Sting had been the franchise of WCW since the beginning when Turner bought the company from Jim Crockett Promotions in 1988. He was the loyalist for the promotion for so many years. Sting started to establish himself and find success during his run with WCW especially during the 1990s. He was in the ring with some of the greatest wrestlers of all-time. The veteran of the ring learned so much knowledge from stars such as Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Dusty Rhodes and a list of who’s who in the business.
I said all of that because you may ask what’s this have to do with Sting and AEW now? Here’s why Sting fits their brand and what they want to accomplish as a wrestling company. I referenced history going back to Sting’s relationship with Turner and having that platform to be such a polarizing star for WCW during the Monday night wars when WCW Nitro competed against WWF Raw at the time for ratings. Sting was one of the catalysts for the success along with the NWO in helping Nitro defeat Raw for an historic consecutive 83 weeks. So it only seems fitting for the wrestling icon to sign with AEW. The significance of Sting returning to wrestling on TNT. Dusty Rhodes believed in Sting and wanted to push him into superstardom in WCW. We already see Dusty’s sons in AEW, in fact, Cody is one of the EVP’s for the Tony Khan run company. Dustin Rhodes is also competing for them. If fans can remember there was a time when Dustin and Sting teamed up a lot in WCW. Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard were members of the 4- Horsemen; they were storyline enemies of Sting and Jake “The Snake” Roberts had been a nemesis of Sting during his run with WCW.
All the facts I just mentioned is why for me the move to have a legend like Sting come in makes sense to sign with the rival promotion AEW as opposed to WWE. Why the Sting and WWE relationship and long-awaited run did not work out as everyone had hoped? Many ways one can look at the different scenarios in regards to why but most of Sting’s career did not work with WWE. He was never Vince McMahon’s guy. Sting acknowledged all the conversations he had with Vince were good and positive. But let’s go back to when WCW was bought by McMahon’s WWE in 2001. Sting, along with several other top WCW stars had contracts from Turner which WWE could not acquire at the time. I am honest, and I don’t blame them for not going to WWE, they continued to make even more money without having to wrestle. When the opportunity came for Sting to finally go to WWF/WWE he chose not to and instead he signed with TNA Impact. To some that might have been a mistake on Sting’s part to not going to wrestle for the WWE. Sting conducted interviews where he made it very clear how he watched what WWE was doing with WCW top talents like Booker T. and he felt they would use him more to be embarrassed after treatment of the guys he knew that went from WCW, he simply could not trust WWE.
Sting found his niche in TNA working with top stars such as AJ Styles, Abyss, and Jeff Jarrett and when Kurt Angle came over to wrestle for the promotion. Sting also had a history with the Jarrett Family in Tennessee, as he and Jim Hellwig (The Ultimate Warrior) were a tag-team known as The Blade Runners. Memphis was their first big break. After 14 long years, Sting finally debuted in the WWE at the 2014 Survivor Series to a tremendous reaction from the fans. He and Triple H faced off in the ring, Sting kicked him and Scorpion Death Dropped the Game. The booking seemed to be going well for Sting, until his first and only WrestleMania Match at WrestleMania 31, where he lost to Triple H in a match. Then unfortunately got injured wrestling Seth Rollins at Night of the Champions PPV. Sting would only appear at Ric Flair’s Birthday Celebration at Raw back in 2019. Then his WWE contract expired with the company. Then the date was December 2nd, 2020 and AEW Dynamite on TNT the show’s theme was “Winter is Coming.” Little did wrestling fans know or even realize Sting would make his debut for AEW that night. He shocked the wrestling world by appearing in Jacksonville, Florida and staring down Arn Anderson, Cody Rhodes, Dustin Rhodes, and Darby Allin. I believe Sting will be utilized as a mentor to Darby Allin. AEW seems like the right fit because they value Sting, and treat him like the icon he is. Sting revealed how unhappy he was with WWE and wanted the match with Undertaker. Things just fell through during his run with WWE and it left many fans disappointed. I’m afraid Sting was correct in how he would be mismanaged in WWE, there were positives such as Sting debuting, having his WrestleMania moment, and going into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2016. But now Sting has a chance to go out on his terms by signing with the new wrestling promotion AEW.