It's fair to say that Sting and Triple H are among the very greatest professional wrestlers of all time. With two of the most successful in-ring competitors pitted against each other, the outcome of their match at Wrestlemania 31 is very much in question.
Though their war wages on, Sting has already won an important battle.
Triple H has unlimited resources. Helmsley can summon any number of stooges for ringside support, be it the usual suspects of Kane and Big Show, old buddies like Shawn Michaels or Kevin Nash, or even legends like Bruno Sammartino or Vince McMahon, himself! Helmsley has inroads with all of them, the money to make a trip worth their while, and the administrative stroke to justify and sanction their presence. Yet at Wrestlemania 31, Triple H will come to the ring alone (or perhaps flanked by Stephanie McMahon).
Why? Because Sting has made this much more than a wrestling match. It's about principles and dominance. Especially for Triple H, this personal matter is about pride and ego. An ill-gotten victory by Hemsley would be as good as a loss. Sting knows this and uses it against his foes.
Wind the clock back to 1997 and you'll see that Sting has used this formula before:
The nWo was at the peak of its powers and used gang tactics to ensure victories in nearly all their matches. Conspicuously, Hollywood Hogan strode to the ring alone for his match with Sting at Starrcade. No Dennis Rodman. No K-Dawg. No Outsiders. No Eric Bischoff. No Disciple. Just a championship belt and a pair of lightning emblazoned spandex.
Make no mistake, Sting enjoyed some success throughout 1997 attacking the nWo as a group, using guerrilla tactics and his trusty black bat. But even the Stinger would have no hope in a proper 10-on-1 match against the teeth of the nWo.
So what did he do? He made the battle personal. He made it less about WCW vs. the nWo and more about Sting vs. Hogan. He questioned the very premise that Hollywood Hogan was the world's greatest wrestler. And it worked perfectly. Hogan had absolutely no choice but to set aside all his friends and external advantages and meet Sting man-to-man.
In the present, Sting vs. The Authority ends in a savage beatdown. But Sting vs. Triple H? That's a wrestling match and Sting has the capability to beat any man on earth for one fall. Of course, so does Triple H, but at least Sting is giving himself a fair shake.
Don't forget that Triple H has a vested stake in Wrestlemania 31 turning as big a profit as possible. Therefore, it's in his best interest, on many levels, to let Sting have his fun and play with the lights and make as big a show out of this match as possible. That's just money in Triple H's pocket. Why do you think Hunter allows WWE tech staff to make Titantron videos and theme music for Sting? Certainly not out of the goodness of his heart, that's for sure!
Triple H has so much to gain, unless of course... he loses.
This is absolutely a "once in a lifetime" encounter. There will be no do-overs... no chance to seek further vengeance. As much as Triple H can threaten to erase Sting's WCW legacy and exclude him from the WWE Hall of Fame, a victory over The Game at the biggest event in sports history will be impossible to erase. Sting's legacy will be cemented forever.
Heavy is the head that wears the crown, and the King of Kings wears one big damn crown.
OFFICIAL WRESTLER WRANKINGS FORMULA
ANY WIN = 2 POINTS
US OR INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE BOUT = 1 POINT
WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE BOUT = 3 POINTS
NON "BIG 4" PPV BONUS = 1.5X
SUMMERSLAM, SURVIVOR SERIES, ROYAL RUMBLE = 2X BONUS
WRESTLEMANIA = 3X BONUS
The WWE season begins on the day after WrestleMania 30 and culminates with WrestleMania 31. The wrestler who accumulates the most points over the course of the season, wins the coveted Wrankings Championship!
Monday Night Raw -- 3/23/15
Main Event-- 3/24/15
Smackdown -- 3/26/15
WRESTLER WRANKINGS, WEEK 52 *TOP TEN*
1. RUSEV -- 119.5 points
2. Dolph Ziggler -- 93
3. Seth Rollins -- 84
4. John Cena -- 71
5. Roman Reigns -- 70
6. Sheamus -- 65
7. Dean Ambrose -- 64.5
8. Cesaro -- 64
9. Bad News Barrett -- 53.5
10. Bray Wyatt -- 51.5
Thanks for reading, Cagesiders. We'll see you back here next week!