Sting Announced as First Member of 2016 WWE Hall of Fame
For years, Sting was the golden boy of WCW. “The Icon” was loyal to the company until the bitter end. While he did have a chance to join WWE after the acquisition of WCW in March 2001, “The Franchise” of WCW declined for business and personal reasons. Now, after finally gracing a WWE ring in 2014, Sting is the first inductee in the 2016 class of the WWE Hall of Fame.
The 2016 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony takes place on Saturday, April 2, the night before WrestleMania 32. The ceremony will be at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, while WrestleMania will be at AT&T Stadium.
Triple H, Sting’s opponent at WrestleMania 31, stated in the WWE.com article that broke the news:
“We are truly honored to have Sting take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame. His contributions to our industry are unprecedented, and we look forward to celebrating his incredible career with fans all over the world.”
This has been a long time coming for Sting. The six-time WCW World Champion and former body builder first started as a member of “The Blade Runners” with the late Ultimate Warrior at the Universal Wrestling Federation. After WCW bought UWF in the 80’s, Sting became a true household name. His flashy face paint and enthusiasm inside the ring made him a crowd favorite. Sting fought the NWA World Champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair at the height of his popularity at the first Clash of the Champions in 1988. The match was a 45 minute classic that started the legend of Sting.
After that, Sting went on a roll and didn’t stop. His feud with Ric Flair became legendary. Sting’s shining moment came when he defeated Flair for the NWA World Championship at the 1990 Great American Bash.
As I mentioned before, Sting then won the new WCW World Title six times, while competing in great matches with the likes of Vader and The Steiner Brothers. Once Hulk Hogan debuted in WCW however, everything changed. WCW hit the jackpot with their N.W.O. stable, dominating the ratings against WWE. In order to keep up with the times, it meant a change for Sting. The colorful face paint and enthusiasm were gone. What replaced the old Sting was an edgier version of the character. “The Crow” was born.
After reinventing himself, Sting prospered. He was the major player to fight the bad guys, all in his new, mysterious character. Before WCW folded, he had the opportunity to wrestle his old rival Ric Flair one last time to close the show.
After spending some time in TNA, Sting finally made it to WWE. He battled The Authority, competed in his first WrestleMania and now, he is finally being honored into the WWE Hall of Fame. The man’s legacy is everlasting, and for him to be immortalized during one of the biggest WrestleMania’s of all time must be a true honor. For someone to be in the ring for over 30 years, produce great memories and have a following like he does has to make his career a fulfilling one.
As the first inductee in the 2016 WWE Hall of Fame, Sting represents an old school style that can never be replicated. Regardless of whether he will be involved in a wrestling capacity at this year’s WrestleMania or not, it’s Sting’s moment, and it will be definitely feel like a win to him.
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