With negotiations in place for Sting to work for WWE I felt the need to reflect upon the storied career of The Man Called Sting.
I’ll save everyone the time that we’ll all spend watching Sting’s biography on the new WWE Network by leaving that information alone. After all we want to read about the wrestler Sting and not so much the person Steve Borden, right?Let’s turn the clock back to 1985 when Borden started wrestling in the Continental Wrestling Association (CWA) with a bleach blond flattop, rat tail, and face paint and called himself Flash Borden. While in CWA he was partnered with Jim Hellwig as The Freedom Fighters. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6pFj_dRiQY ) Since they were unable to get over as babyfaces they turned heel, changed their team’s name to the Blade Runners, and changed their own characters to Sting and Rock. Unfortunately, the Blade Runners fizzled in CWA so they moved on to the Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF).
When Rock ultimately left the UWF to debut in World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW), Sting remained and joined the Hotstuff and Hyatt International stable captained by “Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert and Missy Hyatt. Partnered with Gilbert, Sting won the UWF tag team titles twice in 1986 and once with Rick Steiner in 1987.Sting’s days as a heel ended when he was attacked by Gilbert during his match against Terry Taylor. “Gentleman” Chris Adams rescued him then questioned his loyalty. Sting chose to align himself with Adams and became a babyface.
Upon the acquisition of the UWF by Jim Crockett Promotions Sting was recognized as a rising star by booker “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes. In order to showcase Sting, Dusty partnered him in a six-man tag match with Michael P.S. Hayes and Jimmy Garvin against Gilbert, Steiner, and Larry Zbyszko at Starrcade ’87. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3u38c_sting-the-freebirds-vs-r-steiner-l_sport)From there his star shined brightly during his segments on World Championship Wrestling. Regularly he would excite the crowd with what would become his trademark howl. Additionally the Stinger Splash and Scorpion Deathlock (sharpshooter) became his trademark moves. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmBFZqZ4d4Y)
During the first Clash of the Champions in March 1988 Sting faced his toughest challenge to date—NWA World Champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Their 45 minute match ended in a time-limit draw and is considered a ****1/2 to ***** classic. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeCECLyF8vs)Throughout the rest of 1988 Sting was embroiled in feuds with the Four Horsemen among others. At the Great American Bash he teamed with “The Russian Nightmare” Nikita Koloff to wrestle against NWA World Tag Team Champions Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson to a time-limit draw. At Starrcade ’88 Sting teamed with Rhodes to face the freshly heel-turned Road Warriors for the World Tag titles but only won by disqualification (DQ). (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npNaYbpnBig)
In 1989 Sting won his first singles title by beating Mike Rotundo for the NWA World Television title. He would hold the title until the Great American Bash in a fantastic match against the Great Muta. Due to a controversial finish the title was held up. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2WfqXNwQ0U )During the main event Sting rescued former adversary Flair from a post-match beating orchestrated by Terry Funk and Muta. Sting and Flair would settle that feud with a victory in a Thunderdome cage match at Halloween Havoc. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAMY_swXQHM) Subsequently Sting joined Flair, Arn, and Ole Anderson as a member of the Four Horsemen.
At Starrcade ’89 Sting participated in and won the singles Iron Man tournament making him the #1 contender for Flair’s World title. Consequently this did not sit well with the other Horsemen, and Sting was summarily booted after a vicious beating during Clash of the Champions X. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2W63rYGcQI)In the show’s main event Sting attempted to climb the cage to get to Flair; however, he suffered a severe knee injury which not only knocked him out of action for several weeks but also cost him his title shot at the WrestleWar ’90 PPV. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sN_yLrCvHYM)
At said PPV Sting appeared while on crutches during the main event to show support for his friend Lex Luger. Nonetheless Ole Anderson attacked him causing Luger to lose the match by countout. Sting would be tormented again by the Four Horsemen at the Capitol Combat PPV although he would astonishingly be rescued by RoboCop! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuAKfG9JOns)Finally upon his recovery Sting defeated Flair for the NWA World title at the Great American Bash. While the victory seemed predictable the pop for Sting was tremendous. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sI2fN_4s8YI) At Halloween Havoc Sting defended the World title against Sid Vicious. In a mysterious twist it appeared that Sting had been pinned; nevertheless, Sting re-emerged from the back having been tied up and defeated Sid.( http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4of8m_halloween-havoc-1990-sting-vs-sid-v_sport) In addition to those shenanigans Sting also dealt with an enigma called the Black Scorpion.
