Sting’s WWE debut at last night’s Survivor Series was arguably the most exciting moment in WWE in 2014, rivaling Brock Lesnar’s ending of The Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak in significance and possibly even emotional impact.
But with Sting’s debut comes a slew of speculation as to his purpose and direction in WWE. Mark Middleton of Wrestling Inc, as well as many other internet writers, have reported recently on the possibility of Sting facing either Triple H or The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 31 in what would likely be his one and only WWE match.
While many fans would clamor for a match with The Undertaker and a theme of “WCW’s guy vs. WWE’s guy,” having Sting wrestle his only Wrestlemania bout against The Undertaker would be a terrible choice that looks good on paper but would do neither man any favors in reality.
To process this, one must recognize that in a bout of Sting vs. The Undertaker, only one man can emerge victorious. But a loss for either man would be far more damaging than a win would be useful to the victor.
The Undertaker is coming off a poor showing at Wrestlemania 31. His bout against Brock Lesnar was awkward to watch in no small part due to the concussion that The Undertaker received early on, and the loss of The Streak has diminished The Undertaker’s prestige to some degree.
Sting, meanwhile, has finally made his debut in WWE more than a decade after the collapse of WCW. He enters WWE as a very special attraction of an era that is slowly fading from the consciousness of wrestling fans. A good many fans today would be too young to remember WCW, or to have experienced the Monday Night Wars first hand, and so would have no fond recollection of Sting’s WCW days. While those fans may be familiar with Sting’s work in TNA wrestling, they may not recognize Sting’s historical importance within the framework of the WCW/WWE battles of old, and thus may not know why they should particularly care for this individual.
It is to these fans that WWE must build Sting’s credibility, and a loss at Wrestlemania would completely derail this epic opportunity which WWE has been given.
While a symbolic “Final Victory of WWE over WCW” may sound incredible, it is unnecessary. WWE saw the important final victory in 2001 and had their moment of triumph over WCW in the subsequent Invasion storyline. This is not an opportunity to bury WCW one more time, but to embrace its legacy and allow one of the last true icons around a moment in the sun.
Sting should have a victory at Wrestlemania, and there are few who are better suited to give him one than Triple H, a hated heel who is WWE to the core and who continues to have a threatening presence which would make him an opportune opponent for Sting.
If WWE is truly working towards giving Sting his Wrestlemania moment, his moment should be a victorious one over a foe who has a similar legacy to his own. While one could argue the merits of Triple H in that regard, there are few active wrestlers left who could maintain their own legacy while still taking a loss to Sting on the Grandest Stage of Them All, and Triple H is one of them. While Undertaker vs. Sting is a fantasy booking dream, it is a bout neither man can afford to have.
Sting vs. Triple H is the only Wrestlemania match that would draw and make sense for both individuals.