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This Day in Wrestling History (Mar. 20): Happy Birthday Sting!

Today's TDIPWH is presented in two parts. The first detailed the major events of that day, including the historic Wrestlemania X, Mick Foley coming out of retirement less than a month after retiring, and WWE arguing with a reporter over whether it's a wrestling company. This part will detail the life and career of one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time, the (probably) recently retired Sting.

Today's the 57th birthday of Steve Borden, Sr. He's best known to wrestling fans as ex-bodybuilder turned legendary wrestler Sting.

Born in Omaha, Nebraska and raised in southern California, Borden was a two-sport athlete in high school before taking up bodybuilding. Professional wrestling was the furthest thing from his mind, as he had no television access within his home community, but he decided to give it a try after watching a WWF event in Los Angeles.

Under the management of Rick Bassman, Borden began wrestling in 1985 as ¼ of Power Team USA, a four-man unit of bodybuilders. Borden, as Flash, teamed with Jim Hellwig, aka Justice (who would go on to great success as The Ultimate Warrior), alongside Garland "Glory" Donahoe and Mark Miller, aka Commando. After some time for All-California Championship Wrestling, Borden and Hellwig joined the Memphis-based Continental Wrestling Association as the Freedom Fighters. Initially introduced as faces, fans didn't warm up to the duo, so they were turned heel. Of note, they broke the leg of Phil Hickerson before moving on.

Borden and Hellwig joined the Bill Watts-outfit Universal Wrestling Federation as The Blade Runners, Sting and Rock. They would join Hotstuff & Hyatt International and would serve as henchmen in "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert's feud with Bill Watts. Hellwig would leave the UWF in mid-1986, but Sting would hang around, winning three UWF tag team championships (two with Gilbert, one with Rick Steiner). Gilbert believed that Sting was a star in the making. He was set to win the UWF television championship before Jim Crockett Promotions bought the UWF in 1987. Sting's star-making moment would have to wait.

WCW Clash Of The Champions - Sting Vs. Ric Flair by WWFNetwork

Sting joined the NWA in the summer of 1987; later that year, he along with Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin went to a 15-minute draw against Gilbert, Rick Steiner, and Larry Zbyszko at Starrcade. The following March, the UWF alumnus would go to a 45-minute draw with Ric Flair for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship at the inagural Clash of the Champions. Sting would get the better of Flair in non-televised bouts and would battle the Four Horsemen and the Road Warriors for most of the year in tag team matches.

Returning to singles competition in 1989, Sting got his first taste of gold in the NWA by defeating Mike Rotunda for the NWA World Television Championship in March. Later in the year, The Great Muta would challenge Sting for the television title at The Great American Bash. Sting was announced as the winner, even though replay showed Muta clearly beat the three count. The title was vacated by the NWA, and would remain as such for months before Muta won the title using a blackjack. Sting would join his rival Flair against Terry Funk and The Great Muta of the J-Tex Corporation. The teams would feud for much of the remainder of 1989, with Sting and Flair defeating Muta and Funk in a Thunderdome cage match at Halloween Havoc. The alliance resulted in Sting joining the Four Horsemen. In December, Sting defeated Flair at Starrcade '89 to win a four-man round robin tournament to earn a shot at the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

Sting's #1 contendership would cause friction and ultimately separation from the Horsemen after he refused to give up his title shot at Clash of the Champions X: Texas Shootout. Later in the evening, Sting suffered a knee injury while attempting to interfere in the steel cage match. The Flair-Sting match was put on hold; in the meantime, Lex Luger, another one of Sting's rivals (and friends), took his place as the top contender. Luger would lose via countout at Wrestlewar when he came to the aid of Sting (in reality, it was a workaround for Flair to not renege on his promise to drop the title to Sting). Sting would still be used on NWA/WCW programming while he was recovering from his knee injury; at Capital Combat, he was tossed in metal cage by the Four Horsemen, but would be rescued by RoboCop in a promotional event.

