No doubt one of the most popular wrestlers of the 1990s. Sting’s popularity started to grow after the match that put him on the map, against Nature Boy Ric Flair at the famous Clash Of The Champions Of 1988. The match created a deep rivalry between Sting and Flair. At the 1990 Great American Bash, Sting would win the World Heavyweight Championship after beating Flair. The crowd in Baltimore went crazy as Sting celebrated with other WCW babyfaces.
Sting had “IT.” He had charisma and the look to be successful. He stood out, he was different. The colorful face paint really made him stand out. His wardrobe was bright and flashy and often times matched his face paint. He had the surfer look and fans were excited to see their new hero.
As the NWA transitioned to WCW, Sting was growing more and more popular as the companies top babyface. Sting took part in legendary feuds with some all-time greats. His matches against Big Van Vader and The Great Muta were all-time classics. Sting showed he could work with anyone as he worked with bigger guys like Vader and then would but on 5 star matches with Luger, Cactus Jack, Rick Rude, and of course Flair.
Sting was the one and only true WCW guy. He was their franchise player. As many wrestlers were leaving to go North, for Vince McMahon, Sting was quietly setting himself up as the franchise of the company. The household name.
When Ted Turner and Eric Bischoff decided they wanted to compete with the WWE, they knew it would take more than the stars they had on their roster. Just as the WWF had been taking top talent, the WCW retaliated and took two of the WWE’s biggest stars in Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage. Sting would instantly become friends with Hogan, but in the process, he would slightly take a back seat. He was still a top guy and was focused on major stories but Hulk Hogan felt like the new face of the company.
This would change as WCW launched Monday Nitro in 1995. Along with Nitro would come Scott Hall and Kevin Nash from the WWE. Wrestling would change forever as Hall and Nash formed the NWO with Hogan. Sting was the man leading the charge against this “NWO” as he formed a team with Luger and Savage to wrestle Hall, Nash, and their mystery partner (Hogan) at Bash at the Beach. This night was the night that changed the game forever.
Over the next few months, Sting would still challenge the NWO but his WCW mates were starting to not trust him in the process. The NWO had a “Fake Sting” that looked like Sting and the commentators and his friends were questioning his allegiances. This led to a War Games match where Sting was to team with Luger, Flair, and Arn Anderson to wrestle the NWO. Sting didn’t show up until the end of the match where he came in and laid out the entire NWO roster. He proceeded to tell team WCW to stick it and left.
Over the next few months, the NWO would run rough shot over the WCW. WCW needed a hero. It needed Sting. They chased away their biggest hero, the man they needed most. They needed Sting.
Sting would become that hero, in one of the greatest stories in wrestling history. Sting transformed his character from a surfer to a mysterious man who hung out in the rafters in all black, with black and white face paint and a crow. Sting has changed. He was no longer the happy, fun having Sting. He now was the mysterious I’m going to destroy you, Sting.
Sting would come down from the rafters anytime the NWO had an advantage on WCW. He would lay waste to as many members of the NWO were in the ring with his baseball bat in tow. This would lead to WCW’s biggest main event of all time at Starrcade 1997. It was Sting vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Title in Washington DC. Sting won the match and defeated Hogan to win and become the new WCW Champion. Sting brought the belt back home where it belonged.
Sting would stay with WCW until it closed in 2001. He refused to go to WWE because he didn’t believe in their morals. He would go to TNA wrestling where he wrestled for 8 years. Sting had great feuds in TNA with the likes of Kurt Angle, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, and more.
Sting finally made his way to the WWE, where he was rightfully inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. That same weekend he competed in his first and only Wrestlemania match, something fans had dreamed of for a long time.
Whether he was Surfer Sting, Crow Sting, Joker Sting in TNA, or just Steve Borden, the Stinger is an all-time great!