The rumors are swirling right now as they have been since Sting left TNA's roster just a few short months ago. "Sting signs with WWE" was one headline I read just this week, but other sources say he's not signed anything other than a deal to use his likeness for merchandising (i.e. video games, t shirts, etc.). That said, the chances of a debut could be good provided that there was one really compelling story to bring his career to a satisfying close.
Story, opponent, and time are the demons WWE is going to have to fight in order to make Sting's short tenure mean something. How many feuds can you cram into a year's worth of programming using teases, taped promos, and the like in order to fill this years' worth if time? I'd plan for three GOOD feuds, one leading into the next. My choices? I've covered this once already, but since circumstances within the WWE framework have changed a bit, I figured it wouldn't be a bad time to re-evaluate. SO without any further ado, let's jump right into it, shall we?
1. Triple H- This one should be no surprise as his last interview featured a statement that if Sting ever debuted, he'd Pedigree him in the middle of the ring. I say we test that theory by putting the Icon over 'ol Trips. But that statement isn't the only one that matters to me, people. Fact is, Triple H is the glory hound who could do some good in establishing faith, so to speak, in the brand by fostering a sense of trust that Sting won't be abused or buried during his tenure. After all, this IS the twilight of his career and WWE called HIM, right?
2. The Rock- I would LOVE to see a Rock vs. Sting bout. Why? Because I would relish the reaction of the crowd seeing the kind of mind games Sting would have at his fingertips and once the match has happened, we could put that match on the list of "Dream Face-offs WWE vs. WCW" to rest.
3. Shawn Michaels- Ric Flair's in ring career with WWE ended with HBK and Michaels is the ONLY man, to my mind, that would make Sting's final match worth watching over and over again. WWE's list of veterans is PAINFULLY short and those who can make Sting shine are in limited supply, and I'm not only referring to WWE's roster either. TNA had their moments, but in the end, Kurt Angle, AJ Styles, and even Bobby Roode to an extent, were the best candidates to make 55 year old Sting look close to his prime. On WWE's roster, I see NO ONE worth the time and effort it would take to have that same effect. Not one candidate strikes me. Not ONE. Yes, I'm talking to you too, Taker. Especially you.
Of course, that leaves the classic WWE vs. WCW Undertaker vs. Sting bout unfulfilled, but when the liabilities of just getting Taker INTO the ring minus the performance value, which would suffer due to his age, condition, and mentality.....when we take all of the factors into account, the match, though historic, would be virtually unwatchable, at least from my perspective. Maybe I'm wrong and I'd be the first to admit it, but in this day and age, I doubt The Undertaker has anything left to offer.
SO as for the order of the bouts? I'd start with The Rock right away. Why? To set up the next feud in line and to establish the tone or mood for what happens later. Trips would have to go next, but after the loss, his phone call would have to go out and the retired HBK would have a choice to make, retire another legend or sit on the sidelines. My money says this is the best order and the biggest bang for a WWE fanboy's buck. NO CENA! Seriously. Keep John Cena away from Sting in the name of all that is good and just in the world! As much as Cena moves merchandise, losses to Cena embarrass any forward movement to characters WWE tries to build. I'll leave that thought right where it sits because I could make THAT an entire column all its own.
Some would say Randy Orton, but frankly, he just doesn't make ANY match very memorable and so a match against Sting would be a waste, in my mind. Why not upset the Wyatts? Because a loss to Sting on the way out would be a blow to the up and comers. What about Chris Jericho? Now THAT'S a decent question. Jericho's history with Sting is pretty shallow aside from their obvious ties to WCW, but when Jericho left and made himself a name in WWE, Sting rode the ship down. Could it work? Sure, but would there be TIME for a decent feud with Jericho's erratic schedule? That is a subject left to history. Jericho, these days, only comes along for 2-3 month spans and it's usually to elevate a current hopeful WWE has their sights on building. This time it's Bray Wyatt. It was Fandango last time.
IF....and I do say IF WWE wants to bring in Y2J to feud with Sting for his last hurrah, It HAS to be in addition to those I've already mentioned. Not only so, but his name would go to the top of my list. In any case, with Sting's exclusive pre-order presence on the newest WWE video game, we're potentially one step closer to the reason every wrestler says "Never say never".