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Sting: Into the Light WWE DVD Review

Admittedly, I’m not the biggest Sting fan out there. In fact, for a good portion of his career, I wasn’t a fan at all. Not to say he couldn’t work or didn’t have enjoyable matches (he could and did); for whatever reason, though, I never really got into him. Having said all that, I was still curious about this DVD, given Sting’s career in the sport and the likelihood he had some interesting stories to tell.

The DVD definitely has some of that, but sadly it really falls short overall.

The setup to this DVD, interestingly enough, is set up almost the exact same way as the recent Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe DVD, aka the DVD set for Sting’s former tag team partner. The documentary part is a build-up to Sting’s debut at Survivor Series 2014 and his first-ever match in WWE at Wrestlemania XXXI, complete with him being in Titan Towers, signing contracts, discussing merchandise ideas, etc. In between these segments, we get the usual stuff you see on these documentaries, with Sting telling road stories from different locations, interviews from his peers, friends and family, as well as current WWE stars weighing in as fans, etc.

Sting spends a lot of time talking about breaking into the business with Jim “Warrior” Hellwig as the Freedom Fighters and later the Blade Runners. By Sting’s own admission, both of them sucked in the ring at the time, but had a good enough look and big enough personalities that people expected them to go places. From there, we go onto Sting’s time in UWF as the partner of Rick Steiner. Both Sting and Steiner weigh in and admit that the team was no good, leading to Sting eventually going sole and signing with NWA/WCW. Sting points out that his promos during this time were garbage (they were), but were often overlooked because he put so much emotion into them (much like former partner Warrior). Plus, he was picking up his work in the ring at a quick rate, which made a lot of them more forgivable.

Listening to Sting talk about these days is pretty great, as the guy has a memory like a steel trap. He can remember every little bit about his matches, promos, stories on the road, etc. Even more impressive is when Sting takes us into his giant shed on his property, where he stores all (and I mean that literally) of his gear and merchandise from his entire career. Sting apparently never throws anything away, as he unpacks boxes filled with gear and merchandise stretching all the way back to the beginning. Not only that, but he can tell with absolute certainty what match he was wearing his gear in, when it took place, who the opponent was, what the outcome was, you name it. He’s also got stories about the merchandise, including the ill-fated Roos tennis shoes, which have become something of a running gag amongst fans.

While these stories are really cool, this is about as in-depth as he gets with WCW. For whatever reason, he really glosses over his career with the company, despite the fact that’s where he made his fame and fortune. He definitely talks about his time there, but considering he spent over ten years with the organization, you would think that it would cover a huge chunk of the set, but you’d be wrong. Instead, a greater amount of time is spent on him talking about getting to WWE (including offers from WWF back in the 80’s and 90’s, which I was unaware of), as well as a healthy portion talking about becoming a Born-Again Christian. I know this is a huge part of his life and I understand including it on the set; I just didn’t expect it to have such a large presence here overall. Perhaps it’s because I’m not a religious person, but I really lost interest in these segments of the documentary.

Eventually, this part starts to wind down, with Sting discussing finally coming to terms with WWE and wanting to have at least one match at Wrestlemania before it was all said and done. You probably already know all these stories, as they’ve been heavily publicized. One thing of interest I do have to point out here though is that Sting acknowledges on camera that he spent the better part of a decade working for TNA before he finally signed with WWE. He glosses over this even more than his time with WCW, for obvious reasons, especially given that WWE doesn’t have any of that footage, but it was surprising to hear for the simple fact that no other set that I can recall that features a wrestler who worked for TNA for any amount of time ever includes the wrestler mentioning spending time there. Usually, they just say something along the lines of, “I toiled on the indies for a while”. At least we know WWE knows TNA exists, even if it’s not for much longer.

That’s the first disc. The second disc is a mix of quick story segments and matches. The stories here are pretty entertaining for the most part, like Sting and Tyson Kidd discussing the Sharpshooter vs. the Scorpion Deathlock, Sting’s stuffed bear that WCW made and sold, doing the rappelling bit from the ceiling in WCW, and more. The matches are a mixed bag, as they cover more of his earlier parts of his career, including his atrociously bad debut with Hellwig as the Freedom Fighters, and one of the Blade Runners’ first match (which also sucked). A decent match with the Great Muta is included, as well as a damn good tag team match with him and Lex Luger vs. the Steiner Brothers.

