On The Verge Of Ex-Sting-Tion
April 28, 2006 by Andrew Hill
That's right, folks. The twenty year veteran has made a monumental return to the ring. And let's hope on all that is precious in professional wrestling that it will be an exceptionally brief affair.
While I am nowhere near old enough to have followed Sting the entire length of his career, I have watched him for nearly ten years now. And I am still completely baffled as to why I should be excited by him at all. What baffles me even more is that I know that places me in a minority.
Yes, even after twenty years, the fans are still enthralled with Sting. They love him so much that they don't mind when an announcement that "Sting speaks tonight!" is repeated incessantly throughout an entire show and culminates in a two-minute unexciting regurgitation of his same old, tired lines. They don't mind when his long awaited return to wrestling on national television is completely overshadowed by a pay-per-view quality title match that occurred earlier in the broadcast. No, they don't mind any of it. In fact, it seems (to me anyway) that it's all adding fuel to the fire.
So what is it, then" What is his amazing appeal" Is it the make-up that looked much cooler on Brandon Lee" Is it the baseball bat that makes toothpicks out of Jeff Jarrett's cheap prop guitars" Is it his lackluster repertoire of moves, punctuated by a DDT that nearly everyone uses and a submission hold that he hardly ever sits back enough on to look convincing"
Ah, I have it... it's because he's a "legend". Well, what makes a legend anyway" To me, legends leave leagues of classic matches in their wake. Often just naming a true legend will immediately bring to mind at least 3-5 great matches that we're likely to never forget. I'm having extreme difficulty even thinking of one such match involving Sting.
Being in the business for twenty years does not by itself earn you the title of "legend". I would be hard-pressed to try to list all of the wrestlers who haven't been in the business half as long but who are better wrestlers on their worst day than Sting is on his best, but here's a handful off the top of my head: Samoa Joe, Bryan Danielson, Chris Sabin, AJ Styles, Jack Evans, Paul London, Jay Lethal, Austin Aries, Low Ki, KENTA... well, I'll stop there to keep myself from carrying on too long.
The bottom line is that a five dollar bottle of wine or six-pack of swill beer is not going to go down any easier after twenty years. And quite frankly, neither do Sting's interviews, in-ring ability, or gimmick. Why a company that refers to itself as "the future of professional wrestling" is investing in a dinosaur that is completely outclassed by the younger specimens of today is beyond me. If anyone out there thinks they can explain this one, give me your best shot. Until then, I remain a minority skeptic, eagerly awaiting the (hopefully soon) day of Sting's true retirement when I can deliver his epitaph (with apologies to a certain axe-wielding colonist)...
Stevie Bordon spent 20 years
Boring wrestling fans to tears.
Like a 10-cent goth he dressed,
His move-set limited at best.
Back on the tube with TNA
"It's showtime!", was all he need say.
And when the match was finally done,
The fans said, "Don't do 21."
by Andrew Hill ..
While I'm intrigued that you're an avid fan of TNA and enjoy the new talent they offer, I offer my condolenses on missing the heyday of wrestlings past. Sting was once a new talent that entered a small (although it was on T.V.) promption that carried Nationwide recognition known simply as the N.W.A. (National Wrestling Alliance) which featured then talent and legends, whom you should know being a TNA fan, Larry Zybysko, Dusty Rhodes, Rick Flair, and others you may not know like Ricky (the Dragon) Steamboat, the Great Muta, Tully Blanchard, J.J. Dillon, Arn Anderson, Ole Anderson, Barry Windham, Lex Luger, the list goes on and on. Wrestling holds on to its past for ever. Retired wrestlers become promoters, story writers, Road Agents, and even open schools to train new wrestlers. I'm sure some of the reason they never "retire" is money but I think by and large the biggest reason why wrestlers continue to return to the wrestling business is the love of the sport and entertainment. Invertently, people like myself love to see their childhood superheros return because of the nostalgia and memories of years gone by when wrestling was "real". Someday someone will write a story on why this old dude A.J.Styles is back in wrestling, he's out of style. And you can remember this passage and you'll know what I'm talking about. Long live the bold, and eccentric promoters of tommorrow.
