Welcome to In Your Head! Wrestling podcast, news and community!
Welcome to In Your Head! Wrestling podcast, news and community!
The time period is late 2005 when the news that the legendary Sting has signed with upstart company TNA. The contract from reports was 1 year for $500,000 which would easily made it the biggest contract in TNA history. This would be the first time Sting was on National TV since the death of WCW in 2001. TNA had just signed Christian Cage from the WWE but Sting seemed to be a huge pick up for the company. Lets face it Sting was a big star from the late 80s to WCW?s death with his popularity peaking during the late 90s. With Sting it seemed like TNA finally had a great veteran to build a young roster around and the Company seemed to be on the right path. However none of that ever happened.
Sting?s arrival in the company was very simple when after the NWA Title Match between Jeff Jarrett and Rhino his trademark bat, boots, and jacket were placed in the ring after the lights went out. This lead to the fans to chant ?What a rip off? after TNA claimed something huge was going to happen. Over the next couple of weeks TNA finally announced that Sting was coming to TNA. However TNA did exactly what many fans didn?t want to see which was a Sting and Jeff Jarrett feud. Jarrett and his army at the time would mock Sting for weeks until TNA?s first PPV of 2006 Final Resolution. Jarrett and Monty Brown took on the new comers of Sting and Christian Cage in tag team action and Sting was able to pin Jeff Jarrett. The crowd that night was hot for Sting and popped throughout the Main Event. This should have been the start to a great run in TNA?s history however it would sadly begin the downfall of Sting.
After Final Resolution many wondered what they were going to do with the Sting Character. Most figured that they place him in a feud with Jarrett however no one saw what they wanted to do coming. TNA booked a storyline where Sting retired after Final Resolution. Why TNA figured this would work is beyond me. First off why would he sign a brand new contract worth $500,000 just to retire 3 weeks later? Then in just a moment of pure stupidity AJ Styles, Sonjay Dutt, and Christian greeted him at the top of the stage to say goodbye even though all 3 wrestlers would have just met the man. To make matters worst Sting?s first Impact appearance saw a major jump in the ratings hitting a record 1.1 for Impact.
So what did TNA do after this? Well they kept Sting off TV for a month and the ratings took a big nose dive. So TNA quickly came up with a plan to bring Sting back on TV which was to take Alex Shelly and his camera around and film Sting in his every day life. So pretty much they showed Sting was a normal guy to the fans. Then right before Destination X Steve Borden not Sting mind you said he was returning to TNA to fight Jarrett and his army. So at Destination X Steve Borden showed up at the end of the show and attacked Jarrett?s army and destroyed everyone in sight. That was until Scott Steiner showed up and destroyed Sting. Where is the problem with this angle you ask? See the problem is very simple they made Sting look human but later in the year continued to try and make him this mysterious character. He was Steve Borden not Sting and that?s where TNA really screwed up.
So the next month TNA builds up to TNA Lockdown with the War Games match between Sting?s Warriors taking on Jarrett?s Army. As predicted Sting?s team won which would lead you to believe he finally go one on one with Jeff Jarrett or Scott Steiner but nope we had to wait for another tag team match. However to make matters worst TNA came up with this awful segment of pick a door to see who Sting?s partner would be. Sting brought out Buff Bagwell, Lex Luger, Rick Steiner, and finally his partner Samoa Joe. The segments were panned by most fans for just the stupidity of them but finally the main event for TNA Sacrifice was set. The match ended as expected with Sting winning once again as Joe pinned Jarrett. So you would think this would once again finally lead to the one on one match between Sting and Jarrett however you are wrong.
They moved into the Slammiversary hyping up the King of the Mountain match which would see 5 Wrestlers go for the NWA Title. Obviously the match continued to focus on the Jeff Jarrett vs. Sting and Christian vs. Abyss feuds. The match however ended with another stupid screw job finish with Jeff Jarrett becoming once again Worlds Heavyweight Champion. However for the next couple of shows fans pelted the ring with garbage when Jeff Jarrett was shown. So then to make sure things were more confusing Jim Cornette aloud Jarrett to keep his title even though it was obviously he cheated to win the title and Cornette hated him. So what TNA do next you ask? They had a number one contender?s fatal four way at their next PPV Victory Road.
