyed after that.
History is filled with dozens more WCW wrestlers who could have been a lot bigger, but the WWE didn’t understand what to do with them: Lance Storm, Hugh Morrus, Chuck Palumbo, Elix Skipper. There were a few successful ones: Gregory Helms (who became the Hurricane and had a very successful run), Chavo Guerrero (but was he successful because he was Eddie’s nephew after Eddie died?), Rey Jr. (but was he successful because he was Eddie’s best friend after Eddie died?), Booker T (“All Hail King Booker!”).
I have this weird phobia around Sting in the WWE. I look at the names above there, and I don’t see how creatively this can be good. I like how the WWE is pushing some younger talent right now, and they are bringing in successful indy talents and actually using them right. But the WWE has always had a hard time with things they don’t understand, like Sabu, Taz, Goldberg and ECW. I don’t see them all of a sudden knowing how to use Sting. I believe they CAN make his tenure and time special. But it doesn’t mean they will.
Nothing against Steve Borden, but the biggest match of his career was in late 1998. It’s possible he still may be able to go, but sometimes things are better left in the past. I’m sure a lot of us remember the Vader of the early 90’s very well. But for every great memory of Vader, there is this. Sting and Undertaker might be able to pull out the match to end all matches, but if it’s going to be bad, I would make rather leave Sting on the last night of Nitro defeating Ric Flair.
Let the man take his spot in the Hall-of-Fame, maybe being inducted by Dusty Rhodes or somebody who idolized him as a kid. Let him do a run-in at the PPV like Hogan did on Muhammed Hussan at Wrestlemania a few years ago. Let’s put out a Sting DVD compiled by Sting and people who understood who and what Sting did. I’m just not sure I want to see him in an active schedule in the WWE.