You have to be the biggest twat on the face of the planet. No really, you have to be pretty damn dumb to say that there is not one match that you can think of that puts Sting in the category of being a legend. How about Sting vs. Vader at the 1993 SuperBrawl in a leather strap match"
What about the first Clash of the Champions where Sting wrestled Flair to a 45 minute draw while JJ Dillon was suspended above the ring in a cage" And maybe you've never heard of Sting's feud with the Great Muta"
I have no problem if you're going to post your opinion as an article, but when have absolutely no inkling of what you're talking about and sound like you're talking out of your ass, ESPECIALLY when you can find a list of Sting's classic matches on this damn website, keep your opinions to yourself. You say that your baffled by the fact that your in a minority of people who are against Sting's return, and you seriously are wondering WHY"!"! People are ecstatic for Sting's return because they recognize his true status as an icon of wrestling. He can even be considered the face of WCW; but don't get it twisted, he was definitely not the face of WCW when it was tanking. You could ask your mom if she knows who Sting is and chances are she'll remember who he is. I'm tired of you smark wannabes saying things without even thinking. Another thing that annoys me is when people start dropping names like Sabin or Evans or Austin Aries or the whole ROH and X-division rosters and joining the bandwagon. I respect these wrestlers and enjoy there work, but then again I saw these things watching lucha libre ten years ago. Spotfests are nothing new and if you really want to see true athleticism and wrestling, watch tapes from Japan or 1PW or FWA from England and Europe to see some of wrestling's greatest technicians.
So here's the real bottom line: you can't establish your company's stars until you put your new school against the old school. They call themselves the future of wrestling because they are; Sting.ls just there to hand over the reigns.
how could you say all that about Sting" first of all there are alot of other wrestlers out there who are no names and called legends and superstars and they havent even been doing it for 20 years like Sting has. He has taken punishment, won the world heavyweight title multiple times in WCW and excited the fans althrought the years. Now i admit he did leave wrestling once before in WCW when he had a near 2 year absence then dramatically came back as the crow sting and won the WCW heavyweight title from hollywood Hulk Hoagan in a kinda boring one sided match but that was so Bret Hart could make his surprise Debut in WCW. Anyway Sting has had his ups and he has had his downs in Wrestling but you cant just say that just you dont think he is a legend just because he has been in the business for 20 years. what makes sting a legend is that he has a pasion for doing this and exciting us fans for all these 20 years entertaining us with those "original and boring" moves that we all still wow over everytime he does the high Stinger Splash or paying tribute to bret when he does the Scorpion death lock. what makes sting a legend is that he actually loves what he does to come back everytime he is called and get into the ring and do what he does better than anybody else, leading on the locker room empowering the younger kids, setting an example for future wrestlers. so its actually not based on the 20 years he has been in wrestling but what he has brought and dedicated to the sport and next time you want to talk about wrestler with boring moves, look at Hulk Hogan who won all his titles using the same old tired big boot and atomic leg drop that every wrestler uses. But yet Hogan is called a Legend too and has been doing it as long as Sting has. So i guess that makes Hogan a washed up hasbeen who is called a legend for his amount of years in wrestling too, and Shawn Michaels, i guesss there all legends based on the amount of years they have been doing it huh" no i dont think so
Grant Molina wrote:
Your article about Steve Borden is very one sided. Sting has done a lot for the business. Sure, his repetoire of moves is not as impressive as a Dean Malenko or a Antonio Anoki, but his "package" character cetaintly is. Much like a Hulk Hogan, Sting relies move on fan appeal as opposed to ankle locks or octopus holds. His mic skills and persona set him apart from the wrestlers that you mentioned ( Samoa Joe, Bryan Danielson, Chris Sabin, AJ Styles, Jack Evans, Paul London, Jay Lethal, Austin Aries, Low Ki, KENTA) Those wrestlers can only hope to have an illustrious carrer like Sting's. Sting carried WCW from the late 80's to the later part of the 90's ending with a classic battle ( one of many ) against " The Nature Boy " Ric Flair on the last Nitro show. Sting also single handedly took on the Four Horsemen, Fought Nikita Koloff, had wars agaist Big Van Vader (in his prime), took on Cactus Jack, teamed with The Great Muta to take on The Steiner Brothers....the list can go on and on. Something tells me that no one will hold their breath twenty years from now waiting for a Samoa Joe comeback.
