Vince Russo followed up on his blog about Sting’s WWE Run with another blog about Sting
Part 2 Of Sting Deserves Better
by VINCE RUSSO
I had reached a low point at TNA, perhaps the lowest point of my life. After just cutting a scathing promo on Jeff Jarrett–my friend–to TNA boss Dixie Carter over the phone, I sat in silence as I contemplated the words I just spewed. It was at that moment that something I never expected happened. When it comes to God speaking to us, no one can be expected to understand, or even fathom that—unless you experienced it. That day in my office . . . I experienced it.
I went to the following tapings a new man from the inside out. When you are born again, you are so filled with love and joy that you are bursting at the seams to share your story with everyone. Of course, the first one I told was Jeff, after apologizing first, I then explained to him all the events that had occurred. From there, Jeff told Sting, who is the strongest Christian man I have ever met to this day. Sting immediately came looking for me because he wanted to see for himself. To this day, there are still my critics out there who call my Christianity a “work”. . .how sad and unfortunate that is. Thirteen years later and I’m still “working” everybody.
Sting sat down with me and began asking question after question. He wanted to know the details of everything that I had experienced. Once he was done with the inquisition he asked me to go outside with him. In the darkness of the Nashville Fair Ground’s parking lot . . . Sting prayed over me. That moment was one that I will never forget. And, a spiritual bond was born that day that would have a great affect on my life to this very moment.
From there Sting and I became very close. He and Kurt, more, or less, became my top priorities at TNA as I wanted to assure that they were treated with the utmost respect that they had earned over the years. I made sure every week that they were involved in storylines that mattered, because I wanted to assure that they were positioned as the company’s top stars. Sting and I worked on many storylines very closely together. He was a perfectionist, and always wanted to be the best he could be. There was a storyline with Sting, Jim Mitchell and Abyss that was one of the best that TNA had ever produced. I’ll never forget a sit-down with Jim and Sting at a hotel restaurant that was one of the best acted sequences I had ever been a part of. To this day James Mitchell is the most underrated talent in the history of professional wrestling. The fact that he actually lives in Orlando and isn’t employed by TNA is flat comical to say the least. From there, we moved onto the Main Event Mafia, with the idea being to somewhat protect some of the biggest names in the history of the business who were now reaching the twilight years of their careers. There are none better then Booker T., Kevin Nash, Scott Steiner, Sting and Kurt Angle—NONE. Putting them together as a unit helped take some of the in-ring work load off, as again, story dominated and not what they could do physically at that time.
From there it was “Joker Sting”. The fact that Sting trusted in me and took such a chance with a whole new persona at that point in his career . . . is one of the highest praises that anyone could ever give me. And, Sting, was unbelievable in that role. He embraced it, and did things I never even thought he was capable of. He was no doubt the highlight of the entire promotion at that time. Again, more storyline, more character, less physicality as he grew older. The idea was to lengthen his career . . . not shorten it.
Unfortunately, it was during this time that I was becoming very disenchanted with TNA. The structure of the organization had become an entire mess. Everybody was stepping all over everybody else because we had a boss that just didn’t have it in her to be a boss. Nobody was held accountable for anything, and the political environment had just become something that I could no longer deal with. When I reached a low point, I asked Sting if he would go out with me after the show so that I could speak to him about some deep, deep issues I was having. After laying it all out to Sting at a table in the Orlando Outback, he looked at me and said, “Vince, God is strongly telling you that you’re not supposed to be here anymore. He has other plans for you . . . other things for you to do . . . more important things.”
Deep down, I knew Sting was right, but I really needed to hear it from him. Shortly after that I walked away from a six-figure salary with no plan on where I was going from there. I was 100% going to put my faith in God. Still “working”, right? In an unbelievable series of events over the next year, or so, all the people who were causing the issues at TNA were gone—all of them—gone. It was at this point, when I was struggling financially, that I once again went back to my friend Sting to get some advice. Long story short–I became a “secret” consultant for TNA, and more, or less, contributed from the sidelines. It was around the time of their Bound for Glory, and I remember they had Sting booked against Magnus. From my office, I watched that match, and not having seen Sting work for nearly two years, I could immediately see that he wasn’t the same guy in the ring. He had clearly lost a step as we all do when we surpass the half-century mark. After seeing this I came up with a story that would once again protect Sting, and keep him from working in the ring. I pitched the story, and I guess for monetary reasons . . . Sting soon thereafter parted ways with TNA. The sad thing is—he didn’t even know I was working with the company at the time because I wasn’t allowed to tell even him.
