TNA Impact Wrestling, 2011
I know a lot of folks who are really excited about Sting going into the WWE Hall of Fame. Without question he deserves the accolades being thrown about. While he was never one of my personal favorites, he generally seemed to be a guy who did what he could with whatever he was given. He never seemed to go half speed, whether he was battling the likes of Vader or Hulk Hogan or Ric Flair or a mysterious magician descending to the ring from a space ship…who…was also Ric Flair.
Regardless, the best part of any WWE Hall of Fame induction are the video clips they unearth for the event. No doubt we’ll get a ton of footage of his legendary career, be it the early days of surfer Sting…
…Sgt. Pepper Sting…
…and Crow Sting.
Ah, Crow Sting…now that would be the one that made the man truly famous. Long story long, Sting had been labeled as a traitor by his WCW compatriots, and thus completely changed his look to that of Brandon Lee’s character in the movie The Crow. He then proceeded to hang out in the rafters for over a year, saying nothing, yet silently stalking the evil (well, in theory) n.W.o. before finally emerging to battle Hulk Hogan for the biggest pay day the company would ever see. Of course, this being WCW, they botched the entire match and things quickly spiraled out of control.
Someone (you) should
write read a book about that (which you can order…rightchere!!!).
One of the neat things about Sting is that he wasn’t afraid to reinvent himself over the years. Sure, he had all those incarnations in WCW…but what about his makeover in TNA? Hopefully everyone remembers…
Wait, what? You never saw Joker Sting?
Because oh…oh oh oh….oh how I loves me some JOKER STING!!!
Look, it will be great to see Sting going up on the stage to “THANK YOU STING” chants and all that jazz…but something will truly be lost if we don’t get footage of this legendary portion of his career. One can only hope that cooler heads prevail and Vince offers Dixie a pittance for the rights to some clips. I bet he could get them for an RC Cola and a Moon Pie. Heck, maybe just the Moon Pie.
It has to be done.
For those unfortunate souls that had not born witness to Joker Sting, a bit of a recap. He was feuding with Mr. Anderson (Kennedy, for you old timers) who had taken to mocking Sting by dressing up as him. It’s generally awful when this happens, and yes, I’ve inducted two such occurrences – the 1990 Halloween Havoc Hoax, when Barry Windham, who was a good 5 inches and 50 pounds larger than Sting did it, and the 2000 Halloween version of the very same event when Jeff Jarrett decided to pull it out of the mothballs. Both are in the archives, read up and enjoy.
Having seen this hackneyed idea rearing its ugly head yet again, Sting went completely bonkers and started smearing red lip stick on his mug.
I truly hope for Sting’s sake Shawn Michaels isn’t reading this. That could make for a very uneasy night for Mr. Borden at the Hall of Fame. Steve, if you are reading this, just take this word of warning: if Shawn sneaks up behind you and asks, “Do you feel that”, run for the hills.
Now where was I?
Oh yeah, with the Stinger going off the deep end and morphing into a pro wrestling version of Heath Ledger’s famous Joker character from The Dark Knight.
While he looked like Ledger, he didn’t really act like Ledger. And he definitely didn’t SOUND like Ledger; he was more Jack Nicholson’s Joker from the 1989 Batman.
Actually, that’s not entirely true either.
He was more Jack Nicholson when he was imitating Jack Palance (Boss Grissom). Had he only grabbed Eric Young by the shoulders and told him, “You…are my number one…guy…” I bet TNA would still be on Spike TV and pulling ratings in the 6.5 range.
The most amazing part is I believe that our friend Vince Russo was around at the time. How Russo failed to ask Sting to grow a mustache then not shave it, instead applying white face over the top ala Cesar Romero, is a question that will forever be unanswered.
Or at least it will be until the next time we have Vince on WrestlCrap Radio.
Stinger was able to exact his revenge on Anderson, even winning the TNA championship in the process. But no matter what titles he won or the matches he had or the interviews he gave…they all pale in comparison to the legendary night of July 28, 2011.
The evening began with Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff meeting with TNA Heel Stable #837, Immortal. As best I can remember, this group consisted of Bischoff, Hogan, Bully Ray, Jeff Jarrett, Karen Jarrett, Abyss, Ken Anderson, and Scott Steiner. Unfortunately for them (but very fortunately for us!), their jabber fest is interrupted by your hero and mine…
…Joker Sting! He courteously says hello to everyone (“double bi, Scotty!”), before flopping down at Eric’s desk. He then explains to the motley crew that he’s always had a great relationship with the network, so much so that in the past week, they’ve decided to make him an executive and thus has complete control over the show. While everyone flips out, he books Anderson vs. Angle in a cage match, noting that Fortune (TNA Babyface Stable #147) would be at ringside.
OH! I would be remiss in stating that he had a cage underneath a blanket. And he was walking all over the place with it…just to be safe.
After all, he may run into a brute like Madison Rayne backstage!
Which he did. And she screamed a great scream. At least I think it was a great scream – I may be a bit biased, as I always dug Madison. Maybe I just felt sorry for her for having one of the worst entrance themes in history, dunno.
Finally, we head back to Eric’s office, and he is ranting and raving with someone from the network about he feels disrespected that they would put Sting in charge over himself. Suddenly, he goes silent…as he is told that no one from the network has talked to Sting in weeks.
HO HO HO!
In walks Sting, who notes that he had been lying all along, blaming it on the fact that he is now wearing nice suits (stealing the line “Versace, Italian, $4,000!” almost verbatim from those old NWA shows where Bill Apter would interview Ric Flair). While Sting says he clothes feel great, he has something that will feel even better. It is at this point the cloak is lifted and we receive…
…THE GUARD BIRD!!!
Sting explained that this fowl (see what I did there?) creature would keep Eric at bay so as not to interfere in the match he had booked. Why he didn’t, I don’t know, just lock the door is open for debate.
Oh who am I kidding? We needed to have this bird!
THIS GUARD BIRD!!!!!!
Now I know some of you remember that Sting once had a bird in WCW to keep evildoers at bay. But there’s one slight difference between his TNA bird and his WCW one…
…that being in the 1990s, he had a vulture.
Come 2011, it more closely resembled a friendly bird you may feed at you local park.
Still, that didn’t cause Eric from recoiling in utter, abject fear. Like, seriously, you’ve never seen a man more horrified of anything ever.
The animated GIF doesn’t really do it justice, you need this audio to go along with it.
I cannot stop watching this; it’s truly Eric’s finest work ever.
Sadly, that was the last we ever saw of Sting’s Guard Bird. Why he was shelved after only one segment is a complete and utter crime. One can only hope that WrestleMania weekend, Sting downs some Smilex and brings his feathered friend up for his acceptance speech.