Sting eventually recovered and would win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship at The Great American Bash on July 7, 1990. He would feud with Ric Flair, Sid Vicious, and The Black Scorpion for the remainder of the year.  The Scorpion, supposedly a man associated with Sting's past, would taunt and attack Sting on many occasions before finally defeating him at Starrcade '90: Collision Course. The Scorpion was unmasked, and it was indeed a man of Sting's past: Ric Flair. Flair, no longer donning the disguise, would win the rematch on January 11, 1991 to become the first WCW World Heavyweight Champion; WCW at the time was seceding from the NWA.

Sting's 1991 included feuding with Nikita Koloff after he was struck with a chain in a tag team match between Sting and Lex Luger and The Steiner Brothers, winning the WCW United States Championship n August, and winning the first ever Battlebowl battle royal in December.

Sting would soon find himself in the crosshairs of Paul E. Dangerously's Dangerous Alliance because he was "the franchise of WCW"; in Paul's mind, if he took out the franchise player, the company would fall behind him. Sting's old friend Lex Luger had it out for him too, as Luger viewed him as a threat to the world title. Sting would defeat Luger at Superbrawl II in February, then lead Sting's Squadron to victory over the Dangerous Alliance at Wrestlewar '92 in the WarGames match about three months later.

Around that time, another rival emerged. In April 1992, Sting defended the WCW world championship against the 450-pound Big Van Vader in Atlanta. After a Vader splash, Sting suffered three cracked ribs and a ruptured spleen. He would recover, but would lose the WCW world title to Vader at the Great American Bash in July after missing a Stinger Splash. The feud would resume late in the year when he defeated Vader, by this point no longer WCW world champion, in the King of Cable tournament final at Starrcade. He also would have PPV victories over Cactus Jack at Beach Blast and Jake "The Snake" Roberts at Halloween Havoc.

The Sting-Vader feud continued in 1993, with Vader getting the better of Sting. Vader defeated Sting in  strap match at SuperBrawl II, but Sting would get his payback soon after, winning the WCW world title in London just three weeks later. It was a fleeting victory; Vader would win back the title less than a week later in Dublin, Ireland. That summer, Sting teamed up with Davey Boy Smith against The Masters of the Powerbomb (Sid & Vader); their Beach Blast encounter is best remembered for the mini-movie that set it up, where an evil midget blew up Sting's boat.

In 1994, Sting feuded with Ravishing Rick Rude (and Vader still), this time over the WCW International World Heavyweight Championship. Sting won the title in April, but would lose it back to Rude in May at Wrestling Dontaku. The decision was reversed due to Rude hitting Sting with the title belt (in reality, it was to cover for Rude suffering a career-ending back injury in the bout). Sting, rather than taking the belt back, challenged and defeated Vader for the vacant title at Slamboree. A month later, Sting was defeated by Flair in a title unification match at Clash of the Champions XXIII. Sting's feud with Flair would blend with the incoming Hulk Hogan's feuds with the Three Faces with Fear and Dungeon of Doom for about the next year or so. During that time, Sting defeated Meng in a tournament final for the WCW United States Championship. He would lose it in November to Kensuke Sasaki, but would exact a small measure of revenge at Starrcade 1995 when he defeated Sasaki to win the World Cup of Wrestling for WCW.

In the meantime, Sting was convinced by Ric Flair to team with him against Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman for a bout at Halloween Havoc. Flair was taken out by Anderson and Piper, leaving Sting to do the heavy lifting. It was a trap, of course; Flair turned on Sting during the bout and reformed the Four Horsemen with newcomer Chris Benoit. Sting would go on to defeat Flair on two occasions late in the year.

Sting and Luger would team to hold the WCW World Tag Team Championship for the first half of 1996, but their relationship was a bit strained due to Luger's heelish tactics, tactics that cost Sting a WCW world title match against The Giant at Slamboree.

