John Cena and Sting can safely be considered pro wrestling superheroes.
Cena’s description as a superhero is interchangeable as either a term of endearment or a cynical barb.
His miraculous recovery from neck surgery in 2008 was nothing short of superhuman. That type of lingo was liberally thrown around by wrestling personalities during a recent episode of WWE Countdown.
For his efforts, fans voted Cena’s surprising return during the 2008 Royal Rumble as the No. 1 comeback of all time.
But just as his 2008 comeback was widely admired, Cena’s patented comebacks during wrestling matches—often dubbed the five moves of doom by his detractors—have earned him the facetious title of Super Cena.
Haine (@HaineTheHero) July 15, 2014
Im planning on not watching WWE until Summerslam passes, i don't feel like watching Super Cena beating the odds like he does everytime.— Chase Ziggler (@chaseziggle) July 16, 2014
@ChicagoRAWcrowd straightforward. SuperCena will "overcome the odds" once again.. -BARF-— ▼The Lunatic Fridge (@IconOkie) July 15, 2014
Sting’s brand of heroism is a bit more subtle, especially in WWE lore. It’s already enough that Sting spent the second half of his wrestling career as a dark, mysterious incarnation inspired by The Crow.
But Sting’s career-long absence from any form of live WWE programming has earned him an even higher level of mystique, similar to that of Batman.
Among several noteworthy segments during a busy episode of Raw, perhaps the most noteworthy segment occurred during a trailer which advertised Sting as a playable character in WWE 2K15. This was the closest thing to a Sting WWE debut ever.
It was so believable, in fact, fans in attendance reacted as if Sting had descended from the rafters into the Richmond Coliseum in Virginia (the site of the July 14 Raw).
Audio from the event remained on to reveal loud cheers once Sting was shown on camera. Cheers were soon drowned out by boos once fans realized this was merely a commercial, announcing an October release of the video game franchise.
Should the eternal ink on Sting’s ambiguous contract finally dry, he may arrive in WWE sooner than later.
Amid significant financial losses, a disappointing initial subscription count and a looming deadline for renewals, WWE is selling the WWE Network harder than Dolph Ziggler sells everything.
I rewatched Raw to count the number of times WWE Network was mentioned, but I couldn't count that high.
The WWE Network launched in February of this year, so the time frame to keep in mind is September 2014, when initial subscribers may opt out of their six-month commitment.
As a result, Night of Champions, WWE's September pay-per-view, figures to be loaded with an All-Star-laden supercard—almost daring fans to pass up WWE’s on-demand service.
The September 21 PPV is just one month from the release of WWE 2K15. As the game’s headline character, Sting’s presence on that card in any capacity will both promote the video game and help draw subscribers looking to witness a once-in-a-lifetime moment.
Who is the most ideal opponent for Sting?
WWE has already foreshadowed the looming arrival of Brock Lesnar, whom Paul Heyman seemed to subtly tease as a potential plan C for The Authority on Raw.
Should Cena eventually lose the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to Lesnar at SummerSlam, an event to be held in August, he’ll be free to perform as a special attraction in a blockbuster match against Sting.
Cena’s mastery of WWE’s main event wrestling style gives him the ability to work a strong match with talents ranging from CM Punk to The Great Khali.
The Cena-Khali main event at Judgment Day in 2007 was described by Wade Keller of PWTorch.com as “a satisfying main event for many WWE fans who ordered the show to see this match.”
Cena can still take the majority of bumps in a match when needed, and his standard pace (not too quick but quick enough to be considered athletic for his size—6'1, 251 pounds) will be perfect for Sting in his twilight.
Some feel the built-in dream match lies between Sting and The Undertaker. This includes Sting himself, who recently told Rob Leigh of The Mirror:
I've made it clear I'd love to have one last hurrah, one last big match hopefully. And of course I've been outspoken about Undertaker being the opponent
Following a severe concussion, among other surgically repaired ailments, Undertaker is not a suitable opponent for a grizzled Sting, let alone anybody.
Despite having the better part of a year to rest his body for WrestleMania XXX, Taker's body still broke down during his match against Lesnar. His shocking WrestleMania loss quite possibly signaled the end.
And while Sting himself is near the end, he came out of his final TNA match against Magnus (from January of this year) injury free. He was bullish about his chances of making a WWE in-ring debut, which is almost 30 years in the making.
Said Sting during the aforementioned interview with The Mirror, "I'm all for it."
At 55 years old, Sting is the same age as Batman in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns comic book miniseries.
During that story arc, an aging Caped Crusader returned to the line of duty. His defining vigilantism eventually created a conflict with none other than Superman, who at that point was entrenched as an agent of the United States government.
A classic battle ensued. And the Sting-Cena template was born.