On March 20, “The Icon” Sting turns 54. To celebrate his life in professional wrestling, I would like to reflect on the career of Sting and how the man Steve Borden affected me, and how he changed my view on professional wrestling.
I can recall the late early 1990′s, and sitting in front of the television on Saturday mornings, and writing down matches on a wrestling program, and circling the winners for my Dad, who worked construction and couldn’t watch the early morning show. Every week, I would sit there and watch guys throw each other round and hit each other and thought to myself “Why does my Dad like this?”. Yet, i logged the entire show every Saturday. Soon, I included my own thoughts on the matches, and added comments to my Dad like “Wow” or “Awesome”. Shortly there after, I began mentioning this wrestling program to my friends, who were already involved in watching WWF at that time and were throwing names around like 1-2-3 Kid, Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon. For me, it was Saturday mornings, and WCW WorldWide.
My Dad tells me I would always like to see matches of Sting, and loved his face paint and how strong and fast he was at the same time. My own memory takes me back to 1994-96. Hulk Hogan showed up in WCW, Lex Lugar showed up in WCW, and there was Sting, in my own eyes carrying this company with his amazing matches, awesome promos and even better crowd reaction. I remember trying to put the Scorpian Death Lock on my friends as my Mom yelled at me from our living room window. Sting in my eyes, was the man.
Clash of the Champions, Bash at the Beach, Starrcade. We bought all the pay-per-views and my obsession with professional wrestling and watching Sting win the WCW United States Championship caused my Dad to also grow in the love of the sport. Things changed for me somewhere in early 1995, or possibly late 1994. The local video store had a large selection of wrestling videos. One of those happened to be 1990 Bash at the Beach. It was this match, that I never saw before, that changed things for me. To watch Sting, my favorite wrestler, defeat a legend like Ric Flair, and win the World Heavyweight Championship put me over the edge. An amazing match. A real wrestling match. I was sold.
Over the next year or two, I can recall watching Sting take on people like The Great Muta, Big Bubba, Meng, Kevin Sullivan, and the list does go on and on. Like many others my age, I recall vividly when Razor Ramon showed up on WCW Monday Nitro. At this time, I was up to date on the latest WWF happenings, but I only flipped to it on commercials; it was always WCW number one for me. Back then, I can remember wondering what was going on! I didn’t look around the internet for information on what was going on with story lines, like I do now often. To me, Razor Ramon was in WCW! The Outsiders brought out an awesome Sting in my eyes, a leader for a company he has never left, and always been the #1 guy, and always represented good. Bash at the Beach 1996. We all remember that night, it was the night Hulk Hogan formed the New World Order, and Eric Bischoff made the greatest decision in history, by turning Hulk Hogan. It was great. The nWo was taking people out, Sting was still at the top of the WCW locker room. I though “Man! This is getting good!”
It was an episode of Monday Nitro. I remember rushing through homework to watch it. Great matches all night. One thing I loved about WCW was the wrestling. The Dean Malenkos vs Chris Benoits. The Chris Jerichos vs Eddie Guererros. Ultimo Dragons vs. Rey Mysterios. Nitro was coming to an end, when there has bee talk about Sting joining the nWo. I can remember laughing to my Dad about it. Sting? Join the nWo. Ya right! Then it happened. Lex Lugar was outside in the rain, and the door opened and there was Sting! He attacked Lugar! This cant’t be happening! I’m conflicted! My jaw was dropped. I didn’t know how to respond. The greatest wrestler in the world, just jumped ship to the nWo! This was worse than the thought of him going to the WWF. It can’t be. I remember going to school the next day (8th grade back in ’96) and it’s all my friends were talking about. It felt natural for me to be so bent out of shape. Thinking about it at times I laugh, but at that time of my life, I was a wreck. Why Sting, why?!
But, eventually I realized, that the only thing for sure about Sting, was nothing’s for sure.