The second half of the year saw Sting on the front lines for WCW in their fight against Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, aka the Outsiders. The Outsiders were a duo, most recently seen in the WWF, that caused chaos at WCW events. Sting would join frenemy Lex Luger and Randy Savage against Hall, Nash, and a player to be named later for a trios match at Bash at the Beach. Luger was injured early on in the bout, giving up WCW's extra-man advantage. Hulk Hogan late in the bout would come to the rescue of WCW against the invaders... or so many people thought. In one of wrestling's most infamous moments, the longtime fan favorite leg dropped Macho Man Randy Savage. The Outsiders dispatched of Sting, and Hogan and the Outsiders declared that there was a new world order in professional wrestling. The name stuck, and Sting would lead the charge.

Sting teamed with Lex Luger, Ric Flair, and Arn Anderson in a bit of a Four Horsemen reunion (both Sting and Luger were in previous incarnations of the group) to take on the nWo at Fall Brawl in the annual WarGames match, with the New World Order's fourth player to be determined. The nWo created dissension by using a fake Sting to make WCW believe that the real Sting had defected to the enemy camp. The plan was made even more effective by the fact that the real Sting was not at Nitro that week. The fake Sting--€”and the real one--€”were in the WarGames match, and after Sting took out the nWo, he berated Luger before giving him an obscene gesture and walking away. The nWo, now at a 4-3 advantage, went on to win the bout.

The next night, Sting came out and berated his doubters with his back turned to the hard camera, famously ending his tirade by telling anyone who didn't believe in him could stick it, and he was a free agent. After a brief tour of Japan, Sting debuted his Scorpion Death Drop (an inverted DDT) on Mr. JL. Post-match, Ted DiBiase and Kevin Nash made an offer for Sting to join the nWo. Sting replied , "the only thing that's for sure about Sting is that nothing's for sure". It would be Sting's last words on WCW programming for over a year.

Sting, once one of WCW's most colorful characters, began wearing a black trench coat and black and white face paint. It was Scott Hall who suggested the makeover, inspired by Eric Draven's character in the 1994 movie The Crow. The new Sting would introduce a series of loyalty tests in the following months: he would dare someone to attack, then Sting would force them back with his bat. If the man pushed back attempted to attack, Sting would be ready to swing his bat. Then Sting handed the bat to the attacker before turning his back to him. If the attacker did not retaliate, Sting would not and take his bat back.

Randy Savage passed one of these loyalty tests, but under threat that he would never return to WCW, Savage helped Hollywood Hulk Hogan defeat Roddy Piper at SuperBrawl for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. The next month, Sting took a stand. As the nWo celebrated their win in the main event battle royal, Sting emerged from the rafters. Scott Hall was attacked with the bat by Sting, as was Kevin Nash and Randy Savage. Hollywood Hogan got in and he got dropped too, firmly planting Sting in the WCW camp.

Sting's unexpected drop-ins were often some of the most watched segments on Monday Nitro, whether he was attacking the nWo, helping those that were loyal to WCW, or leading an army of clones. Despite Sting being in the camp of WCW, he did not wrestle as he continuously rebuffed then-commissioner James J. Dillon's offers to face members of the nWo. On one edition of Nitro, Sting, without speaking, made his demand via fan sign: Hulk vs. Sting.

Sting vs Hollywood Hogan (Starrcade 1997 Finish) by zep81videos

The bout finally came to pass at Starrcade in December 1997. The finish, supposedly a mirror of the infamous Montreal Screwjob a month earlier, had even more controversy when referee Nick Patrick gave a normal count instead of a fast count. Sting would go on to win the match and the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. The two rematched the next night on Nitro, again ending in controversy. The controversial finishes caused the WCW world title to be vacated. Sting, visibly upset at the decision, grabbed the mic and spoke for the first time in about fourteen months: "You've got no guts!" to Dillion; "And you, you're a dead man!" to Hogan.