One would ask why Christian who was screwed out of his title wasn?t given a rematch but anyway Sting, Christian, Samoa Joe, and Scott Steiner battled for the title match at Hard Justice. During the match TNA did an angle where Jarrett got into the ring and squirted what the announcers called Gasoline into Sting?s eye making him leave the match. However Sting would return wearing a ridiculous amount of bandages around his eye. Anyway Sting finally won the match and he was now the new number one contender for Jeff Jarrett?s title. However it was becoming painfully obvious at this point fans were sick and tired of Sting vs. Jeff Jarrett. Fans were sick and tired of Sting not showing up for Impact but coming in for the Pay Per Views. However he was your new number one contenders.
So the build to Hard Justice was simply Sting wanted to remove the ?cancer? known as Jeff Jarrett from TNA. The second build up for the match was Sting?s corner had Christian Cage and Jarrett?s had Scott Steiner in his. So the match after almost 8 months of build finally happened as Sting took on Jarrett for the NWA Title. However in a typical TNA move Cage turned on Sting and cost him his title match against Jeff Jarrett. So you would think this would lead to a Christian Cage vs. Sting feud. Well obviously if you?re reading this column you know where I?m going with this. They didn?t feud Christian with Sting instead Sting challenged Jeff Jarrett for Bound for Glory. Now Christian on the other hand feuded with Rhino because Christian turned on Sting. Yeah I know that makes no sense.
Anyway Sting challenged Jarrett for Bound for Glory and the match was build up with Career vs. Jarrett?s title. So heading into Bound for Glory Sting was nowhere to be seen as he claimed he needed to get focused for the match. So for the second time in one year Sting took almost two months off with the biggest contract in TNA history. However over the next couple of weeks they played these promos to hype his return that were supposed to be mysterious even though earlier in the year they proved the man was a regular guy many times. However finally we arrived at Bound for Glory and Kurt Angle was added in as the Special Guest Referee. The match ended a 10 month program that probably went 8 months too long and saw Sting finally win the NWA Heavyweight championship. So you would think this finally ends the stupidity of the Sting character. Maybe he wrestles Christian, or Scott Steiner, or Samoa Joe because lets face it all could have some claim to the number one contender?s ship. However being TNA once again the logic wasn?t there.
Sting?s first title defense was against the monster Abyss after he won the worst the tournament in the history of professional wrestling which is saying something. However being TNA Sting was not even on TV for a majority of the because of the tournament happening. So you go into Genesis with Sting vs. Abyss for the NWA Title. Many figured Sting would win but Russo proving once again he doesn?t give a damn about creating credibility he had Sting lose the title. However not by Pinfall or Submission but by Disqualification and your asking how did he lose the title? Well TNA enforced a rule that hasn?t been used in years killing 10 months of building Sting towards the NWA title. Also the match saw Sting go through thumb tacks which is just wrong to me. Don?t forget though Abyss just 2 days before his title match lost to Kurt Angle on National TV.
To make matters worst Vince Russo?s committee came up with a storyline that saw Sting eventually reveal that Abyss shot his father 3 times. Now that storyline is not only worthless and stupid but it did nothing but hurt both Sting and Abyss. So over the next couple of week Christian would finally win the NWA Title back but we still are seeing Sting vs. Abyss feud. Sting has now eliminated the best manager in the business Father Jim Mitchell and wants to turn Abyss good. The final meeting between these two will most likely take place at Destination X then one must wonder what?s next?
The fact of the matter is TNA has blown it with Sting from every aspect. You took a 1.1 rating and ruined it with a stupid retirement angle. You took plenty of easy profitable feuds and wasted them to continue a feud that went months past its point of relevance. TNA you build him up to win the title only to end it with horrible idea that lowered his, Abyss, and the NWA Title?s credibility. It?s just awful to see how bad Sting has been ruined by TNA. Storylines aren?t the only problem either.
Sting?s character in WCW during the late 90s was a mysterious loner while in TNA he?s been turned him into 3 different characters. One week you have him as regular Steve Borden, then you make him crow Sting, then he?s just Sting from 2000. It makes no sense you don?t see WWE having Undertaker come out one week as American Bad Ass and then the Deadman the next week. Also I don?t want to see a legend like Sting going through thumbtacks for no reason. I don?t want to remember Sting for going through thumbtacks. I want to remember him for everything but his TNA career because right now it?s awful.
TNA needs to fix this because they are hurting a once great champion?s career. How do you fix this you ask? First off when you have opportunities to get him in a feud with someone with meaning behind it you strike it while the iron is hot. You use him to elevate the younger stars in the company and you keep him away from stupid storylines and matches because fans don?t want to see it. Can Sting be salvaged? That question is up to Vince Russo and the rest of TNA do they want to use Sting for what he could bring to the company or do you want to waste him like they have done for over the last year? Only time will tell us the answer.
Until Next Time
Jason ?Xtremefalls? Simmons
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