An interesting debate has broken out online in the last few days regarding Sting. A WWE Hall of Famer recently said that Sting was not an icon, sparking conversation as to exactly what the former WCW and TNA champion’s place in pro wrestling history will be.
The fireworks started when one of Sting’s former peers, Road Warrior Animal did an interview in which he said Sting is not a pro wrestling icon. Animal thinks that until Sting goes to the WWE to wrestle, he cannot be called an icon.
“No! Sting is not in the same league as guys like Triple H, Stone Cold, The Rock. Sting will never be considered a legend or icon until he lets his pride go and joins WWE.”
This is certainly an odd statement to make. Questioning Sting’s place in pro wrestling history is a valid debate. Questioning whether Sting is a pro wrestling icon is also a valid debate. But basing your answer on whether or not he wrestled in the WWE is where he loses me.
The irony here is that I think Sting would be less of a pro wrestling icon if he did go to the WWE. Like any WCW icon or superstar that went to the WWE, he would have been marginalized and would have been booked to appear less strong than the WWE megastars. I say this is ironic because this is exactly what happened to Animal whenever the Road Warriors came to the WWE. In WCW they were treated as legends whereas in the WWE they were treated like any other team.
I think it is fair to criticize Sting’s drawing power. I like Sting but for someone pushed as hard as he was for so long in WCW, he really only had one run where he drew comparable to his push and that came towards the end of his run against a red hot Hulk Hogan. However, I don’t think his drawing ability should have any basis on whether or not he is an icon.
To me, the guy is one of the biggest pro wrestling icons of that time period. Just about anyone and everyone who even casually watched pro wrestling during that era knows who Sting is. He is synonymous with WCW and WCW was a big part of the pro wrestling scene for many years. There is no question in my mind that he is an icon.