Regrettably WCW also experienced a dilemma regarding the Black Scorpion in that they didn’t cast the character properly. Originally the character was supposed to be played by Al Perez. In fact Perez challenged Sting at Clash of the Champions XII under the Black Scorpion disguise; however, he quit the promotion before the angle ran its course. Jeff Ellis and The Angel of Death filled in as the Black Scorpion at house shows. But for Starrcade ’90 Flair stepped in to fill the shoes of the Black Scorpion and was unmasked after the cage match with Sting to blow off this hokey feud. (http://www.wwe.com/videos/sting-vs-the-black-scorpion-starrcade-1990-nwa-world-heavyweight-championship-st-26025573)Less than a month later Sting dropped the NWA World title to Flair in East Rutherford, NJ, but the loss didn’t take anything away from his shining stardom. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dGtW31X83s) In fact at the inaugural SuperBrawl he teamed with Lex Luger to challenge the WCW Tag Team Champion Steiner Brothers in what turned out to be one of the greatest matches in wrestling history. (http://www.wwe.com/videos/the-steiner-brothers-vs-sting-and-lex-luger-26009312)
Following the match Sting feuded with Nikita Koloff but lost in a Russian chain match at Great American Bash ‘91. In August he won the vacant US title by beating “Stunning” Steve Austin in the tournament final (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x71bnf_sting-vs-steve-austin-u-s-title-cli_sport) and would hold the title until Clash of the Champions XVII when he lost to “Ravishing” Rick Rude. (http://www.wwe.com/videos/sting-vs-rick-rude-clash-of-the-champions-november-19-1991-26055937)At Starrcade ’91 Sting won the Battlebowl battle royal and the prize of the #1 contender’s spot to the WCW World title. He would face Lex Luger at SuperBrawl II and win his first WCW World title. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3ssoz_sting-vs-lex-luger-wcw-title_sport) Interestingly the victory occurred while Sting was involved in a feud with Dangerous Alliance managed by Paul E. Dangerously. The feud culminated in a WarGames match at WrestleWar ’92 which was both a bloodbath and a classic. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xz7btc_01-92-05-17-wargames-wrestlewar_sport)
As 1992 rolled on Sting encountered an opponent with whom he would have legendary encounters—Big Van Vader. Sting would lose the WCW World title to Vader at the Great American Bash. Rebounding quickly he defeated Cactus Jack in a thrilling match at Beach Blast. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ai0oOwQZ_XA)Later that year at Halloween Havoc Sting would be included in what some would call a “dream match” with Jake “The Snake” Roberts; however, WCW supposedly didn’t gimmick the wheel. (http://www.dailymotion.com/playlist/x142i3_JustPosting_halloween-havoc-1992/1#video=x6pomq) So they faced off in a Coal Miner’s Glove match, but the dream became a nightmare in spite of Sting’s victory as the match felt flat. At Starrcade ’92 Sting would avenge his earlier loss to Vader in the final of the King of Cable tournament.
