|Born||March 20, 1959|
Professional wrestling career
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight||250 lbs (114 kg)|
|Billed||Venice Beach, California|
|Debuted||November 28, 1985|
Steve Borden (March 20, 1959) better known by his ring name Sting, is an American professional wrestler, who is currently a free agent.
As a singles wrestler, Sting has technically won a total of thirteen World Heavyweight Championships in various promotions, though only ten of these reigns are recognized as "World" title reigns by Pro Wrestling Illustrated. He has held the NWA World Heavyweight Championship two times, the WCW World Heavyweight Championship six times, He is arguably the most well known wrestler to have never signed with World Wrestling Entertainment.
Professional wrestling career
Borden was hired to help recruit a fourth member of Powerteam USA, a professional wrestling stable headed by Red Bastien and Rick Bassman containing three other former bodybuilders while at his Gold's Gym in San Fernando Valley. After many failed to be recruited, Borden was given an offer to be the fourth member. At the time, Borden had little interest in wrestling, but Bassman constantly tried to recruit him in which Steve finally agreed. Borden trained under Red Bastien and Rick Bassman for ten weeks and debuted in November 1985 as Flash Borden.
Universal Wrestling Federation (1985–1987)
Power Team USA disbanded in 1986, and two of the members, Borden and Jim "Justice" Hellwig (later becoming The Ultimate Warrior), formed a tag team known as the Blade Runners. Borden changed his name initially from Flash to Sting, while Hellwig became Rock. The Blade Runners wrestled in the Universal Wrestling Federation based in Shreveport, Louisiana until Rock left the promotion in mid-1986. Left without a partner, Borden joined Hotstuff and Hyatt International, a stable headed by Eddie Gilbert and Missy Hyatt. He won the UWF World Tag Team Championship twice with Gilbert in 1986 and a third time with Rick Steiner in 1987. Initially a heel wrestler, Sting turned face following a match against Terry Taylor in mid-1987, where former manager Gilbert interfered on Taylor's behalf, costing Sting the match. Following a two-on-one gangup, Gentleman Chris Adams cleared the ring and became instrumental in Sting's face turn when Adams asked if Sting was with him or against him in his feud with Taylor and Gilbert. It was during this period of working for Bill Watts that Eddie Gilbert publicly endorsed Borden by stating to a 'dirt sheet' that Sting would be a megastar in the future. Later that year, Sting was tabbed to win Gilbert's UWF Television title until Jim Crockett bought the company from Bill Watts. Booker Dusty Rhodes decided to put the belt on Terry Taylor to set up a feud with Nikita Koloff to unify the NWA and UWF Television titles. The decision was made to use unknown Shane Douglas as the transitional champion by Rhodes, who did not want to diminish Sting's growing stardom with a brief title run.
National Wrestling Alliance (1987–1991)
Rhodes decided to use the opening bout of Jim Crockett's first foray into pay-per-view, Starrcade '87, to showcase the young superstar, partnering Sting with Michael P.S. Hayes and Jimmy Garvin in a time-limit draw battle against Eddie Gilbert, Rick Steiner, and Larry Zbyszko. Having established himself as a rising star, Sting was one of the only UWF alumni to be pushed through the NWA. At the inaugural Clash of the Champions, Sting challenged Ric Flair for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. The match itself was booked as a 45-minute time-limit draw. Sting lost to Flair in several non-televised rematches following the Clash and later that year continued to battle against other members of the Four Horsemen. Sting teamed with Nikita Koloff at the The Great American Bash challenging Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson for the NWA World Tag Team Championship; the match ended in a 20-minute time-limit draw. Rhodes continued to book Sting in title matches throughout the year against both NWA United States Champion Barry Windham and NWA Television Champion Mike Rotundo. In the fall of '88, Sting was attacked by The Road Warriors after a televised match. Sting was chosen as the most over face with the fans by Rhodes, who knew turning Hawk and Animal heel would be no easy task. Dusty Rhodes teamed with Sting to challenge for the tag team belts at Starrcade '88, defeating The Road Warriors by disqualification.
