Sting is one of the most iconic characters in the history of wrestling. He was the franchise player for WCW from the early 1990s until the company folded in 2001. Interestingly, he did not end up making the jump to WWE after that. Instead, he joined TNA, where he would spend almost a decade as well and was one of their biggest stars during their peak years.
He would briefly go to WWE after that and suffered a serious injury, which appeared to have ended his in-ring career for good. Ultimately, that did not turn out to be the case though, and he has returned to the ring in AEW. In fact, even at 63 years of age, Sting has ended up having quite a few matches in Tony Khan’s company and done things that nobody expected him to.
Yet, one has to question, has AEW used Sting as well as they could or should have over the past year-and-a-half?
AEW Has Failed To Establish Sting As A Special Attraction
One of AEW’s biggest weaknesses is the fact that they struggle to book wrestlers as special attractions. That is pretty clear from their booking of Sting as well.
Sting returning to the ring should have been a huge deal. Most fans had given up hope of ever seeing him wrestle again, even after he had signed with AEW. There should have been a lot more build up and storytelling about the risks he was taking, and he should have been given some world-class opposition.
Instead, it was a tag team match, which saw him tag with Darby Allin against the team of Ricky Starks and Brian Cage. Now, with all due respect to everyone involved, that is not a marquee match.
Since then, Sting’s booking has not been anything special either, and he has taken part in random multi-man tag matches. Sting wrestling should have been made a PPV attraction but instead, six of his ten matches of him in AEW have been on Dynamite.
Sting’s Pairing With Darby Allin Has Not Worked
It is not hard to understand why AEW might have wanted to pair Sting up with someone like Allin. The expectation would have been that Allin would have gotten the rub from the legend and automatically become a bigger star through association. The two look cool visually as well, as a result of their similar face paints. On paper, it made a lot of sense.
In execution though, it just has not worked out for either man. The combination between Sting and Allin just seems a bit too haphazard, and they do not seem to have a clear purpose at this point of time. They have not been helped by the fact that they have not been put in any feuds with major heat.
Sting And Darby Allin Have Both Become Afterthoughts In AEW
For a period of time, it had looked like Allin was going to be the breakout star of AEW, after he was the one who faced CM Punk in his return match to wrestling last year. Leading up to and after that match, Allin had a lot of momentum with him, but that has cooled off drastically.
On the other hand, Sting feels like a bit of an afterthought at this point of time as well. There’s only so many random multi-man tag team matches that the fans can watch before losing interest and that is exactly what has happened here. Sting’s matches have been forgettable, except for some cool moments here and there.
Right now, there is very little buzz around either Sting or Allin, and they have become just another act on AEW television.
Sting’s Last Big Run In Wrestling Has Been A Big Disappointment
There were many fans who had thought that Sting’s in-ring career was over when WCW was bought out by WWE back in 2001. More than twenty years on, he is still in the wrestling business, even at 63 years of age. There is very little doubt though that this is his last big run in wrestling. After this spell in AEW, it is hard to see him do anything other than legendary appearances.
It is disappointing that things have not worked out a bit better for one of the greatest characters in wrestling history in his last big run. Sting deserves to go out on the back of a big program, and whenever it is that he decides to hang up his boots, perhaps Allin turning on him would make sense. That could lead to a retirement match for The Man They Call Sting.