Sting would win back the world title in February at SuperBrawl VIII with help from Randy Savage, who once again flipped his loyalties with the nWo. Sting would hold the title for all of two months, losing it to Savage at Spring Stampede thanks to Kevin Nash. Soon after, Sting's loyalties were tested: the nWo had splintered into two groups, the Wolfpac headed by Kevin Nash, and Hollywood, headed by Hulk Hogan. Sting had friends in both groups (made even more complicated by Sting and The Giant winning the WCW tag team titles together), but ultimately he aligned with the red and black Wolfpac. Sting would feud with nWo Hollywood and Bret Hart through the fall before Hart took out Sting with a baseball bat at Halloween Havoc.

By the time Sting returned in March 1999, the nWo was no longer the focus and Sting began to talk more frequently. In April Sting won--€”then lost--€”the WCW world title in about a 90-minute span. He feuded with Goldberg, Sid Vicious, Randy Savage, and Rick Steiner through the spring and early summer (Sting's bout with Rick Steiner infamously ended when he was attacked by three of Steiner's pet dogs). In September, Sting won his sixth--€”and last--€”WCW world title after he used a baseball bat given to him by Lex Luger on Hulk Hogan. Despite the heelish act, fans continued to cheer Sting. The next month, Sting defeated Hogan in the rematch at Halloween Havoc when Hogan lay down in the ring. Sting would be stripped of the title the next night when he attacked referee Charles Robinson during a second world title match with Goldberg.

Sting would enter a 32-man tournament to crown a new WCW world champion. He made it to the semifinals, losing at Mayhem to the tournament's eventual winner Bret Hart. Sting shook hands with Hart post-match, turning him face again. He would feud with longtime frenemy Lex Luger until the following March when he defeated Luger in a lumberjacks with casts match at Uncensored.

Sting and Vampiro would feud in the spring of 2000 following a hard storyline reboot. Sting, on the verge of winning the WCW United States Championship at Spring Stampede, pulled Vampiro under the ring, leading Scott Steiner to the win. They would feud until The Great American Bash in June when Sting (actually a stuntman) was lit on fire in a human torch match. After being taken out by Scott Steiner in November 2000, Sting remained off WCW programming until the final Nitro in March 2001, where he defeated Ric Flair in the final ever WCW match.

WWF was purchased by WCW that same month. Sting was not picked up following the sale (he like many top stars at the time were contracted under WCW's previous owner, AOL Time Warner), nor did he take the 50 cents on the dollar buyout from AOL Time Warner to join the WWF. He waited out until his contract expiration in March 2002 before entering negotiations with the WWF. In the end, negotiations fell through and Sting did not join the WWF.

In the years since, there has been speculation as to why Sting didn't join the company. Though rumors have been attributed to everything from the company's live schedule and use of WCW's former talents to negative dealings with attorneys and the content of its live programming. Sting downplayed those rumors and even expressed regret for not joining WWE sooner than he did in a 2015 interview. Sting, who has said he's had positive dealings with the company, said he was very close to joining WWE in 2011.

He joined the Australian-based World Wrestling All-Stars and joined the company on their European tour in November and December 2002. Sting lost to Lex Luger for the WWA World Heavyweight Championship in Glasgow, Scotland, but would defeat Luger just a week later in Zurich, Switzerland. He held the title until WWA's final show in May 2003 in Auckland, New Zealand when he was defeated in a title unification match with NWA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett.

Sting joined TNA in 2003 and made a series of one-off appearances for the company. He would appear in four matches for the company that year, winning all four, including two over NWA world champion Jeff Jarrett (one via disqualification in a title bout, the other in a non-title match). In between the appearances, Borden would have a series of interviews with Mike Tenay discussing his career and faith. He would sit down with Tenay again in March 2004 to promote his biographical film, Sting: Moment of Truth. The week after the interview, he would be the enforcer of a four-way match involving Abyss, AJ Styles, Raven, and Ron Killings.