Sting then returned to singles matches in 1989, starting the year off on New Year's Day wrestling Ric Flair to a one hour draw in Atlanta's Omni. After a long push, he finally won his first title in the NWA when he defeated Mike Rotundo for the NWA Television Championship. He defended the TV Championship actively but tended to face sub-par challengers such as the Iron Sheik. In mid 1989, The Great Muta was booked to challenge Sting on July 23 at The Great American Bash. The match was a classic Dusty Finish even though the "American Dream" had been fired months before. Sting got the three-count and was announced as the winner. A replay showed Muta's shoulder was up at the count of two and the NWA decided to declare the title vacant. Sting and Muta battled in many rematches, but they always ended in disqualification, giving neither man the championship. Eventually, Muta won a no disqualification match against Sting to win the title after using a blackjack to get the win. In the main event of The Great American Bash, Ric Flair faced Terry Funk. After Flair got the victory, he was attacked by Muta, who was a part of the J-Tex Corporation, only to have Sting come to his rescue. Sting and Flair feuded with Muta and Funk for the rest of summer and fall, culminating in a Thunderdome Cage match between the two teams at Halloween Havoc '89, which Flair and Sting won. The alliance with Flair resulted in Sting joining the Four Horsemen along with the Arndersons, Arn and Ole.
Sting finished out the year winning the four-man round robin Ironman tournament at Starrcade '89. The night ended when he defeated Flair in the final match to accumulate the necessary amount of points needed to win. It also made Sting the number one contender for Flair's NWA World Title, which was the catalyst for the events that immediately followed.
Sting was summarily dismissed from the Horsemen on February 6, 1990 at Clash of the Champions X: Texas Shootout after refusing to relinquish an upcoming title shot at Flair, thus restarting their rivalry. Later that evening, Borden suffered a legitimate knee injury while interfering in a Steel Cage match featuring the Four Horsemen. Borden's injury forced WCW bookers to find a new opponent for Flair for the forthcoming WrestleWar pay-per-view. Sting also resumed his on-screen friendship with Lex Luger, about this time. Luger unsuccessfully challenged Flair for the title in a series of matches while Sting recuperated. Sting played a part in the finish of the match at WrestleWar, as Luger relinquished his chance to win the title in favor of helping Sting at ringside, who was in great peril at the hands of the other Horsemen. WCW officials wanted Flair to drop the title to Luger at WrestleWar, but he refused. Flair said that he had promised Sting that he would be waiting for him to get better, and would hold the belt until then. Flair felt that Sting, as the top face in the company, deserved the belt more than Luger, a man he held little regard for offscreen. At the Capital Combat event in May, Sting was accosted by the Four Horsemen and thrown into a metal cage at ringside and rescued by RoboCop.
After Borden's recovery, Sting finally defeated Flair for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship on July 7, 1990, at the Great American Bash. He went on to feud with title contenders Flair and Sid Vicious. Vicious appeared to defeat Sting in a title match at Halloween Havoc, but the "Sting" who he pinned was revealed to be an impostor, played by Horseman Barry Windham. The real Sting appeared soon after and pinned Vicious to retain his title when the match was restarted. During this time, Sting became distracted by a masked man known as "The Black Scorpion" who taunted and attacked Sting on many occasions. This feud culminated in a final showdown between Sting and The Black Scorpion at Starrcade: Collision Course. The Cage match ended with Sting pinning and unmasking the Scorpion, who turned out to be Ric Flair.
