By September 2021, it will mark six years since Sting suffered what many fans thought was a career-ending injury during his match against Seth Rollins at WWE Night of Champions 2015. It was not only sad to see “The Icon” hurt to the point where he struggled to get to his feet, but it also made me think of how underwhelming his stint in WWE was.
Like many big WCW names at the time, Sting is a huge name that WWE should’ve brought in shortly after the company purchased the Atlanta-based promotion in 2001. He instead spent almost a decade with TNA Wrestling. The closest for former WCW and TNA World Heavyweight Champion had come to joining WWE before 2014 was in 2011 and I recently looked back at that weird period. By the time he came to WWE in 2014, it was a decade too late. Now Sting is part of All Elite Wrestling (AEW).
I was not thrilled to see the WWE Hall of Famer make his AEW debut. On the contrary, I was puzzled as to why he was signed in the first place. However, I did not complain about it since I didn’t do the same when Goldberg returned to WWE a few years ago. It would make me look like a hypocrite if I criticize Sting for being in AEW but not Goldberg in WWE. But there is a huge difference between the two: Goldberg did not have a career-ending injury and Sting did.
Is Sting’s in-ring return worth the injury risk?
With all that said, would I want to see the WCW legend in a normal match on AEW television or pay-per-view?
The answer is no.
I am okay with Sting doing cinematic-style matches, as they can be edited to look good after the match is shot. But as far as a normal match goes, I have no interest in seeing a 61-year-old man with neck issues return to the ring for one more round like it is the Old Timers Day at Citi Field. Watching Sting take a powerbomb from Brian Cage on AEW Dynamite made me cringe knowing that he has a bad neck.
I have no business telling anyone what to do and what not to do as it is up to the wrestler’s discretion. But it still left a bad taste in my mouth. Sure, it may be “best for the business” in Sting’s mind, but did he need to take this bump on free television? AEW should have saved that moment for a PPV from a booking standpoint, regardless of how I felt about the spot.
The word going around is that Sting might have matches against Chris Jericho and Cody Rhodes in the near future. And guess what? Both Jericho and Rhodes will have to carry Sting for the whole match. All of which I do not want to see happen. Sting should just be an on-screen manager/mentor at this point in his career with an occasional cinematic match that keeps him from being exposed. That is all I would want from Sting in AEW instead of him risking a worse injury than the one he sustained in 2015.