Man please, Sting is a great wrestler and has a great gimmick and has of right now Sting is TNA main weapon against WWE . Sting has had classic matches against opponents like Ric Flair, Randy Savage, Bret Hart and so many others Legends. Being a Legend is the business of wrestling is more than just having a good matches, it's being someone who has an appeal to fans that they'll never forget, whether they were cheering the faces or booing the heels. And as far as Sting having a short stay with TNA, that's not really a good idea. While wrestler like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe and the others you have mentioned can put on good matches they don't have Sting's popularity. And with Sting's popularity means more people watching and more people watching (which by the way TNA's rating has gotten higher )means TNA might have a shot going against WWE. So as far as I am concern Sting with TNA is a good combination. Also , and as far as you being in a minority of those who don't like Sting, you're right you are in a minority
Jeff Caruso wrote:
Clearly you haven't been watching wrestling long enough because from just reading the first paragraph of your article I could tell that you have no clue what you are talking about. First of all, you only watched Sting for 10 years" Is this including the 5 he wasn't wrestling" To say that list of people is better than Sting is ridiculous. They are all good wrestlers but have no where near Sting's experience. You want some memorable Sting matches" How about ALL his matches with Rick Rude, Vader, Lex Luger, Ric Flair and the nWo" Or how about War Games 92 when Sting's Squadron beat the Dangerous Alliance or War Games 95 where the Hulkamaniacs with Sting beat the Dungeon of Doom" Battle Bowl 91 where Sting threw Luger over the top at the end" Did you catch Lethal Lockdown" You obviously don't know crap about Sting's career so you really shouldn't be writing articles when all you have to go by is your judging of the man when he's 47 years old.
Andrew, I can see several points in your article that do point out why sting shouldn't be a "legend" per-say, but I'm afraid that your 10 years of watching Sting just isn't enough. Let me explain. And just for the record, I am hardly a Sting fan, but I am a wrestling fan and respect the business.
Sting's career goes back 20 years, and since you've been watching for 10 years, that puts you at 1996-forward. Not a bad time in wrestling. But it's the time before then that you missed Sting in some of his better moments.
His fued with Vader, and feud with Flair and the horseman. And let's not forget that he managed to survive a tag teamship with "Captain Ego" Jim Helwig.
I can think of several matches that Sting had that make him great, first to my mind is the unification match between he and Flair.
His moveset, well, yes, I agree to a point. He never really used that DDT until he became the crow gimmick. He needed a new finisher. Again nothing special, but then again, is the Atomic leg drop, figure 4, or people's elbow that special. Everyone in wrestling uses a leg drop or elbow, so what makes them special. What about his Stinger splash, even big Vis uses a splash in the corner. Fact is, it doesn't have to be something spectacular like a shooting star leg drop, or a Ganso Bomb, it just has to work. And the scorpion deathlock" Case-in-point, look at Jericho's boston crab. It's so weak, my grandmother could escape it, and she's in a wheelchair. Again, just has to work.
As for his gimmick, well, he's too old to be the "surfer style sting". So, he's staying with a more mature gimmick.
Now, as for him being a legend..... Sadly Andrew, this is where you suffer from The X-Division and the High-spotfest syndrome. All the wrestlers you listed, granted, are great wrestlers, and put on good matches everytime in the ring. But, they're all young stars who have to put on great matches to get themselves over. Sting is already over, just like Flair, Triple H, Michaels, and others. Plus, he's a heavweight, so his pace of match is much slower and not as flashy as the X'ers. Although I will say he does have a flare in the ring that looks quite flashy.
My bottomline" I started watching wrestling around the same time as you ('96, just during the build up to wrestlemania), but when I saw Sting, I could tell he had been established, because he didn't have to do anything for me to like him when I was a kid.
So, Andrew, I'm not saying your wrong, but I'm not saying your right. If you compare any of the heavyweights to young stars like the x-division/cruiserweight division, then yes, they're boring. But compare them to the many wrestlers over the many years, and I say Sting does deserve to be a legend. He may not be #1, but he's a legend in my books, and if he helps TNA get up on their feet against Vinnie Mac, than all I have to say
is: It's Showtime!!!
I think that you claiming Sting not to be a legend is quite a daft claim to make as you yourself admit to not even being old enough to follow his career before, say, 1996 when he carried wcw as it's top face for many years before Hogan, Savage, Goldgerg etc. were about. I have also seen class matches with him involving vs Vader, Flair, The Steiners, The Great Muta I could go on....