But that would not end their war as Vader had won the WCW World title from Ron Simmons and challenged Sting to a strap match at SuperBrawl III. Although the title was not on the line Vader defeated Sting. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihwAbLHpMRw) Later that summer Sting was associated with Davey Boy Smith in a banal mini-movie to hype their match against Vader and Vicious. (http://www.frequency.com/video/wcw-beach-blast-1993-countdown-show/108371839/-/5-885)At SuperBrawl IV Sting was intertwined in a six-man Thundercage match with “Flyin’” Brian Pillman and “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes against “Stunning” Steve Austin, “Ravishing” Rick Rude, and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff. Sting’s team won; however, Rude slammed the cage door on Sting’s face and gave him a Rude Awakening. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUPUwUGeJDU)
This led to a series of matches that centered on the WCW International World title. Sting beat Rude for said title in April, but “lost” in May in a match that ended up costing Rude his career. In lieu of being handed the title, Sting defeated Vader at Slamboree to fill its vacancy. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5mduq_slamboree-1994-sting-vs-vader_sport)For Clash of the Champions XXVII WCW wanted to unify their World titles and pitted Sting against WCW World Champion Flair. Using excellent psychology on the part of Sherri Martel, Flair defeated Sting. (http://www.wwe.com/videos/ric-flair-vs-sting-clash-of-the-champion-xxvii-wcw-world-and-international-champ-26009634)
After an extensive feud with Kevin Sullivan’s Dungeon of Doom (which included another US title reign) Sting met Flair again on the very first Monday Nitro but lost by DQ due to interference by Arn Anderson. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Fk7Dr3Qfsw) As a result of the interference Flair asked Sting to assist him in a tag team match against Pillman and Anderson at Halloween Havoc.Considering the history of bad blood Sting had with Flair since ’88 he remained skeptical. Surprisingly he gave Flair one last chance being the nice guy that he is. However nobody ever accused Sting of being smart allegedly. So, in an angle considered old school even for 1995, Sting tagged with Flair, but Flair turned on him recreating the Four Horsemen with Brian Pillman, Arn Anderson, and Chris Benoit. Definitely check this out: (http://www.wwe.com/videos/ric-flair-sting-vs-arn-anderson-brian-pillman-halloween-havoc-1995-26009446)
Although Sting would get his revenge against Flair at World War 3 the bad blood continued to flow until Starrcade where Sting would meet Flair and Luger in a great triangle match to determine the #1 contender to the WCW World title. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1a488r_sting-vs-ric-flair-vs-lex-luger-wcw-starrcade-1995_sport)By 1996 Sting began altering his appearance by growing his hair longer and darker but maintained the face paint. While tagging with Luger they traded the WCW World Tag Team titles with Harlem Heat. But the best was yet to come.
In June the Outsiders (Scott Hall and Kevin Nash) invaded WCW and wanted Sting, Luger, and “Macho Man” Randy Savage in a tag match at Bash at the Beach. In a match that changed wrestling history Hulk Hogan who seemed to be rescuing the WCW wrestlers turned heel and became the leader of the nWo. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO9zxsRzN-M)Following the formation of the nWo Sting was being courted to become a member. In fact, the nWo orchestrated a ploy to con WCW wrestlers into thinking Sting had become a member and attacked Luger; however, Sting was being impersonated by Jeff Farmer. Since Sting felt he had been besmirched by fellow WCW wrestlers he walked out in the middle of the WarGames match against the nWo at Fall Brawl. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x74rxa_wargames-fall-brawl-1996-part-2_sport)
The next night on Nitro Sting turned his back on WCW and became a “free agent.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dit0sfMCYpI) Sting would not reappear to the WCW audience until October 21 when he attacked nWo Sting with his new move The Scorpion Death Drop—an inverted DDT and turned down the offer to join the nWo. Sting’s appearance changed further in this episode as he donned a black trench coat and wore white face paint with black markings.As 1997 began Sting joined “blackballed” Randy Savage in the ring on Nitro to oppose the nWo. On subsequent Nitros Sting and Savage would be seen in the rafters leading up to SuperBrawl. At the event Savage turned his back on Sting and joined the nWo. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x15yu25_hollywood-hulk-hogan-vs-rowdy-roddy-piper-wcw-heavyweight-title_sport)
At WCW Uncensored Sting repelled from the rafters to attack the nWo. In an epic moment his allegiance to WCW had been cemented. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcMHSvnbS28) With the exception of the buffoonery played by Commissioner JJ Dillon everyone, including the audience, knew Sting wanted to face Hogan. Knowing it had quite the marquee matchup WCW did everything in their power to keep the two goliaths from meeting until Starrcade.Meanwhile Sting periodically repelled from the ceiling to assist WCW in their war against the nWo. Most times he succeeded; however, other times they got the best of him. Sting became so popular that WCW decided to create a mask for Sting fans. These masks would prove to be extremely popular insomuch as the nWo masqueraded as Sting in high-profile matches. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1nz3s_hogan-vs-piper-hh-97-prt2_sport)
