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What if Sting had jumped to the WWF?


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The Eddie Gilbert topic has been rather interesting, so here's another what-if that's been brought up a lot over the years.  What if Sting had jumped to the WWF or WWE?  When could he conceivably have been lured away?  What would have happened?

 

As a NWA/WCW mark, I'm glad he never did jump ship.  But....  the idea of Sting going to the WWF in the early 90's is intriguing.  I think his value would have been highest in the early 90's.  Surfer Sting was the sort of bombastic, larger-than-life character that the WWF specialized in during the 80's and early 1990's.  It would have been a natural progression to amp the character up the way they did Warrior.  And the idea of Sting vs. Macho King Savage or a young Undertaker is hard to resist.  I'd have loved to see a Sting-Heenan family feud with Sting going through the Family one by one to get to... Rude?  Bossman?  Andre?  Any of those work for me.  Honestly, a Sting-Perfect feud sounds like fun,  I can see him becoming a Hogan/Warrior/Savage level babyface.

 

Late 90's?  Sting was massively over with the NWO angle.  Does Crow Sting fit in the WWE as well as Surfer Sting might have?  Does Vince push him as a top guy?  In the late 90's, Vince was starting to get stuck in the "my stars" rut and he already had a lot of top guys. I can kinda see Sting elbowing his way past Bret or Shawn to the top of the card, but does he get there over Undertaker?  Triple H?  Austin or Rock?  That's harder to imagine.

 

The scenario where he seems most likely to leave is late 98 or later, or when WCW closes up shop.  But, by then, he's past his prime, not quite as over (WCW didn't seem to know what to do with him after the Hogan feud/Wolfpac stuff), and has the same problem as a few years earlier: WWF already has its megastars.

 

Or was Sting simply too loyal and a jump to WWF/E was never in the cards.  What do the rest of you think? 

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Meltzer fielded a good question about champions who failed because they were too similar to the champion they were replacing. Warrior was too close to Hogan, so people didn't respond positively to him because the masses still wanted Hogan as champ.

 

I don't think Sting would have made a huge impact in early 90's WWF, and would have had the same 1-2 year run that Dusty and Flair did. Hogan was too much of a force.

 

The biggest splash would have been if he had actually shown up during this promo, as the main event talent cupboard was extremely bare:

 

 

Posted Image

 

Plus, it would have kept the friggin' Miz out of the main event.

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I would've enjoyed an "Attitude" era Sting mixing it up w Austin, Rock, Angle, Foley et al. Vince was pretty loyal to his own guys, but Jericho, Big Show, Jeff Jarrett, among others, came over and made a big difference, so it wasn't unprecedented. A Sting/Austin program would've been fun, followed by their inevitable team-up against HHH's DX. I would've enjoyed him interacting with a young Edge, a program with Kane would've been many dollars, and the big showdown with Undertaker would've been just fantastic. 

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Had Vince emptied out his wallet and gotten Sting for the Invasion it would have been an entirely different angle I think. Other than that, or Sting showing up to face Taker a few years ago, I don't think his impact would have been any bigger than when they brought in Goldberg.

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I would have liked to have seen him essentially in the position Warrior had returning to the WWF in 96.

Would have basically had a lot of same same programs with Sid, Vader and Foley again to start with, build to him taking the title from Shawn at Mania, then you have Bret turn heel against Sting, feeling annoyed that Sting essentially took his spot, with Shawn being the tweener instigator between the two. Eventually you team him and Taker up as a heel tag team similar to what happened with Taker and Show.

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Dusty Flair (first run) Goldberg and Steiner all didnt really do anything in the E I don't think Sting would've done much if he went plus if he went in the early 90's his look was too similar to Warriors he'd probably be suited with another gimmick. Imagine Sting as The Goon or something.

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Flair didn't do anything in the WWE in his first run is a preposterous statement. He Set the sandard for a Royal Rumble performance. He won the world title twice, was involved in a Marquee feud both during and after Mania season and was the catalyst for Vince attempting to phase out Hogan. Flair, for having a short run had a HUGE impact on the WWF/E

 

James

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I'm sorry I was 2 when Flair made his debut in the WWE I don't remember but your right Flair was tremendous in the 92 Rumble and him and Savage had a great fued and a great WM main event.

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Meltzer fielded a good question about champions who failed because they were too similar to the champion they were replacing. Warrior was too close to Hogan, so people didn't respond positively to him because the masses still wanted Hogan as champ.

 

I don't think Sting would have made a huge impact in early 90's WWF, and would have had the same 1-2 year run that Dusty and Flair did. Hogan was too much of a force.

I'm not sure the reason Warrior failed was because he was too close to Hogan. I think Warrior failed because there was a lack of top level heels for him to feud with and because some of the fans viewed him as the guy who knocked off Hogan and didn't feel comfortable fully embracing him because of it. They probably would have been better off having some heel (DiBiase?) beat Hogan in controversial fashion and use the heel as a transitional champion into Warrior like they did with Backlund into the Iron Sheik and then into Hogan.

 

If Sting jumped in '92, they could have done a Sting/Flair feud. And I'm sure it would have ruled.