You also say he is not a legend because he doesn't have the moveset of some of the spot-monkeys you listed.OK that isn't fair to label Styles and Danielson that but rest of them won't be making any hall of fame I would put money on it. As impressive as Jack Evans's flips are he still looks like a little nerd with a crappy gimmick and cringe-worthy mic skills.
I am not just a WWE fan I am a wrestling fan and pride myself on liking all forms from IWA to RoH to NOAH I love my high-spots but what I love just as much is the telling of a story in that ring and if you watch any of Sting's high profile matches you will see that evident. I happen to think his feud with Hogan ten years ago had the best build up to any one match ever.
You can ride on Sting's moveset, he never did have a thousand holds or do a release dragon suplex but he held his own and has uses roughly the same amount of moves per match as say Jarrett or Christian, thats the heavyweight style my friend.
I can see you prefer the more spot-filled harder style of the independents and that's cool. I imagine you don't watch much WWE anyway otherwise you could say the exact same thing for Hogan,HBK,Rock,Austin,HHH,Flair all true legends who use the same moves and the same catch-phrases every night,why"
Because thats what people want to see.
Sean S. wrote:
I have read your column and I like to respond to this. You said you seeing Sting wrestle for about ten years which would be around 96 or 97. Ok you list all these guys who are better wrestles on a bad day then Sting at his best. Well let me ask you something, was Hulk Hogan ever known for his wrestling ability" No but he is a legend. A legend doesn't have to be the greatest in ring proformer the world as ever seen. All they need to do is there job which is entertain the fans and send them home happy which Sting and Hogan do most of the time.
What makes a man a Legend is the kind of mark he made in the business all together. In the history of WCW and before WCW the NWA, there as never been anybody more popular by the fans then Sting. When you ask a man who followed wrestling for more the ten years or knows there history. When you think of WCW the first wrestler most fans say is Sting. Just like when you ask about the NWA fans say Ric Flair or the Four Horsemen. WWF fans say ether Hogan, Austin, or Undertaker.
Now Ten years was during about the NWO era. So that would be about the end greatest days in ring. If you watch Sting when he faces Flair in the early 90's, He was a hell of a wrestler for that time. What makes Sting a legend is one he was a dominate face. He was a franchise player for WCW. He held multiple championships. Most of all he and Hogan draw the biggest PPV buy rate WCW ever had in 97 and most of that was to see Sting wrestle again and beat Hogan.
Why is he now you ask" Because unlike most legends, Sting can still do the things the fans want from him. He doesn't say the same things over and over, I watched when he cut his promos going into lockdown. They were not the same. Fans tune in to see St8iing because they want Sting to beat Jarrett's ass. Sure his DDT isn't the most impressive then but it's more impressive then a leg drop but Hulk Hogan draw huge money and so reason fans still pop when he does it today. Why" Because I think it has to do with a old school fans seeing it again and makes then fell like a kid again.
I don't see what is so bad about Sting in the ring. I don't think he bad at all. For a man who spent most of the time since 2001 out of the ring outside a handful of matches. He done damn good for a comeback he had in ring. Remember since coming back in TNA sting only had one match a year prier and only had 3 matches since coming here, Which all have got the fans attention for whatever reason.
Evidently, there are a lot of things which are beyond you, but I won't go there. Yes, Sting is a legend. And Sting is a legend because he was the one true mainstay throughout the history of WCW. He is the true franchise. Sting was on the first ever taping of WCW Monday Nitro which took place in a mall in Georgia and he was on the final taping of Nitro. He was true to the company, and he was true to the fans always. As far as your complaint about his limited in ring ability, nothing could be further from the truth. The man is an icon. So you don't like him. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But, like you pointed out, you're in the extreme minority, and their's a reason for it.
Jose Aguirre wrote:
The reason Sting is still there is because, TNA needs some credibility. Don't get me wrong, TNA has great talent, but a lot of the guys haven't really made names for themselves yet. If you ask a person who dosen't watch wrestling if he's ever heard of Sonjay Dutt, that person will say no. If you ask if he's heard of Sting, that person will ask if you are talking about the singer or the wrestler. By the way Sting had a great match with Bret Hart, back in the WCW days.
