A key argument against the idea of WWE bringing in Sting to work a match at WrestleMania 31 next year in Santa Clara is fan interest. After all, so-called "casual" fans may not have even known that Sting is still a professional wrestler if they didn't bother keeping up with his long run in TNA.
In fairness, they didn't miss much.
Sting was, however, a huge star for WCW during the Attitude Era, and he remains one of the biggest stars to have never officially worked for Vince McMahon. There is also a key indicator of potential success within WWE the Stinger is doing quite well in despite obvious disadvantages.
According to the Wrestling Observer, here's the top 10 best sellers in arena over the last month:
1. John Cena
2. Roman Reigns
3. The Usos
4. The Wyatt Family
5. Brock Lesnar
8. Daniel Bryan
9. Dean Ambrose
10. Hulk Hogan
Some analysis from the Newsletter (subscription required but strongly recommended):
The feeling is the house show merchandise better reflects who to push because they are purchases made by more general fans, and more merchandise is sold at venues than on the Internet. The key notes were the strength of the Usos, Lesnar doing so well as a heel, Bryan's numbers falling greatly now that he's not on TV and the success of Sting. The key is Sting merchandise, which never sold all that well in WCW or TNA, is doing great in WWE even though he's never appeared live on a WWE television show. It definitely increases the perception of his value for WrestleMania.
If Sting is selling merchandise that well at arenas without ever appearing on WWE television, imagine the potential there for an actual feud leading to a match at the biggest show of the year.
This absolutely boosts his prospects for a match at WrestleMania 31 next year, one that would likely lead to his retirement. If there was ever any doubt that it would be worth the time, this goes a long way towards erasing that.
Now if someone could just convince Undertaker to come back for just one more match...