Published on July 16th, 2016 | by Joey Finnegan0
STING: ‘Coming to the Land of the Giants’
How the Greatest Wrestler Never to Have Performed for the Company Made his Unlikely Journey to the WWE
From that episode of Monday Night Raw where Stinger, for one time only, held the WWE World Heavyweight Championship above his head, Sting tormented Seth Rollins over the statue he stole (and later destroyed). The end game was Night of Champions 2015, where Seth Rollins wrestled two matches in a double main event. First, he defended his recently won United States Championship against John Cena. The Doctor of Thuganomics picked up the W, taking back his prized US title.
Seth tried to bounce after that, but Mr. Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect got in his way, forcing him to stay and defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Sting. This was a good match, which is forever marred by the fact that it was Sting’s last. It was a Bucklebomb that did it. Seth’s busted it out on who knows how many occasions and didn’t do anything different with Sting than he did with any of the countless other guys he hit it on.
It was a matter of wear and tear. Sting was 56 years-old at Night of Champions 2015. That’s not a normal 56, either. That’s a pro wrestler 56. Keep in mind, the man started his professional wrestling career in 1985. This was 30 years later.
Shortly after the event, WWE.com interviewed Sting to help fans get a handle on what happened to him.
“Were you aware of exactly when your injury occurred during the match?”
STEVE BORDEN (STING):
“Oh, yeah, definitely. Both times into the turnbuckle. First time was like a whiplash. [pause] It’s my fault, bottom line. I know better. The second time, I went up into the air and back toward the turnbuckle like that, I thought, “Well, that’s not going to happen again,” and it did. The second time was worse.”
“At this point, what’s your prognosis, both short-term and long-term?”
“Bottom line, I had tingling, numbness down both arms, all the way to my fingertips. And then, later in the match, I just fell wrong, whatever it was, and this time [the tingling and numbness] went down both arms and into my legs, and I couldn’t feel my legs too well. They just felt like rubber. I don’t know how to describe it. I had to go down on all fours there for a minute, get my composure. I was a little … I was worried.
Long term, well, I’m just going to take care of the short term first and see how the long term might play out.”
Those who saw it know that it was quite a scary incident.
“The referee, the doctor, they’re all in there talking to me: ‘Are you OK? What’s going on? Can you continue? Are you all right? Tell us what’s happening.’ And the whole time, I’m just thinking, ‘Oh, man, not now,’ I mean, I want this to be good, you know? And if it ends up being the last thing I ever do in the ring, I don’t want to go out like this.”
At a time when he should have been worried about his health, all he could think about was delivering for the fans. This injury sparked a conversation about Seth Rollins possibly being reckless, further egged on by Bret Hart’s curmudgeonly comments.
Even Sting harbors no ill will towards Seth Rollins, and certainly never accused him of being reckless.
“How would you describe competing against Seth Rollins?”
“The biggest pleasure. I’m honored. After 30 years and working with some of the best and some of the greatest, [Rollins] is, I’m telling you, he’s got to be the best I’ve ever worked with. I mean, this guy has it. And I think he’s just scratching the surface on what he will do. I’ve never seen somebody as talented. He’s working two [matches] on Raw, two [matches] on the pay-per-view, he’s involved in every other segment and it’s physical. He’s got guys coming from every angle. There’s a lot on his plate. He’s carrying a lot, and he’s handling it. He’s proven he can do it. I’m just glad I had a chance to work with him. He’s the kind of guy who could be in there with a broomstick and make something very interesting happen, a match that people would love somehow.”
“That’s incredibly high praise coming from Sting.”
“Really, I can’t say enough. He poked his head in the ambulance and said, ‘Man, I’m so sorry. I don’t know what happened.’ I said, ‘Seth, don’t worry about it. It’s not your fault.’ And he, for 15 minutes, he said, ‘I just wanted to tell you what an honor it was, what a pleasure. I can’t believe I had a chance to get in the ring with you and work with you. I was you for Halloween when I was a kid.’ He was on and on about it, but man, this young guy, he doesn’t have any idea how much I appreciate being able to work with him.”