Disc three is the remainder of the matches, and some of these choices are a real head-scratcher. A lot of the ones included on the set, I had never seen before, so I was looking forward to watching them and…I really don’t understand some of the selections. A couple of sloppy matches with Goldberg and Bret Hart are included, as well as a forgettable match with the Giant that actually headlined the Great American Bash one year, with the two fighting over who would get control of the tag team titles. The only thing notable about this match is Michael Buffer’s exceptionally bad ring announcing (which also appears on the match with Goldberg). There’s also a “King of Cable” tournament match with Rick Rude that, on paper, sounds really good, but wound up being very clunky with bad pacing, not to mention that it was laid out in a stranger manner. Despite being the face, Sting wrestles like the heel for at least the first five minutes, and the rest of the match is basically the two guys doing the exact same moves to each other. Despite how good he was in his heyday, Rude looks like hell in this match (not physically, but from a wrestling standpoint), and couldn’t even apply a camel clutch properly. The worst, however, is a horrific match with Hulk Hogan during Hogan’s nauseatingly stupid “dark side” gimmick he did at the end of 1995 that started because he lost his mustache (no, really). Fortunately, there’s a decent match with DDP included, a great rare match with Stunning Steve Austin and an awesome bout with Vader for the International World Heavyweight title, aka the “Big Gold Belt” championship.

Overall, there’s a lot to be enjoyed in this set, but even more to be desired. I haven’t seen it, but I’ve heard that Sting’s first DVD set, which came out not long before this one, is vastly superior, so if you’re looking for the best Sting set on the market right now, that first one may be the one to go with. If you’re set on this one, I’d at least wait until it goes on sale before you pick it up. There’s some really good stuff on here, but the set really felt rushed on a whole, and was definitely not the WWE’s best work.

Disc #1

Documentary:

Now or Never
NWA: Clash of the Champions – March 1988
California Kid
Driving to Success
WCW Great American Bash – July 1990
WWE Consumer Products
Franchise
Black and White
WCW Starrcade – December 1997
WWE Community Relations
Moment of Truth
The Last Nitro – March 2001
WWE Digital Media
A Transformation
WWE Executive Management
WWE Survivor Series – November 2014
Signed
WWE WrestleMania XXXI – March 2015

Stories:

Talker
Inner Circle
Hulk-A-Dear
Getting Chased at the Mall
WCW SuperBrawl ’91
SharpDeathShooterLock?
Rappelling
Shake
IGN Visit
Behind the Scenes: ID Shoot
WrestleMania XXXI Axxess

Matches:

The Freedom Fighters vs. David Johnson & The Invader
Memphis Wrestling – November 1985

The Blade Runners vs. Tracey Smothers & Ricky Gibson
Mid-South Wrestling – March 2, 1986

UWF Tag Team Championship Match
Rick Steiner & Sting vs. Brad Armstrong & Tim Horner
Universal Wrestling Federation – May 29, 1987

NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match
Ric Flair vs. Sting
Clash of the Champions – March 27, 1988

The Great Muta vs. Sting
WCW / NJPW SuperShow – March 21, 1991

WCW World Tag Team Championship Match
Lex Luger & Sting vs. The Steiner Brothers
WCW SuperBrawl – May 19, 1991

Submit or Surrender Match
Cactus Jack vs. Sting
WCW Power Hour – November 23, 1991

Disc #2

King of Cable Tournament Match
Rick Rude vs. Sting
WCW Clash of the Champions XXI – November 18, 1992

WCW International World Heavyweight Championship Match
Vader vs. Sting
WCW Slamboree – May 22, 1994

“Stunning” Steve Austin vs. Sting
WCW Saturday Night – April 8, 1995

Hulk Hogan vs. Sting
WCW Monday Nitro – November 20, 1995

“Winner gets both WCW Tag Team Titles”
The Giant vs. Sting
WCW Great American Bash – June 14, 1998

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Goldberg vs. Sting
WCW Monday Nitro – September 14, 1998

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Sting
WCW Monday Nitro – April 26, 1999

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. Sting
WCW Monday Nitro – October 18, 1999

Sting’s WWE Debut
Survivor Series – November 23, 2014

Triple H vs. Sting
WrestleMania XXXI – March 29, 2015

***Blu-Ray Exclusives***

NWA World Tag Team Championship Match
“The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes & Sting vs. Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard
Clash of the Champions – June 8, 1988

King of Cable Tournament Match
Flyin’ Brian Pillman vs. Sting
WCW Saturday Night – November 7, 1992

Scott Steiner vs. Sting
WCW Monday Nitro – May 27, 1996

WCW United States Championship Tournament Match
Booker T vs. Sting
WCW Spring Stampede – April 16, 2000

Triple H and Sting: Face-to-Face Confrontation
Fastlane – February 22, 2015

Sting Speaks!
RAW – March 23, 2015

WWE: Sting – Into the Light on Amazon.com

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Dustin Nichols

Dustin Nichols is a freelance writer, and you can keep track of all of his work on his Facebook page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/DustinNicholsWriter. Oh, and if you like bodybuilding, check out my mom’s official site by clicking the banner below:

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