SPOILER FOR ANY TNA VIEWERS
As the majority of Internet Wrestling Community (IWC) fans will know by now, there was a great deal of speculation flying around about the "Icon" Sting finally joining the WWE on 21/2/11 after a series of cryptic video promos were attributed to him by many.
As fate would have it, though, Sting has re-signed with TNA and is now their new world champion. Since then, there has been some debate amongst Bleacher readers saying that he either is wasting away his career in TNA and others say he would be selling out by finally joining Vince McMahon and crew.
Seeing how this is one of the more interesting discussions on the site for a while, I thought I would offer my opinion on the matter.
WWE is a multi-million pound/dollar/yen international company. TNA is a much smaller and less wealthy promotion which is still young compared to the decades old WWE and that is nobody's fault, these things take time to grow.
Being as rich as it is the WWE could offer Sting a huge sum of money to sign with them and would most likely have him on one of the top salaries in the business. Therefore, many TNA fans may feel that Sting would be selling out for the money he will abandon the promotion which took him in after WCW folded.
Sting is also likely a very wealthy man, having been one of the top stars of WCW and TNA for a very long time.
However, some might argue that Sting would in fact be selling in and that he would be doing the right thing for taking the money. For all we know, Sting may need the money, he may be in a Ric Flair scenario which has drained his finances. Sting also has a family to support, which can't be cheap and with his career winding down a large cash injection by the WWE would almost certainly tide him over for the rest of his life.
For a wrestler Sting is quite old and is approaching his 52nd birthday this March. Most wrestlers have either retired by that age or their body can no longer sustain the heavily packed wrestling schedule (looking at Hogan and Undertaker).
Naturally Sting will want to look out for his health (insurance premiums for a wrestler must be a pain in the ass) and therefore will not want to work the hectic schedule most employees work. TNA, therefore, has him employed on a part-time basis so that he can only make appearances when needed and his wrestling time is limited to key dates, such as PPV's or tag matches where others can carry the majority of the match.
Seeing how TNA hosts the majority of their shows in the Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida, Sting will not have to keep travelling across the country (assuming he lives near Orlando or has a home there) as the WWE stars do so he can spend a lot more time with his family.
In WWE, though, Sting would be required to travel around more, Vince McMahon would most likely give him special transport privileges/use of the private jet so as to tempt him to joining with them, however, he would most likely be away from home a lot more as WWE would probably want to use him to promote his joining with them so to create a nationwide "buzz'" so to speak he may have to do a lengthy promotional tour.
His health coverage would also likely be provided for by the WWE and it is unlikely he would have to work house shows or dark matches very often, he would most likely have a legends contract or a contract like the Undertaker does which limits the dates he has to perform.
Being in the twilight of his career he also will not have that many years left in him so his dates would possibly be further limited to a few upper-card feuds and please, please, please, please a WrestleMania showdown with the Undertaker or someone similar.
By now most of you can tell that I really want Sting to jump to WWE in the future before he retires. With that being said, why should he stay in TNA? He has feuded with the majority of the top stars on the roster, taken part in their never ending procession of stables and held both their top singles and doubles championship.
Since I have been watching TNA (just before the Main Event Mafia disbanded) Sting has been in some quite rubbish story lines, the whole Sting, Nash, Dinero vs Joe and Jarret feud was stupid – why didn't he just reveal who "they" were when he returned?
The creative direction in TNA is shocking at times and there is really no reason for him to see out his career there. Many of you on the site have also expressed a wish for TNA to push younger stars such as AJ Styles and Samoa Joe again so Sting leaving would leave a major vacancy at the top of the card which could be used to elevate another star.
If Sting was to be retired by a member of the roster in a retirement match then the victor would gain a ton of credibility, not to mention an incredible amount of heat!
WWE would most likely have him working with the biggest names in the company, feuds with the likes of Randy Orton and CM Punk would be compelling television and perhaps a feud with a younger star on the verge of breaking into the main event, such as Daniel Bryan, could help to elevate them and a wrestler as skilled as Bryan could definitely carry the majority of the match.
A potential WWE or World Heavyweight title reign may also be on the cards just to show that anyone can make it to the top of the WWE. However, the icing on the cake (Sting cake with icing as the face paint and jam for the bit under the eyes) would be a WrestleMania showdown with the Phenom. This would be one of the biggest matches if not the biggest match in history and wouldn't even have to be a classic, just the presence of both men would be incredible.
How about this:
Sting arrives and is eventually challenged to a match by Orton who claims to be the Legend Killer, hopefully adding some more depth to his character. Sting defeats him and once their feud ends he then gains the WWE title around Hell in a Cell (working an Undertaker schedule, who is currently ending things with Kane and Corre/Nexus).
Around the beginning of the Road to WrestleMania, Undertaker costs Sting the belt and kind of behaves like HBK in 2010 saying that Undertaker is the legend he wants to beat. The story writes itself from here with the past of both men being highlighted and mind games as they build up to a WrestleMania.
Imagine being Sting then. Your first WrestleMania, more than 70,000 people screaming your name, facing perhaps the biggest legend in wrestling history in his yard, cameras flashing wildly, it would be a better experience than anything he will ever have in TNA; and I dare any TNA fan to challenge that.
Sting deserves that WrestleMania moment, potentially more than one with other high profile stars and even if he was added to the Streak, it would still be the pinnacle of his career.
Currently Sting's legacy is great. He is remembered and always will be as one of the top names in wrestling history and has put on great matches and excited the fans and is without a doubt a legend of wrestling.
However, he will always be primarily remembered for having never signed with the WWE and what a shame it was that he never got to face off with the likes of Undertaker, HBK, SCSA and many others. Unfortunately, he may not be remembered as much as other legends as having not performed in the WWE, which is the most viewed wrestling promotion, many fans will never get to see his skills.
Out of the current crop of WWE fans, a significant proportion of them are children and youngsters who on the whole will have no idea who Sting is but will remember the HBKs and HHHs of the WWE. Those who watched Sting during the Monday Night Wars will remember him as he should be but he will not be getting the full respect he deserves from the future generations of wrestling fans.
I myself am in my late teens and only have seen Sting's work in TNA and on YouTube, but only after hearing all the talk about him online, I was only a child when he was working in WCW. Unfortunately, many fans will not hear about him and he will not be in that pantheon of wrestling legends alongside the top WWE superstars.
Joining the WWE would change that. He would be seen as one of the very few men who could rival the Undertaker and other top WWE stars and would then be alongside the legends of the company, Sting would be brought to a whole new international generation of fans, the whole world could see his legend and rightly applaud it.
There would definitely be a Hall of Fame Introduction as well for him and then by finally making a long overdue jump to the WWE could the Stinger, the Crow, finally get the glory he deserves.
To be remembered as the Immortal Icon.... Sting.