Sting is one of the most popular and energetic professional wrestlers of all time. His charisma resonated with young and old fans alike. He was also very talented in the ring. He could move quickly, and was able to perform a large array of wrestling moves at the drop of a dime. These are Sting’s greatest matches ever.
7) Sting vs Rick Rude
When Ravishing Rick Rude entered World Championship Wrestling at Halloween Havoc 1991, one of his first opponents was Sting. The two wrestled each other a dozen times over the next several years, but their most famous match came in May 1994. It was during a match for New Japan Pro Wrestling that Rick Rude took a bad fall on the outside of the ring. It was a fall that would end Rick Rude’s career. The match continued, though it was cut short due to the injury. Unfortunately, the bout is only one of Sting’s greatest matches because of it’s significance to the history of one of the all time greatest workers, Ravishing Rick Rude.
6) Sting vs Lex Luger
In 1992, best friends Sting and Lex Luger were now bitter enemies. Lex Luger had crossed to the dark side and aligned himself with former heavyweight wrestling Champion, Harley Race. Under Race’s tutelage, Lex Luger won the World Championship Wrestling heavyweight title from Barry Windham. Sting, who was Luger’s former tag partner, was named the number one contender for his championship. The two met at Superbrawl. Though Lex Luger was known for his awkward and robotic wrestling, Sting had enough ability for the both of them. Physically, these two guys were in the best shape of their careers. The guys traded shots and Sting even executed a perfect German Suplex, a move he didn’t use. After a brief brawl on the outside of the ring, Sting scored the pin fall with a cross body block from the top turnbuckle. The crowd left that night completely satisfied. Their hero, Sting, was once again the heavyweight champion.
5) Sting vs Great Muta
In the late 80’s and early 90’s, World Championship Wrestling could not compete with the entertainment machine of the World Wrestling Federation. But one way they made their product different, was by exchanging talent with New Japan Pro Wrestling. This resulted in The Great Muta being introduced to American audiences. The Great Muta and Sting wrestled several times during Muta’s trips to the States. Their best match took place at The Great American Bash 1989. The WCW Television title was on the line. The Great Muta was managed that night by Gary Hart, and his ring entrance was complete with a gong. Sting, on the other hand, was seconded by Eddie Gilbert. And his entrance included pyrotechnics. One of the few times in the 80’s that pyrotechnics were used. Dressed in his usual neon tights and matching face paint, Sting wrestled The Great Muta in a mat classic. In this match, Sting was not considered the high-flyer, which he usually was. In this match, Sting was more grounded and he let The Great Muta fly around and enthrall the WCW faithful. The two athletes were very agile and quick, making the commentary hard to call. On this night, The Great Muta and Sting were able to introduce a lot of newer wrestling moves to a large pay per view audience. This included The Great Muta’s fantastic moonsault finishing move. Sting retained the Television Championship at The Great American Bash 1989, finally felling The Great Muta with a back suplex.
4) Sting and Lex Luger vs Steiner Brothers
One of my earliest memories of wrestling is the tag team encounter between four of the most popular wrestlers at the time. Sting and Lex Luger battled Rick and Scott Steiner in a Tag Team Title Match on the Superbrawl 1991 super card. From the onset, viewers could tell this was a different kind of match. The Steiner Brothers were well versed in the more hard hitting Japanese style of wrestling. And they brought that style into this match, which caused Sting and Luger to wrestle more aggressively. The end result was a hard hitting match, filled with unique spots and awesome suplexes. Unfortunately, the match didn’t end cleanly. Nikita Koloff, the Russian Nightmare, made his return to WCW that night and interfered, hitting Sting with a chain. Scott Steiner then made a weak pin. The Steiner Brothers retained the title at Superbrawl 1991.
3) Sting vs Vader
At Superbrawl 3, Sting wrestled the massive 350 pound Big Van Vader in a leather strap match. A leather strap match is when two wrestles are bound together at the hand by a 12 foot leather strap. A winner is crowned after one of the wrestlers drags his opponent to each turnbuckle, and slaps the turnbuckle. It may be a silly premise, but the match was anything but silly. It was brutal and sickening. The 350 pound Big Van Vader was not only huge, but he was vicious in the ring. He was well known throughout the world as being a legit bad ass in the ring. And he certainly lived up to that reputation. Sting played the quintessential baby face. He was the underdog. And he took a great beating, selling his opponents offense like he was dead. At the near 20 minute mark, a beaten Sting muscled the bloody Big Van Vader onto his shoulders and dramatically walked around the ring, hitting 3 out of the 4 turnbuckles. On the 4Th buckle, Sting collapsed in exhaustion. It was pure magic. The story Sting told was magnificent. Big Van Vader captured the heavyweight championship that night under scrupulous circumstances. But Sting sure didn’t look like a loser. He looked stronger losing the match, than he ever could have winning it.
2) Sting vs Ric Flair
The Nature Boy Ric Flair and Sting had a kind of chemistry you don’t often come across in wrestling. Their style were so different, and yet, gelled so well together. Ric Flair and Sting were the perfect example to the old adage that opposites attract. You couldn’t find two more opposite personalities, and yet, they never had a bad match. Throughout the years unfortunately, some of their matches became stagnant and similar to one another. Therefor, their best match was their first outting. For 45 minutes, these two athletes pulled out all the stops. They used every wrestling move in their arsenal and laid it all out on the line for the National Wrestling Alliance fans. The match ended in a time limit draw, and went to the ringside judges for a decision. Although Flair got the judges decision, this match made Sting a huge star. After this match, he became the top fan favorite in the NWA.
1) Sting vs Hulk Hogan
The main event for Starcade 1997 was one of the most anticipated matches in pro wrestling. In an industry where angles and story lines typically start and end in the span of a month, the story build up between Sting and Hollywood Hulk Hogan last almost 18 months. The crowds were frothing at the mouth. They rabidly wanted Sting to finally get revenge on The Hulkster. Although the action was simple and formulaic, the frenzied crowd made this match epic. At this point in his career, Sting could do no wrong. They wanted WCW’s golden child to finally conquer the leader of the New World Order. And though the match ended in controversy, due in part to Hulk Hogan not wanting to take a clean loss, this was still Sting’s greatest match of all time.
Throughout his career, Sting had hundreds of battles. And many of those fights, turned into classics. Unfortunately, Sting is one of the very, if not only, major pro wrestling star to never work for Vince McMachon’s World Wrestling Entertainment organization. Sting has gone on record to say he was afraid that McMahon would ruin the Sting character and legacy. And in truth, it’s a logical fear. Sting’s character and legacy is bold, honest and good. Certainly, he was one of the most pure good guys in wrestling history.