Fast forward a couple of years later—WWE. After holding out for 15 years . . . Sting finally decides to go to work for Vince McMahon. I’d be lying to you if I didn’t admit that there were tears in my eyes when I witness Sting come out in front of that crowd at WrestleMania. For years I was there when he came out to only a handful at Universal Studios—this is what this legend deserved. Sadly, knowing Vince and his massive ego, I knew deep down going in that Sting wasn’t going to win this match. To Vince, even after 15 years, he was still getting off on beating Ted Turner, and Sting was basically the last and biggest pawn. But, as unbelievably sad as that is—it really didn’t matter. Sting was getting the send-off in front of a massive audience, and win, or lose, I was glad he was going out that way. I also knew that the W meant nothing to Sting, because in the almost decade that I had worked with him—he was always business.
Fast forward to just a few weeks ago. Yeah, I was kind of surprised that the WWE was wheeling Sting out again. Why? Because they had lowered his stock with the loss to Hunter, and now a match against the Champion just really didn’t make much sense. This clearly showed that it was Vince’s ego that defeated Sting at WrestleMania and nothing else. Why would you beat the guy who was going to eventually get a shot at your Champion a few months later, and put over the guy who isn’t even close to wrestling again. That’s ego in its rawest form. Sting got beat, because Sting was WCW and not WWE. I’m sitting here not even believing that I wrote that last line—ridiculous.
Fast forward, this past Sunday. I didn’t watch the PPV, because quite frankly, I didn’t care about it. But of course, when I heard that Sting may have injured himself–I was concerned. I watched the footage on TMZ, and couldn’t believe the absolute violence in what I saw. This was a 56 year-old man being thrown around the ring like a stuffed rag doll. I absolutely was sick to my stomach when I saw the crushing impact that Sting’s body was taking. At 56, I don’t care who you are, your body is just not built to take that kind of punishment. In wrestling, there is a saying, sometimes you have to “protect the boys from themselves”. As prideful showman, wrestlers always want to go out there and just do what is sometimes the undoable. That’s where it takes somebody from management to say, “No, you can’t do that, you’re either going to kill yourself, or somebody else.” It’s call being level headed and taking responsibility. On Sunday night, nobody protect Sting from himself, including Vince McMahon. Sting’s mindset was to give the company everything that he possibly could in helping get Seth Rollins over. That’s WHO STING IS. But, some of those things that he wanted to do . . . his body was no longer capable of doing. Somebody had to step in and tell him that . . . and nobody did.
But even with all that, here’s the real shocking part. The next night on RAW—no mention of Sting. No mention of the injury, no saying our thoughts and prayers were with him, nothing . . . absolutely nothing? It was almost like he was no longer even part of the company and we just wanted to wash away his memory with one swipe of an eraser. The prior night a 56 year-old man, literally put his body, his health, his career, his future, his family on the line for the good of his employer . . . and nothing.
In my heart of hearts, and as a passionate human being, I cannot tell you why the WWE and Vince McMahon handled the situation that way. Were they afraid of the hard questions after the fact? Why would you allow a human being in his mid-fifties to absorb that kind of punishment to his body in a match that is “supposed to be” choreographed and controlled? I don’t know . . . I don’t have that answer for you. All I know is this . . .Sting . . . Steve Borden . . . deserved better then what the WWE gave him. Steve will tell you differently because that’s who Steve is. He is perhaps the most humble man in the world who wouldn’t hold anybody accountable for anything. Me? I’m not that guy. And, even though another series of Monday Night Wars programs will probably now be produced to further kill my name, reputation and credibility to the WWE Universe of 3 million people—slander and defame away—as Stone Cold would say, “I really don’t give a rat’s ass.”
Sting deserved better. Everybody who has ever followed his career knows that. Everyone who considers themselves a wrestling fan knows that. WWE fans know that. Triple H “probably” knows that. Vince McMahon . . . does not know that, and that right there is the saddest commentary in this entire piece. And, no, an induction into the Vince McMahon “prestigious” WWE Hall of Fame is not going to make anything right—not even close—-in fact—flat out laughable.
Steve, we all love you, and we are all praying for you. Please know that there is nothing left for you to prove to anybody. Your legacy will live on forever, and your friendship over the years has meant more to me then you will TRULY ever know. Thank you for being the man that you are, you are both an inspiration and an absolute Godsend to us all.
This will be my last column for Chair Shot Reality, so I wanted to take this moment to thank Justin LaBar and his entire staff for the respect and dignity they have treated me with since the beginning of our relationship.
Tags: Sting, Vince Russo, Vince Russo Blog