Very valid points. And I too do not like that Sting has started wrestling again. But I see why the TNA havebrought Sting back to active wrestling, three main reasons. One Sting is perhaps one of the biggest names in wrestling, and has decent promo's, JBL's are no better, yet they get the point across and thats why Sting has decent promo's. Two, To say that Sting moves lacklusterly is blasphemy, Sting wrestles no better, or worse then he did in the old days, which is more then we can say about "The Nature Boy". 3. Every fed need's legends, Look at major every fed you can at least name one wrestling legend on the active roster. Plus the kids love Sting, Reminicent of Hulk Hogan. And again, like Hogan, Sting's character makes him who he is, neither were great wrestlers, at Least Sting didn't need to be carried to a good match. Any way I agree with everything you say, but you made a challenge at the end of you're column that I just had to answer."You're winner and new, OWW Champion, Lance Crucifix!"
chris fodness wrote: I found his matches with Cactus Jack really good. Especially Bash at the Beach.
Vallery Ward wrote:
what is the hell wrong with this guy" sting IS a legend. how can you base your entire opinion of a wrestler on his performance and ability when he is CLEARLY past his prime" that is simply not fair. how about actually watching some of sting's matches when he was in his prime" what about his clasic batles with ric flair" what about his classic, unforgettable feud with the horsemen" what about his in ring ability back then" yes, he should retire, but lat's not bash him, especially when you obviously know NOTHING about him except what you see now.
Alex Charles wrote:
To say that you cant think of three great Sting matches shows me that you really know nothing about this man's career. Tops on the list are Sting's matches with Ric Flair. Sting had a tremendous match with Flair at the Clash of the Champions which went to a no contest and then was handed over to a panel of judges. This was pre-Crow Sting...this was the match that first made Sting a star. If I recall correctly, Sting had Flair in the Deathlock and time ran out. The match was given to Flair....classic swerve angle. Sting also had great matches with the Great Muta. They feuded over the third tier television title in the NWA. These matches elevated the prestige of the title and also made Sting a true international star for having great chemistry with Japan's best at the time. And Sting's feud with Van Vader before his ridiculous run in WWE was classic. Sting being the top star in the WCW had no qualms doing the job to Vader and elevating his opponent. The latest retread of Sting may seem tired and old to you but if you knew his career you'd never question him as legend.
Tariq Orbay wrote:
I completely agree Sting wasn't bad in WCW (the few times he came from the rafters and put on decent matches). But now Sting is rubbish! What's worse is the Sting character has never been refreshed, he does the same intimedation gimmick every time. I think the reason many fans are fixated on him is because of the mystery that surrounds him but you're right his in-ring skills are way over rated; the guy has virtually no mic skill to speak of and the whole goth look got old by 2000. People say that Sting would have made the "bigtime" in his "prime" if he got to work with Vince but I don't think so because Sting doesn't have the abillity to do different gimmicks/to change his look. So Vince would just have to reproduce the Sting we've seen already. Finally I think TNA would be better if they stopped hiring former WCW "stars" as well as former WWF/E "stars" and just advanced their own talent like Abyss, Aj, the Naturals and AMW. I don't think it's fair that these TNA made works get held back and bumped out of the top TNA spotsby these done to death "stars".
Matt Matt wrote:
In my opinion Sting is great wrestler and is ok on the mic.Also in my opinion Sting was the only good thing about WCW.In the early days of WCW they had the stupidest gimmicks and worst matches.But when Sting comes on the TV screen that all changes.He is a legend in my opinion and nothing will change that.
Alexander L. wrote:
Clever little poem you wrote at the end.
Your completly right , Sting is a low-classed talents superstar , today . In the past we was big , people loved him. His move-set is as empty as HHH sense of modesty.But to answer your question as to why TNA signed Sting" Simple , TNA is a fast rising business BUT how do you make your business better and more well known"Advertisment , Sting made million of loyal fans in the past. Now that TNA has Sting on there roster fans will want to see there old favorite.It just a matter of pur logic , you want people to come see your shows , then get a major attraction.
Richard from Sweden wrote:
Itīs true, itīs true......IT`S TRUE!! Your not alone Andrew! Itīs godamn
true what you say about Sting! I can see why Sting was big in the 80īs. But even there he didīnt even make it to the absolute top. But now itīs just a joke.
"You mean he speaks live"! Itīs not pre-recorded"! This I must see!!"
I thought TNA was the future for wrestling but it looks like Iīm wrong.