When Hogan and Sting eventually fought at Starrcade WCW faced a conundrum. Eric Bischoff, President of WCW at the time, was known for creating controversial storylines. By December of 1997 WCW’s main competitor, the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), had unceremoniously turfed Bret Hart out of the promotion weeks prior to Starrcade creating a tremendous amount of controversy for themselves in an attempt to garner attention as well as ratings and away from WCW.A clean finish by Sting over Hogan was the logical choice but not the proper choice in order to create controversy in order to keep the paying customer around longer. In theory this makes sense while in practice the controversy contained mixed signals. Let’s go over the particulars:
First, instead of Sting repelling from the ceiling, kicking Hogan’s butt for 10 minutes, and winning the WCW World title in dominant fashion, Sting simply walked through the entrance, received the brunt of the punishment of the match, and was pinned due to a “fast count.” Second, referee Nick Patrick allegedly “forgot” to make it a fast count; therefore, it looked like the match was over.Third, Bret Hart debuted for WCW as a special guest referee for the Bischoff-Zbyszko match. Upon seeing the “injustice” of the questionable pin Hart decked Patrick, restarted the match, and counted Hogan’s submission to give the WCW World title to Sting. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhZbjpZQ4S8)
Fourth Dillon decided to hold a rematch on the following Nitro. To make matters worse WCW purposely “ran outta time” (tm Tony Schiavone) keeping the audience watching at home in suspense for the debut episode of WCW Thunder. Lastly, due to the controversial finish in this match Dillon vacated the WCW title until SuperBrawl VIII. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4nnx9_nitro-29-12-1997-sting-vs-hulk-hoga_sport) All in all an 18-month storyline that should have concluded with Sting looking strong and triumphant instead made his character really weak because of all of the extra-curricular activity spun within.Regardless, at SuperBrawl Sting successfully regained the WCW World title but again did not dominate Hogan. In a unique twist Savage, who had been a major player in the nWo, interfered on his behalf tainting Sting’s win. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CKeFvwA4zU)
Within the same timeframe while Sting became WCW World champion by questionable means the WWF crowned a new World champion at WrestleMania XIV clean as a whistle further destroying the credibility of Sting’s title reign.In an effort to improve said credibility and maintain strong ratings, Sting repelled from a helicopter at WCW Spring Break Out ’98 in Panama, City Beach, FL. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwa4kQI3nZ4) But the following month at Spring Stampede Sting lost the title to Savage due to interference by Kevin Nash. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gF2hvZgcMYE)
After Nash and Savage decided to split from the original nWo Sting joined their group alongside Luger and Konnan comprising the nWo Wolfpack. To better suit his Wolfpack affiliation Sting wore red face paint instead of white. Meanwhile Bret Hart joined the nWo Hollywood faction and attempted to psyche out Sting by first associating with him and then double-crossing him. Their differences would be settled at Halloween Havoc. Sadly Sting lost in another disappointing dream match where Bret put Sting on the shelf for the foreseeable future. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xakn9b_bret-hart-vs-sting_sport)Sting would not return to WCW until March 1999 once again in white and black face paint. The next month at Spring Stampede he wrestled in a four corners match for the WCW World title against Hogan, Diamond Dallas Page (DDP), and champion Flair. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yc2YtxTB27U) Fifteen days later on Nitro in a great match and ratings ploy Sting would defeat DDP for the title (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xl9443_sting-vs-diamond-dallas-page_sport) only to lose it back to him in a four-way match that included Goldberg and Nash. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkGjL0hYogM)
Another notable feud for Sting in 1999 was against Hogan. Previously in the year Hogan turned babyface and won the WCW World title, but Sting questioned his integrity. The two squared off at Fall Brawl where Sting turned heel for the first time since 1985 and won his last WCW World title. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xnctxo_sting-vs-hulk-hogan_sport)In spite of his heel turn the WCW fans didn’t want to support Hogan in their feud thus making Sting’s turn a flop. Exit Eric Bischoff and enter Vince Russo. What would transpire for Sting would be storyline over substance as the rematch for Halloween Havoc became Russo’s first worked shoot in WCW. Hogan came out in street clothes and laid down for Sting rather than wrestle him. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x21p1y_hogan-vs-sting-hh-99_sport)
