GUEST EDITORIAL: AEW shouldn’t make Sting’s retirement complicated, but rather just give the fans what they want

By Joseph Borzotta

Sting and Darby Allin


“Give the people what they want.”

Pro wrestling is always thinking about the next step, the twist, the swerve, the next angle to keep the audience tuned in and buying in. As a result, we fans do not always get what we want. True, there was the “Yes Movement,” the Best Friends schtick in AEW, and more. Quite often, it’s a solid business move to have that surprise element to keep things going and not to necessarily end with a blowoff, or in Sting’s case, retirement.

At the same time as Sting’s last match in AEW, Cody’s Story is playing out in WWE. On the surface, it was a no-brainer. WWE, especially under Vince, at times has felt almost spiteful in the way it contradicted obvious fan friendly elements, like having the local guy win in their hometown. Think how many times Jim Ross got the butt end of things in Oklahoma.

In Cody’s case, people have been patient and waiting for his story to play out and beat Roman Reigns at WrestleMania this year. They want it. But one could almost hear the bristling of WWE at playing this out, so they attempted to subvert it, and well, the fans pooped all over it, forcing numerous changes and back-stepping.

Here’s the thing: Sometimes, fans don’t care if it’s obvious!

If it’s something like Cody’s Story, they have been along for the ride, want to watch the match, see how he wins, and take part in the pop. It’s that simple. That is the payoff for tuning in, being patient, and waiting for the pot (or belt, in this case) of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Same with Sting. Keep it simple. People want to see Sting standing tall at the end. They want him to hug Darby and sort of pass the torch to him. They want to see him kick the Bucks’ collective asses. They want a 1-2-3 and one last time seeing Sting pin an opponent, stand tall, say a few words, hug Flair, and bathe in the fans’ thanks.

That’s what we want.

We don’t want to see Sting get punked out. Or get jumped and left lying after the match. Or see Darby turn on him. Or see Ric Flair turn on him. Or some other wrestler(s) to run in and beat him up just to start another storyline.

I don’t usually buy PLE’s. As a long-time Sting fan, I’m ordering it only because I want to see his last match, see him win, stand tall, and step down gracefully as I get a bit choked up.

There’s an old saying: “K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple, Stupid!” With Cody’s Story and Sting’s Retirement, the best corporate move to make fans very happy and stay with the product is, “Give the people what they want.”

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