Iīm glad they have some real talent as well....as Scott Steiner.=)
Only one thing to say....ROH!!!! ROH!!!!! ROH!!!!
Colm Kearns wrote:
I couldn't disagree with you more. First of all Sting has attracted quite a few new viewers to TNA so it was certainly a good decision on their part to hire him. Secondly Sting may not have the ring skills of Chris Benoit (but he certainly is very good in the ring) but he has charisma. Charisma is a trait much under-appreciated by a lot of the IWC. Hogan had it, Rock had it even Warrior had it and Sting has it by the barrellful. He knows how to interest the fans in whatever he is doing whether it is a match or a promo, this charisma separates him from every so called indy legend who can put on a great match on front of a few hundred smarks but have no idea how to appeal to the majority of the wrestling audience the marks. The art of wrestling is much more than putting on good matches (although this is very
important) Sting knows this but so few smarks do.
Lastly your comment about his in ring ability is laughable. Admittedly he may be past his prime now but in his day he could wrestle a match that could excite smarks and marks alike. But you can't think of great matches involving Sting let me help you:
Sting vs Cactus Jack - Beach Blast '92
Sting vs Ric Flair - Clash Of The Champions I Sting vs Ric Flair - Great American Bash '90 Sting vs Vader - Great American Bash '92 Sting vs Vader - Starrcade '92 Sting vs Vader - Superbrawl '93 Sting/Lex Luger vs Steiners - Superbrawl '91 Wargames - Wrestlewar '92 (***** from Meltzer) Sting vs DDP - Nitro April 1999 Plus more of his matches with Flair, Rick Rude and Vader
Sting is a legend and he can only help TNA improve.
Collin (A Sting Fan) wrote:
I have to entirely disagree with you. One great Sting match on July 7, 1990 was the Great American Bash World title match: Sting defeated Ric Flair to win the world title. That is Stings best match ever. \
Andrew Hill wrote:
Dude!!! Thank you for articulating what i and so many others feel. With TNA on the brink of becoming the first real mainstream alternative since WCW, Sting, and more specifically in my opinion Sting's contract, is just about the worst thing possible. To hear guys like Jericho say it would take "Sting" money to sign them makes my stomach turn. But this is "the new face of TNA". This is the guys who main events, while the NWA World Championship is puched to the undercard. This is the return of a legend so momentous, that noone even noticed his short run in late '03, allowing them to pretend this is his first return to wrestling since WCW. I have to admit ive never been a Sting fan. Whatever he is he's not the savior of TNA.
Jon Rosaler wrote:
I think there's a misconception. Sting sucks" What the hell"I don't understand why you hate Sting so much. The reason he is a legend is because of all the legends he has faced. So many matches with Ric Flair and who could forget Ricky Steamboat,Bret Hart,Hulk Hogan,Terry Funk and a list of many others. He defeated Ric Flair for his first title in WCW. Sting is getting old,but the way you wrote this column was like the way Anti-John Cena fans write their's. Sting has much more talent than John Cena, but they are equal in mic skills I believe and Ric Flair is really old. Also, does Stone Cold,The Rock or Triple H have technical ability" No. Has Sting wrestled longer than all of them" Yes. Sting getting booed is like George Bush getting a third term (ahhhhhh!). In the eyes of the X-division, Sting has had the right amount of respect to be called a 'Legend' in TNA.
Willis Smith wrote:
Owww...my head hurts. I think I just read that someone thinks Jack Evans is better than Sting. I think it must be brain cells dying from reading this junk.Jack Evans is hardly a wrestler, more like a trapeze act. And I think Hellen Keller could do a better job on the mic. Well over half those guys you mentioned's thought process goes a little something like this: "Let's see, coudn't draw much heat or a pop in a gasoline explosion with a real wrestling aresnal, and I've seen some scarecrows that have more behind their kicks and punches. I couldn't win a Junior High Talent Show with my mic skills, and I think I just hit puberty...I know, I'll flip like a monkey in the spin cycle. That'll get some fools on the Internet just wild about me!"
As a huge Sting fan like myself, a WCW fan, and a wrestling fan in general, I took offence to this article. While you bring up some good points about Sting's current status in TNA and such, I think it's a joke you are discrediting his entire career because of how TNA is handling him and how he is performing at 45+ years old.
