In a recent interview with the Daily Star, TNA President Dixie Carter talks about Sting heading over to the U.K. for the first time in a decade and thinking it signifies the beginning of the end of his pro wrestling career:
"In his mind, I think this is his last year as far as the wrestling is concerned. When we booked this, that's the way he was talking about it - ‘I haven't played there in a decade, and before I retire I need to come back there and wrestle.' Based on where he's at and what he's saying, barring something extraordinary this is the last time. And for me it's great to be able to bring him back there. He's spent such a big part of his career helping to build our company, I'm very proud we can bring him over. It feels very final. It's going to be an emotional night."
Of course, there have been multiple instances in the past number of years in which Sting has either attempted to retire or openly spoke of doing so. And really, at 52-years-old (soon to be 53), he's living on borrowed time in his career. TNA has at least taken care of him as far as booking him goes, putting him in an on-screen authority figure role instead of having him actively wrestling each week. The travel schedule is also as light as possible, so he's endured much longer than he likely would have if he was in WWE.
It's natural, though, to wonder if 2012 is really going to be his final year in professional wrestling.
To this day, Sting is undoubtedly the biggest star in the history of the business to never work for Vince McMahon and the WWE. In some ways, that's admirable and something he should be applauded for. He never sold out because he was always worried about how he would be treated, both character and person. After all, being made in WCW or TNA doesn't mean you're made in WWE. Quite a few wrestlers, like Booker T and Diamond Dallas Page, learned that the hard way.
If Sting does leave TNA after this year, it will be impossible to escape the inevitable rumors that WWE would attempt to lure him to the company for a big money match, possibly at WrestleMania. Just look at the buzz created by the viral videos last year leading up to Undertaker's return that many thought to be Sting. It was huge. And it gave birth to one of the greatest photoshop jobs in the history of pro wrestling (image after the jump).
Not unlike the Stinger himself, I don't necessarily trust how WWE would use him. It would be entirely too easy to bury him and make him look like a fool, which a petty and vindictive man like Vince McMahon -- and Triple H, for that matter -- would have no problem doing. But I can't help but salivate at the thought of Sting in a WWE ring for a match at WrestleMania. Even if he jobbed, it would be a thrill and a true mark out moment.
Any Cagesiders out there hoping for a miracle like me?