He went so far as to say that he wanted to turn heel against the Stinger at the peak of Hulkamania because he believed Sting could have taken the company to even bigger heights.
Fighting Spirit Magazine has published a lengthy interview with the Hulkster. In that interview, he dropped the news about how he wanted to see Sting inside a WWE ring nearly 16 years ago. In the interview, Hogan says:
I have unbelievable respect for Sting - he doesn’t realise how good he really is...Sting should have already had his New York (WWE) run. I’ll tell you something; when I got red-hot after WrestleMania III, I was begging Vince to get Sting in the WWF so I could turn heel at some point. He had the blond hair, he was 10 times more athletic than me, and I believed this guy could have the same run as Hulkamania, but take it 10 times bigger. I was telling Vince (McMahon), ‘Let me get this guy over’, because after beating Andre, if they’d brought Sting in and had him beat me, it would have made him this tall (gestures with his hand above his head).
But Sting wouldn’t come; we tried and tried, but he just would not jump. Vince even talked to him last year, but still Sting wouldn’t go.
We all know how history played out. Hogan stayed a face and became what WWE.com says is the most recognized wrestler in sports entertainment. He won six WWE championships and became the first man to win the Royal Rumble twice.
Things didn't turn out bad for Sting after he decided to stay in the NWA and later, WCW. As said by WWE.com, he went on to become the backbone of WCW. He racked up many titles in the Atlanta-based company, including six NWA/WCW world titles.
But imagine how things would have played out had he taken WWE's offer to come up north. There would have been no continued feud with Andre the Giant for Hogan. Sting would never have battled Ric Flair at the first Clash of the Champions to a 45-minute draw.
In 1987 after WrestleMania III, Sting had yet to debut with WCW—that would come in June. But he had made a name for himself in the independent organizations. He was well-known as a member of The Blade Runners with his partner Jim Hellwig, who would go on to become The Ultimate Warrior. (Wrestling Timeline: Sting. The Wrestler/Inside Wrestling (Kappa Publications). 2007-06. pp. 66–71. Volume 15, 2007.)
How would the WWE have handled the hot rookie? Sting would have fit perfectly in the cartoon WWE of the late '80s. His inoffensive look and demeanor made him action-figure and ice-cream-bar ready.
If Hogan did beg McMahon to bring him, for the sole purpose of turning heel, Sting would have been thrown right into the mix. After a squash match or two, the interaction with Hogan would have begun.
The storyline may have played that, they started as friends, but Hogan grew jealous of the athletic newcomer, fearful that he may take away his championship.
In early '87 there was only WrestleMania, but the first Survivor Series debuted in the fall. Partners on the same team at the event, the two would begin to butt heads. At the inaugural Royal Rumble in '88, an altercation between the two would have turned Hogan heel.
This in turn set up their colossal matchup at WrestleMania IV.
It's a fun storyline to imagine.
A pre-WCW Sting in the WWE would indeed have changed the company as we know it. Would Hogan have been able to recover from a heel turn at the height of Hulkamania and win so many championships? Would Sting have eclipsed Hogan, as Hogan claimed in the interview?
The answers are no and yes. Hogan in the '80s was built as the ultimate hero. It was that security in knowing he would never turn bad that helped soar his popularity. Sting would have done in the WWE what he did in WCW: excite the crowd and become the top babyface.
What a WWE that would have been.