I sort of get upset when fans who weren't wrestling fans back when guys like Hogan, Sting, Bret Hart, Flair were in there prime wonder why they were ever such a big thing. They ask questions such as "How the heck did cheesy Hulkamania appeal to anyone"". These aren't just younger fans of wrestling (I've only been a fan for 8 years at the most) who discredit legends because of recent affairs or because their out of there prime.
You are doing the same to Sting here. Sting, while never a great wrestler (though he was never a BAD one either) had a tremendous appeal. I remember when I wasn't even a fan of WCW, I always liked to play with Sting in video games and he always caught my eye when flipping the channel and such. He is one of the main reasons I started watching WCW and I remember his classic battles. I remember the red face paint that really got me into the whole NWO-WCW scene. When he came back to fight DDP for the title (and won) I remember the crowd went crazy and it was a huge moment for not just Sting fans, but wrestling fans in general.
Sting was just as responsible for wrestling's popularity growth in the 90s as guys like Goldberg, NWO, Flair, The Rock, DX, etc. He attracted all types of fans. His gimmick was original and unique that even the most diverse fans loved.
He is known as a legend and his "horrible gimmick" as they way you put it, is recognizable everywhere. His face paint is recognizable everywhere. His signature moves, despite common in wrestling, are recognizable which proves the point more Sting is a legend. I was watching TNA the other day and my dad walked in and saw Sting, and recognized only him out of everyone in TNA (where all the wrestlers were in the ring).
You're being a little low on Sting, just because you were never a fan of him doesn't mean he was always lame how you think he is in TNA. If you are this cut-throat on a good wrestler, great original gimmick like Sting, then you must be chopping on your nails when you try and write a negative article about Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Roddy Piper, etc.
His gimmick was unique, and despite his "weak-moveset" everytime he connected with one of the moves it got a huge pop. He brought millions of fans to the sport just like guys like Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold did. Sting is hands down a true legend of wrestling.
Andrew Hill (Original Author) wrote:
Wow, that's quite a few replies. If any of you think I might be shocked by this feedback, don't worry, because I'm not. Hence my own statement that I'm aware my opinion is a minority one.
To answer some of your concerns, I am actually aware of many of Sting's earlier matches. Although from my time as a wrestling fan I best remember his wars with "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan in WCW, I have in the past gone back and seen some of his matches against Ric Flair from the old NWA. And yes, my opinion of Sting stood firm despite this "evidence to the contrary". Even in those earlier matches, I didn't "buy" Sting. When they talked of his "great power", I didn't buy it. When they spoke of his "wrestling skills", I didn't buy it. Do I think Sting is the worst wrestler to ever grace the ring" No. Do I think he's one of the most overrated" Absolutely.
Even though those earlier matches didn't thrill me much, I can at least respect that back then it looked like he was trying. Nowadays, it appears he's "grown beyond that" due to his status as a "legend". Did anyone actually see the Lockdown main event" First of all, as some readers have noted, the match was placed higher than the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, which I feel was a mistake. Secondly, upon Sting's grand entrance into the cage, he proceeded to defeat four wrestlers with mighty punches. This looked TERRIBLE. The wrestlers were literally standing there waiting for Sting to hit them. The pyramid Stinger Splash looked underpowered and unexciting. The finish of the match was beyond disappointing... Chris Harris holds Sting in the Scorpion Death Lock, really sitting back on it, for about thirty seconds. Sting reverses it and, without Sting even sitting back on it, Harris taps out in less than five seconds. And on top of all this, people actually thought (according to the TNA poll) that the greatest moment had nothing to do with Sting... that being AJ Styles's ladder dive off the ceiling. Quite frankly, even if I were a Sting fan, I'd still roll my eyes at this.
I worry greatly that Sting is the first step in TNA's focusing on the older, less diverse wrestlers of yesterday than on their own fresh, cutting-edge talent. The recent acquisition of Buff Bagwell and especially Lex Luger has increased this worry. I love what TNA has down for wrestling television, and would hate for them to become another WWE knockoff for the sake of money and ratings. I agree on the importance of respecting the past, but shudder at the dangers of living in it.
Thank you all for reading and for your feedback.