Later that night Sting fought Goldberg in an unsanctioned match and lost. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBUey17ES1o) Remarkably, the title would be vacated on Nitro and a tournament to crown a new champion was announced. Expectedly Sting would enter the tournament and defeat Brian Knobs, Meng, and Luger to reach the semi-finals at Mayhem.In the semi-final Sting lost to Hart due to Luger’s interference. After the match he shook Hart’s hand to become a babyface again. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3kqgp_wcw-mayhem-1999-sting-vs-bret-hart_sport) At Starrcade he would face Luger, and despite losing, in a shocking swerve he showed some intelligence. Sensing Elizabeth’s disloyalty Sting gave her a can, supposedly of spray paint, but when she turned on him she sprayed silly string at him instead. (http://www.ddtdigest.com/updates/pictures/1999123p018.jpg)
Sting’s main feud in 2000 was against Vampiro. At Slamboree Sting beat Vampiro. However, at the Great American Bash Sting lost in a Human Torch match as a stuntman played Sting and was set on fire. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xkn5ua_sting-vs-vampiro-human-torch-match_sport) To say 2000 was a bad year for WCW storylines is like saying the people who flew on the Hindenburg had a bad day.On March 26, 2001 the final episode of WCW Monday Nitro aired. In the main event Sting faced his long-time nemesis Flair in a lackluster match with a predictable finish. In spite of that it was a nice nod to WCW history and the two legends that made WCW great. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x555nb_ric-flair-vs-sting-last-nitro-ever_sport)
In lieu of working for the WWF Sting sat out the remainder of his contract with AOL/Time-Warner. In 2002 and 2003 Sting spent time in Australia working for WWA. He would claim the WWA World title on December 13, 2002 but lost in a unification bout to NWA World Champion Jeff Jarrett on May 25, 2003.From there Sting would sign with TNA. Although his initial stay was brief, he would return in early 2006 to wrest the NWA World title from Jarrett. At Hard Justice Christian Cage turned heel and cost Sting the title. However, at Bound for Glory, Sting successfully defeated Jarrett to win his second NWA World title. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JeY7XSQg2c) Only 24 days later he would lose the title to Abyss.
In 2007 TNA parted ways with the NWA. Later that year at Bound for Glory Sting met Kurt Angle for the TNA World title. Despite interference from both Karen Angle and Kevin Nash Sting pinned Kurt Angle and became champion. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOnBYWHpFpk) Again Sting’s title reign was short due to a loss to Kurt Angle at the next TNA taping. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGclwfRBVL4)In 2008 “The Icon” Sting won the TNA World title from Samoa Joe with the help of Kevin Nash at Bound for Glory. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfN7RPvuxO4) Amazingly Sting would hold the title for 189 days until he lost to Mick Foley at Lockdown 2009 in a “Six Sides of Steel” match. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4becmaXrvM)
At No Surrender 2009 Sting fought in a five-way match for the TNA World title but lost when AJ Styles pinned Angle. Thereafter Styles offered Sting a title match at Bound for Glory and won in a well-worked match. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvVijzazQ_A)On January 4, 2010 during a live edition of Impact Sting was shown in the rafters in the same fashion as his 1997 stint in WCW. On August 5 Sting donned the nWo Wolfpack red face paint in support of Kevin Nash. On March 3, 2011 Sting defeated Jeff Hardy to win the TNA World title for a third time. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apMyZXAMsQY)
On March 13 Sting would defend the TNA World title at Victory Road against Jeff Hardy. Disastrously Hardy was in no condition to wrestle that night. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2V6ulxTRSDc) At times Hardy looked lost and confused especially after he suffered the pin. Sting would hold the title until he lost to Mr. Anderson at Slammiversary in June. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pK0VGinSEe8)By this time Sting adopted a more menacing persona similar to the Joker from The Dark Knight. His surname would be adjusted to “The Insane Icon.” In fact Styles, James Storm, Frankie Kazarian, and Robert Roode (dubbed Fortune) along with Angle dressed as clowns to assist Sting in winning the TNA World title from Mr. Anderson on July 14. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3YWfB4_KeU)
Sting would hold the title until the next PPV when he faced Angle at Hardcore Justice. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lw2rhNCBmcI) On June 10, 2012 Sting was announced as the first member of the TNA Hall of Fame and enshrined on October 6 at Slammiversary. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eh5IY-_ONc)For over 25 years Sting entertained fans all over the world whether it was in the NWA, WCW, WWA, or TNA. While he may not have been the most technically gifted performer Sting’s charisma and high-impact style carried him to legendary status. I certainly hope that upon his introduction to WWE fans that they realize just who “The Icon” truly is.
Thank you, Sting, and welcome to WWE.
For more information on me please visit http://rockstargary.com.