World Championship Wrestling (1991–2001)
Sting's championship reign ended on January 11, 1991, when he was defeated by Flair in a rematch from Starrcade. In the same month, WCW seceded from the National Wrestling Alliance, in the process recognizing a WCW World Heavyweight Championship and a WCW World Tag Team Championship. Sting then feuded with Nikita Koloff in the summer of 1991. He also took part in what many consider to be one of the best matches of 1991, teaming with Lex Luger to face the Steiner Brothers at the first SuperBrawl pay-per-view. That match had also triggered the feud with Koloff when he took a chain-shot intended for his partner Luger (who had been feuding with Koloff at the time). In August 1991, Sting defeated Steve Austin to win a tournament for the WCW U.S. title. At Starrcade '91 Sting went on to win the first ever Battlebowl in which he received a Battlebowl championship ring. At the end of 1991, Sting became embroiled in a feud with the Dangerous Alliance, headed by manager Paul E. Dangerously. The stable targeted Sting because he was the so-called "franchise" of WCW, and vowed to destroy both him and the promotion that he was the face of, although he was also being targeted by Luger, who had once again turned heel and as WCW Champion viewed Sting as a threat. Sting engaged in many matches with Dangerous Alliance members, especially "Ravishing" Rick Rude, who was the group's main star. It was during this feud that he won the first of his six WCW World Heavyweight titles, defeating Lex Luger at SuperBrawl II on February 29, 1992. The feud ended when Sting and his allies, named Sting's Squadron (consisting of himself, Ricky Steamboat, Dustin Rhodes, Barry Windham, and Nikita Koloff) defeated the Alliance (Rude, Austin, Arn Anderson, Larry Zbyszko, and Bobby Eaton) in a WarGames match at WrestleWar in May 1992.
Near the end of Sting's battles with the Dangerous Alliance, the seeds were sown for what arguably became one of the most famous feuds of his career. In April 1992, he defended his WCW World title at The Omni in Atlanta against the 450-pound Big Van Vader. During the match, Vader splashed Sting, cracking three of his ribs and rupturing his spleen. Sting recovered and defended his title against Vader at The Great American Bash in July, dropping the belt to him after missing a Stinger Splash (hitting his head on the ringpost in the process), and receiving a powerbomb. After beating Cactus Jack in a Falls Count Anywhere match at Beach Blast and WCW newcomer Jake Roberts in a "Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal" match at Halloween Havoc, Sting again faced Vader in the "King of Cable" tournament final at Starrcade, where Sting was victorious. The Sting-Vader feud continued into 1993, with Vader defeating Sting in a bloody Strap match at SuperBrawl III. Sting exacted revenge by beating Vader for the World title on March 11 in London, England, but lost it back to him six days later in Dublin, Ireland. Sting then teamed with WCW newcomer Davey Boy Smith to beat the team of Vader and Sid Vicious at Beach Blast, in a match that was set up by a mini-movie that saw an evil midget blow up Sting's boat. At the end of the year, Sting was one of the first people to congratulate the newly returned Ric Flair after his title victory over Vader at Starrcade. Sting feuded with Vader and Rude through the first half of 1994, defeating Vader in a match for the vacant NWA World title (referred to as the WCW International World Heavyweight Championship) at Slamboree after Rude was forced to vacate due to his suffering a career-ending injury against Sting in Japan. Soon afterward, Flair turned heel and defeated Sting in a title unification match at Clash of the Champions XXVII. Sting spent the second half of '94 and most of 1995 teaming with new arrival Hulk Hogan in his battles against the Three Faces of Fear and later against the Dungeon of Doom.
In October 1995, Flair convinced Sting to team with him in a tag match against Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman at Halloween Havoc, as Anderson and Pillman had attacked Flair earlier in the night. Flair was unable to come out for the first part of the match and Sting fended off both Anderson and Pillman alone. Finally, Flair came out, but eventually turned on Sting and reformed the Four Horsemen with Anderson, Pillman, and later Chris Benoit. Sting closed out 1995 by feuding with the Horsemen. His alliances with Hogan and Randy Savage led the Horsemen to attack them as well.
The first part of 1996 had Sting teaming with Lex Luger (who had returned to WCW in September 1995 on the debut episode of WCW Monday Nitro) to win the WCW World Tag Team title from Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray). The reign was highlighted by the face Sting usually oblivious to the cheating tactics of Luger (a tweener) which became the means by which they usually retained the title. When Luger became temporarily unavailable in March 1996, Harlem Heat member Booker T teamed up with Sting on one occasion to successfully prevent the title from changing hands. A rematch between Harlem Heat and the team of Luger and Sting then came the following night, in which a mutual respect was displayed between Sting and Booker T. Harlem Heat eventually won the title back on the June 24, 1996 edition of WCW Monday Nitro. Sting also received a World title shot against The Giant at Slamboree, but lost after accidental interference from Luger.