I was a fan of Sting's back in the 80's and early 90's. Sting had a great look and he had some intense matches, and rivalries. My favorites were his feuds with the Great Muta and Vader, and he was a great challenger for Ric Flair at Clash of the Champions. Sting was fun and intense though I will say he definitely had some ups and downs in his momentum as a character. It took him forever to finally win the world title against Ric Flair and, Lex Lugar was kind of wrong for him as an opponent. Sting didn't make a very good underdog-when he was aggressive he was the most entertaining. Looking back, perhaps the character Sting didn't live up to his full potential. WCW leaned on him too much when they needed a number 1 fan favorite, and it ultimately took away from the development of his story. During his earlier days, less surfer and more aggression/mystery while maintaining the connection that he had with his fans is what Sting needed. Of course this did come into play later during the time of the NWO, however Sting had been around for a long time and for those of us who had been watching him for years earlier, it may have been a bit late as he got lost in the whole WCW/NWO shuffle. No matter what though, Steve Borden played a big part in making wrestling as popular as it has become. He has a great legacy in wrestling.
David Barker wrote:
I have ben an avid wrestling fan for many years, so much so that I have
done whatever I can to watch wrestling from all eras, and all places.
My collection of wrestling matches is very long, with a variety of matches.
I've watched a lot of Sting stuff, from when he first came into the NWA
to now. I'll admit, I've never been a fan of Sting, I've always liked
Ric Flair better [that was his rivalry that really made me pay
attention to him.] Now, I won't discredit what Sting has done in the
wrestling business, nor will I say he's not a legend, because he is in
his own right. Now, I will agree with Mr. Hill and say that I do not
find Sting exciting, because in all honesty, I don't. I really don't
look forward to Sting's matches. Granted, it could be that he's been
thrust into a rivalry with Jeff Jarrett, who I've never enjoyed
watching. But, that's neither here nor there. I've been reading the
responsed to Mr. Hill, and I think you're all being a little too hard
on him. If you don't share his opinion, that's fine. But to get riled
up and resort to calling him names, takes the fun out of writing
columns. Why is he going to want to write another column if he's giong
to be bashed for what he wrote" If he's not old enough to have
followed Sting's career, cut him a little bit of slack, and just offer
your point of the opinion with out calling him a 'twat'- and just so
DragoMatt knows, when Sting does the Scorpion Deathlock it is not as a
Tribute to Bret Hart, because Sting's been doing it for a long time,
longer than Bret did [I believe.] Anyway, I'm going to hop off my soap
box now. Mr. Hill, I thought you wrote a nice column that reflected
how you feel on the subject, nice work.
I myself have never seen Sting, on tape, on DVD, on TV or live, so neither do I understand what is so great about him. However, I do believe I can understand the Sting speaks thing a bit I guess. Compare it to being told that Hulk Hogan would appear at Wrestlemania 20/21 (I'm not quite sure right now, one or the other) and then Hulk comes out, threw the Canadian-Frenchies out of the ring, then did his pose-down for god knows how long. I quite literally went, took a piss, came back and he was still going.) Point is, Hogan had been off our screen for a while, (not long enough) and for him to come back meant something to his fans who watched him as they grew up. THEY enjoyed it. It was for THEM. Same thing with Sting, really. Also, I notice, with the exception of Joe, The list of "better" wrestlers are all cruiserweights, X-Division, whatever you want to call it. I may be wrong on one or two, but I believe that is right. Sting comes from a different era, one where big people were cool. Remember he started around 20 years ago, as you said, and with guys like Hogan, Andre, and others I can't think of right now. But to succeed in the eighties, you needed big muscles. Still helps today, with Vince in charge. You like to watch smaller dudes do their thing, which is why you watch TNA. That is their strong point from what I understand (I don't actually get to see TNA here in Australia right now. NOT MUCH LONGER!!!), the X-Division. And, if you feel you need more reason to enjoy watching Sting, always remember, he was teamed with one particularly famous wrestler who could be on our screens now, instead of preaching the words of "queering don't work". I wont name this individual, but they can be referred to as the Warrior who was...Ultimate...ARRRRRGHGGHHGHHG
Don't feel bad about being clueless. It happens to a lot of people in bizarro world. The Idea that you would trash one of the greatest of all time in the name of Sting is absolutely ridiculous. Is the Sting of today the Sting of the past in terms of ability and moves and speed" Of course not. But is he still a very viable worthy force for the business" You had better believe it................
Well, sometimes people get things wrong. But when it comes to Sting, you are completely wrong............
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