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Where to start with the legendary, near 40 year career of The Icon, Sting? Known for his unique charisma, distinctive face paint and connection with generation after generation of fans, the man called Sting has main-evented in each of the major modern American promotions. A former bodybuilder, Sting caught the eye of promoters with his stand out physique. The future franchise would initially team with the late Ultimate Warrior before seeking singles competition in Jim Crockett Promotions (later WCW). A rapid ascent through the ranks followed as the bleach blond competitor cemented himself in the burgeoning WCW.
Sharing the ring with World Champion Ric Flair at the inaugural Clash of the Champions marked Sting as the wrestler of the 90’s for the Atlanta based organization. Displaying loyalty to WCW throughout a turbulent 1990s, Sting would undergo a hugely successful shift in persona from the neon fan favourite to a dark and dangerous loner in opposition to the villainous NWO. After the dissolution of WCW, Sting would then make TNA Impact wrestling his home for nearly a decade before receiving his apparent curtain call with a long awaited arrival in WWE. The finale to a Hall of Fame career would be cut short though by a seemingly career threatening neck injury.
Long time colleague Tony Schiavone was once again able to utter those now famous words when the Stinger debuted for AEW at Winter is Coming 2020. A natural alignment with Darby Allin followed and the mentor and mentee have be inseparable on AEW television ever since.
The duo first feuded with the Team Taz stable which culminated in a cinematic street fight at the Revolution 2021 PPV. The match was well regarded by fans and critics alike and went a long way in redeeming Sting after what many considered a creatively poor sojourn in WWE. Seemingly rejuvenated and in great shape (given his longevity in the industry), several tag and multi man in ring matches would follow. Winning efforts opposite Men of the Year, 2.0, and The House of Black re-established Sting as an almost mythical figure, impervious to pain and able to call upon the fervent passion of the AEW fans.
Sting has been portrayed on television as a man of few words. He is an on screen father figure to his heir apparent Darby Allin and an imposing equalizer whenever his young charge needs him. In a crowded roster, creative has relied upon Sting’s history to garner huge reactions from the live crowd, though there has been little in terms of storyline progression. There has also been less of an emphasis recently on featuring Sting as a special attraction. This was encompassed by this weeks opening Dynamite six man tag teaming alongside Allin & Orange Cassidy.
Sting has successfully reinvigorated his career in AEW. He has found the perfect pairing with Darby Allin and has retained his popularity with the live crowd.
If this run is indeed Sting’s last chapter in a storied career, why not conclude the narrative with one more big PPV match.
The destination could be reached in several ways. Perhaps a run towards the tag team titles partnered with Allin could be the last hurrah. This would be a feel-good tale culminating in one final title win for the former Blade Runner. A feud against entitled heel champions The Gunn Club would surely generate huge babyface reactions for the painted pairing.
More ambitiously, is Sting capable of one last PPV main event? Sting’s name still retains some box office value and could lure lapsed AEW fans back to the product. The champion MJF is the perfect foil. MJF has a character driven in-ring style which would suit Sting from a match perspective and could do the promotional heavy lifting on weekly television. The PPV main event wouldn’t necessarily have to end with a feel good win either. A defiant loss would pass the baton onto the next generation and also give the babyface Darby Allin something to avenge.
Verdict – Sting still maintains tremendous name value. AEW could utilize this by featuring him sporadically but significantly. Build Sting’s appearances with the creative videos produced by Allin which punctuated his early AEW run. Then give Sting the career denouement he richly deserves.
Debuting in 2017, Skye Dolecki wrestled on the independent scene in her native Illinois before debuting for AEW in her hometown of Chicago. Recalling NXT era Bayley and more recent NXT competitor Roxanne Perez, Blue has a similarly positive in-ring personality. Blue smiles and waves on her way to the ring ,portraying herself as a sincere and battling babyface. Due to her small stature, Blue is a sympathetic figure who compellingly absorbs the heat before athletically embarking on the comeback. She has an athletic move set and has the Code Blue (her version of the eye-catching Code Red) as her signature move.
A prominent figure on both AEW Dark and Dark Elevation, Skye Blue has also ventured to the company’s televised shows on several occasions. Debuting on AEW Rampage in a losing effort to Jade Cargill, Blue also competed with Serena Deeb, Jamie Hayter, Ruby Soho, and most recently Toni Storm. Blue is currently embroiled in the all encompassing Originals vs Outcasts feud.
AEW has a number of young, upcoming female wrestlers vying for roster space including Anna Jay, Tay Melo, Julia Hart, Leyla Hirsch and Willow Nightingale. Skye Blue is in the early stages of her AEW career but has growing fan support. Further reps away from the spotlight on AEW’s YouTube channel is the right path for now and placing Blue opposite veterans such as Deeb and Soho will only aid her development.
Verdict – One for the future. AEW is taking the smart approach with the young and obviously talented natural babyface.
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