Sunday, March 03, 2024

Thank You Sting

Sting will wrestle his last match at tonight's AEW Revolution show from the Greensboro Coliseum in North Carolina.

It has been quite an emotional few months for fans of his once it became clear that it will all end tonight. Earlier this week, I noticed that there is a phone number people can call to leave messages to Sting. That's quite a cool idea, but will he really be able to get through all of those voicemails?!

I have so many memories of Sting. 

The first time I saw him, I thought he was an Ultimate Warrior ripoff. Ironically, both he and Jim Hellwig - who later became the Warrior - started out as a tag team. I didn't learn that until a short time after being first introduced to Sting.

Sting was, without a doubt, the better wrestler of the two. 

My most favourite memory of Sting has to be the time I've written about many times in the past - October 26 1993. 

That was the day I went to my first American wrestling show. It was also the first time I met wrestlers live and in person due to being allowed backstage at the Cardiff International Arena.

Sting signed a WCW programme for me that evening.

At that time in Sting's career, he had the blonde spiky hair and wore the colourful attire with the matching face-paint. He was a few years off from ditching the 'Surfer Sting' look and becoming the broody, dark Sting with the long dark hair and white face-paint which resembles Brandon Lee's character of The Crow.

It is that gimmick which has lasted the longest during Sting's career. I suppose my second favourite memory of Sting is when he spent over a year building towards the match against Hulk Hogan at WCW Starrcade 1997. 

He would beat up on the New World Order on a weekly basis and eventually got himself a meeting with the WCW World Champion - Hulk Hogan at what was WCW's biggest event in history.

It became the record setter because WCW was hot at the time and, like I've already pointed out, the company spent well over a year building up the fans' appetite for them to feat on 'Hollywood' Hulk Hogan .vs. Sting.

WCW Starrcade 1997

To be fair, the Sting push more or less peaked on Sunday December 28th 1997. He floated around the main event scene for the remaining years of WCW, but - due to the company on a huge decline - was unable to capture the magic of the build to the Hogan match.

Following WCW's demise, Sting wrestled in TNA. He eventually made his debut for World Wrestling Entertainment at WrestleMania 31 in 2015.

The less said about that bout the better. 

His FIRST match as a WWE wrestler and they had him lose to Triple H in what I can only see as a political move to weaken WCW's legacy.

The most ironic parts about the decision to have Sting lose in his first WWE outing are (1) WCW had gone out of business fourteen years earlier and (2) WWE owns everything WCW now. 

WWE won the war, but it - or rather Vince McMahon - still had to win a pointless final battle.

And he had the son-in-law as the general.

The following year, WWE gave Sting a little bit of respect by having him as the headline star of its 2016 Hall of Fame ceremony.

I was fortunate enough to have a copy of the limited edition box set of WrestleMania 32, which came with a Sting autograph. So, that was the second thing I have signed by Sting. However, one is from the 'Surfer Sting' era and this one - as you can see below - is from the most prominent version of the character.

Sting Autograph

For the past few years, Sting has wrestled for All Elite Wrestling and it all ends tonight.

Yes, this is pro wrestling, and we shouldn't be surprised to see him again. However, as I write this, I do have the feeling that this really is it.

Thank you Sting.

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