From The Main Event Into “Obscurity”: The Man They Call Sting


Brian Damage

This past Sunday WCW icon Sting made his Wrestlemania debut in a losing affair to Triple H. The next day Vince McMahon was quoted talking about taking sting from obscurity. Was this a shot at TNA or a slight on Sting? That’s the subject of this piece from Brian.

Vince McMahon:“We took someone (Sting) from obscurity and developed that character and made it important.” “Sting went from obscurity to a main event of WrestleMania.”

The definition of Obscurity: The state of being unknown, inconspicuous, or unimportant.

When Vince McMahon uttered that word pertaining to Sting on a post Wrestlemania conference call, many wrestling fans worldwide set social media ablaze. Sting and the word obscurity are hardly things that go together. Steve Borden aka Sting has been in pro wrestling for nearly 30 years. A man who has wrestled all over the world and held variations of a world title 14 times. A top star for the NWA, WCW and TNA.


A man trained to wrestle by Rick Bassman and Red Bastien.


Wrestled through the territory systems in the 1980’s with another youngster named Jim Hellwig, the future Ultimate Warrior.


A man who learned ring psychology from one of the very best in Eddie Gilbert…


The same man who went to a 45 minute time limit draw with Ric Flair and quickly ascended to the company’s top face.


Sting won every major title and almost every single accolade that the NWA/WCW had to offer. From the TV title, the U.S. title, the tag team titles, A Crockett Cup, and of course the World Heavyweight belt. These achievements in itself made Sting into a star…but while winning all those titles were great…it still wasn’t his biggest accomplishment.

While easily WCW’s most recognizable face for years…Sting had a huge hand in the Monday Night Wars of the 1990’s and was a major force in WCW’s renaissance. Many would say and deservedly so…that the birth of the nWo is what shifted the balance of power from the WWF to WCW in ratings. The New World Order gets the lion’s share of credit for the huge ratings surge….but it was the creation of the “Crow” Sting that helped the storyline go from great to excellent.


Sting didn’t have to wrestle a match or cut a huge promo…he just changed his look to a more darker, mysterious character and appeared randomly in the months ahead. The mystique grew to such epic proportions that when he finally spoke his first words in a year and said to Hulk Hogan…”You’re a dead man” it was an event in itself. The New World Order probably would have fizzled out a lot quicker if it didn’t have such a perfect foil in Sting for all those months.


It was no coincidence that the very last match of WCW’s Monday Nitro was Ric Flair versus Sting…the two most recognizable faces of WCW. We can say what we want of WCW especially during its final years…but there is no denying the star power that company had with the likes of Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, DDP, Goldberg etc….and yet Sting was still the top recognizable face of the company.


So when Vince made his comments pertaining to the character of Sting….was he taking a shot at Sting himself or the years after Sting left WCW? The years in which he became a champion for the World Wrestling All Stars in Australia? The years he helped build TNA up into a second national promotion?

It really does make people wonder if Vince McMahon has lost touch with reality or if he truly believes he saved Sting from obscurity? Did Vince feel the same way when he brought in Ric Flair for the first time in 1991? Did he think the Road Warriors didn’t exist to fans before they made their WWF debut in 1990? Kerry Von Erich in 1990?


I’ll be the first one to admit that I really wanted Sting to have that one Wrestlemania moment in his illustrious career. Not because he was irrelevant, but because he deserved to bow out in front of 70,000 plus in a stadium instead of 200 plus in a TV studio. With that said though, if Sting had decided to call it quits without ever wrestling in the WWE and never having that ‘mania moment…Sting would still be anything but obscure.


2 thoughts on “From The Main Event Into “Obscurity”: The Man They Call Sting

  1. He didn’t create Sting, he altered others that came in, Helwig, Steve Keirn, gave others goofy names but he couldn’t mess with Sting and it irked him that someone was a bigger star before McIdiot got his hands on him…pathetic.


  2. Is anyone really surprised that Vince McMahon would say something so ridiculous at this point? The man gets pissed off at the fact that he cannot control his own sneezes for Christ’s sake! To be fair, TNA is basically the equivalent of the witness protection program for wrestlers. But for him to genuinely think that he has risen Sting out of “obscurity” is beyond absurd.


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