Ever since Survivor Series 2014, I have personally been geared up for whatever the WWE was going to do with the Icon. During the Team Cena vs. the Authority match, the iconic figure walked out from the back, surprising everyone on the floor and preceded to give Cena and his team the upper hand in winning the match. This had the benefit of getting rid of Paul “Triple H” Levesque and his wife, Stephanie McMahon, for around a month. The only stipulation to that was that Cena could at any point reinstate their positions, should he find it necessary. Of course, as you know these things to be, they found a way to bring back the Authority to power. Go figure, one of the WWE’s most influential wrestlers, and his wife being the daughter of the man who owns the company. Stephanie also being quite hands on in the business in so many other ways, yeah… I’m surprised they lasted that long away.
Regardless, from the time of Survivor Series to Wrestlemania, whenever it looked like the Authority was going to get too much of an upper hand, Sting would appear like some dark avenger and put an end to it. This usually end up with Triple H being put into the Scorpion Death Drop or at least being held at bay with Sting’s trusty bat. The 12 year old me was screaming at the top of his lungs in excitement every time I saw it. The kid that watched the WCW as often as he could, because in the 90s they got an influx of some of the icons from WWF mixed with their own collection of awesome wrestlers. I remember watching Sting, with that blonde flattop and the painted face, giving some of the best matches I had seen since World Class Championship Wrestling ended. Even when he changed his look into the Crow inspired face paint, I realized that his reinvention was going to keep him around for many more years to come. Indeed, it has. It kept him wrestling against new things like the nWo (new World order) and even succumb to joining factions of it. The reinvention succeeded into making an 80s icon a 90s and beyond icon. To see him finally make it to the WWE, after years of him staying away, I saw all sorts of potential in store for this. I got damned excited for where a match between him and Triple H would go. This is where I got my biggest disappointment. Me, and a lot of other fans.
In 2001, after many years of giving the WWE a bloody nose in the Monday Night Wars, and then making a series of bad decisions, WCW was bought out by Vince McMahon. McMahon brought the wrestlers that wished to come into the WWE, albeit not as flawlessly as one might hope. Sting saw that he wouldn’t get a fair shake, because he was the WCW franchise. He held that banner up through the very last day. So he found other places to wrestle, and stayed away from the WWE for as long as he could. He never completely shut the door to it, but it would only be when the company would offer him a chance not to be their punching bag for being on the other team. It would take nearly 15 years for that to be the case. When they did, Sting made sure in his first appearance on RAW, the Monday before Wrestlemania, that he wasn’t there to fight for WCW. He said that all these years later, it would be futile fight for a long since dead company. It made sense, because it’s not like this match hinged on them resurrecting a dead franchise.
This match was one of the 3 biggest reasons for me to want to watch Wrestlemania 31. Sure, there were others, but between this, the Undertaker and Bray Wyatt, and Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns (the other match that pissed me off severely) I was set for a night of great entertainment. When Sting hit the runway, I was on the edge of my seat. I know he’s 56 years old, and that he’s seen his best days as an athlete. It didn’t matter to me, even in the face of wrestling the 45 year old Triple H. Triple H doesn’t wrestle much these days, but he still is in good physical condition, but they reserve him for special occasions. Though I haven’t looked up his injuries in awhile, I’m fairly certain that his knees, along with several other older complaints have kept him out of a great deal of matches. Still, even after Triple H hit the runway with an opening that I wish I could forget, I was ready. It didn’t disappoint me either. The two were tossing each other around like rag dolls for awhile, giving Sting the look of having the advantage. However, that wouldn’t last long. Weapons came out, then came D-Generation X (WWE’s biggest faction at one time), then out came Sting’s old rivals in the nWo to face off. All of a sudden, the thing that Sting said wasn’t going to happen did. The match didn’t mean wrestling to show the Authority that they were an abusive power, but it was the 90s match no one wanted to see a decade and a half later. This culminated in Sting being hit in the face with Shawn Michaels’ Sweet Chin Music (a superkick to the face)
and then Triple H’s sledgehammer head next. He would pin Sting to get the 3 count, ending with the two shaking hands in the middle of the ring. Wait… what just happened there? Oh, I see now. It was WCW losing to the WWE one more time, and Sting having to accept the handshake lest he look like a sore loser. It means that the build up from November’s Survivor Series to March’s Wrestlemania, sparse appearance from Sting, and a whole lot of excitement lead to a conclusion that means nothing.
