Great-ing Gimmicks of the Past: Sting vs. Vampiro

The Brothers in Paint explode!

Sting vs. Vampiro – WCW, 2000

History
Sting and Vampiro were a successful tag team in WCW. The Brothers in Paint seemed to click well, and looked good.

Then Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff came back.

April 10th is a Nitro that went down in the history books. Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff returned to the company and immediately started by stripping all champions of their titles. They also talked about the New Blood, and how they stood against the so-called Millionaire’s Club (the old-time main eventers).

One thing that started that night was a tournament for the US Title. Sting got off to a strong start as he defeated Sid in the first round. Sure, the Wall ran in and dropped Sid, but it wasn’t Sting’s fault.

In the second round, Sting took on Diamond Dallas Page (who’d defeated Lex Luger in the first round). During this match, guest commentator Jeff Jarrett headed over to the ring and started hitting on Kimberly. Page slid out of the ring and went after Jarrett. While he was distracted, Vampiro ran in and hit Sting with the Nail in the Coffin. After that, Sting was easy prey for Page’s Diamond Cutter.

Thunder saw Vampiro taking on Booker (no T), the Wall, the Cat, and Scott Steiner in a “Colorado Collision” match. As for the rules – think mini Royal Rumble and you’re got it. Booker and the Wall started. Booker finally tossed the Wall just before the buzzer and the Cat made his way out. It didn’t take long for the Cat to send Booker over the top, which gave him a chance to grab a microphone while we were waiting. Entry four was Steiner, who snuck up on the dancing Cat and began pounding him. Next up was Kidman, who waited until Steiner posed on the top turnbuckle to slide in and pin the Cat. Kidman didn’t last long after that. Vampiro started out to the ring, only to have Sting ambush him from behind and hit a Scorpion Death Drop, leaving Vampiro to the mercy of the Steiner Recliner.

That brought us to Spring Stampede. The US title tournament continued, with Sting being put back in for some reason. Tonight he took on Booker T. Booker was gracious in defeat, offering his hand to Sting after the match.

In another match of the US title tournament, Vampiro was taking on Billy Kidman. Unfortunately, Kidman was feuding with Hulk Hogan. Hogan came out to the ring, beat Kidman up, put him through the announce table, then threw him into the ring, telling Vamp to pin him. Vampiro quickly obliged.

The next match of the tournament saw Sting taking on Vampiro. Vampiro put up a valiant effort, but Sting pulled out the win, sending him through to the finals.

The finals saw Sting taking on Scott Steiner for the US title. After the referee got accidentally squished, the mat began moving. Vampiro came up through the mat, grabbed Sting, and pulled him down. A few minutes later, Vampiro reappeared and deposited a bloody Sting in the ring. Steiner applied the Steiner Recliner, but it wasn’t worth the effort. Steiner won the tournament.

On Nitro, Vampiro headed out to the ring with a message for Sting. He talked about what he was going to do to Sting at Slamboree, only to have Sting drop from the ceiling and ambush him. Sting Death Dropped Vampiro, then said that he’d learned about pain from the best, and that Vampiro would learn it really quickly.

Sting took on the Wall in a tables match on Thunder. The Wall won, then Vampiro ran in to attack Sting.

The next Nitro began with Sting and Vampiro brawling backstage. Sting finally thought he had Vampiro down and turned to leave, only to get nailed from behind with a pipe.

In the main event, Sting took on Vampiro in a first blood match. Finally Vampiro left the ring and climbed up on the announce table. He dragged his finger across his throat and the infamous Red Viscous Liquid dropped, soaking Sting. Vampiro slid back into the ring and pinned Sting after a quick Nail in the Coffin. Then the New Blood came out, put Sting into his harness to come down from the ceiling, and started playing piñata with him.

On Thunder, Vampiro was scheduled to take on Diamond Dallas Page. The match never really got going, however, as Sting jumped Vampiro while he was heading to the ring. After a beatdown, Sting poured some Red Viscous Liquid of his own onto Vampiro, then threw him into the ring. One Diamond Cutter later, DDP had an easy win. Sting would go on to defeat Mike Awesome later that night.

Sting and Vampiro had one more stop before Thunder ended that night, however. The main event was a 22-man battle royal for a world title shot. Sting and Vampiro wound up eliminating each other from the match and then brawling all the way to the back.

We were now ready for Slamboree. Sting took on Vampiro, one on one. Sting put Vampiro away with two Scorpion Death Drops.

Feeling like he had settled the problems with Vampiro, Sting took on Jeff Jarrett in the main event of the next night’s Nitro for the world title. Sting managed to escape the figure four and locked in the Scorpion Death Lock. It looked like it was only a matter of seconds until Jarrett tapped out. Just then the mat ripped open and Vampiro appeared from under the ring. He grabbed Sting and pulled him under the ring. When Sting was tossed out of the hole, he was covered in Red Viscous Liquid. Jarrett pinned him easily to retain the title.

Mike Tenay sat down with Vampiro for an interview on Thunder. Vampiro talked about how Sting had never suffered like he had and even called Sting an actor. Vampiro then brought out a birdcage containing Sting’s crow. He talked about how Ozzy Osbourne had bitten the head off a dove at a record deal signing and talked about how bad it was that there were no pictures or film of it. Sting suddenly appeared and beat Vamp down. He then offered to give Vamp his first cage match and slammed the birdcage (the bird was long gone) over Vampiro’s head.

The main event saw “Career Killer” Mike Awesome taking on Sting in an ambulance match. Finally Sting got the upper hand. He opened the ambulance door and was greeted by Vampiro, who spit a mouthful of Red Viscous Liquid in his face. Vampiro then threw Sting into the ambulance and slammed the door closed, giving the win to Awesome.

