Connect with us


Sting-vs-The Undertaker: The “Match of The Century”…that may never be




As long as I can remember, I’ve been an avid wrestling fan. From waking up on Saturday mornings, eating sugar-ridden cereal in my footed pajamas and watching WWE Mania. All the way to present day. Watching Raw on Monday nights and Smackdown every Thursday. Over the course of those 25 some odd years of fandom, I’ve seen a lot of performers come through the WWE. As I’m sure you have too. There are some we remember. Some we don’t. Some legends and Hall of Famers. Some one hit wonders and some that are still putting in ring time to this very day. It often brings you to the thought, how many five-star matches did we truly miss out on because of a generational gap or strictly just because of bad timing, booking or some other unseen circumstances?

I often get asked, “What do you consider to be THE Dream Match?” I can think of plenty. As I’m sure we all could. Steve Austin vs Brock Lesnar. AJ Styles vs Shawn Michaels. Kevin Owens vs Bam Bam Bigelow. Razor Ramon vs Baron Corbin. We could sit here and name them off all day. However, the question still remains. What is THE Dream Match of ALL Dream Matches? No matter how many people you ask, they all seem to come to the same general conclusion. Sting vs The Undertaker. Which, I personally, am in full agreeance with. The Icon and often referred to as “The Savior of WCW” pitted against The Dead Man and one of the greatest creations to ever emerge from the WWE. The image of these two standing in the ring staring each other down will ultimately give you chills. Sadly, this clash of titans may just stay a dream.

Back in 2014, when Sting initially signed with the WWE, the air in the wrestling world was abuzz with the possibility that this match was finally going to happen. Actually, it had been talked up so much that people eventually started taking it as fact that this match was indeed going to happen without doubt. #NightmareMatch and #StingvsTaker started trending in rapid succession over almost every form of social media. It seems it was all people could talk about. The fans wanted to leave no doubt to the higher ups at WWE what match they wanted to see and when they wanted to see it. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that this match was only suitable for the grandest stage of them all. The show of shows. WrestleMania. Although, with WrestleMania season rapidly approaching, the question began to arise, could the WWE actually pull this off? Furthermore, how would they be able to work an iconic figure such as Sting into a viable story line, make it stick and have fans both young and old be able to relate to it? It seems that the questions were abundant and the answers few and far between.

Sting first made his presence known to the WWE Universe at Survivor Series in November of 2014. Although, he didn’t have an official match, he still had a huge impact on the overall outcome of the story line and the outcome of the PPV. He also garnered a huge pop from the crowd and was almost instantly put over. It would soon be made known that he was not there to challenge The Undertaker at all. Rather, he would challenge the tyrannical group known as The Authority and their leader, Triple H. It seemed like a great story line to set him up as the savior and avenger of the company. Just as he was in WCW. This would give fans, old and new the ability to relate and become more immersed in the Character. The set up was perfect, or so it seemed. But how would the follow through stack up?

In the following months, Sting’s absence would bring even more speculation to the rumors of a match with The Undertaker. It wouldn’t be until January of 2015 that Sting would appear to thwart The Authorities plans yet again. The fans were becoming restless and irritated at the WWE Creative Staff. In their eyes this is a story line that should have come to a close months prior and a new story line set in place. Dragging out a feud with The Authority and Triple H was gaining ground with the crowd, but very little and it was still not the Dream Match they wanted to see. The main concern was that sting had yet to even make it past the entrance ramp in either of his appearances since Survivor Series. It seemed that they were not utilizing Sting to his full potential. A definite misfire on their part.

By mid February it had become apparent that the WWE had no intentions of pitting Sting against The Undertaker at WrestleMania.The time to set up the story line and get fans immersed into it had come and gone. The Undertaker had entered a feud with The Wyatt Family and it seemed almost unavoidable that he would be facing Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania. They missed their window of opportunity and let one of the most anticipated matches of all time slip right out of their hands. Instead, they would stick to their guns and run the Sting, Triple H feud into the ground. The match was officially made after the Fastlane PPV where Sting and Triple H had a face to face confrontation. At least he made it into the ring this time to the relief of the fans.