However, Triple H and his wife Stephanie would later get the same lesson about being abusive of power and what it means to give back to the public by Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson. After Stephanie threw her two cents at the Rock and realizing he wouldn’t touch her, he found UFC Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey in the crowd and brought her in the ring to give Stephanie a bad day. However, she also threw Triple H out of the ring too. I have to admit, I liked that! There does lie a problem in this, though. while I enjoyed it, it took another meaning to it. You see, the Rock was popular at the time of WCW’s crash, he wasn’t as open and welcoming of some of that talent as others were. To that, I’d say ask Booker T. This is yet another twist of the knife, as now the WWE’s own star gets to make the point, with the help of a UFC champ and they could potentially use this to build a big feud for later. It sounds good in theory, but who knows how it will play out? March 2015 is a long cry from April 2016.
The question is, where does this leave Sting? One of the biggest things that we’ve heard on and off behind the scenes is that they plan on Sting vs. the Undertaker. It’s the two iconic figures going head to head in a double retirement match. I, personally, have been pushing for that since the idea has come down the pike. These two legends getting into it one last time would be a dream come true for the wrestling fanboy in me. However, there is a consequence to this match that cannot be overlooked. One of the two favorites is going to have to lose this match. The only way it doesn’t is if the two get double disqualified. That’s not going to satisfy anyone, especially the WWE who have been going through a great deal of ratings problems. Sure, the big event will likely draw the numbers, but how many will it turn away to see the biggest cheat? So, I figure that’s out of the question. If the Undertaker loses, it’s another load of problems. The loss to Brock Lesnar shook fans badly enough. Despite claims to the contrary, I’ve talked to many Wrestlemania XXX goers that said that the board read 22-0, referring to the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania. Ending it with another loss would only be another hit to his loyal fans. It would have to end with the most spectacular battle that either wrestler had seen in awhile. If Sting lost, it’s the second time they brought him to the big event and he’s lost. What good is that? He can’t deliver at the main show? I don’t think so. The man has had a long and distinguished career.
Honestly, I’d love to get Sting back in sooner and give him a few shots at John Cena. Why Cena? John never once thanked, or even acknowledged, Sting’s intervention on his behalf in any way. What’s worse than someone who abuses their power, someone who doesn’t acknowledge they wouldn’t have gotten where they were without help. Gee, I wonder who’s recently been learning that lesson? Hmm… couldn’t be Seth Rollins, could it? Cena’s not much better than that right now, having treated a miracle as a given in his matches with the Authority. This could lead into bigger things, especially if Sting comes out as still gunning for the Authority. If this could deadhead into the match between him and Undertaker at Wrestlemania 32, so much the better. If anything, it might play out better if the Authority try and steer Undertaker or Sting towards the each other, only to bring the two icons together in what looks to be an epic match and have them both turn on the entirety of the Authority. They might have to bulk their numbers a bit, but this gives a few benefits to the match:
1. This makes sure that if rumors are true, and both men would be retiring that night, that they don’t go out of Wrestlemania having lost a match. Undertaker got a hit in his undefeated streak at XXX, thanks to Brock Lesnar. Despite what was said, it wasn’t supposed to go down like that, and the fans have never let the WWE forget it. Sting losing twice at the show of shows would be a bad thing too. It looks like he can’t deliver when the pressure’s on. Come on, this is Sting we’re talking about. He’s better than all that.
2. This can give Kane a much needed turn on the Authority. Kane has been a whipping boy to the Authority for sometime, which has given many of the WWE roster plenty of fodder to comment on who Kane used to be. Though he’s already been shown to side with the Authority, even after nearly being given the chance to break out on his own again, it’s time for that break to happen. No one in the company could bring that about better than the Deadman.
3. This could break the Authority as it’s currently known. Stephanie McMahon, outside of her ring persona, is a very busy lady. She’s been doing a great deal of work in and out of the business trying to promote the company and do charity work. While Triple H should always be a presence in the WWE ring, this would give him and Stephanie the chance to get away from things, place someone else in the role of being in charge who comes off a little less nefarious, and allow the faces and heels to not be outshined by their bosses. Twitter could be buzzing for a couple of weeks with #destroytheauthority, what more could you ask than that?
There’s pluses and minuses to consider with Sting. I certainly don’t want to see him fade off into the sunset, but let’s face it, there’s only so many years left. So many appearances he’ll likely want to do before calling it quits. The man has well earned his time, especially to invest in family and other endeavors outside of wrecking his body in the squared circle. Whatever the future brings for him, I hope it’s as epic as his career demands he have.