In the summer of 1996, Sting was the first to stand up to "The Outsiders" (Kevin Nash and Scott Hall). They had a match at Bash at the Beach with Sting being joined by Randy Savage and Lex Luger. The Outsiders announced they would have a 3rd man in their corner as well. In the opening minutes of the bout, Hall and Nash's partner was nowhere to be seen, but the WCW contingent's 2 on 3 advantage was short lived as Luger had to leave the match early due to an injury. Sting and Savage fought against Nash and Hall until the arrival of Hulk Hogan, who was apparently about to back up the WCW wrestlers until he attacked Savage with his Leg drop finisher in a swerve. The three subsequently formed the New World Order (nWo) at the end of the match, which was ruled a no-contest. The nWo introduced an impostor Sting (played by Jeff Farmer), which led the crowd to believe that Sting had turned his back on WCW during a WarGames match at Fall Brawl. When the real Sting returned he was upset by the fact that many wrestlers believed that he had in fact betrayed WCW despite his denials, that he himself felt betrayed, and so he left WCW by declaring himself a "free agent." He began appearing in the rafters at WCW events; his new silent persona, complete with corpse paint, a trench coat, and longer hair replacing his spiked haircut, which was quite obviously inspired by The Crow. He was joined in the rafters on a few occasions by Randy Savage, but Savage eventually joined the nWo. He also began using a baseball bat as his signature weapon. The nWo, in turn, began to paint Farmer's face in the same fashion to try to continue the confusion, becoming known as nWo Sting. While appearing on a WCW/nWo merchandise special on QVC Sports in late 1999, Sting admitted that Scott Hall initially suggested the idea of painting his face like The Crow. Sting continues to use this type of face paint, occasionally with different designs and the use of color. In an unusual loyalty test, Sting confronted WCW wrestlers in the ring and shoved them a few times with his bat until they were provoked enough to advance on him, at which point he drew the weapon back into a more threatening stance, causing them to stop. He would then hand the bat to the offended wrestler and turn his back, offering them a chance at retaliation. When the wrestler declined, Sting would nod, retrieve the bat, and leave the ring. Following the eventual revelation of his loyalty to WCW, he began coming to the aid of many of these wrestlers (often at the end of a television taping) during group battles with the nWo.
After nearly six months of uncertainty and mystery, Sting finally showed his true colors as a face by single-handedly taking out the entire nWo at Uncensored in March 1997. The pay-per-view had drawn to a close and the nWo were celebrating with their new found partner, NBA star Dennis Rodman, when Sting rappelled down over 70 feet from the roof of the arena via zip-line and began his historic battle against the nWo in which he ended up giving the Scorpion Death Drop to the principal members of the nWo: The Outsiders, Randy Savage, and WCW World Champion Hollywood Hogan. After this attack, he frequently rappelled from the rafters or even came up through the ring to attack unsuspecting nWo members and employ decoy Stings to play mind games during the closing segments of WCW Monday Nitro. Sting's appearances to fight the nWo at the end of almost every WCW Monday Nitro helped to keep and widen the ratings gap between WCW and the WWF throughout the summer. On-screen commissioner James J. Dillon tried many times to get Sting to return to wrestling by making contracts to fight various nWo members, but Sting ended up tearing up the contracts because there was only one man he wanted: Hollywood Hogan.
Sting and Hogan finally met at Starrcade for the WCW World Championship, with Sting winning controversially due to a decision by special guest referee Bret Hart when he reversed the decision made by referee Nick Patrick after Hogan pinned Sting after what he believed to be a "fast count." The match was restarted and Sting made Hogan submit to the Scorpion Deathlock. It was heavily rumored that Sting was supposed to get a "clean" victory in the match, but in the days leading up to the match, Terry Bollea (Hogan), invoking his "creative control" clause in his contract, changed his stance on the outcome from a "clean" finish to a tainted finish that didn't weaken his character. The compromise ended up being the controversial ending of the match. The next night on WCW Monday Nitro, Hogan protested the decision which led to a rematch. The rematch met with the same result and later in the week on the inaugural episode of WCW Thunder, on-camera commissioner J.J. Dillon held the title up and forced Sting to surrender the belt. It was during this situation that Sting said his first words on camera in a year and a half. Upon handing over the belt, he told Dillon, "You've got no guts!" and then turned to Hogan and said, "And you....You're a dead man!" Sting eventually recaptured the title with help from "Macho Man" Randy Savage at SuperBrawl VIII. He went on to have successful title defenses against the likes of Scott Hall, Diamond Dallas Page, and Kevin Nash before losing the title to Savage at Spring Stampede in April 1998, due to interference from Nash.
