Looking Back At Sting’s Storied Wrestling Career, Now That It May Be Over

Sting, truly one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, may have suffered a career ending injury last night at WWE Night of Champions. Should the 56-year old wrestler decide to finally hang up the boots, it will still be a Hall-of-Fame worthy career.

Sting, real name Steve Borden Sr., started his wrestling career in 1985. He began as a tag team wrestler, along side Jim Hellwig, who later went on to become the late, great, Ultimate Warrior. He rose to megastardom as “The Franchise” of World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and stayed with the company until it closed 2002. Sting wrestled the final match ever on WCW against his long time rival Ric Flair, another wrestler with a long and storied career that continued into his 60s. Sting held titles in WCW on 15 different occasions, including seven world championships.

Although WWE would never acknowledge it, Sting later spent over 10 years working for Total Nonstop Action, a rival to the federation. When Sporting News put together their highlights and lowlights of Sting’s career, they listed his début with TNA as one of the high points. Sting added six more title reigns in TNA, five world titles and a tag team championship won alongside Olympic Gold medallist Kurt Angle. Sting was also the first man inducted into TNA’s Hall of Fame; though few fans would consider that Hall of Fame to hold a candle to WWE’s in terms of prestige.

Sting resisted going to WWE for many years. John Canton of What Culture listed 10 reasons why back in 2014. Among them were fears of declining wrestling ability and his age in general. Sting did eventually sign with WWE and made his début appearance at Survivor Series in November of last year. Sting went on to wrestle Paul “HHH” Levesque at Wrestlemania XXXI. He came up on the losing end of a match that featured run ins from former stalwarts of WCW’s New World Order and WWE’s D-Generation X stables.

Last night marked Sting’s first ever title match in WWE. He wrestled current champion Seth Rollins in Rollins’ second match that night. It was in that match that Sting was injured. Though Sting’s manager, Steve Martinez, has since taken to Sting’s Facebook account to reassure fans Sting expects to make a full recovery. His comments are below.

“As many of you may already know, Sting is undergoing treatment for the injuries he sustained in last night’s match with Seth Rollins. Doctors will continue to evaluate his condition, but he is a man of remarkable health and resiliency, especially at his age and with all he’s endured throughout his stellar career. Therefore, we are optimistic he will have a speedy recovery and return to full health soon. Sting has kept his body in excellent shape, due largely to the guidance he’s received from his personal trainer Jeff Cavaliere, and we trust this will prove beneficial to the recovery process. As a side note, we later learned the greatest damage to his body took place before the match was over, but being the true professional he is and among the hardest workers to ever step foot in the ring, he insisted to see the match through to the end.”

The question remains, will Sting be willing to wrestle again given his age and the potential recovery time this injury will require? Having appeared in WWE, wrestled at Wrestlemania and had one final shot at a world championship, is there anything left for him to accomplish? Several WWE figures have recently referred to Sting as a “future Hall-of-Famer” so that accomplishment also seems like a lock. Wrestling fans everywhere are wishing Sting a speedy recovery, but there’s no guarantee they will ever see him compete again.

[Photo courtesy WWE]