The WWE has announced that legendary professional wrestler and former longtime WCW superstar Sting as the first inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame, Class of 2016.
— WWE (@WWE) January 11, 2016
Sting, whose real name is Steve Borden, took to Twitter to express that he was honored to be the newest inductee into WWE’s Hall of Fame.
Well it’s official – I have accepted the invitation to be inducted into the WWE HOF! HONORED!!!!
— Sting (@Sting) January 11, 2016
Sting made his WWE debut in late 2014 at Survivor Series, confronting fellow legendary performer Triple H. The two men were on a collision course that culminated with Sting’s first WWE match ever at WrestleMania 31.
After a physical grueling match that included interference from legendary factions D-Generation-X and the nWo, Sting lost his first WWE match.
In the months after his first official WWE match, “The Vigilante” went on to compete in his first match on WWE Monday Night RAW against former WCW star The Big Show. A few weeks later, Sting wrestled Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight championship, his first attempt at WWE’s biggest prize.
However, in addition to losing the match, Sting suffered a serious neck injury that has cast doubt on his in-ring future. But in an interview with WWE.com after the injury, Sting expressed his gratitude with WWE fans appreciating his work.
“I have not been on the Internet, but I have heard some things here and there. To be quite honest, I just shut myself in once I got home. I can’t tell you the number of text messages and phone calls I received. But listen, I’m grateful, thankful and appreciate wrestling fans now — after 30 years — I appreciate them now more than I ever have.”
Beginning his career in 1985, Sting’s first major wrestling gig was teaming with now-fellow WWE Hall of Famer, the late Ultimate Warrior. After the team split, Sting eventually made his way to Jim Crockett Promotion’s World Championship Wrestling, where he began building his legendary, Hall of Fame career.
With a blond flattop, colorful face paint, and tights, Sting captured the attention of wrestling fans with his unique look and series of legendary matches with two-time WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair. A feud with the legendary Four Horsemen helped propel Sting into a new level of popularity as he became wrestling’s ultimate good guy.
Then, in 1996, Sting completely transformed his character, dropping the colorful tights, face paint, and blond flattop for black and white face paint, a black trench coat, black tights, and long, dark hair. Reminiscent of Brandon Lee’s film, The Crow, Sting donned a scorpion’s appearance and cast a dark shadow over WCW.
Under his new look, Sting launched his career into a new stratosphere as his memorable — and considered by some as disappointing — matches with Hulk Hogan helped set pay-per-view records. Feuding with the nWo, Sting was considered the “franchise of WCW” and was one of the company’s top stars until the company went out of business in 2001.
All told, Sting’s resume in WCW includes the following accomplishments:
- NWA World Television Championship (1 time)
- NWA World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- WCW International World Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- WCW United States Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- WCW World Heavyweight Championship (6 times)
- WCW World Tag Team Championship (3 times) – with Lex Luger (1), The Giant (1), and Kevin Nash (1)
- Third WCW Triple Crown Champion
Negotiations to join WWE after WCW’s closure fell apart, and Sting joined TNA Impact Wrestling and was a part of the company for parts of 12 years, engaging in feuds with the likes of Kurt Angle, Jeff Jarrett, AJ Styles, Hulk Hogan, and others. In TNA, Sting is a five-time World Heavyweight champion, one-time Tag Team Champion (with Kurt Angle), and a 2012 TNA Hall of Fame inductee.
In a near four-decade career that has spanned the entire world, Sting is one of the most decorated superstars of his or any other generation. And the night before WrestleMania 32 — where he will likely not compete due to injury — Sting will be enshrined in the WWE Hall of Fame.
[Image via WWE]