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Here we are three days from WrestleMania and fans are getting more excited every day. The show is filled with huge names, big matches, and then there is Sting. How do you even categorize a moment you believed never could happen. I guess you don’t, and if you are anything like me you sit back as a fan and watch it play out, and smile from ear to ear like you are twelve again.
For me when Sting decided not to go to WWE in 2001 it felt like wrestling lost an important piece. The world of wrestling moved on but fans never forgot Sting. Sting made a few appearances for World Wrestling All-Stars from 2002-2003 but nothing that American fans really got to see. Then on June 18 2003 Sting returned to the American wrestling scene with the second largest North American company TNA. His debut most certainly didn’t compare to his WWE debut but it was still great to see him back in the ring. For the next 13 years this would be Stings home and the only place to see the “Icon”. Feelings for TNA set aside Sting gave his talent, and body which helped TNA grow as a company. Since his WWE debut it seems his time in TNA has been forgotten. Sting will be in WWE a very short time so this makes me wonder will his legacy in TNA be greater than the one he leaves in WWE.
Sting was 45 upon his arrival at TNA hardly in the youth of his career. What he did have was years of experience and passion for the sport. Sting had many forgettable moments and matches in TNA. But ask Christian, Eric young, Matt Morgan, A.J. Styles, or Samoa Joe if their time in a ring with Sting was forgettable. A good A.J. Styles match would be a great one with Sting because he not only wrestled in TNA he mentored and taught. Ask Jeff Hardy about Stings influence on his career.
Jeff stated in an interview with Alternative Nation in 2014 Sting was a big influence in his career. No one will ever forget the “88” second match at Victory Road in 2011. This was considered by many to be the night Jeff Hardy hit rock bottom. He was clearly in no condition to wrestle and after the match was sent home by TNA. After the match Sting showed his true emotion expressing his displeasure loudly for the cameras to pick up. This was one of the first times I could remember Sting losing his cool in front of the camera. Sting shared his own demons with Jeff and mentored him back to the Jeff hardy we see today. Sting touched on this in an interview with Wrestle Talk TV in which he also shares how proud he is of Jeff. Being an influence in Jeff’s life is only one small thing accomplished in TNA. He was a constant to the younger wrestlers. Would we have the same A.J. Styles, Bobby Roode, and James Storm if we hadn’t had Sting? I would guess probably not. You do not remove a person like Sting from your company and still have the same company.
I am not suggesting we refer to sting as a TNA Superstar. To me he will always be the WCW Sting and I think even as he enters the WWE world we still see WCW sting. Sting will have one maybe two matches in WWE but it will complete the circle for most of us. What I am asking is we do not look upon 13 years of his career as a black cloud. Sting accomplished more in TNA then many wrestlers accomplish anywhere. He is the first member of the TNA Hall of Fame rightfully so. Secondly if you want to see what Sting embodies as a wrestler Watch Sting vs. Kurt Angle from Bound for Glory 2007. That match will show you why a piece of Sting will always be considered a TNA Wrestler.