Reported Delays in Sting Signing with WWE Lessens the Impact of Potential Debut

09 Oct 2000:  Sting celebrates after defeating Mike Sanders after their bout at the World Chamionship Wrestling ''Thunder Down Under'' night at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, Sydney, Australia. Mandatory Credit: Scott Barbour/ALLSPORT
Scott Barbour/Getty Images
David BixenspanFeatured ColumnistMay 22, 2014

For months now, ever since Sting left TNA, it's been seen as an inevitability that he will somehow wind up with WWE.  

At the very least, he's gotten as far as doing talking-head interviews for WWE Network, which is certainly progress.  Still, it looks like he hasn't signed anything resembling a talent contract, and the latest report on the topic indicates that negotiations may have hit a snag.

According to the newest issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Marc Middleton of WrestlingInc.com), Sting's signing was considered "imminent" around WrestleMania, but "now that it still hasn’t happened, the feeling is that imminent is no longer the word."  

This is not the first time he's come close to a deal, as several years ago WWE was under the impression he had agreed to a deal for 100 dates, but he ended up signing with TNA.

There's an argument that this isn't that big a deal in that it doesn't make much sense to have his first WWE match ever be at a show that isn't WrestleMania.  If Sting hasn't completely walked away from negotiating, then it's not the end of the world that he's taking his time on making a deal.  Obviously it all depends on the how and why of this taking so long, but it could be much worse for WWE.

Still, this is a deal that seemingly went from seeing Sting debut on WrestleMania weekend to having no time frame in sight.  

Sting is now 55 years old.  He's been working simple, shortcut-heavy matches for the last few years, a noticeable change from his first few years in TNA, when he still had a lot of his trademark leaping ability.  There are probably realistic expectations for whatever dream matches people have in mind for him, especially since The Undertaker, the most commonly mentioned opponent, showed at WrestleMania that he has nothing left in the ring.

There's not a lot of time left for this to happen and mean as much as it should.  Yes, as more younger fans get WWE Network, they may develop their own desire to see him in WWE, but the guy on the network in the great matches with Vader, Ric Flair, The Great Muta, Rick Rude and so on is not the guy who would be wrestling in WWE.  Sting's a lot older, a lot more broken-down and needs the right costume and/or long training period to look like people will expect him to look.

The worst thing that could happen for all involved is for Sting to sign without much time to prepare and show up out of shape.  If he were to come back and look old, he'd be better off not coming back.  It's better to preserve the mystique, which is why it's probably a good thing that Vince McMahon made the call to end The Undertaker's streak this year.

As a WCW fan, seeing Sting wrestle in WWE one time would be cool, but it has to be under the right circumstances, and the clock is ticking.

David Bixenspan is the lead writer of Figure Four Weekly. Some of his work can be seen in Fighting Spirit Magazine.

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