In the end, Sting amassed three victories over Hulk Hogan, while Hulk Hogan has never been able to defeat Sting. Sting is one of only four wrestlers that have defeated Hulk Hogan without losing to him. Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, and The Rock are all undefeated against Hogan, although Hogan has pinned Sting in a tag team match on Nitro, and he pinned The Rock in a tag team match on Raw. However, Sting has the highest amount of victories over him.
Later in 1998, nWo split up owing to differences between Hogan and Nash. Nash formed the tweener group known as the nWo Wolfpac. Months later, debate arose as to whether Sting would join one of the factions. Sting made an entrance, sporting the black and white shirt, only to reveal his true stance with the Wolfpac. Soon after, he changed his white face paint to red as well as his ring attire accordingly. Sting held the tag team titles as part of Nash's stable. He and the Giant won the titles at Slamboree. When the team split, Sting was allowed to choose Nash as a partner as a result of his victory at The Great American Bash in Baltimore. Throughout the summer, Sting, along with fellow nWo Wolfpac members Nash, Lex Luger, and Konnan feuded with Hogan's heel faction, nWo Hollywood. Soon after, Sting engaged in a feud with Bret Hart, as a result of Hart's (kayfabe) betrayal after claiming to respect Sting as a result of their similar finishing holds, the Sharpshooter and the Scorpion Deathlock. After suffering (kayfabe) injuries as the result of a bat attack by Hart during a match at Halloween Havoc, Sting disappeared from WCW Television for several months. During this time, the nWo recombined and went fully heel again after The Fingerpoke of Doom incident in 1999. Afterward, Sting left the stable and went out on his own once more.
In 1999, Sting once again won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on Monday Nitro against Diamond Dallas Page, but lost it back to him only a little over an hour and a half later in the Main Event in a four-way match set up by Kevin Nash (the fourth participant was Bill Goldberg). Page pinned Nash, allowing him to win the title without beating the champion. This unsuccessful title defense ended the shortest title reign in WCW history. Sting teased turning heel by first attacking Hulk Hogan (who had once again become a face at this point) at Fall Brawl, hitting Hogan with his baseball bat several times en route to regaining the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Sting's heel turn and subsequent attitude change did not go over well with the fans. They still cheered him despite the fact that he was supposed to be the bad guy. He retained against Hogan at Halloween Havoc after Hogan arrived to the ring in street clothes and merely laid down for a 3-count, but promptly lost an unsanctioned defense to Bill Goldberg at the end of the night. Sting was stripped shortly thereafter (due to an attack on referee Charles Robinson), and returned to facedom. He was given the opportunity to regain the title in a tournament, but lost to Bret Hart in the semi-finals. He then began a feud with former partner Luger.
In 2000, Sting had an intense feud with the newcomer Vampiro. Vampiro set him alight in a "Human Torch Match" (in actuality, it was a stuntman who actually jumped off although it was presented as if he fell), but came back to even the score with Vampiro. He was "injured" by Scott Steiner in 2000, leaving WCW TV for good. However, he returned for the last episode of Monday Nitro, on March 26, 2001 and defeated his longtime rival Ric Flair, embracing in a sportsmanlike fashion at the end of the contest. Fittingly, this was the last WCW match ever, and the final match between Sting and Flair, ending a 13-year, on-again/off-again feud.
