Sting

WWE Hall of Famer Sting, who was appearing in the UK with Wrestling Travel, spoke with Wrestleview.com’s Joe Baiamonte (@JoeBaia) recently to discuss a variety of topics.

Highlights of the conversation are below, including Sting going into detail about how bad things could have turned out after the nasty bump he took during a match with Seth Rollins back in 2015 that ended up being his final match.

On his legendary Clash of Champions NWA Title match against Ric Flair:

“I knew heading into the match that it was going to be huge and it’s one that people still ask me about to this day, over 30 years later. Just to be in the ring with Ric Flair in a world title match in the Greensboro Coliseum, North Carolina was incredible but I had no idea it would have so much impact, because I didn’t even win the match. It’s rare that a guy doesn’t win but still gets over like that. I learned more from Ric Flair in that one feud alone than I did from anyone else in my entire career.”

On losing a lot of matches:

“I lost a lot of my big matches but I always thought that if fans left those shows saying “Gee, Sting really shoulda won that match” then I’d done my job. I think it’s really a lost art for someone to get over now without winning and it’s not an easy thing to do. But also it’s not just down to one guy. Everyone involved in the match has to make it work and again, Ric was so good at that.”

On working with Vader:

“Oh man, when Leon came over he was fresh off the Japan loop and they work a super stiff style over there. So you had a guy his size, 400 pounds, working that Japanese style but also doing moonsaults? And I was the guy who they wanted to work with him! So I was the guy who ‘tamed’ Vader in the ring. But yeah, here was this huge guy who was unlike any other big man in the world at the time. He was doing moonsaults and almost killing me every night! But Leon was a great guy, a real sweetheart. We had some great matches but oh man, some of the shots I took from him. It was like getting hit by a truck.”

On his greatest opponents:

“My greatest opponents? There’s so many to choose from. Ric and Vader obviously, but I also loved working with Rick Rude, The Great Muta, Sid, Luger and even Hogan. Well, the storylines with Hogan mainly, the matches maybe not so much. My bouts with Mick Foley when he was Cactus Jack were pretty wild as well. Kurt Angle was one of my toughest opponents of all time when we were in TNA and even my last match with Seth for the world title was pretty special.”

On his final match, retirement and what was supposed to happen after the Seth match:

“Y’know, my last match being against a guy as great as Seth for the world title wasn’t a bad way to go out. That hit I took (buckle bomb) was literally centimetres away from being real bad, like completely gone from the neck down with paralysis, one of the doctors told me. There’s two points in the neck and I missed them but if that bump had gone slightly differently I could have been really messed up. I remember talking to Steve Austin and obviously he has a history with serious neck injuries and didn’t think I should retire. And now I have absolutely no side effects, I can still move my neck no problem and I feel fine. But yeah, it could have been a whole lot worse. There weren’t really any set plans for me after the Seth match if I hadn’t got injured. The idea was just for me to have one off matches here and there, but I didn’t have any planned opponents or anything like that, we were just going to see what was best for business at the time.”

On who he would come out of retirement for:

“I mean, everyone knows who it would be. Taker, he’s the only guy I’d come out of retirement for now. No one else. We could just never get it together to make it happen. When I started talking to WWE he was booked with Brock and then I did the deal with Triple H and he had another feud going on at the time, so it was just one of those things we couldn’t make happen. But I don’t regret it not happening either, I mean I got to face Triple H at my first WrestleMania and then wrestle Seth for the world title, so I didn’t do too badly out of that deal. But yeah, now, the only person I’m getting back in the ring for is Taker.”