Needless to say, the events of the past week got Sting a bit annoyed. So annoyed, in fact, that on Nitro he took on Vampiro in a House of Pain match. What is that? Why, it’s Hell in a Cell, only you win by handcuffing your opponent to the wall. Sting won the match, only to have the lights go out. When they came back on, Vampiro was gone. Later in the night, Sting walked out to the parking lot to discover that his car was on fire.

Things got stranger on Thunder. Vampiro was shown burning a Sting mask in the back. Sting headed out to the ring and told everyone he’d had enough of Vampiro and was going to take him out that night. Vampiro then came out and said he’d take Sting to hell. He proposed an inferno match – which was only won by setting your opponent on fire. Sting called Vampiro a psycho and refused. Vampiro said that Sting had no choice as the ring ropes caught fire.

Vampiro was taking on Hulk Hogan on Nitro. Vampiro, ever prepared, came out with a blowtorch and gasoline. Unfortunately, Vampiro didn’t fare too well and wound up on the mat. As the referee checked on him, Kidman slid into the ring and clocked Hogan with the gas can. Vampiro covered Hogan and got the win. He was preparing to pour gasoline onto Hogan when Sting came out and attacked.

It was Sting’s turn to get interviewed by Tenay on Thunder. Sting talked about learning dirty tricks from Ric Flair, and being just as twisted as Vampiro a decade earlier. Then Tenay brought up the now renamed Human Torch Match (which was won by lighting your opponent on fire, not making them dress up as Johnny Storm). Sting replied that he thought lighting somebody on fire was stupid, but he’d never backed down from a challenge. Tenay asked Sting if it was worth risking his career over and the lights went out. When they came back on, the set was on fire and Sting was yelling for Vampiro.

Vampiro arrived in style for Nitro. He was driving a gasoline truck. That came in handy later in the evening for his match – a hardcore match against Terry Funk. They wound up fighting outside near the truck. Vampiro got the hose loose and started spraying Funk with gasoline. Sting ran in and saved Funk by attacking Vamp. Sting shut off the valve and got clear as Vampiro reappeared, wielding a blowtorch.

On Thunder, Sting faced off against Kidman and Horace in a handicap match. Sting won by putting Kidman in the Scorpion Deathlock. Vampiro was nowhere to be seen.

Vampiro didn’t miss Nitro, though. He had a match against Scott Steiner for the US title. After Vampiro clocked Steiner with his blowtorch, Steiner’s manager Midajah came off the top rope and caught Vampiro with a body press. Vampiro grabbed his torch and started chasing Midajah around the ring. Sting appeared and attacked Vampiro from behind, then threw him into the ring for Steiner’s win.

Sting took on the Cat on Thunder. At least, that’s what was supposed to happen. In actuality, Sting posed on the top rope and had a fire extinguisher sprayed in his face by Vampiro. Vampiro continued his attack as the Cat just hopped out of the ring and left. Vampiro beat on Sting for a while, then pitched him out of the ring and set the announce table on fire. Sting grabbed the fire extinguisher, sprayed Vamp, and put the fire out. Vampiro put Sting through the table and again promised to set him on fire.

That brought us to the Great American Bash. Sting took on Vampiro in a Human Torch match. The match started with Sting on top of the Turnertron. He raised the torch up there and told Vampiro he’d have to come get it. Vampiro, who was afraid of heights, screamed at Mark Madden about this. You know, if Vampiro had set Madden on fire, this could have very easily earned the title of Greatest Pay Per View Ever. But I digress.

Sting came down from the top of the Tron and attacked Vampiro in the ring. After missing two Stinger Splashes, Vampiro took advantage of the opportunity to throw kerosene all over Sting. Vampiro then dragged Sting toward the stage and they fought up to the top of the Tron. All of a sudden, the lights went out. When they came back on, Sting was engulfed in flames. He staggered forward and fell off the top of the Tron, crashing through the stage below.

That was the end of the main feud between Sting and Vampiro. After that, we started getting into the build for what would have been a huge event on New Year’s Eve that never happened. Sting, the Demon, and Asya would have faced off against Vampiro, the returning Great Muta, and the Insane Clown Posse in a match that would have ended with Vampiro being cleansed of his evil and turning face.

Analysis
This feud had so much promise. I’ve always enjoyed seeing Vampiro, and he played his part to perfection here. Despite all the goofy match stipulations, he still managed to get his part in the feud over, and it speaks highly of Sting that he was willing to work with (and lose to) someone farther down the card than he was.

The visuals on the Human Torch match were great. Sure, we knew that it was just a stuntman who got lit up and pitched off the Tron, but it looked good. That’s something that can’t be said too often for a company who put up graphics for their world champion describing him as the US champion.

As for the New Year’s Eve event – sure it sounded goofy. Vamp getting dunked in some pool of water that would “cleanse the evil from his soul.” Right. Still, I’d be willing to bet that they could have pulled it off. At least it would have been interesting to watch. Unfortunately, Russo didn’t stay in power long enough to see that one through to fruition.

Where Are They Now?

After WCW shut down, Vampiro returned to Mexico, where he worked in the CMLL promotion, most recently allied with the Pierroth family. Recently he made huge waves in Mexico by jumping to the rival AAA promotion, along with CMLL main eventer Shocker, who is better known in the States for his time with TNA.

Sting waited out his WCW contract after the buyout and did not jump to the WWF, unlike most of the other WCW main eventers. He also had a brief stint in TNA. Today he still works the occasional indy show, but is retired from the ring for the most part.

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The WWF decides to take a walk on the dark side.

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