That would be Sting's final appearance for TNA for a year and a half. As Jeff Jarrett celebrated his victory at Turning Point in December 2005, the lights went out and an image of a scorpion appeared on the screens, along with the date of January 15, 2006, the date of the company's next PPV, Final Resolution. A lone spotlight shone, with a trench coat, boots, and black baseball bat on a chair. It hinted at the return of Sting, which was made official just after midnight on New Year's Day 2006.

After Sting and Christian Cage defeated Jeff Jarrett and Monty Brown in a tag team match at Final Resolution, Sting made his Spike TV-era Impact debut two weeks later to say goodbye. But Sting wouldn't be gone long: a few weeks later, Alex Shelley was spotted filming Sting during his private time, and promised to confront him as Steve Borden. Sting, without the face paint, returned at Destination X. In April at Lethal Lockdown, Sting would lead a four-man unit, "Sting's Warriors", which included AJ Styles, Rhino, and Ron Killings, into victory over Jarrett's Army (Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner, and America's Most Wanted).

Despite the victory, Jarrett often got the better of Sting time and time again. After Sting failed to win the NWA world title in August at Hard Justice thanks to Christian Cage, Sting challenged Jarrett, but Jarrett would only accept with the caveat that Sting put his career on the line. Sting would disappear from TNA programming largely for the next two months, returning much leaner at Bound for Glory in a hybrid of looks throughout his career. Sting would defeat Jarrett for the title, giving him his first world title win since 1999. At age 47 at the time of the win, Sting was one of the oldest world champions in NWA history, and the oldest in the TNA era. He's also the only man to win the NWA world title before and after the inception of TNA.

A quirk in the TNA rules at the time ended Sting's world title reign just a month later (a title could change hands if the disqualification is ruled intentional), giving the title to Abyss at Genesis; in the weeks that followed, Sting tried to convince Abyss that he was nothing more than a pawn for his manager James Mitchell. Making matters complicated, Christian Cage alleged he knew of a dark secret in Abyss' past. In early 2007, after failing on two occasions to win back the NWA world title, Sting learned of Abyss' past too. Through a public record search, he found out that Abyss shot his father three times in the back and put him in a coma. Despite getting a fireball to the face by Mitchell, Sting got his payback on Abyss, defeating him in a Prison Yard match and a Last Rites match on consecutive PPVs. The week after Destination X, it was revealed that it was Abyss' mother that pulled the trigger and he took the blame to protect her. The Sting-Abyss rivalry came to an end at Lockdown when Sting defeated Abyss in the Lethal Lockdown match to win it for his team.

Sting was set to challenge Christian Cage for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, but Kurt Angle would challenge Sting for his spot instead. After Team Cage interfered, the bout was made into a three-way at Sacrifice. On the day of the PPV, the NWA and TNA severed ties, in part due to TNA wanting to brand its own world titles, and in part due to the NWA wanting to control NWA-based championships. The controversial finish led to the newly created TNA World Heavyweight Championship vacant, with Kurt Angle winning the title at Slammiversary. At the same PPV, Sting defeated Christopher Daniels, who cost Sting a shot at the title in a qualifying match.

Later in the year, Sting became one half of the TNA World Tag Team Champions with Kurt Angle after winning a four-way match. The partnership all of two weeks, when Angle turned on Sting and lost the titles to Adam "Pacman" Jones and Ron "The Truth" Killings. That led to a Sting-Angle feud and a Bound for Glory bout in Atlanta, the former home of World Championship Wrestling, where he had his biggest professional success. Sting overcame interference by Karen Angle and Kevin Nash to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. His victory was fleeting though; the next night, Sting lost the title back to Angle. Sting would challenge for the title again in a tag team match at Genesis, but he and the debuting Booker T were defeated by Angle and Nash.

After taking some time off, Sting returned and would be a part of Team Cage for their annual Lethal Lockdown match against Team Tomko. Sting would be on the winning side at Lockdown when Rhino defeated James Storm. Storm and Sting briefly teamed up in the Deuces Wild Tournament as part of the "Egotistical 8" bracket, but Sting and Storm were defeated in the first round due to their inability to get along. Sting attacked storm near the end of the bout and walked out.

