Should Sting’s WWE Career Have Ended at WrestleMania 31?


As he enters the WWE Hall of Fame, we look at the legacy of Sting in the WWE.

After a career spanning almost thirty years inside the ring, there was only one thing that Sting had not achieved. Despite all the title wins, all the accolades and all the great matches along the way he had never set foot in a WWE ring. For years, he was one of the biggest stars in the rival company, WCW. When WCW ended he was one of the few big names not picked up by the WWF and his contract ran out in 2002. He spent the next twelve or so years in the rings of TNA, adding to a legendary career spent in WCW.

In early 2014, Sting made his first non-archive appearance on a WWE programme when he took part in a tribute to his former tag team partner Ultimate Warrior, who had died not long before. Following that a “Best of Sting” DVD set was announced, he was a character in the WWE 2K15 video game and then had his first WWE action figure released. At Survivor Series 2014 he made his first WWE in-ring appearance, attacking Triple H to cost Team Authority the win in a match to determine who would be in control of the company. After becoming a thorn in the side of Triple H and The Authority for some time a match between the pair was announced for WrestleMania 31.

More wwe: WrestleMania 32 Card Projections 9.0

More from WrestleMania

The match was somewhat of a dream match, or it would have been if it had happened at the height of the Monday Night Wars. It came down to Degeneration X interfering on behalf of Triple H, and the NWO backing up Sting (despite him being their foe for the majority of his life in WCW). After losing the match, Sting shook hands with Triple H. If that had been the end of his in-ring appearances for the WWE I think the majority of fans would have been more than happy. A few months later, though, he came back and eventually faced WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins for the title at Night of Champions. During that match, he suffered an injury, later reported to be cervical spinal stenosis, something the Sting himself said he was lucky that “a catastrophe didn’t happen” from. He lost the match with Rollins but was lucky to walk out of the ring.

In early Jan., it was announced on Raw that Sting would be the first inductee into the 2016 WWE Hall of Fame class, becoming only the second active WWE roster member, after Ric Flair, to be inducted. If Sting’s only in ring WWE appearance had been that match with Triple H at WrestleMania 31, he could have walked away as a happy man. Long time fans would have been glad that Sting got to have a match on the grandest stage of them all at WrestleMania. It’s massively unfortunate that he suffered such a serious injury during the match with Rollins, something that nobody could ever have foreseen or predicted.

More from Daily DDT

With the benefit of hindsight it’s easy to say that Sting should have made that match with Triple H his last, but even given his age he has/had a lot to offer the young stars of the WWE roster. The match with Rollins was an example of a legend using his years of experience and fame to help a younger guy on the roster. Put into a similar role as The Undertaker now has, with sporadic appearances and big match atmosphere that Sting could offer would be a great way to build up new stars.

The match at WrestleMania, as well as the other appearances on Raw and at Night of Champions, were the perfect way to bring a legend like Sting into the WWE family. Even if the surgery he had to have after the match with Rollins signals the end of his tenure as an in-ring performer, Sting can still offer a lot to WWE. His inclusion in the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2016 doesn’t have to be the end of his role in the company.

Related Story: Sting to Be Inducted into WWE Hall of Fame 2016 Class

A man like Sting can use his legend status to help push the company, build new stars and help to put WWE back into the minds of lapsed wrestling fans around the world. The mere mention of his name brings back so many amazing memories, this could just be the start of a new chapter for the man that WWE calls “The Vigilante”.