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Exclusive interview: Sting on the Hall of Fame, his WWE experience and whether he has competed in his final match
Since his shocking first appearance at Survivor Series 2014, Sting’s time with WWE has been as turbulent as it’s been triumphant. From his WrestleMania thriller with Triple H, to his unfortunate injury against Seth Rollins at Night of Champions 2015, Sting has truly run the gamut during his 16-month run with WWE. Now, with just a few weeks before he becomes forever immortalized in the WWE Hall of Fame, and with rumors swirling about his in-ring future, The Icon sits down with WWE.com to reflect on the past and look ahead to the future.
WWE.COM: During interviews you have given in recent months you revealed that surgery was on the table as a potential option in the wake of the spinal injuries you sustained during your Night of Champions 2015 match with Seth Rollins. Did you ultimately have surgery?
STING: I actually did not have surgery. Two neurologists [Dr. Joseph Maroon and one in Houston] were saying the same thing. The side effects you’re supposed to have, I’m not really having any. I’m feeling good [and] completely normal.
WWE.COM: With that in mind, it had been reported that you were diagnosed with spinal stenosis. Is that diagnosis now inaccurate?
STING: I am not saying that is inaccurate. I’m agreeing there probably is spinal stenosis or cervical spinal stenosis. I have had certain doctors tell me, “You know, so many athletes of all ages, they’ve got this. They deal with it to some degree or another.” I had one doctor here tell me, “You’re fine, you’re okay — you don’t have anything to worry about.” And then wrestlers say, “I’d see this doctor.” “No, I’d see this one over there.” I’m telling you, it’s just craziness. So I’m thinking, as long as I’m feeling good, why am I going to do anything? And the one thing everyone has said is don’t go under the knife unless you absolutely have to.
WWE.COM: Had you not had this injury setback last September, do you think we would have you seen performing at WrestleMania this year? Or, is that just too tough a question to answer because of all the variables?
STING: Oh no, it’s an easy one to answer: Yes. If I had my way, yes, of course. I would have loved to have done one more WrestleMania and I would have called it quits at that point. The Undertaker match — that’s what I wanted to do.
WWE.COM: Had there been any early discussions prior to the injury of what your role could be at WrestleMania 32? Or, was it just something that you had in your mind?
STING: Yes, it was in my mind, of course, but everyone knew that I definitely wanted to have that one match. And, of course, WrestleMania would have been the place to do it. But, I got hurt and the rest is history.
WWE.COM: Now that we are only a few weeks out, are you starting to get excited for your WWE Hall of Fame induction?
STING: Oh, absolutely. I got a really good taste of WrestleMania Weekend and what it’s all about last year, and you don’t really understand the scope of it unless you’re actually in it and participating in it — whether you’re a fan, [Superstar] or behind the cameras. But yeah, everywhere I go people are talking about the Hall of Fame. This is huge. I mean, American Airlines Center sells out in one day? It’s crazy.
WWE.COM: What was your reaction when you found out you were going to be inducted?
STING: Well, this is something that [WWE and I] had talked about already. [Triple H] said, “If this, this and this happens, would you consider being inducted?” And I said, “Yes, absolutely.” [So] I knew there was at least talk about it, but bottom line: It really is an honor.
WWE.COM: Is it kind of strange for you think about that after all of these years being the franchise of WCW, that you are going to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame?
STING: It is and that can be shocking if you think about it. After all the years — let’s just say decades — I end up at WrestleMania last year, [have] a WWE World Heavyweight Title Match against Seth [Rollins] and then [enter the] Hall of Fame, all under WWE’s umbrella. Who would have ever guessed? I really wouldn’t have. And, especially now, knowing the depth of the WWE Hall of Fame and the significance of it. It’s way bigger than I ever thought that it was. I knew it was big, don’t get me wrong, but this is just enormous. As I understand it, Vince likes to treat this just as importantly as WrestleMania.
WWE.COM: Have you thought about your speech and the message you want to get across that night?
STING: Oh yeah, I have, and it’s nerve-wracking, for sure. I know there have been lots of different styles, and sometimes there are guys that have a lot to say [laughs]. But really, the main thing I want to do is just say, “Thank you.” That’s really it. Thank you to the fans, wrestlers, my wife, my kids, God. I’m very grateful for 30 years, I really am — and especially to the fans. That’s probably going to be the gist of what I want to say. I know they love to hear stories — and there are plenty of stories that I could tell, trust me — but, it’s mainly going to be my time to say, “Thank you.”
WWE.COM: How would you sum up this first year-and-a-half you’ve had with WWE? Has anything surprised you? Any regrets?
STING: It’s more than what I’ve anticipated. I didn’t have any idea that I would be treated with as much enthusiasm and respect by everybody. And I mean everybody. I don’t have a complaint anywhere. If I tried I couldn’t come up with a complaint, I really couldn’t. I have been treated very professionally by everyone and I have tried to, of course, reciprocate. I hope I’m known for that — that I’m trustworthy and going to be loyal to my employer. I found out firsthand just how top-notch this company is. Just world class, period. I’ve never worked for an organization like this. WCW in its heyday could not scratch the surface of this. Not even close.
WWE.COM: Hypothetically speaking, if your Night of Champions 2015 match against Seth Rollins was to be the last match you ever wrestled, would you be content with that being how you went out?
STING: Well, of course I would. You know, somebody of Seth’s caliber … World Title … WWE … pay-per-view. What a way to go out. You couldn’t ask for more.
WWE.COM: Last question: There has been a lot of discussion recently, but, as of today, in your opinion, do you ever think we will see Sting wrestle again?
STING: I have to say it: The only thing for sure about Sting is nothing’s for sure.