World Wrestling All-Stars (2002–2003)
Sting returned to professional wrestling in late-2002, touring Europe with the World Wrestling All-Stars (WWA) throughout November and December. His first match with the WWA was on November 28, 2002 in Dublin, and saw Sting team with Lex Luger to defeat Buff Bagwell and Malice. On December 6 in Glasgow, Scotland, Luger defeated Sting in a match for the vacant WWA World Heavyweight Championship following interference from Jeff Jarrett. On December 13, 2002 in Zürich, Switzerland, Sting defeated Luger to become the WWA World Heavyweight Champion.
Sting toured Australia with the WWA in May 2003. On May 21, he successfully defended the WWA World Heavyweight Championship against Rick Steiner and Shane Douglas in Sydney. On May 23 in Melbourne, he retained the title in a match with Disco Inferno, despite interference from Chris Sabin and Konnan. On the last ever WWA show, on May 25 in Auckland, New Zealand, Sting lost the WWA World Heavyweight Championship to NWA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett in a championship unification bout following interference on Jarrett's behalf by Rick Steiner. This last show aired on pay-per-view in the United States on June 8, 2003.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2014–present)
Veteran professional wrestling journalist Bill Apter chronicled Sting's career in a piece for WWE.com on February 19, 2014, wherein he stated that Sting's "best days may still be yet to come". Amid speculation about a contract offer from the company, Sting appeared in a WWE Network production on April 15, 2014, sharing a story of his former tag team partner Warrior, who had recently died. This marked Sting's first non-archive appearance on a WWE-branded show, and his second for the promotion overall, having wrestled on the final episode of WCW Monday Nitro on March 26, 2001, shortly after the WWF (now WWE) acquired that company. Sting was a prominent contributor to the documentary film Warrior: The Ultimate Legend, which aired on the WWE Network on April 17. The following day, online retailer Zavvi announced a Sting Blu-ray from WWE Home Video, set for release in September.
On July 14, Sting appeared in a vignette on Raw to promote the upcoming WWE 2K15 video game, in which he will be featured as the pre-order bonus character. That same day, WWE began selling official Sting merchandise. In an interview with the Daily Mirror the following evening, Borden confirmed that he is now "part of the WWE family", and lobbied for a match against The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXXI. The prospect of a live debut from Sting entered WWE storylines in the July 16 edition of Triple H's weekly sit-down interview with Michael Cole on WWE.com, where Cole asked Triple H if WWE fans would see Sting "in the flesh" on WWE television. He responded by mentioning other renowned wrestlers who would reportedly not appear for WWE, but did, and asserted: "Never say never if it's best for business".
Finishing and signature moves
- Scorpion Death Drop (Inverted DDT)
- Scorpion Deathlock
- Belly to back suplex
- Diving crossbody
- Diving splash
- Kneeling belly to belly piledriver - WCW
- One-handed bulldog
- Snap DDT
- Stinger Splash - Innovated
Signature foreign object
- Black baseball bat
- "The Icon"
- "The Stinger"
- "The Insane Icon"
- "The Franchise of WCW"
- Tag teams and stables
- Theme music
- "Castle Walls" by Styx (CWA/UWF; 1985-1989)
- "Fight For Your Right (To Party)" by Bestie Boys (UWF; 1986-1987)
- "Rattlesnake Whip" (JCP/WCW; 1987-1989)
- "Destruction" by Munetaka Higuchi (AJPW; 1989)
- "Turbo Charged" (WCW/NPWJ; 1989-1996
- "Man Called Sting" by Jimmy Hart (WCW)
- "Sting Theme" by WCW and Jimmy Hart (WCW; 1996-1999) (WWE; 2014–present)
- "Seek And Destroy (Live at Woodstock 1999)" by Metallica (WCW) (WCW; 1999
Championships and accomplishments
- WCW World Heavyweight Champion (6 time)
- WCW International World Heavyweight Champion (2 time)
- WCW United States Heavyweight Champion (2 time)
- WCW World Tag Team Champion (3 time) - with Kevin Nash (1), Lex Luger (1), and The Giant (1)
- Battle Bowl winner (1991)
- WCW King of Cable Tournament winner (1992)
- WCW European Cup winner (2 times) (1994, 2000)