Eric Bischoff has discussed ‘The Icon’ Sting and said that the WCW legend ‘defined storytelling’ in the world of professional wrestling in 1997.
Speaking on his 83 Weeks podcast, former WCW President Bischoff was discussing Monday Nitro from March 1997. During this time Sting was a dark presence on WCW broadcasts, largely watching events unfold from afar as the NWO run roughshod over the company. Bischoff discussed the slow burn of Sting’s character as he maintained an enigmatic distance from the action.
“The slow burn for Sting was without question not only the right approach but I think it defined storytelling in many respects.”
“I know the Sting, slow burn, scary man character – The Crow character – the build-up, the story lasted over a year. Look, I know the payoff sucked.”
The payoff Eric Bischoff is referring to was the main event of Starrcade 1997 when Sting would finally face Hollywood Hogan for the WCW World Championship. An overly convoluted finish to the match would see recent WCW signing Bret Hart get involved. Hart would act as the referee at the end of the contest, calling for the bell to note Hogan’s submission.
“The story itself was phenomenal. And had there been a different finish to that story it would probably be there right with the NWO as one of the most successful things that I’ve ever been involved with. But it was a good story.”
For almost one year Sting would not wrestle a match in WCW. He would appear only from the rafters to fight his one-man war against the NWO. Sting would only agree to return to in-ring competition on-screen if he could have his match with NWO leader, Hogan. That led to the infamous bout at Starrcade, which is still a hotly debated subject to this day.
Sting makes his return to action for the first time in over five years when he teams with Darby Allin. The pair will face Brian Cage and Ricky Starks in a street fight at AEW Revolution.