Sting Wrestled for Almost Four Decades, but Was Only in WWE One Year

"A year later and I thought WWE isn't working out and I didn't want to disappear with my tail between my legs. I hate that.”

Brandon Charles - Author

Mar. 4 2024, Published 10:09 p.m. ET

Sting at WrestleMania in 2015
Source: Getty Images

Sting has wrestled his last match. The WWE Hall of Famer has hung up his wrestling boots after nearly 40 years. But that match was in AEW, the promotion the legend has called home since 2020.

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Sting, real name Steve Borden, was only with the world’s biggest wrestling promotion for one year of in-ring action. For many years, he would occasionally appear on WWE programming.

Sting and Triple H at WrestleMania in 2015
Source: Getty Images
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Why did Sting leave WWE?

The last big holdout from the Monday Night Wars, Sting was a WCW Superstar from his debut in 1987 until closing the last episode of its weekly television program, WCW Monday Nitro on March 26, 2001. Facing fellow wrestling legend Ric Flair, Sting was victorious on the final night of World Championship Wrestling programming.

Sting nearly signed with WWE in 2002, but ultimately decided to go with NWA Total Nonstop Action / Total Nonstop Action Wrestling / Impact Wrestling in 2003. Until 2014, he was one of the promotion’s most important wrestlers, ultimately holding the TNA World Heavyweight Championship four times.

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Sting went from WCW to TNA and, finally, WWE.

Sting finally signed with World Wrestling Entertainment in 2014. His first appearance at the 2014 Survivor Series was a surprise. His first official WWE match was at WrestleMania 31 on March 29, 2015. Although most wrestling fans hoped for a Sting vs. Undertaker match, Sting faced off with and lost to Triple H. His only Monday Night Raw matches were six months later on Sept. 14, 2015. He defeated Big Show in a singles match and Seth Rollins and Big Show in a tag match with John Cena.

Source: YouTube
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Sting's final WWE match was the following week at WWE Night of Champions 2015. He lost to Seth Rollins and suffered a near career ending neck injury. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2016.

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Sting was drawn to WWE with the goal of wrestling against Undertaker.

In a 2021 interview with Bleacher Report, Sting said the reason he left WWE for AEW is Taker. “It wasn't a goal of mine to get back in the ring. The only thing I thought I might do is have a cinematic match against Undertaker when I was with WWE. We weren't able to come to an agreement. Tony [Schiavone] reached out to me and asked if I wanted to come play and let him know. A year later and I thought WWE isn't working out and I didn't want to disappear with my tail between my legs. I hate that.”

Sting and “Mean” Mark Callous have wrestled each other.

As recently as February 2024, Sting was still talking about the potential matchup with Undertaker. In an interview with CBS Sports, Sting said, "I had so many ideas over the years. A lot of times, smoke and mirrors aren't good things. But in our situation, I think with his gimmick and the mystiques of his character and mine, we couldn't have enough smoke and mirrors. I think it definitely would have been a night that people remembered. Man, I would have loved to have seen that."

But while Sting and The Undertaker never met in the ring, the actual wrestlers have. On Sep. 1, 1990, NWA World Heavyweight Champion Sting successfully defended his belt against “Mean” Mark Callous. It may not have been the version of Sting or The Undertaker wrestling that many had been clamoring for over 30 years, but it’s something.

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