Professional wrestling is littered with more than its share of travesties.
The Montreal Screwjob that saw the unceremonious exit of WWE legend Bret "Hitman" Hart was a travesty.
Hollywood star David Arquette winning a world championship, the lineage of which dated back to the Jim Crockett era, was a travesty.
Stephanie McMahon performing the once-defiant crotch chop, that defined an era, while a member of Degeneration-X was a travesty.
Vince McMahon starring in the musical number Stand Back? Travesty.
But among all the far-too-memorable wrestling sore spots synonymous with wrestlecrap fodder, the one travesty that will always slip through the cracks is a tale from 2005 of the first and only time wrestling icons Sting and Shawn Michaels were hosted under the same roof for a wrestling show.
The idea of Sting and Michaels advertised in the same wrestling promotion sounds so epic that one could easily assume that it had to have happened at a WrestleMania, or perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime inter-promotional clash of the titans.
But while this convergence of immortality was certainly one of biblical proportions, those proportions were taken far too literally as the two legends shared their unprecedented affiliation at a glorified Sunday sermon under the guise of a low-rent indy show.
Forget a clash of the titans. This was a crusade of the Christians.
Fans who paid money to be a part of what is now ambiguous history knew they were in for a real rib (pun intended) when the show—a joint production between the predatory Detroit World Outreach and Ted DiBiase's Power Wrestling Alliance—kicked off with a monologue from the painfully clueless Bishop Jack Wallace.
It was the same way RAW would awkwardly stumble out of the gate in the wildly uncomfortable era of the weekly celebrity guest hosts who didn't know or care about wrestling.
The night's main event eventually saw Sting on the receiving end of a beat-down from washed-up worshipers Greg "The Hammer" Valentine and Buff Bagwell.
This led to the much-anticipated appearance from Shawn Michaels that was narrated by the amateur announce team with the same fervor that would be used if Eric Escobar walked to the ring to make the save for an ailing Brooklyn Brawler.
Unfortunately, this was just the beginning of the abomination.
Michaels made his way out of the super church, leaving Sting all alone in the ring. Michaels had not been advertised to wrestle apparently as part of an agreement with WWE, with whom he was still under contract.
Sting would proceed to take the same type of beating John Morrison would take when he was in the WWE doghouse.
Several demon-like, teenage-looking thugs with red face paint ambushed Sting like a school of piranhas before haphazardly wrapping chains around his wrists and feet.
At this point, Passion of the Sting was very real as the otherwise impotent announce team begun logically inquiring of the whereabouts of featured stars Road Warrior Animal and, yes, the cameo-minded Shawn Michaels.
Just when all hope seemed to be lost, who would finally come to save Sting but Bishop Jack Wallace himself.
Typical bookers. Always putting themselves over. Maybe the old Bishop knew more about wrestling than what met the eye.
Being a pro wrestling fan requires the suspension of disbelief, but to buy into the fact that a pack of thugs can effortlessly dismember a 250-pound, world-class athlete while scurrying in fear at the sight of a middle-aged Bishop is—at the very least—pushing it.
With Detroit World Outreach staying true to form, the minute the story started to fall apart, or things get a little too hairy or heinous for their own good, an otherwise literal scripture is to be conveniently contextualized as a metaphor.
And with that, a wrestling show had successfully made the sloppy transition from second-rate spectacle to silly spiritual allegory.
Sting would be mercifully saved by a grown man wearing a terrycloth robe who appeared to be one month late for Halloween and one year late for an audition already won by Jim Caviezel.
The Christian wrestlers featured on the show went on to share their stories of faith with onlooking zealots as Bishop Wallace could almost be heard thanking the lord for helping him draw several hundred more sheep to the celestial barnyard with three letters.
No, not HBK, but G-O-D.