I'd like to take the time to give some honor and homage to a Hall of Famer who deserves some kudos for his contributions to TNA for going on 7 years now. Since Final Resolution 2006, Sting has been TNA's greatest attraction. While WWE clings to The Undertaker with an iron grip for one match per year, TNA has been the more fortunate to have a more physically solid legend in their stables. I don't want anyone to misunderstand me what I just said. Sting works FAR more than Taker and TNA is getting the lion's share from the deal, whereas WWE is throwing money into a hole in the ground, hoping for more than Mark Calloway is able to provide for those funds.
What TNA is going to have to come to terms with, however, is that Sting can't keep going forever, despite what his most die-hard fans may say. I've been a huge fan for YEARS and even I have to acknowledge that TNA's most valuable legend is moving into the twilight of his in-ring career. In my humble opinion, his last run in front of the mainstream has been a nice change, seeing him reinvent his character in interesting ways. I think Sting's farewell run will be among the finest in recent wrestling history as it will run parallel to the top story, perhaps even sharing a main event spot at the top of a MAJOR TNA PPV event.
My question is simple here.....how does TNA say good bye to Sting? I honestly thought he was going to retire in 2009 at Bound for Glory, when the "torch was passed" to AJ Styles in the main event, but in a twist, he resigned for another year and then another and then.....well, you get the idea. Depending upon how Sting wants to work, his farewell tour could begin in a couple of ways, one of which could happen Sunday. Sting losing his title match would be HUGE for Bully Ray, cementing him as TNA's best heel, while the Icon could wind down his ring work in a more managerial role, taking on his GM role of 2011-2012 to allow Hogan to also phase out.
If TNA wishes to completely phase Sting out of the product, I think he could still benefit the product in the managerial role, but outside of that, it truly does need to wind down. TNA's dilemma is going to be finding Sting's last opponent. Does Mr. Borden select the candidate from the current locker room or does TNA scour the landscape and make an offer to an outside source? I'm betting that TNA will give Sting the retirement opponent of his choice. If I was a betting man, I would say that the final match will be the most emotional story, match, AND moment of the year when it does come and those in attendance OR watching live will be incredibly grateful to have witnessed it live. As The Undertaker's last match will be a landmark in the history of WWE, so will Sting's final match in TNA.....the legacy of an Icon.