On Monday the 5th October 2015, I got the opportunity to attend a Q&A with Sting at the Lyric Theatre in London. Because I got hold of a VIP ticket, I also got the chance to meet the Icon before the show and get a photo and an autograph. The show itself was condensed into about an hour and a half, and here’s what I gathered from the show.
Before the show, I made my way into the VIP room and queued to meet Sting. He walked past the line to which everyone just stared in amazement. Once I got to meet him, I shook his hand and just gazed in awe. He signed my ticket and gestured for me to step forward to have my photo taken with him. I then asked him how he was and how the neck was. I knew it would be a question he would get from almost everyone but I felt rude not to ask about his well being. He said it’s not great and he’s been better.
The hosts introduce Sting by firstly showcasing many moments from his career before bringing him out to both his WWE theme and his WCW Crow theme. The fans stand in ovation and many respond to him with his famous call. In the meet and greet, he was dressed as Sting, but for the Q&A, he was dressed casually, more like Steve Borden.
They then reveal the Q&A will be broken into four sections: the early WCW days with Surfer Sting, the WCW days with Crow Sting, his TNA days and his WWE days. I’m also going to break this article down into the same sections.
The early WCW days and Surfer Sting
During the video package for Surfer Sting, there is a moment with Robocop which everyone laughs. Sting says he always gets asked about that moment wherever he goes. The first question is about how he first got into wrestling. He says he grew up in South California and whilst working as a bouncer, he watched Arnold Schwarzenegger and thought “if he can do it, why not me?” Sting says he auditioned for several movies and got close calls but nothing ever really happened with Hollywood. Sting says a man named Rick Bass approached him and picked Sting as a potential fourth big guy to a collection he was building. Sting goes on to talk about Hulk Hogan entering a gym that Sting co-owned but Sting didn’t recognize him because he didn’t get to watch much wrestling from where he was from. Sting eventually went to a wrestling camp to learn what was what.
First meaningful question from the crowd was regarding Sting’s favorite feud in the beginning of WCW. He says among them had to be his feud with Rick Rude. He says Rick was a legitimate heel. No grey areas. Pure heel, in ring and out of it. Sting believes we are currently losing the terms of face and heel to those grey areas. He thinks that in the business now, there are a few legitimate face and heels but he didn’t name any names. He spoke of his admiration for characters in wrestling as well. It was hear where he first spoke highly of the Bray Wyatt character, saying he enjoys the fact he is an actual character on top of his wrestling.
The next question is about him teaming with the Ultimate Warrior. He says at the time, they were both trying to make a name for themselves. He says Warrior was an intense individual all the time. It was good, bad, ugly and everything in between working with him. He speaks of the passing of the Warrior and says he was bummed when he found out as he was looking forward to reconnecting with him one day.
Sting is asked about the Starrcade 1990 match against the Black Scorpion, which turned out to be Ric Flair. He said he thoroughly enjoyed the storyline for this. He said he kept asking all along who the scorpion was going to end up being. He didn’t want the story to be blown with a lame ending. He jokes that back in WCW, if they couldn’t find the right opponent, they just went with Sting vs Flair.
WCW Crow Sting
The next question is about the Owen Hart incident and if it had any effect on Sting using the rafters entrance. He says he was actually scheduled to come down from the rafters the night after Owen Hart fell, and he got the call whilst on the plane to find out the news that he didn’t want to and couldn’t believe. Because of the incident, Sting refused to enter from the rafters the next night. He didn’t do the entrance for at least a year, and when he did so, he made sure he went to Bret Hart before and asked if he and his family were happy enough for him to do it.
Sting says he feared the Crow gimmick wouldn’t be accepted as many before him had tried to change and it drastically failed.
Sting talks about the “yearlong build”. He says he is a believer in less is more and that wrestling today often forces superstars down our throats. A fan shouts out “Cena” which generates a few laughs. Sting makes the point that Cena does an incredible amount of work behind the scenes for critically ill children and his heart is absolutely massive. The crowd applaud this moment.
