This past Monday night on Raw, WWE shocked the world by announcing their first inductees into this year's WWE Hall of Fame class of 2012 (not counting Mil Mascaras): One of whom was the recently retired Edge, while the other well-done video package paid tribute to the original members of the Four Horsemen.
In the video, it was revealed that the inductees would be Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Barry Windham, J.J. Dillon and surprisingly Ric Flair. Of course, this may seem like an obvious choice given how Flair played a major factor in the group's success, but the fact that he's currently contracted to TNA Wrestling while still making a televised WWE appearance is unprecedented.
Never before have WWE and TNA Wrestling combined forces in order to make something of this juncture come to fruition, but it seems as if Flair's appearance at the Hall of Fame ceremony will be happening regardless of TNA officials' permission or not.
It was later reported that TNA officials were unaware of Flair's induction prior to the promo airing on Raw this past week. A video later surfaced online of Flair himself stating in person that he will indeed be present at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony during WrestleMania 28 weekend.
If this proves to be true, that would make Ric Flair the first wrestler in WWE history to enter the WWE Hall of Fame twice, with his first induction being when he "retired" from wrestling back in 2008. Additionally, it'd also be the first time ever that someone currently contracted to another wrestling organization would be inducted into the prestigious hall as well.
With that being said, the controversy surrounding all of this brings forth questions as to who else could possibly be next when it comes to rival promotions' wrestlers. One legend that comes to mind is none other than the Icon himself, Sting.
Sting is greatly considered to be one of the greatest wrestlers (if not the greatest) in history to have never competed for the WWE at any point in time. Despite being offered a lucrative contract numerous times over the past decade, he has always opted to turn it down with the mindset that WWE would tarnish his character as well as his legacy.
However, hopes of fans were at their highest last February when it was heavily speculated he had signed with WWE for a match against the Undertaker at WrestleMania 27. Sadly, Sting didn't come to terms with WWE and later returned to TNA Wrestling thereafter.
Now if Ric Flair is able to jump ship to WWE for one night only, why can't the same be done for a living legend in Sting?
Most Hall of Fame inductees have done little to nothing in WWE including Abdullah the Butcher, Maurice "Mag Dog" Vachon and Eddie Graham, so the fact that Sting has never competed in WWE shouldn't have prevented him from being a strong candidate. Unlike the aforementioned names, Sting is a household name still to this day, playing a major role in TNA as the "General Menace" of the organization.
At the age of 52 years old, the Icon looks to be winding down as an in-ring competitor while maintaining his presence on television as an authority figure. I'm not saying he should go to WWE as a full-time wrestler, but he should be recognized for the illustrious career he's had for the past 30 years.
Also, it's always possible they could wait until Sting is finished with TNA Wrestling in order to induct him into the WWE Hall of Fame, but Vince McMahon seemed quite eager last year to enter him in with Sting being the marquee name that he is.
From my knowledge, Sting has no personal heat with McMahon, as the former WCW Heavyweight Champion has always respectfully declined his offers. It's a well-known fact that Vince is reluctant to induct someone who he's had issues with in the past, including the likes of Randy Savage, Bob Backlund and Ultimate Warrior.
Personally, I believe Sting definitely deserves a spot into the WWE Hall of Fame by this point, and making it happen sooner rather than later could draw huge mainstream attention for both companies (more so WWE than TNA Wrestling) if he were to be inducted while still under contract to TNA President Dixie Carter.
Do you believe Sting is worthy of an induction into the WWE Hall of Fame? Do you believe there's a possibility of it happening while he's still employed to TNA Wrestling?
Thanks for reading, Bleachers, and make sure to drop a comment with your answers to these questions and any other thoughts you have regarding the controversial topic. As always, your criticism and overall feedback is greatly appreciated.
Visit my website at Next Era Wrestling as well as my WrestleRant and Spoilers podcasts for more of my thoughts and writings, along with WWE/TNA news, rumors, reviews and more. Follow me on Twitter @SAVE_US_GSM.