Sting: I 'Didn't Like the Thought' of Disappearing from Wrestling Before Joining AEW

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 22, 2021

Photo credit: All Elite Wrestling

Sting is savoring the opportunity to craft his own ending to his wrestling career in All Elite Wrestling.

The longtime wrestler told Sports Illustrated's Justin Barrasso returning to Greensboro Coliseum for AEW Dynamite "means the world to me":

"I never thought I’d be back here like this. I thought I was just going to disappear from wrestling, and I didn’t like the thought of that. Then I came to AEW, and originally, we were just going to explore cinematic matches. And I got in the ring. I can still hear Cody [Rhodes] telling me about my kinetic energy and that I could wrestle a match. I was like, ‘Ease up now, Cody.’ Then I heard Darby say, ‘Steve, you can do it.’ This entire stretch, and now coming back to Greensboro, it has all been surreal."

It looked like Sting's career was over when he suffered a spinal injury in a match with Seth Rollins at WWE's Night of Champions pay-per-view in 2015. He announced his retirement while getting inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2016.

Then The Icon shocked wrestling fans when he debuted in AEW last December.

Between his age (62) and the 2015 injury, Sting clearly isn't capable of staging the kind of matches he did in his prime. But AEW has successfully worked around those limitations to show he can remain an entertaining performer.

All of his matches have been of the tag team variety so far, and his first bout was a pretaped cinematic affair at Revolution in March.

Older fans have enjoyed some old-fashioned nostalgia, while younger followers who weren't as familiar with Sting's work got to discover one of the biggest stars of his era.

"Not many people get to rewrite their final chapter, not at this level," he said to Barrasso. "I had great matches at the Greensboro Coliseum with Lex Luger, and now I get to do it with Darby and CM Punk against MJF and FTR. It’s a great way to end my career. The crowd, their appreciation makes me want to tear up. It’s almost as if they don’t want to say goodbye."