Thursday, April 18, 2024

Sting laments never getting dream match with Undertaker: ‘It would have been a night that people remembered’

Sting vs. The Undertaker. It ranks among the greatest unfulfilled dream matches in pro wrestling, joining legendary what-ifs like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels vs. The Rock.

Sting and Undertaker were tailor-made for each other. A meeting of fabled characters steeped in mystique. A once-in-a-lifetime battle between two of professional wrestling’s most enduring gimmicks. A celebration of the industry’s most respected performers.

“I think if it was done right, it could have been a night, for sure, everyone would remember and never forget,” Sting told CBS Sports ahead of his retirement match at AEW Revolution on March 3. “They would be talking about it to this day. But it just was not going to happen.”

Sting is a poster child for the alternative: from NWA and WCW to TNA and AEW. The iconic wrestler had previously received feelers from WWE but turned them down to protect his character. It took nearly 30 years for Sting to debut in WWE. A desire to book the match he and fans yearned for finally swayed Sting.

“I thought, ‘Well, maybe if I get my foot in the door, we’ll see what happens.’ So I got my foot in the door,” Sting said. “We did a WrestleMania with Triple H and then Vince called and said, ‘Hey, I want you to have a world title match with Seth. Would you be willing to do that?’ ‘Yeah, I’d be willing to do that.’ Still, in hopes that somehow I could get in there with Taker.”

But the match never came to be. Sting was signed with WWE from 2014 to 2020. The Undertaker retired after defeating AJ Styles in a Boneyard match at WrestleMania 36 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sting’s swan song will take place alongside Darby Allin in an AEW tag team title match against The Young Bucks. Wrestling retirements rarely stick, but Sting and Undertaker are up in age with Sting at 64 and Undertaker at 58.

“I had so many ideas over the years,” Sting said. “A lot of times, smoke and mirrors aren’t good things. But in our situation, I think with his gimmick and the mystiques of his character and mine, we couldn’t have enough smoke and mirrors. I think it definitely would have been a night that people remembered. Man, I would have loved to have seen that. 

“If I could have had that match alone, I would have been great. I wouldn’t have had to do anything else.”

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