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Earlier this week, WWE announced Sting for the 2016 Hall of Fame. It created the question of whether Sting, a WCW guy, will actually be the headliner for this year’s HOF ceremony.
Throughout Sting’s debut run in WWE, the narrative has been about Sting’s loyalty to WCW, that it was a badge of honor to “go down with the ship.” The “loyalty” trait resonates with Vince McMahon, who makes the call on the Hall of Fame. It might seal Sting as the headliner despite spending 98 percent of his career outside of WWE.
But, loyalty to another promotion only goes so far when it comes to booking. Sting’s first WWE match was a loss to Triple H (the WWE guy) at WrestleMania 31, reinforcing the message from the Monday Night War series that “WWE won, WCW lost.”
In interviews and speaking engagements since WM31, Sting has said all the right things about just being glad to have a WrestleMania match and being part of the event.
However, Sting’s former colleague in WCW, Scott Hall, offered a different perspective on Sting’s first venture to WWE in an interview with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated.
“I was there and obviously involved in his match at WrestleMania last year. We’re rehearsing the match in Cali last year at Levi Stadium, and it’s the Kliq and the New Age Outlaws out there, and we all know each other. And then there’s Sting, who doesn’t know anybody. He’s an outsider. I just think he never felt comfortable there. Being hurt was answered prayer for him–just let it end,” Hall said.
As for WWE deciding to have Sting lose his first match in WWE, Hall said he and Hulk Hogan were stunned by the gameplan when they rehearsed it.
“You need to remember that Vince is never going to go with something he didn’t create,” Hall said. “But we didn’t get anything done at the rehearsal the night before, so WrestleMania day, there were tents in the parking lot set up with rings for rehearsal. So we’re all in there again, and I’m next to Hulk on the ring apron and Triple H is going over the match and then he goes, ‘Okay, he’ll break the sledgehammer, then I’ll hit him with the sledgehammer, and cover him, 1-2-3.’
“I looked at Hulk, and Hulk looked at me, and I was thinking, ‘Sting, what kind of lawyer do you have, bro? You’re coming in the door doing a job? You weren’t even guaranteed to go over?’ That’s Vince just reminding you who won, even if he’s going to make money the other way.”