I'm going to be brutally honest here, folks. This is the column I've been putting off writing for the past two or three years. I actually thought Sting would retire in TNA and leave the business having never set foot in the ring that Vince built. Alas, however, that day seems to have come and so now it is left to me to come into the WWE Universe for a time and make my set of suggestions for his final run in a single WWE year....more specifically, his list of opponents, all leading up to his final opponent in my view.
This one should surprise no one as the two have history in TNA and, if WWE plays on that, it could be a good feud, if not great. Despite WWE's continuous containment, I've been a fan of Christian ever since he cut his hair and called himself the New People's Champ, poking at The Rock during his 2003-04 run. If Christian wants to go forward with this whole "one more match" thing, I don't think there is a better final match in store than with Sting, PROVIDED THAT WWE IS ABLE TO THINK OUTSIDE THEIR OWN BORDERS AND GIVE THEIR HISTORY OUTSIDE OF VINCELAND A NOD. The only way this feud works is by acknowledging that they have history.
2. Randy Orton
Setting aside my personal distaste for Orton, there is simply no denying that this is a money match and one of the few I'd actually be willing to see on one condition..... if Orton loses. Why? Because no one can dispute that Sting was for WCW what The Undertaker is for WWE....a dark character to serve as a foil for the heel establishment. With Orton as a member of said establishment in this "Authority" storyline, what better way to introduce him to the public at large?
3. The Undertaker
I've been saying that I'm against Taker vs. Sting at Wrestlemania for YEARS now and that has NOT changed. I NEVER want to see the two matched at Wrestlemania for more reasons than I care to discuss in this column. That said, that DOESN'T mean I never want to see them face off. IF the two were ever to meet in ring, my battleground would be Survivor Series. Why? Because it's historically been a TREMENDOUS place to make a debut, a feud's end, or a historic meeting. With Undertaker's health becoming more and more of a problem in recent years, it is no secret that WWE plays it by ear each year to see if he's going to be able to heal himself back up in time for the next go around.
4. Chris Jericho
Because he was the biggest WCW debut in WWE history, in my view and because I KNOW he could make it into a feud for the ages based on the card value alone, I give Jericho the matchup. I could care less if he wins or loses this feud, but you can bet the entire enterprise would sell. Period.
5. Shawn Michaels
The Undertaker should NOT.....and I repeat NOT be Sting's final opponent. I see no one better in the entire business than Michaels. There is no one who can pace a match better with ANYONE or tell a better story in and out of the ring right now. Throw out the fact that Michaels is retired, for a match like this, bet on him coming out for this one last match. This one MUST be Wrestlemania. In the same way that Ric Flair was his farewell match in WWE, this could be the one time where reality and fantasy could collide and make whichever card both are a part of a MUST HAVE just for that one match and closing segment alone. Sting vs. HBK: ONE LAST MATCH.....the match screams instant classic.
Going a bit deeper into the Sting/Michaels matchup, it would also give two faith brothers a chance to give each other the proper send-off for the many years of service to God and the business they both love. As far as how I would play the year, I'd go something like this......
Beginning the day after Wrestlemania, I would run ads stating that Sting is coming, counting down to the PPV of the following month, where I believe his first opponent should be Orton. I would keep Cena as far from the entire thing as I could, giving Sting and Orton the proper spotlight. I would end the feud at SummerSlam with Orton ultimately losing, but with Christian attacking Sting following the match, leading to a short 2 month feud that ends with Christian gaining a victory, but only when The Undertaker's entrance music and effects pop on, leading to a full month of Sting's dance with The Undertaker at Survivor Series.
It doesn't matter who wins or loses the match, but this will begin the Sting farewell tour, with downtime for Sting leading into the Royal Rumble, where his quest to find his final opponent begins. He could have a month and a half long quest, where he could face John Cena if the powers that be choose to allow it, but once Elimination Chamber comes around, it would be time to make the call and have Michaels make a comeback when Sting asks him to be his final opponent. Wrestlemania comes around, the Hall of Fame induction happens, and we get the most perfect match WWE fans could want, in my opinion....and the best part is, it could end with either man winning....or neither, for that matter....the fans wouldn't really care, so long as a good story was told.