Growing up in Ireland I was only ever exposed to the WWF/E product during the Monday Night Wars. I could only ever catch a glimpse of WCW after the Cartoon Network on Sky became TNT at 01:50. This of course only allowed me to catch the main event on Nitro.
There was, however, one man who always seemed to be there every time I flicked over for the final minutes of Nitro. That man was the "Icon" Sting, in all his glory portraying the Crow gimmick.
He was the only thing I liked about WCW, the only action figure from WCW I would even consider spending my pocket money on. I enjoyed 10 minutes of watching Sting punish the unsuspecting members of the N.W.O more than half the mid-card garbage WWF were showing. (Mark Henry + Pensioner + hand springs to mind.)
When Vince broke the news that WWF/E had purchased WCW I couldn't wait for the arrival of Sting. That as we know never happened. Many people like to muse over why the famed "invasion" angle never quite reached its potential. In my opinion it failed because it never pitted the greatest WCW superstar against the icon of the WWF/E.
Sting would eventual team up with TNA and continue wrestling, but the company did not and still does not befit the man! Sting is a legend, an icon and a true superstar. It just doesn't feel right seeing him appear in front of such small crowds and forced to do battle with the likes of an over-the-hill Ric Flair and the bad smell that is "far from" Hollywood Hulk Hogan.
We all know the story behind the Wrestlemania vignettes and the excitement they caused, punctuated further by Sting's own admission that he was very close to joining WWE. I am also aware that Sting has publicly exclaimed that he is happy at TNA and the direction it is going in.
But just think what could have been!? The invasion angle with Sting v. Taker? WM27 with Sting v.Taker? Sting as WWE champion facing off with household names like The Rock, SCSA, John Cena, CM Punk, among others.
Instead he is currently ripping off a gimmick in TNA and leading to a fight with Hogan. I like Sting a lot and respect his decisions but as much as I want to embrace his career as being truly legendary, I feel that his absence from the greatest wrestling promotion of all time hampers that thought.
It has become apparent also that his decision not to compete in a WWE ring may destroy his legacy to future generations. Will the kids in ten years know about John Cena, The Rock or SCSA? Hell Yeah! Will they know of one of the greatest wrestlers never to compete in WWE, the man they called Sting?