The Vigilante vs. The Authority Kingpin
Sting vs. Triple H
Because Triple H is like The Mountie in that he always gets his man, Sting will make his WWE debut tonight against The Game, not The Undertaker, which is the real match everyone has been dreaming about for over 14 years. This distraction was caused by Sting turning into a vigilante, deciding to take it upon himself to put an end to The Authority's abusive cronyism, because we all know that defeating The King of Kings at WrestleMania will achieve that goal. Just ask Daniel Bryan!
The Road to WrestleMania
For years, Sting stepping foot into a WWE ring seemed like a pipe dream. However, that all changed at last year's Survivor Series when he made his long awaited WWE debut by thwarting Triple H's interference in the Team Cena vs. Team Authority main event by planting Hunter with a Scorpion Death Drop and rolling Dolph Ziggler on top of Seth Rollins for the three count. By virtue of the match stipulations, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were immediately removed from power and could only be reinstated if John Cena agreed to let them have their jobs back.
Obviously with such a get out of jail free card available to them, it was only a matter of time before The Authority would be ruling the roost again, but the intrigue was how they would get to that destination point.
All it took was five weeks to be exact and Seth Rollins exploiting John Cena's virtues of hustle, loyalty and respect. On the Dec. 29th Monday Night Raw, Rollins threatened to break guest GM Edge's neck if Cena didn't bring The Authority back and The Cenation Leader was forced to accept his demands. Their evil master plan pulled off perfectly, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon came out to celebrate with glasses of champagne held high.
What was their first act back in charge? To shamelessly fire Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan and Ryback on the very next edition of Raw for being part of Team Cena at Survivor Series.
Such an abuse of power and travesty of justice wasn't going to sit well with "The Vigilante" Sting and his next appearance on WWE programming would right that wrong. The Authority's mistake: allowing John Cena one last shot to get his friends' jobs back on the Jan. 19th Raw in a 1 on 3 handicap match against Seth Rollins, Big Show and Kane, and presuming that Sting was gone for good. As Rollins was preparing to Curb Stomp Cena into the mat, Sting distracted The Authority with an elaborate entrance, allowing Cena to recover and roll-up Rollins from behind for a shocking victory.
Fed up of Sting being a constant thorn in his side, Triple H challenged him to a face to face meeting at Fastlane where he hoped they could resolve their problems once and for all.
Sting finally responded to the calling out in his own unique way on the Feb. 9th Raw. After a promo where Triple H mocked Sting for taking 14 years to finally take his revenge on Hunter for helping kill WCW, he gave his answer when a fake Sting walked up behind The Game, scaring the bejesus out of him, and an eery video aired on the Titantron bluntly stating "I accept".
When Ric Flair warned Triple H about how dangerous Sting was as a competitor on the Feb. 16th Raw, Hunter shrugged off his concern, believing he'd be better at kicking The Vigilante's ass than Flair ever was, and even shoved The Nature Boy down, not finding Flair's joke about falling on his ass the week before funny at all! In the process, The Game made a vow he couldn't keep: that Sting wouldn't show his face in WWE ever again after he was done with him at Fastlane. Why did Hunter want him gone for good? Because he passionately believed that the WCW icon wanted to kill WWE and have the last laugh.
At Fastlane, Triple H encouraged Sting to walk away and retire, enticing him with promises of WWE Network exposure and a Hall Of Fame induction, but Sting silently stood his ground instead. Not getting the answer he wanted, Hunter got physical and eventually beat Sting down before going for his trusty sledgehammer to finish the job. But Sting had an ace up his sleeve too, his baseball bat, which he planted firmly in Triple H's throat upon his return to the ring, choking him out until he had dropped the sledgehammer. Sting then revealed what he wanted by pointing his bat at the WrestleMania sign and kept choking The King of Kings until he nodded in agreement. The match was official: Triple H vs. Sting at WrestleMania 31! The segment concluded with Hunter trying to jump Sting from behind, only to get a baseball bat shot to the gut and a Scorpion Death Drop for his troubles.
Laying down the law, Triple H called out Booker T on the Mar. 2nd Raw over his laughable conspiracy theory that Hunter had used his power to block Sting from coming to WWE in the past. The Cerebral Assassin then messed with Booker's head by pretending to fire him to illustrate that he was in control of Sting's fate too and that he would end Sting's wrestling legacy at WrestleMania.
Sting's point of view was revealed on the Mar. 9th Raw in a video package where he called himself "the face of retribution" and "the silencer of injustice" and that he was going to take Triple H down, because he had seen first-hand in WCW what happens when ego and power corrupts those in charge and was going to prevent history from repeating itself.
Next week, Sting proved to be a man of his word by thwarting another dastardly plot by The Authority, coming out of nowhere to save Randy Orton from a mugging at the hands of the villainous band of empowered thugs. Poor Jamie Noble got Scorpion Death Dropped as Sting pointed to Triple H and screamed "You're next!"
This week's Monday Night Raw saw Sting kick off the show where he admitted that it would be ridiculous to fight for WCW at this point and reiterated that he instead wanted to take Triple H down for all his misdeeds in WWE since WCW died. Stephanie McMahon then interrupted Sting to mockingly suggest that he now knew what it felt like to be in the big time. When Sting responded by calling her a spoiled little brat, Steph went to slap him, only for Sting to grab her arm, leading to Triple H's grand entrance to save the day and protect his wife. Once again, Hunter's sledgehammer was neutralised by Sting's baseball bat, so WWE's power couple slinked off with their tails between their legs until Sunday.
What's at Stake?
Let's not kid ourselves that if Sting defeats Triple H tonight that it will be game over for The Authority, as they always find a way to regroup and reassert their rule. Sting will go home once he's had his WrestleMania moment and Triple H will continue to abuse his power in The Vigilante's absence, whatever the end result.
However, we will get the answer to a question that has been puzzling the world's greatest minds for decades: Which is mightier - the sledgehammer or the humble baseball bat? That I'm sure you can agree with me on is something worth fighting for!
From a smark perspective, Triple H's reputation as an all-time great ring general (at least in some circles) is on the line with one of his hardest challenges yet. There's a decent chance that this will be Sting's longest pay-per-view singles match in over two decades. Can Hunter carry a 56 year old man who hasn't wrestled in over a year to a satisfying bout worthy of its lofty position on the WrestleMania card? The answer to that question may very well determine if we finally get to see The Undertaker vs. Sting at WrestleMania 32 or if Vince McMahon sours on that idea.
For Sting, whose runs as the man in WCW and even TNA were disappointing and never fully lived up to expectations, a good showing here would help end his career on a positive note, whilst a flat performance would cement his legacy as a star who always dropped the ball when the spotlight shone greatest on him.
Find out which foreign object is the deadliest in WWE history tonight by watching WrestleMania 31 on the WWE Network and following our live coverage at CagesideSeats.com!