Many wrestling fans old and current, always hated the fact that World Championship Wrestling’s most enduring homegrown star never had a run in WWE in his prime.
Including Vince McMahon.
Sting said on a recent edition of The Apter Chat that he did come close to signing with WWE on multiple occasions, and also revealed what Vince McMahon thought about his decision to work with TNA Wrestling (now known as Impact Wrestling).
“I had probably had three… on three separate occasions, I had a conversation with Vince [McMahon] and I was close on a couple of those occasions to leaving [WCW].” Sting told hosts Bill Apter and Josh Shernoff.
“Two reasons why I never did, number one, WCW always ended up giving me what I asked for as far as… it wasn’t just financial – it was how much I work – I wanted to have it be in black and white, contractually, ‘I want to work X number of days and blah, blah, blah, only a certain number of house shows that I want to do throughout the year,’ so they gave me what I wanted,” he explained.
Limited dates for more money relative to the dates they work (recall the guaranteed contracts in WCW, and of course Brock Lesnar’s current part time status with WWE) has been a constant lure for many wrestlers in the modern era. TNA’s limited schedule and significant pay not only attracted Sting, but the idea was once a star of his magnitude hopped on board with the then new company, other big names might follow.
“Yeah, I thought, ‘let’s try TNA.’ And, again, they kind of gave me what I wanted,” Sting admitted.
“Obviously, it wasn’t all about money with TNA, but the schedule though that I ended up having, that I could attain and they were very agreeable. And so, we did that and the rest is history. I planned on doing it for a year maybe or a couple of years,” Sting said.
“But they brought me in in hopes that other bigger name guys might want to come in and I thought that worked because, quite frankly, quite a few of them ended up coming in. Kurt Angle was the first. Mick Foley was there. [Scott] Hall and [Kevin] Nash, they were there. Scotty Steiner was there. Hulk Hogan was there.” Sting said, “a lot of guys ended up coming in and it was a lot of fun. It really was.”
But what did Vince McMahon think about this big name bypassing WWE for the much smaller TNA promotion?
“I ended up going to TNA and I’ll never forget having that conversation with Vince.” Sting told The Apter Chat.
“He’s on the phone with me and he says, ‘you know, Sting,’ he said, ‘I find this hard to believe. The legacy that you leave behind and the thought of you going to TNA is just, blah.’ That’s exactly what he said, ‘blah!”
“And so then you fast forward to me coming back to do WrestleMania, I sent out a text to Vince and Triple H, and I simply said, ‘have you guys turned the page on Sting yet?’ because I honestly didn’t know. Did they turn the page? Are they done or would they consider a run up there?’ Sting continued.
While fans might debate whether or not Sting’s TNA run was “blah” or not, one can’t help but think about the exciting possibilities for the Stinger in WWE during that time–including the much desired match up with The Undertaker.
But such dream matches will have to remain fantasies. Sting retired in 2016 after his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.
— WWE (@WWE) April 3, 2016
Of course in pro wrestling, you never say never, particularly when it comes to retirement. But if any wrestler, given his age, health and other factors, seems to have put his in-ring days behind him, The Man They Call Sting is a firm member of that camp.
— AllWrestlingAllDay (@jerridvgreen1) September 27, 2018