Fast forward to WrestleMania 31. The Sting vs Triple H feud had more than enough time to build up anticipation and get the fans hooked. Sadly, the match fell flat and was not viewed anywhere near the hype it had been given. The pace of the match was slow the entire time and there were more than a fair share of miscues. The WWE wanted to run the WCW vs WWE angle and again, it did not get over with the fans. Former members of DX and the NWO showed up at ringside to give their respective help to both combatants. Which, in turn, gave a sense of nostalgia and brought minimal “wow” factor to the match. Sting did have a few moments that left the crowd in awe and got some really good pops. Especially the leap from the top turnbuckle to the outside of the ring wiping out the entire DX faction. But all in all, the match left much to be desired by fans. Sting would go on to take a loss to Triple H. Which made little sense if Sting was supposed to be set up to be the savior of the company. Most feel that it was one last attempt at bragging rights to the fact that The WWE had won the Monday Night Wars and crippled WCW and its Icon for good. The Undertaker would go on to have a similar, slow-paced, low ranking match with Bray Wyatt and walk away with a win after a devastating loss to Brock Lesnar the prior year thus ending “The Streak”. The fans could not help but feel that they had been cheated and The WWE had once again ignored their collective voice.

Though WrestleMania had to come pass, the WWE Universe had not given up hope that two of the industries greatest champions would meet in the ring. After the passing of WrestleMania 31, speculation of Sting vs The Undertaker at WrestleMania 32 had already taken flight. The fans had seen that both The Stinger and The Dead Man both still had what it took to step into a WWE ring and put on a decent show. The Undertaker made it clear that it would not be his last rodeo and Sting was signed to an extended contract a few months later. All was not lost as far as these two facing off after all. At least for now.

Sting would return and enter a feud with then current WWE Champion, Seth Rollins. The feud was a complete disaster in most fans eyes. Sting was set up completely different. He was set as an almost comical character reminiscent to his TNA days. Which came off as cheesy and out of place. Yet, the overall story line was the exact same as the Triple H feud. Overthrow the authority. If that was the main objective, he should have gotten the win over Triple H at WrestleMania and moved on to take down the remaining leftovers and their champion. Even though the WWE Championship was on the line, that meant little to the fans. Pops became smaller and smaller for Sting and the fans lost interest overall with the feud quickly. The two would meet at the Night of Champions PPV and Sting would take another loss. Which, again, made no sense at all. Sting would also suffer a neck injury during the match causing him to fall limp to the canvas for several minutes. Being the performer that he is, Sting gained his composure, finished the match and drew a huge standing ovation afterwards.

Several weeks went by after Night of Champions and the one thing on everyone’s mind was, will Sting be able to bounce back and return to the WWE? The answer was not at all what the fans or anyone in the wrestling business would ever want to hear. In an interview Sting explained exactly what went wrong during the match at Night of Champions and what caused his injury. Apparently, while taking a running powerbomb to the corner, the move was somehow botched. Resulting in Sting striking the back of his head and neck on the turnbuckle. This happened not only once, but twice. When asked if that would be his last match ever, Sting was quoted in saying…“I hate it when I’m asked that question because the answer truly is a question mark, and the question mark is as bold as it could ever be at this point.”

So, why did the WWE overlook such a huge opportunity? Why would they blatantly pass up such an iconic match as Sting vs The Undertaker? Did they not listen to their fans? Did they not know it was such a high demand match? Did they think it wouldn’t create enough draw or attention? The answer is, none of the above. Although, the WWE may have lost touch with their fans, they always listen to them. They were well in the know of how much the fans wanted to see Sting vs The Undertaker. Both of them had actually even discussed having a match at some point. The WWE was also more than well enough equipped to make it happen. The problem boils down to one, simple factor. Age. Let’s face it, Sting and The Undertaker are nearing the end of their careers. Neither one of them are old by any means. However, as far as in ring performance goes they are both somewhat limited. The WWE’s main concern is that putting two aging veterans in the ring together on a platform such as WrestleMania would be more sizzle than substance at this point. It would create a huge draw and the anticipation would be phenomenal. But when it came down to it, they feel that it could never live up to the hype. That’s why you had Sting paired with Triple H and The Undertaker paired with Bray Wyatt. The WWE feels more comfortable with a younger more conditioned athlete to help carry the ring rusted veterans through a match. Seeing that both Sting and The Undertaker aren’t used to performing on a weekly or even monthly basis. Yes, it actually is that simple. We, as fans, often forget that what we want and what is realistic are sometimes two completely different things. It basically boils down to some things are just easier said than done.

Fast forward to present day. WrestleMania season is upon us once again and yet again the WWE Universe will not be receiving their Dream Match. Now, the more important question arises. Will we EVER see Sting vs The Undertaker at any point? The honest truth is, it doesn’t look very promising. However, we can only speculate. Sting is to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year and we all know that the Hall of Fame is an active career graveyard. Once you enter, there’s no coming back. We can’t say for sure whether Sting will make a comeback or not or if he and The Undertaker will stand face to face in the squared circle. It’s not a cut and dry, yes or no answer. All we can do is put a big, bold question mark on this one and hope that someday we can witness it somewhere other than in the deep recesses of our minds.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.