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Thursday, September 17, 2015

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Retrospective: Top 5 Sting Matches

By @Tariku__

The Franchise. The Icon. The Man Called Sting. Sting has been widely regarded as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, maintaining a great legacy through classic matches, unbelievable charisma, and a gimmick that would catapult him into immortality. As a huge wrestling fan, it is my honor to reminisce and reflect on the top 5 greatest matches/moments from one of the all time greats. Let's get started.

5. Sting vs Triple H at Wrestlemania 31

-After his long tenure in WCW and the eventual fall of the once competitive wrestling promotions at the time, Sting was known as "the greatest wrestler to never sign with WWE" after great WCW talent such as Booker T made their way over to the E. That would all change at long last in November 2014 at the Survivor Series event. Sting would make his first appearance in the company. Taking out Triple H and helping Team Cena defeat Team Authority, which would spell the end of the dominant heel faction (not for long). The Authority would return and continue their unruly reign over the WWE. Sting would make his first appearanceon Monday Night Raw ever when he would cause another stoppage in The Authority's tyranny. Triple H would call Sting out after months of frustrated. At the Fast Lane event, The Icon challenged The Game to a match at Wrestlemania. Fast Forward to March 29th, the big day. Sting and Triple H finally squared off one on one. An old school wrestling match with a new school feel, both titans put on a very well paced physical match with interference from two of the greatest factions in all of wrestling, Degeneration X and the New World Order.  In the end, Sting would ultimately lose to the Cerebral Assassin after a sledgehammer shot to the head for the 3 count. The match deserves this spot solely off the moment of Sting's very first match in biggest company in the industry and the biggest event in all of wrestling.

4. Sting vs Hollywood Hulk Hogan at Starrcade 1997

-Professional Wrestling is wrestling of course, but what truly makes it special is not just the in ring work ability. Its about moments, moments that will live in the minds and hearts of many. With that said Sting vs Hollywood Hogan was by any means a wrestling classic, but it was definitely a moment match. Sting would consider himself a free agent and would tell the crowd at Nitro that he would be popping up from time to time. He would return in October to take out an imposter Sting and have the NWO make an offer to join them. Sting considered it briefly, saying that he might not be "in (the nWo's) price range", and then concluded by saying "the only thing that's for sure about Sting is that nothing's for sure." With that, Sting left the ring and would not speak (on mic) on WCW programming again for over a year. Sting would appear as haunting figure in the rafters wielding a baseball bat. For an entire year Sting would test the loyalty of certain wrestlers by giving them the bat, turning his back, and waiting for the wrestler to swing at him or just put the bat down. Sting would attack the NWO at the end of every Nitro. He would not stop until he got his match with Hogan at the biggest show in NWA/WCW history, Starrcade. After a year buildup, Sting would get his title match. The Icon would defeat Hogan and win the war for WCW. A great feel good moment to end the year of wrestling.

3. Sting vs Ric Flair at the inaugural Clash of Champions event in 1988

-Sting's very first marquee match against the face that ran the place, the man, the legend, Ric Flair. Sting and Flair would put on a 45 minute wrestling clinic. One of the best big match debuts in all of wrestling. When the time limit expired, the match ended in a draw, but Sting would be a winner. The match made him a top star because he held his own against THE GUY of NWA/WCW. It has been over 26 years since this match initially aired, and it’s definitely no mistake that this is still one of the most talked about matches in wrestling history. This is the match that created a legend.

2. Sting vs Vader at Starrcade 1992

-Sting's best rivalry besides Flair was his rivalry with Big Van Vader. I saw Flair as Sting's "Lex Luthor". Vader was viewed in my eyes as Sting's "Bane". This hulking figure who would out muscle Sting, forcing The Franchise to think strategically rather than just wrestle. Starrcade 1992 held the King of Cable tournament. Sting and Vader met in the finals and the match was a flat our brawl. Vader's intense brawler nature vs Sting's energetic technical prowess made for a series of intriguing matches but this particular match stood out to me as I personally enjoyed it more than the others.
1. Sting vs Ric Flair at The Great American Bash for The World Heavyweight Championship in 1990

-Of course I would put this as the number 1 match. Yes it is because this match ended with Sting hoisting his first ever World Title. Sting and Flair put on another classic chapter in their great rivalry. Having a match on one of the biggest shows of the year for WCW. With the story being Sting gets Flair one on one. Mano e Mano with no interference from the Four Horsemen. Even Arn Anderson himself was handcuffed to El Gigante. Sting felt this was a last chance match of sorts. No excuses if he were to lose to Flair. The dynamic between the warriors was shown as Flair tried to out wrestle, out maneuver, and do serious physical damage to the Stinger, but The young and charismatic competitor would bounce back at every turn. Sting would finally defeat Flair after countering Flair's patented Figure Four Leg Lock into a simple inside cradle pin and became the NEW world heavyweight champion. History was made as Jim Ross shouted with passion. A significant story and moment for the face painted legend with a satisfying ending.

2015 will see Sting compete against the current MAN in Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Will Sting add another historic milestone to his legendary career? Find out this Sunday at the Night of Champions special event LIVE on the WWE Network.



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