After contemplating retirement again, Sting returned and attacked Samoa Joe and AJ Styles. He felt that the younger generation didn't have respect for the veterans of wrestling, and he wouldn't retire until he got said respect. In October at Bound for Glory, Sting defeated Samoa Joe with the help of Kevin Nash to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Soon after, Sting joined the heel group Main Event Mafia with Booker T, Sharmell, Kurt Angle, Kevin Nash, and Scott Steiner. As Sting still had the crowd support and rarely participated in sneak attacks, he was a tweener leaning heel. He would hold the world title for six months before losing it to another veteran, Mick Foley in a six sides of steel match at Lockdown. The next month, Sting would win a four-way match at Sacrifice to become the Mafia's new "Godfather" when he defeated Kurt Angle. This caused friction in the group, and just over a month later, the group attacked Sting and kicked him from the Mafia. This assault essentially turned Sting face again.

Sting struggled in PPV bouts later in the year, losing to Samoa Joe at Victory Road thanks to Taz, and losing multi-man matches for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship on consecutive PPVs. In October, he lost at Bound for Glory for the first time when he was defeated by AJ Styles for the TNA world title. Contemplating retirement again, Sting post-match said that "the way you fans are reacting right now, makes me wanna stay forever!"

After a one-off appearance on the three-hour Impact in January 2010, Sting returned in March and turned heel again when he hit Hulk Hogan and Abyss with a baseball bat. Later in the evening, he was quickly defeated by Rob Van Dam, then assaulted Van Dam, security guards, and Hogan. Later in the month, he was a part of the losing team in the Lethal Lockdown match when Team Flair lost to Team Hogan. After defeating Jeff Jarrett at Sacrifice, Sting became the #1 contender to Rob Van Dam's TNA world title. But it would be Jarrett that cost Sting the title at Slammiversary. The next week, following a Sting assault on Jarrett, he was suspended for 30 days without pay.

Sting returned in August with Kevin Nash and beat down Jeff Jarrett, Eric Bischoff, and Hulk Hogan. Sting and Nash were joined by D'Angelo Dinero, who had information from Bischoff's secretary Miss Tessmacher about Hogan and Bischoff plotting something. Sting, Nash, and Dinero were to team with Jeff Jarrett, Samoa Joe, and Hulk Hogan at Bound for Glory, but Hogan had to pull out of the bout due to back surgery. Jarrett abandoned Joe late in the match, leading to Sting, Nash, and Dinero winning. As it turned out, Sting, Nash and Dinero were right; Hogan, Bischoff, and Jarrett were revealed as "they"--€”Immortal--€”as foretold by Abyss. Sting, Nash, and Dinero were essentially turned back face, meaning Sting was never a true heel the entire time. Sting tried to warn Dixie Carter about Hogan and Bischoff, but she never listened. After being offered a spot in Immortal, Sting and Nash both walked out on TNA.

Sting would return to the company under a new contract in February 2011, where he defeated Jeff Hardy for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at an Impact taping. Their rematch at Victory Road about two weeks later lasted all of 90 seconds when Sting quickly defeated Hardy, who looked to be in no condition to perform that night. Sting nodded in agreement to one fan's claim the match was bullshit. Sting would lose the title to Mr. Anderson at Slammiversary IX thanks to interference by Eric Bischoff.

Sting wouldn't be without the title long: in July, he took back the TNA World Heavyweight Championship from Anderson after developing a more maniacal character similar to that of Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight. In August, Sting would be defeated for the title by Kurt Angle at Hardcore Justice, but his mind games with Immortal continued. He targeted Ric Flair, agreeing to put his career on the line with the promise that should he win, he would get one match with Hulk Hogan.

