Sting has had one of the best careers in the history of professional wrestling. He wrestled well into his 50s and was able to stay in the main event scene right until the end of his time with TNA. He’s done it all in his career, or at least everything possible without the WWE spotlight on him. He’s the one big star that has never set foot in a WWE ring.
The Icon was recently revealed to be a playable character in the upcoming WWE 2K15 video game and that will be the first time he is working with the WWE in some capacity. One of his classic t-shirts is even available on WWEShop.com
However, even though he’s in the video game, he still has not been seen on a WWE television program, safe for an interview he did for the Ultimate Warrior tribute. Fans are still waiting to see Sting on RAW and hopefully see him wrestle one match for WWE before he hangs up his boots for good. Even in their seasoned ages, many fans are still clamouring for Sting vs. Undertaker, two men who were the leaders of their franchises.
Just because Sting has not worked for the WWE yet, it doesn’t mean all of his great moments in the business should be forgotten. He’s done terrific work in his career, and there’s a reason he’s so highly regarded. Here are the Stinger’s top 10 career moments.
10) Sting is Inducted into TNA Hall of Fame
With everything Sting has done in his career, it was good to see him honoured in some way. While it may not have been on the biggest of stages, it was great to see.
Sting became the first member of the TNA Hall of Fame back in 2012. His peers unsurprisingly spoke highly of him and fans gave him a resounding thank you.
One day, Sting will likely be part of a much bigger ceremony, as despite his never working for WWE, he will still go into their Hall of Fame at some point.
9) Sting and Luger vs. The Steiner Brothers
Sting and Lex Luger have always been friends off screen, but on screen, they were fierce rivals through their careers. However on this occasion, they teamed up to take on the Steiner Brothers for the WCW Tag Team Championship back at SuperBrawl 1 in 1991.
The match is highly regarded, as it won the PWI Match of the Year in 1991. The Stinger and his partner would fall short, as Nikita Koloff swung a chair and hit Sting, costing him and Luger the match.
8) Sting Wins NWA Title From Ric Flair – Great American Bash – 1990
Sting had been feuding with the Four Horsemen for a while. In February at Clash of the Champions, Sting refused to give up his title shot to Ric Flair, ending their newfound friendship and restarting their feud.
Sting was actually legitimately injured that same night, putting the feud on hold. Instead Flair faced Luger. The plan was for Luger to take the title, but Flair had already promised Steve Borden (Sting) that he would hold the title and drop it to him when he came back from his injury.
Sting would not return to the ring until summer and finally got his title shot at the Great American Bash. When it seemed Flair was going to lock in the Figure Four, Sting cradled Flair in a small package for the three-count. The NWA had a new champion and a top babyface.
7) Sting’s Team Wins War Games – Wrestle War – 1992
Many people consider this to be one of the greatest matches of all time and the best War Games match in its history. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer gave the match five stars.
By the end of 1991, Sting had gotten embroiled in a rivalry with Paul E.’s Dangerous Alliance. The Dangerous Alliance targeted Sting because he was the face of WCW and their thinking was if they destroyed the “franchise” then they’d destroy the promotion.
The feud finally reached its climax at WrestleWar 1992. It would all be settled in War Games. Sting put together a team consisting of Ricky Steamboat, Dustin Rhodes, Barry Windham and Nikita Koloff. They took on the Alliance’s team featuring Rick Rude, Steve Austin, Arn Anderson, Larry Zbyszko and Bobby Eaton.
Sting won the match for his team after forcing Eaton to submit to an armbar, after Eaton had been accidentally hit by Zbyszko with a metal piece of a turnbuckle. It was perhaps the final great moment of Jim Crockett Promotions.
6) Sting Defeats Lex Luger And Wins First WCW World Title – SuperBrawl II
Sting had won the NWA Heavyweight Championship, but this was his first WCW World Title, as WCW had split from the NWA.
Sting was in midst of a feud with the Dangerous Alliance, but still had his own business to take care of in the title picture. He would face Lex Luger, in what would prove to be Luger’s final match in WCW before jumping ship to the World Wrestling Federation.
Luger was accompanied to the ring by Harley Race, but despite interference, Sting scored the victory with a high cross body off the top rope. It was his first of six WCW World Titles and shot him back to the top of WCW, where he’d be the company’s top babyface for a long time.
5) Sting vs. Ric Flair – One Final Round
This certainly wasn’t their best match, but it was their most emotional.
This was on the final episode of Monday Nitro, as it had been announced that Vince McMahon had bought WCW and the future of the company was in limbo.
