In an era where every grappler is dubbed a superstar or a legend, there really is only one Icon – multiple time WCW and TNA Heavyweight Champion, the legendary Sting.
Ahead of this Sunday’s Slammiversary event – where Sting will be facing off in the main event against longtime rival and Heavyweight Champion Bobby Roode – Impact Wrestling held a media conference call last night, offering journalists from around the world the rare opportunity to put their questions to ‘The Stinger’.
Collar & Elbow Wrestling’s Ben Veal wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to speak to one of the biggest stars of the past two decades. With time limited and a lot of demand, we only had two questions – but by golly, we made them count.
Here’s what ‘The Icon’ had to say…
Firstly, I just want to say that I think your character [The Insane Icon] has been brilliant over the past 12 months. I’ve really enjoyed all of the changes you’ve made to it.
Ah, I appreciate it. The Joker? It’s been a lot of fun.
A bit of a historical question now. You and Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart both famously had the same finishing move, the Scorpion Deathlock and the Sharpshooter. I wondered if there was any friendly rivalry between the two of you as to whose was best?
[Laughs] Err…no…I mean, there was probably a time when we both poked at each other, you know, when he did some stuff with WCW but, you know, he didn’t really care one way or another at the time and neither did I. I think there was just a mutual respect overall and that’s it.
It’s funny because, you know, depending on what group of wrestlers you’re hanging with, when you’re talking about finishing moves, some people will say Sharpshooter and other people will say Scorpion Deathlock. It doesn’t matter to me either way.
A quick follow on question. You’ve obviously seen so much in your career over the past 25 plus years. Looking at TNA’s current roster of talent, who do you think is the next big breakout star?
Ooh man. Gosh, you know, I think Bobby Roode, definitely. James Storm; I think Storm has got a thin membrane that he just has to walk through and then I think that he’s there.
I think Austin Aries is just scratching the surface of what he is capable of doing. Who else? I mean, there are just so many.
I think somebody like Magnus, you know, if he can find his niche I believe he’s got the goods, I think he can pull something off as well. There’s a bunch of them, man; there’s just a bunch of great, talented guys coming up.
Elsewhere in the interview, Sting was asked about a huge range of topics, spanning the length of breadth of his illustrious career. Here are some of the highlights:
Defining moment in TNA: The first time walking through the curtain at the Impact Zone was life-changing. People hadn’t forgotten; I remember the ‘You’ve still got it’ chants.
On Bobby Roode: He brings it every night. He looks the part. He carries himself well and I’ve pushed for him. I’m training harder and more consistently than ever before for my match this Sunday.
Greatest TNA match: Against Kurt Angle at Bound For Glory 2007. He took me to my limit!
On almost joining WWE: I’ve spoken with Vince McMahon about it a few times in the past. A couple of times we got pretty close; on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say about a 6 or a 7. This last time [Sting was heavily rumoured to be The Undertaker's opponent at last year's WrestleMania], I’d say we were up to a 9. I was surprised it didn’t happen to be honest…I would have liked to wrestle The Undertaker at some point in my career.
On religion: Faith has played a big part in my career; it’s only by faith that I’m still able to go, out there in the ring.
On the TNA Hall of Fame: The first inductee should be either AJ Styles or Jeff Jarrett. It should be someone who played an integral part in the making of TNA in the early days.
Don’t miss TNA Slammiversary, this Sunday 10th June from Arlington, Texas. For more information visit slammiversary.com.
This article was written by Ben Veal.