Sting Interview With SportsVibe

Sting

Sting

You could be forgiven for not knowing who Steve Borden is, however, one mention of his wrestling name and millions of fans will know exactly who you are talking about. Better known as Sting, Borden has been in the wrestling industry for over 25 years, and has become an icon in the hugely successful world of wrestling.

Having begun his career in 1985, Sting has gone on to become a 14-time world champion, winning gold in both WCW (World Championship Wrestling) and TNA (Total Nonstop Action). With everything that Sting has achieved, he is the most well-known professional wrestler to have never performed in the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment).

Sportsvibe.co.uk caught up with the grappling legend to discuss how he got into wrestling in the first place and talk about his many meetings with WWE owner Vince McMahon.

How did you first get into wrestling?

I was raised in Southern California and co owned a health club, Gold’s Gym. A guy came in one day with three big guys and was trying to break into pro wrestling, he was looking for a fourth guy to join and tried to recruit somebody from the gym but had no luck.

He then asked me if I wanted to do it and to be honest, in the area of Southern California where I grew up, I had no idea what pro wrestling even was. I had heard about it but never seen a match on television or been to an event.

He then ended up taking me to an event at a sports arena in Los Angeles, where I saw Hulk Hogan, The Iron Sheik, The British Bulldogs and Andre The Giant. Some of the biggest names in wrestling were there, and it was just incredible.

For me, I had always wanted to travel, get out of California and that was my ticket. I then went to a wrestling camp and had my first match on Thanksgiving Day 1985 in Jerry Jarretts Mid-Southern Wrestling.

What happened to the other three guys who came to the gym?

The others who where there never actually made it in the business. We were then looking for someone else and came across Jim Hellwig who later became the Ultimate Warrior.

Jim came out from Atlanta Georgia, flew to California and went through the last four weeks of this wrestling camp with us and the rest is history.

How did the name Sting come about?

My original name in wrestling was ‘Flash’ but our gimmicks and looks all changed. I wanted something maybe a little bit more edgy so as a matter of fact I named myself Stinger. People call me Sting but it was originally Stinger and people call me both today. I also gave Jim Hellwig his first name, which was ‘The Rock’ so he was the first ‘Rock’.

What was behind the idea of the face paint both you and the Ultimate Warrior wore?

Jim was 280lbs and I was 260lbs, when we started the Road Warriors were such a huge name and we where trying to find a way of making our name and getting our faces out there.

In our book there couldn’t be a better way than going the face paint route and see if we could get the attention of the public and hopefully get matches against the Road Warriors, and I can’t say it was a mistake from either one of us.

You really made a name for yourself in WCW (World Championship Wrestling), what was the highlight for you?

It would have to be all those years leading up to the launch of Monday Nitro [WCW’s flagship show] and we were always the second best wrestling organisation, always number two, second class citizens, never quite as good or big until we landed Monday Nitro.

We then eventually became the number one wrestling organisation. It was good after a decade long battle to become the biggest wrestling organisation in the world and to take it world wide, that was a pretty good feeling.

That then led to some of the biggest matches I ever had including my world championship win over Hulk Hogan at Starcade 1997.

You are the biggest name in wrestling never to have featured in the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), has Vince McMahon ever approached you to join the WWE?

Yeah, several times, and I was close to signing every single time and probably closer than ever this last go earlier in the year in January it was very, very close.

However the rest is history and I have always chosen to stay put. All those years throughout the nineties especially and the early 2000’s I always believed Vince McMahon wanted me more to undercut WCW than he did me as a talent. I was real close but never did do it.

There is a lot of history between you and Hulk Hogan from your time in WCW, both Hogan along with Eric Bishoff joined you in TNA last year. What were your thoughts when those two joined the company?

I had some concerns as we know what happened with WCW. Towards the end I think there were too many hidden agendas and selfish motives by too many people that ultimately ended WCW.

You had two of the big powerhouse names that helped WCW become what it was and then you throw me into the mix as well, and it could be a really good thing or it could be an absolute disaster.

You recently became TNA Champion for the fourth time beating Jeff Hardy in 88 seconds. Do you feel the way you won the belt will tarnish this reign?

There is no other way of saying it but there is a scar there and it’s going to hurt. You had PPV (Pay Per View) companies, you had wrestling fans that paid to see something and they didn’t get to see a match. To cut a long story short it just sucks, and I can’t pretend it doesn’t.

I was sick the way it happened the way it did, but it is something that had to happen and the only thing to do now is move forward.

Do you think there will be a rematch between yourself and Jeff Hardy?

I believe he will come back to TNA. He is too big a superstar not to have around. I know he has a lot of personal issues going on but from what I understand he is getting stronger everyday, mentally, physically and spiritually, everything is on the up and up for him.

Hopefully he will continue and will end up back here. I have always wanted to have that match with Jeff Hardy and I’ve always wanted to tag with him as well. There are so many things that I think will be pretty cool to do with him. So believe it or not I’m routing for him.

TNA has come over to the UK for the past three years as part of their annual tour. Do you think an episode of Impact or even a PPV will be filmed in the UK?

It is something I would like to see happen and it is something I am going to voice my opinion on. I would love to be a part of it and think it would be good for everybody, good for TNA, good for England and good for wrestling fans all over. It is something I believe will happen.

There are currently a number of British wrestlers plying their trade in both WWE and TNA, do you think it will be long before we see a British Heavyweight champion in TNA?

I remember the British invasion from decades ago and it appears to have come full circle. We are seeing more and more Brits coming over and it’s only a matter of time before you see a Brit win the TNA championship. There are at least three here that are outstanding.

Are there any dream matches that you would like to have before you hang up your boots?

I would like to do something with “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero (Elijah Burke), but there are a bunch of guys here in TNA that I would like to wrestle before I retire. It’s quite funny actually because a lot of the younger talent approach me and say ‘I just want to wrestle you one time before you retire’.

As far as the WWE is concerned I would love to step in the ring with the Undertaker, that would be a great match.

TNA Impact is on Challenge TV (Sky 125, Freeview 46, Virgin 139) every Tuesday night at 10pm followed by TNA Xplosion at midnight

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About Ray Mullan
Ray Mullan is a longtime wrestling fan and Owner/Editor of TNA UK . Also a contributing writer to a number of other online wrestling media including 1Wrestling.com, Wrestle Zone UK & Lords of Pain.

One Response to Sting Interview With SportsVibe

  1. Mic Skills Required says:

    Good interview. What a great title to have and be known for.

    “It is something I would like to see happen and it is something I am going to voice my opinion on. I would love to be a part of it and think it would be good for everybody, good for TNA, good for England and good for wrestling fans all over. It is something I believe will happen.”

    Does this mean we are going to get a freaking PPV over here? That would be awesome!!

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