There was only one match that WCW could end their show with that would be the most fitting ending for the company. Sting vs. Ric Flair, one more time.
Flair challenged Sting to the match on the show, as a way to end their epic rivalry and give the company the perfect send off. It was far from a classic, as Sting won via the Scorpion Deathlock in a short match.
However, after the match, the two embraced, their mutual respect for each other on full display and the a great ending for WCW.
4) Sting Takes Flair the Distance – Clash of the Champions – 1988
No, this was not a title win for Sting, but it was just as, if not more important. This match against Ric Flair at 1988 Clash of the Champions put the Stinger in the limelight and proved that he was going to be a star for a long time.
Sting was clearly on the rise and in this epic 45-minute clash with the Nature Boy, it looked like the up and comer would do the unthinkable and dethrone the legend.
The inaugural Clash of the Champions actually went head to head with WrestleMania IV, airing on TBS. Sting and Flair’s match was the best match on either show, as WrestleMania featured a long and boring tournament.
When will a young star ever be able to say that he out-shined anything WrestleMania had in store?
As the 45-minute time limit approached, Sting began making his comeback, no-selling Flair’s chops, tapping into his fountain of energy, and in classic Jim Ross fashion, J.R. was frantically shouting into his headset.
Finally with just 30 seconds left, Sting put on the Scorpion Deathlock. Flair hung on for dear life as the bell sounded to end the match. Back in these WCW days, judges were used in the event of matches going past the time limit. The judges ruled the match a draw, resulting in Flair retaining his title.
It may not have been Sting’s official crowning moment, but it definitely was crucial for his career and arguably made him.
3) Sting Walks Out of WCW
The nWo was manhandling WCW, as Hulk Hogan and company were set to take down any remnants of WCW.
They announced that for Fall Brawl 1996 that a new member would join them. The nWo doctored videos to make it appear as though Sting was their fourth member. Sting was also mysteriously absent on the go-home show of Nitro, casting doubt and made Lex Luger openly state that he didn’t trust Sting.
When the match came about, a Sting impostor made his way to the ring on behalf of the nWo. To the keen observer, it was easy to spot that it was a fake, but the announcers sure fell for it and began berating Sting for betraying the company.
Only, the real Sting soon entered and took down every nWo member by himself. However, he didn’t stick around, instead showing his anger toward his fellow WCW teammates for not trusting him.
The next night, the colourful, surfer Sting gimmick came to an end. In a great promo, he declared himself a free agent, and planted the seeds for the greatest feud in the history of WCW.
2) Sting Defeats Hollywood Hulk Hogan – Starrcade – 1997
Sting hadn’t wrestled for an entire year, ever since declaring himself a free agent. That made him hotter than ever when he did come back, in a new crow gimmick and was viewed as WCW’s conquering hero, after the nWo had laid the hurt on WCW through the entire calendar year.
Sting was given a title shot against Hollywood Hulk Hogan at Starrcade 1997. This was WCW at its peak.
If not for a botched ending, where Nick Patrick forgot to fast-count Sting, this would’ve been one of wrestling’s all-time great moments. The plan was for Patrick to fast-count Sting out, pulling a screwjob, much like Survivor Series 1997, with a debuting Bret Hart restarting the match and becoming the referee. Sting would then win the match shortly after. Without the fast-count, the finish looked weird and by the time Sting won, it looked like Hogan had been the one who was screwed.
The next night on Nitro, the title was vacated due to the messy finish. That takes away from this otherwise awesome moment.
1) Sting Attacks the nWo – 1997
Even if the climax was botched, this feud was some of Sting‘s best work and he was merely playing the role of the silent assassin.
Sting pointing his bat at the nWo is an iconic image and one that many will remember him for. After his free agent promo, Sting began dressing in black and white, seemingly as a sign that he would soon join the new world order.
Without speaking a word or wrestling for a year, Sting was still the company’s top babyface. The long, slow burn was so well done and showed tremendous patience from Eric Bischoff, who knew the pay off would be worth it.
Sting began descending from the rafters to attack the nWo on several occasions, using his signature black bat as the equalizer against the faction. Whenever a Sting sighting occurred, the crowd would go nuts and everyone knew that a Sting/Hogan clash for the title would inevitably happen.
WCW accomplished so much with this feud and maximized every piece of action they got. It was theirs, and Sting’s best work.
Hopefully we will one day get to see what Sting can do on WWE television. It’s one of the dreams of every wrestling fan.