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Sting Will Be Inducted into 2016 WWE Hall of Fame

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 11, 2016

WWE Superstar Sting makes his first ever WrestleMania appearance at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday, March 29, 2015 in Santa Clara, CA. WrestleMania broke the Levi’s Stadium attendance record at 76,976 fans from all 50 states and 40 countries. (Don Feria/AP Images for WWE)
Don Feria/Associated Press

Sting will take his place among professional wrestling's biggest legends on April 2, WWE announced Monday: 

WWE @WWE

Congratulations to @Sting, @WWE #HallOfFame Class of 2016 Inductee! Details: https://t.co/zvGvBSVQMC https://t.co/gnMOHTLw0y

The former WCW stalwart is the first inductee in the 2016 class for the WWE Hall of Fame. Sting provided a brief statement on Twitter:

Sting @Sting

Well it's official - I have accepted the invitation to be inducted into the WWE HOF! HONORED!!!!

"We are truly honored to have Sting take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame," Triple H said, per Bobby Melok of WWE.com. "His contributions to our industry are unprecedented, and we look forward to celebrating his incredible career with fans all over the world."

Triple H and Dolph Ziggler were among those to congratulate The Icon on social media:

Triple H @TripleH

A moment decades in the making…a career of true accomplishment. Welcome @Sting to the #WWEHOF #WrestleMania https://t.co/igQAbOZScr

Dolph Ziggler @HEELZiggler

the icon sting, helped me & the wwe. He finally gets what's his! Congrats, brother! "Come on, STINGER!" #WWEHOF #WrestleMania

This honor is long overdue for the nine-time WCW/NWA world champion. Once he made his first appearance in WWE during Survivor Series 2014, his induction was only a matter of time.

The number of world and United States title reigns doesn't go far enough to properly describe Sting's legacy in the ring. His feuds with Rick Rude, Ric Flair and Vader are some of the best of the 1990s, and no story was better than Sting's battle with the nWo over the course of 1996 and 1997:

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His move to WWE allowed a new generation of fans to fully appreciate his contributions to professional wrestling:

The Hall of Fame induction this spring could be Sting's first on-screen involvement with WWE since his defeat to Seth Rollins at Night of Champions last September. In that match, Sting suffered a serious neck injury that required surgery.

"I've got two spots in my neck that are troublesome. I guess it's called cervical spinal stenosis," Sting said in an interview on Flair's Wooooo! Nation podcast (via Sean Ross Sapp of WrestlingInc.com). "That's what it is. I have two areas in my neck where the spinal canal, which holds the spinal cord, it's kind of choked off in two different locations."

In an interview with WWE.com's Greg Adkins, Sting was unable to say whether his match with Rollins would be his last in a WWE ring: "I hate it when I'm asked that question because the answer truly is a question mark. The question mark is as bold as it could ever be at this point."

No Superstar is more deserving of a call to the WWE Hall of Fame than Sting, and if his in-ring career is over, at least fans got to see him finally wrestle under the WWE banner before he hung up his boots.

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