When Sting agreed for his match against Triple H at WrestleMania 31, he also gave consent to the finish. Sting, in the first interview since his Hall of Fame induction last week at WrestleMania 32, explained that, contrary to popular belief, he was more invested in the match than the outcome.
“People took the loss personally, but in this business, you have to learn real quick not to take anything that personally,” said Sting. “For me, it was a memory just being in Levi Stadium in California, my home state, with that crowd there.”
Less than a week after his Hall of Fame induction, Sting signed nearly 1,000 autographs at Big Time Wrestling’s show in Webster, MA on Saturday.
“There was so much nostalgia with having DX and the NWO all together at WrestleMania,” said Sting. “I can’t tell you how many pictures I’ve signed of all of us in the ring. Fans talked about that and loved it.”
The “Nature Boy” Ric Flair seemed like the natural fit to induct Sting into the Hall of Fame, because Flair, unlike Hulk Hogan and Lex Luger, is the WWE’s lone legend with deep ties to the former face of WCW.
“It made sense to have Ric do it,” said Sting. “But it would have made sense to have Lex Luger do it–we’ve friends for almost thirty years–or even Hulk.”
The 56-year-old Sting has always been comfortable and confident making his own decisions, so agreeing to lose to Triple H and Seth Rollins are not surprising to those who followed his career. Sting chose to spend the twilight of his career wrestling for TNA instead of the WWE, but he is grateful for his brief run with the industry leader in wrestling.
“I never would have imagined I’d be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame or wrestled at WrestleMania,” said Sting. “The first time I stepped foot into the Sports Arena in Los Angeles, I saw Hulk Hogan and Andre and all those big names, and thirty years later, I wrestled for the world title.
“It’s a been a three decade connection with the fans, and I’ve always said I’m very humbled by it. After thirty years, I’m more humbled than I’ve ever been.”
As for future plans, Sting admitted he is keeping his options open. He has his health, even after near paralysis in his Night of Champions match with Seth Rollins, as well as a WWE Legends contract, and still plans to appear sporadically at independent shows across the country.
“I’m going to kick back,” said Sting. “I’ll pick and choose some events, but I won’t be traveling as much. These grassroots shows remind me of my humble beginnings–even the smell of the building reminds me when I started. It’s an honor to still be in front of the fans.”
While his career in the ring is over, Sting explained that his gratefulness toward the fans will live on for the rest of his life.
“It’s been an incredible ride with those who supported me,” said Sting. “I said it at the Hall of Fame, and I’ll say it again–thank you. My hat is off to you. I wouldn’t be here unless for the fans, and that’s not a cliche, it’s true.”
Justin Barrasso can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.