There’s that old saying that you can’t keep a good man down.
And that certainly appears to be the case with Sting, who shockingly made his debut for AEW just prior to Christmas at the sprightly age of 61 and after a number of ‘attempted’ retirements.
But the Stinger loves the game and the game loves him back, and Cody Rhodes and the rest of the AEW chiefs have arguably pulled off an almighty coup in getting the former WCW man to strap on his tights once more.
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It was a huge surprise, too. Such was the extent of how well AEW kept the deal under wraps that Sting actually featured in the Royal Rumble 2021 specials betting odds and news as a potential winner given that his last outings as a professional wrestler came with WWE.
It was in one such match with Seth Rollins at Night of Champions that the 61-year-old suffered the neck injury that seemed to end his career, but he has looked physically very sharp in his brief AEW cameos so far and, hopefully, has the capability to compete in at least a couple of big-time matches in the franchise going forward.
Previously, he has said that the only match that would drag him out of retirement would be against The Undertaker, presumably at WrestleMania, but sadly that never came to pass with the Deadman now also retired.
But with cinematic vignettes and pre-filmed matches becoming more en vogue, there is still ample opportunity for Sting to star yet.
Taking Care of Business
Knowing what Sting has achieved in his career thus far, he won’t want to be a gimmick in AEW, and he will want to be a leader – in the ring, on the mic and in the locker room.
He’s been pretty quiet so far, but clearly, Team Taz will be the initial target of his ire – he saved Cody, big brother Dusty and Darby Allin from an attack by the group on Dynamite in December, and it also appears as though he has aligned himself with Allin as some kind of mentor figure.
Whether Sting is in the physical condition to compete in singles action remains to be seen, but a medium-term role teaming with Allin against the likes of Brian Cage, Ricky Starks and Will Hobbs would be a fantastic experience for the youngsters and help their careers continue on an upward trajectory.
Starks, in particular, is considered a star of the present and of the future, and the feud in which he is helped to get over and draw heat – without tarnishing Sting’s legacy – would surely be in the minds of the writing team.
Sting is the brightest of lights in wrestling and he could help the careers of Hangman Page, MJF and co with carefully curated spots that protect his physical wellbeing while cashing in on his unparalleled ability on the mic.
But as for one more career-ending match? You suspect the fire is still burning bright in the old entertainer, and while a prolonged build might be difficult based upon his advanced years imagine what a fillip it would be for a Jon Moxley or a Kenny Omega to say they kayfabe ended the career of one of the greatest of them all.
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Dustin Rhodes and Sting are old buddies who were scrapping together in WCW way back in the early 1990s – that would be an emotional final chapter for both men, while Cody himself may yet get the chance to lock horns with his wrestling hero in a thrilling finale.
Either way, with Sting in full control of his creative direction you can be sure it will be an explosive end for a larger-than-life character whose legacy will remain intact in professional wrestling’s hall of fame.