After Sting lost two TNA world title matches to Kurt Angle in September thanks to Immortal, Sting defeated Flair (in what turned out to be Flair's final wrestling match) to get his match with Hogan at Bound for Glory. Hogan tried to back out of the match, claiming retirement, but Sting exposed him and Hogan in desperation declared that Dixie Carter would get the company back if he lost. At Bound for Glory, Sting won (in what turned out to be Hogan's final match); post match, Sting and Hogan fought side by side against Hogan's now former stable. The next week, Dixie Carter made Sting the general manger. He largely stayed away from the ring, wrestling only twice over the following six months (both in tag bouts with Jeff Hardy to defeat TNA world champion Bobby Roode and Bully Ray).

After being defeated by Bobby Roode in a non-title no holds barred match, Sting announced his resignation as general manager and gave the reins to Hulk Hogan. Sting returned to the ring in late May, defeating Bobby Roode in a non-title lumberjack match to earn a TNA world title match. Sting had a bittersweet night at Slammiversary: on the night he was announced as the first inductee of the TNA Hall of Fame, he lost to Roode for the world title.

Through the summer and fall, Sting feuded with a group of masked men known as the Aces & Eights. With Hogan out due to back surgery and storyline injuries he suffered at the hands of the group, Sting once again assumed general manager duties. At Bound for Glory in October, Sting and Bully Ray were defeated by two members of the group. The man that ran interference was unmasked and revealed to be the returning Devon, Bully Ray Dudley's former tag team partner. Sting would soon be sidelined with a storyline injury at the hands of the group.

Sting would feud with the group for the first half of 2013. The feud drove a wedge between Sting and Hogan, but the two would eventually reconcile. At Bound for Glory, Sting was defeated by Bully Ray in a TNA world title bout; the resulting loss meant Sting could never challenge for the championship again. Soon after, Sting reformed the Main Event Mafia to battle the Aces & Eights. One member of the group, Magnus, was looking to make a name for himself, but he didn't have anyone that put him on the map the way Sting did with Ric Flair. At Bound for Glory, Magnus defeated Sting.

With Aces & Eights gone, the Main Event Mafia disbanded. Sting began standing up for TNA legends including Curry Man and Earl Hebner against Dixie Carter and her storyline nephew Ethan Carter III. In January 2014, Sting lost to Ethan Carter III due to interference from world champion Magnus; that led to Sting challenging Magnus in a career versus title match on the following episode; Magnus won the match and Sting was fired.

In February 2014, longtime wrestling journalist Bill Apter penned a piece for profiling Sting's career, hinting that "Sting's best days may still yet to be come". Two months later, he appeared on a WWE Network special on his former tag team partner The Ultimate Warrior. Sting was used in a promotional ad for WWE 2K15; the same day, WWE began selling official merchandise. In August, he made an appearance during a panel promoting Mattel's upcoming line of WWE action figures. The same month, he gave his first official interview for Speculation continued to pick up as to when, not if, Sting will be seen in a WWE ring.

The day finally came at the 2014 Survivor Series when Sting cost Team Authority a tag team match at the event and gave Triple H the Scorpion Death Drop. Two months later, he made his RAW debut and again cost the Authority a tag team match; this time around, giving Dolph Ziggler, Ryback, and Erick Rowan their jobs back. Triple H and Sting had a confrontation at Fastlane. After some fighting, Sting held back Triple H then pointed at the Wrestlemania 31 sign with his baseball bat, essentially challenging him to a match. Triple H would defeat Sting at the event in Sting's WWE in-ring debut due to interference by members of D-Generation X and the New World Order. The veterans shook hands post-match.

Sting would return in September replacing Seth Rollins' WWE Championship statue unveiling. He would challenge Rollins at Night of Champions. In September, Sting got his first WWE win when he defeated Big Show by disqualification. Later in the evening, he submitted Seth Rollins in a tag team match. At Night of Champions, Sting suffered a neck injury, but would finish the bout, a losing effort to Rollins. In December, Sting said that he needed surgery to correct cervical spinal stenosis, the injury that ended the career of Adam "Edge" Copeland a few years earlier.