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The earliest I would have wanted Sting to jump to the WWE was shortly after WCW folded. Despite how the match at Starrcade ended and despite the angle having the wrong end, I would have still hated missing out on the build-up to Hogan vs Sting. Sting was one of my all-time favorites and I was literally tuning in to watch or record Nitro and Thunder just to see if Sting would appear or how the angle would proceed. In that regard, it felt like it lasted longer than Goku fighting Frieza. Even still, every week was thrilling just for that Sting moment.

 

After WCW folds, I think Sting has tons of programs you can work him into. The problem is, Vince seemed to have soured so much on anything associated with WCW due to that shitty Buff Bagwell vs Booker T match that I think Sting would have been buried. Even if he isn't buried, the evidence that he would get a decent run was heavily against him. Considering how badly WWE fucked up on Scott Steiner's and Goldberg's runs, I think the ball would be dropped with Sting. You have to keep in mind that the writing staff would later have no idea how to use Ric Flair. RIC FLAIR. If it isn't a WWE product, then the concept is totally lost.

 

Now, if the timeline were different you had current era HHH running things back then like he seemingly is now, then I think Sting has a good shot at succeeding. 

 

Aside from that, Undertaker vs Sting in Atlanta would have been off the hook. I'm going to be really bummed if we miss out on that matchup.

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I just don't see Sting working well WWE-style at all.  

 

That said, post-WCW, Sting would have not liked the full schedule, and would have been forced heel and buried.  It's best he never worked for Vince. 

 

I do think a Sting/Cena feud early in Cena's career would have been something special.

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1991/2 Sting in WWE would have been the greatest thing ever to a 12 year old me.  Especially if he had went over at the same time as Flair, granted it would have killed WCW much earlier.

 

Rumble 92 would have been an excellent place to debut Sting, Flair comes out as Number 1, the Fink announces entrant number 2, its Sting, Flair freaks out in the ring, Heenan freaks out on commentary.

 

Flair & Sting both last to the final 4 along with Sid & Hogan.  Flair still wins, you could have Sting take the place of Hogan in the Hogan / Sid elimination, Sting would probably have been more sympathetic than Hogan to do that elimination. Leaving Hogan & Flair as the final 2.  This would have solidified their WM spot as the 2 top stars going at it.

 

You could then run any combo of Sting & Hogan v Sid & Flair & Perfect on the build to WM, then move Sting into feuds with Taker, Jake, Razor Ramon over the next year or so.

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The best time for Sting to go to WWE would've been shortly after the invasion. He was a bit past his prime, but he still had enough in the tank for a solid run based mostly on nostalgia angles and dream matches. Best case scenario, he ends up with a run comparable to Michaels second run. Worst case scenario, Goldberg's WWE run. 

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I'm sorry I was 2 when Flair made his debut in the WWE I don't remember but your right Flair was tremendous in the 92 Rumble and him and Savage had a great feud and a great WM main event.

Fair enough... but Flair showing up on WWF TV for the first time was really a big deal. Hell the first time Bobby Heenan said his name was just a jaw dropping moment because I figured Flair wouldn't show-up until Survivor Series. They really made it a big deal when he first came in. I remember working at Marvel and how all the wrestling fans in the Marvel Bullpen were buzzing about Heenan just saying Flair's name.

 

James

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I was in the building for The Rock vs. Goldberg. The crowd was at least 75% Rock fans. I'm not sure how you do more with Goldberg when everyone wanted to cheer WWE's current stars over him. Maybe if they ran the match in the south Goldberg would have been cheered but in the northeast there is no way Goldberg is getting cheered over Rock, Austin or most of WWE's stars. He had his title runs. He barely ever lost. He was booked as a monster. He dismantled Evolution by himself a bunch of times... etc.. etc..

 

I'm not sure Sting coming over for the InVasion would have changed much. Maybe they get a little more mileage out of it but in the end Vince is still going to have his own stars win all of the meaningful matches.

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Sting was smart to never go over to the WWE. Not because he wasn't capable of being successful or anything but their were a lot of guys who went over & just got misused. Sting being practically the face of WCW...things wouldn't have been handled like they could have been. I think deep down Sting always knew that, which is why he never went.

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I think if Sting jumps over in 92-93ish he would have become the face of the company. I mean, for all the talk about Sting being booked poorly in WWF, he was very rarely booked well in WCW. His first reign was a clusterfuck because of the Black Scorpion angle. His win over Luger was supposed to be a big deal but Luger basically disappearing until the title defense and leaving right after kind of curtailed the program.

 

His stuff with the Dangerous Alliance and Vader was good, but the Vader feud was basically him just taking a great ass-kicking. The Crow stuff was great but ultimately got fucked over. I mean, Sting was never as over again after Starrcade '97.

 

So yeah, I mean, he would have helped the InVasion angle but by that point very few of the WCW guys were going to be booked well.

 

Sting coming over between between 92-94, still young and reasonably healthy, and having had that main event experience without being burnt out, would have been huge. Him main eventing with Bret, Shawn, Owen and playing babyface due to the big fat heels like Yoko would have been the perfect spot for him. Shit, Sting was made for early 90s WWF. Could sell well, flashy offense, and had a character that made up for lack of promo skills and sometimes dodgy psychology.

 

And then, everything kind of works out the same way. He'd probably jump back to WCW for the guaranteed money around '96 as the WWF was having their issues, and he's still there for the NWO angle.

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I kinda wish Sting would have jumped, if possible, prior to being booked like a heel. I don't even remember what lead to that heel run, but it felt like it was aborted within a few weeks time.

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