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“The Franchise” calls it a career




The Franchise of WCW and an Icon of the wrestling business will reportedly be calling it a career. It was reported by TMZ that Sting will be announcing his retirement from wrestling at WrestleMania weekend at his WWE Hall of Fame induction in Dallas.

Starting out in 1984 with Jim Hellwig (eventually the Ultimate Warrior) as A tag team known as the Blade Runners in the Memphis territory for Jerry Jarrett the team eventually went their separate ways with Hellwig going on to WCCW in Texas and eventually superstardom in the then WWF, Sting eventually went on to Bill Watts’ UWF before it was bought out by Jim Crockett Promotions which went on to become WCW. Sting finally got his break in 1989 at the first Clash of the Champions going 1 on 1 with NWA Champion Ric Flair. The match ended with Flair retaining the title in a 45 minute time limit draw, the match put Sting on the map as a top star in WCW and led to h feuding with Flair for years to come and even winning his first WCW title in 1990 at The Great American Bash.

Sting up until 1996 was known for his neon surfer character who was loud and charismatic, however with the nWo invading WCW the icon went to a much darker mysterious crow like character lurking in the rafters and becoming an avenger for WCW saving many from attacks from Hollywood Hogan’s regime. This eventually after a one year buildup led to Sting capturing the WCW Title from the nWo and Hogan. He went on to have feuds with a who’s who of talent in WCW including: Ric Flair, Hollywood Hogan, Bret Hart, The Giant (Big Show), and less famously Vampiro towards the end of WCW.

At the end of WCW, Sting moved on to TNA a few years later in 2006. While he wasn’t the same performer the Stinger did make an effort to put new stars on the map like Samoa Joe, Abyss, AJ Styles and many more. He was also able to capture several world title there as well.

At Survivor Series 2014 the debut that wrestling fans had longed to see finally happened, Sting debuted to help put the Authority out of power and take out HHH. This led to Sting’s first match in WWE as well as his first Wrestlemania as well. While HHH winning made no sense it did finally give fans a chance to be at Wrestlemania in a WWE ring like fans had dreamed of. He then fought for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Night of Champions losing to Seth Rollins but also suffering the injury that has now ultimately ended his career at 56 years old.

Sting will rightly take his place in the WWE Hall of Fame this April. Unfortunately, fans never got to see Sting win a singles match in WWE or see the dream match between he and The Undertaker. However, Sting will leave the ring with 15 total world championships and countless other accolades. He was WCW’s version of The Undertaker and captivated an audience for over two decades. Myself as a fan: I am a wrestling fan today because of Sting. He drew me to wrestling at 5 years old while watching him take on the nWo and seeing him debut at Survivor Series is a moment I will never forget. So thank you Sting for all you have done for the wrestling business and thank you for all you gave me as a fan. You were truly one of the kind and a character that can never and will never be duplicated.

John Walsh is from Plymouth, MA. He is the creator of The Wrestling Geek Newsletter and Podcast. He is a husband and father of three and lifelong pro wrestling fan.