If you don’t follow Jim Ross’s blogs and Q&As, you should. You can learn a lot from a very bright man with amazing insights in the business of pro wrestling. If you do, then you know that Jim and I (along with a few others) have gone back and forth over the past few weeks discussing what should be done with Sting if he signs with WWE. JR would like to see Sting face Taker in one match at WrestleMania 31 in what would be billed as the retirement match for both men. I would like to see Sting in a series of matches that culminates with him facing Taker at WrestleMania. Jim makes some very good points, and I think I do as well, so let’s see what you think.
For those who may not know, JR has made his living in the wrestling business for the past 40 years doing far more than just commentary. He has worked with some of the best promoters in the business and has held just about every role including a very successful run heading WWE’s talent relations department. He signed some of the biggest names in the business, and his work has generated hundreds of millions of dollars. Therefore, it is no surprise that he looks at the situation from the perspective of how to best monetize Sting’s return. How many WWE Network subscriptions could be sold if Sting only had one match? Imagine the buildup to the Icon versus the Phenom for one night only, and you will never see either man in the ring again? The money would be insane.
JR’s second point hinges on the fact that most people who have followed wrestling for a while know of Sting’s legacy. Therefore, Sting doesn’t really need to wrestle a bunch of matches to establish himself. JR argues that he could work one match to have his bucket list WrestleMania moment and then ride off into the sunset as a happy man.
On the contrary, I have never made my living in the wrestling business, but I have been a fan for a long time. Sting has been one of my favorites from the start. I still have my Sting shirt from the late 80’s or early 90’s with his neon outfits and spiked bleach blond hair. It is from his early days in the NWA/WCW. As a die-hard Sting fan, I also have two reasons for wanting to see Sting in a series of matches.
First, I want to see Sting face Taker at WrestleMania. Sting has made no secret of the fact that he wants to face Taker at WrestleMania. However, I also have immense respect for the Undertaker, and I can’t imagine a scenario where he loses again on the biggest stage. Frankly, I didn’t think he should have lost the first time. That being said, I can’t wrap my mind around the idea of Sting having only one match in WWE and losing. I agree that, in the grand scheme of things, wins and losses in the fictional world of pro wrestling are not really relevant. Still, when we are talking about Sting, and him having only one match with WWE, I would want it to be a win. By having a series of matches, Sting and Taker could have the match of the decade and Sting could put Taker over.
My second argument is that WWE could create a “bucket list” worthy experience for both the fans and talents with a series of matches. My booking would be that Sting is coming back, and a pantheon of top WWE talents want to have their shot at wrestling one of most iconic men ever to lace up a pair of boots. I am not talking about a bunch of nonsense squash jobber matches. I am talking about 6 or 8 matches mostly on PPV (possibly one or two on RAW) where guys like Cena, Orton, and Bryan get to climb in the ring with Sting. A chance to work with him could even draw Punk back into the fold. All of them try, some get very close, but no one can manage to beat him. I am talking about giving them 20 minutes or more per match to tell a compelling story. Then, it all culminates at Mania in a match for the ages where Taker gets to be the one man who finally pins the Icon.
I can actually see it happening so that Sting has his first match at Wrestlemania 31 in his home state of California, and it all culminates, as JR points wants, in a double retirement match at WrestleMania 32 in Taker’s home state of Texas in front of over 100,000 screaming fans. As a passionate fan of both men, I can’t imagine...