The next meaningful question was in regard to the rumors that Scott Hall made the Crow gimmick for Sting. Sting says he knew he wanted a darker change, away from all the bright colors. The white and black of NWO appealed to him. He says in a meeting with Hall as well as Eric Bischoff, Hall gave him some starter points involving the face paint and coat. He says a magazine article containing Marilyn Manson also persuaded him. He concludes by saying yes, Scott Hall is the source of the Crow Sting gimmick.
He says during the Monday Night Wars, he had one offer from WWE to jump ship. Just once. He says talks were good with Vince, as they have always been, but he felt Vince wanted more commitment from Sting than Sting was willing to give at the time. Another factor why he didn’t jump ship was seeing superstars such as Scott Steiner and Lex Luger make the move but end up having poor runs and returning to WCW. He felt Vince wanted him to join just to undermine WCW instead of actually becoming a main talent.
One of his favourite moments in WCW was actually the final night. The final match against Ric Flair on the final episode of Nitro. It was tough to see all the years of hard work come to an end, but that last night was special.
He claims he doesn’t blame Eric or Vince Russo for the decline of WCW. He says it just came down to things changing. Creative changed, times changed, everything just changed and as a result, WCW couldn’t keep up anymore. But he refused to pin the blame on Eric or Russo.
Sting was described as a “team player” in TNA and never let his ego get involved in the company by Dave Meltzer in the program.
Sting says he really enjoyed his time with TNA. He enjoyed the development of his own character, and especially enjoyed the Joker Sting gimmick. He said while he was backstage at the start, he heard a comment about TNA that got no crowd response at all. He was baffled by this. The Bound of Glory show from Sunday is mentioned and a fan tells Sting that it wasn’t live in the UK that shocks Sting completely.
Almost unwillingly, Sting spoke about THAT Jeff Hardy match. He says he likes Jeff but says Jeff has his demons and they really peaked that night. He says he hopes he has continued to get better and that he was worried for Jeff’s health. He says everyone was embarrassed by that night and it was just a “loser night”.
He says the best talent in TNA throughout his time was Kurt Angle. He says he absolutely loved wrestling Kurt Angle as Angle always pushed anyone and everyone to get the best out of them.
The final section of the night was about Sting’s WWE run. The first question is about Survivor Series. Sting says it was surreal. He says he always wanted to know what being there was like and he was glad he finally found out. He said he finally went because he knew it was now or never.
Sting is asked about Wrestlemania 31 and whether he is bothered about losing. For him, he was happy enough to just be a part of Wrestlemania finally. He believed that Triple H was the right opponent for his debut match. He was happy how the match went with all the nostalgia and enjoyed the return to the Monday Night Wars for the match. For the fans who were unhappy at the loss, he says that most fans won’t even remember the loss but remember DX and NWO coming out instead.
He is then asked who his dream opponent would be. Many people shout names out and Sting hears “The Rock” and says he would have loved to have had a match with The Rock. He said he loved the fact he got the opportunity to have a match with Seth Rollins. He also says he would love to face Bray Wyatt, not the first mention he got tonight.
His final question was: Wrestlemania 32? Sting responds with he will have a face to face meeting with a doctor to see if it’s possible. If his neck can be “miraculously” fixed then he will probably be there, but he just doesn’t know.
The show ends with cheers from Sting and the fans and Sting with a final message of thanks and appreciation.
End notes – Sting spoke much longer about WCW than TNA and WWE, which is fully understandable but I would have preferred to hear more about WWE. I also wanted to hear more about Eric Bischoff. Three things struck me mostly from this show though. One, Sting is more than happy putting talent over in WWE. He hasn’t let any ego get involved and demand wins. He is happy to put over talent. Two, he really likes Bray Wyatt. He mentioned him a few times including him as a dream opponent. He likes him as a character a lot. And finally, Sting will never wrestle again. When answering that final question, he seemed like he was trying to not disappoint anyone but seemed like he knew the answers already. He didn’t seem optimistic or positive, and it felt like he was just playing the waiting game before doctors tell him his career is over.
What do you make of this? Do you think Sting should be happy with putting others over? Do you think he will ever be back? Comment below or contact me on twitter: @carlo_george