In January, Sting was announced as the first member of the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2016. Still considered active, Sting will join Ric Flair as the only men to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as an active wrestler. It is speculated that Sting will announce his retirement at the Hall of Fame Ceremony in April.

Sting, the only face-painted world champion in WCW history, is often considered as the greatest performer in the promotion, having garnered one of the largest and most loyal fanbases in the history of the business. He is also known for his charity work, once calling his involvement with the Make-A-Wish and Starlight Children's Foundations as his most fulfilling activity. He was voted Pro Wrestling Illustrated's most popular wrestler four times from 1991 to 1997 (a record shared by John Cena). Before joining WWE in late 2014, Sting was often regarded as the most significant performer to never perform in WWE. In a 2013 poll, Sting was voted as the greatest United States Champion of all time. Sting has been regarded by peers and colleagues as a locker-room leader and an inspiration and influence to many wrestlers.

Sting is one of the biggest draws in wrestling history, though it has been disputed in some circles. Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, and WCW booker Mike Graham assert that Sting was one of few reliable draws for a company that lacked them (Sting's bout with Ric Flair at the inaugural Clash of the Champions drew a record television rating for TBS, and Sting's first world title win at The Great American Bash in 1990 was the most-bought NWA PPV ever at the time). Nash said that Sting brings value to the WWE because of his trademark.

Longtime wrestling journalists Dave Meltzer, Dave Scherer, and Fin Martin disagree with the assessment, reasoning that Sting did not elevate himself during his first NWA world title run and he lacked credible challengers, and that Sting didn't draw huge numbers even before the days of the nWo.

Sting's bout with Hulk Hogan at Starrcade 1997 headlined the company's most bought PPV ever. Sting was the top merchandise seller in 1997 in WCW, and second in wrestling only to Stone Cold Steve Austin. Despite joining nWo Wolfpac in 1998, Sting's merchandise continued to sell.

Steve Borden, a born-again Christian (he had confessed to his wife he had cheated on her and had drug and alcohol problems back in 1998), has two sons, Garrett Lee and Steve, Jr., and one daughter Gracie. Both his sons played football in college. He divorced from his first wife, Sue, in 2010, and married a second time, Sabine, last year.

So... Sting's accomplishments. Here ya go. A (mostly complete) list:

  • 2-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion (one in the WCW era, one in the TNA era)
  • NWA World Television Champion
  • 6-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion
  • 2-time WCW International World Heavyweight Champion
  • 2-time WCW United States Champion
  • 3-time WCW World Tag Team Champion
  • 1988 Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup winner with Lex Luger
  • 1989 Starrcade Ironman Tournament winner
  • 1991 Battlebowl winner
  • 1992 King of Cable
  • 4-time TNA World Heavyweight Champion
  • TNA World Tag Team Champion
  • TNA Hall of Fame Class of 2012
  • WWA World Heavyweight Champion
  • 3-time UWF World Tag Team Champion
  • WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2016
  • 2-time WWE Slammy Award Winner

From Wrestling Observer Newsletter:

  • Match of the Year (1988 vs. Ric Flair, Clash of the Champions)
  • 1988 and 1992 Most Charismatic Wrestler
  • Most Improved Wrestler of 1998
  • 2 5-star rated matches (WarGames match at Wrestlewar '91, WarGames Match at Wrestlewar '92)
  • Best Babyface of 1992

From Pro Wrestling Illustrated:

  • 4-time Most Popular Wrestler (1991, 1992, 1994, 1997)
  • Most Improved Wrestler of 1988
  • Most Popular Wrestler of 1990
  • Most Inspirational Wrestler of 1990
  • 1991 Match of the Year (with Lex Luger vs. Steiner Brothers, SuperBrawl)
  • #1 wrestler in the world in the PWI 500 in 1992
  • #15 singles wrestler of the PWI Years in 2003
  • #52 tag team wrestler with Lex Luger in the PWI years in 2003
  • 3-time Comeback Wrestler of the Year (2006, 2011, 2014)

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