Until November 23, there was an easy answer to the question “Who is the biggest name in the history of North American wrestling to never work for WWE?” That answer was Sting. Well, as most of you know, now the answer to that question requires a lot more thinking, as Sting finally debuted at WWE Survivor Series a little over a week ago.
In the early 90’s, Lex Luger, Rick and Scott Steiner, and the Road Warriors, all friends of Sting’s, left WCW to join the then-WWF. Each of them eventually returned to WCW, and had little good to say about the WWF. So, with Sting knowing his friends negative WWF stories and with him being guaranteed one of the top spots in WCW, it made no sense for him to leave and join the WWF.
When WCW went out of business in 2001, Sting, who was 42 at the time, figured that his in-ring wrestling career was over. About a decade earlier, Sting would always talk about how Ric Flair, who was in his 40’s, should retire, and that he had no desire to be wresting when he was in his 40’s.
When Sting signed with TNA Wrestling in the mid 2000’s, he still had no desire to wrestle. But TNA offered him a deal he felt like he couldn’t turn down.
Sting’s TNA contract would pay him $500,000 per year and would only require him to work limited dates and pay-per-views when needed. Sting’s initial TNA contract was only a one-year deal, as TNA hoped that having Sting in their organization for one year would help jump-start the promotion, and put them on WWE’s level.
Every time Sting’s TNA deal would expire, they would sign him to another one year extension, and every time it came time to negotiate a new deal, Sting would always tell TNA management that the next year would be his last before he hung up his boots for good.
With TNA being financially strapped, they could no longer afford to keep Sting so they let him walk. Most people in WWE believed that it was inevitable that Sting would sign with WWE at some point in the near future, and in the middle of this year, Sting finally inked a contract with WWE.
Sting’s first appearance in anything WWE related while in full costume was the WWE 2K15 commercial, which aired for the first time this past summer, and got a tremendous reaction from the live RAW audience.
Sting continued to make appearances for WWE 2K15 related stuff and it was only a matter of time before fans believed Sting would finally be on WWE television, and two days before his Survivor Series appearance, it was reported that Sting would be making his WWE debut during the Survivor Series main event.
Many WWE fans believe that Sting’s WWE debut was a last-minute decision by WWE. However, it was not. Sting’s debut was planned out four weeks in advance and Sting was able to keep it under wraps. WWE even flew Sting in to a completely different city than St. Louis, which was Survivor Series‘ host city, hoping that fans wouldn’t expect Sting to debut. However, that didn’t work.
It is a miracle that Sting is finally in WWE, especially when you consider his age. WWE’s plans for Sting aren’t exactly set in stone, as it’s been reported that he’ll wrestle Undertaker at WrestleMania, and Triple H at Royal Rumble. But there have been conflicting reports that Sting will just wrestle Triple H at WrestleMania, and he will never wrestle Undertaker. So, for now, we’ll just have to wait and see!
If Sting does end up wrestling Triple H at WrestleMania, the assumption is that it could be a retirement match for Sting. Many people will be disappointed if Sting never ends up wrestling Undertaker but it seems pretty clear, especially after his terrible WrestleMania 30 match with Brock Lesnar, that Undertaker isn’t in the kind of shape to have one last, classic match.
The reaction to Sting’s WWE debut has been very positive, and hopefully the reaction to Sting’s WWE matches and eventual retirement will be the same.