‘The Icon’ Sting has opened up about his reaction and feelings on the then World Wrestling Federation purchasing World Championship Wrestling.
March 26, 2001, is a date that will live in wrestling infamy as the day Vince McMahon finally announced the purchase of his bitter rival, WCW.
Despite the shenanigan’s that surrounded the moment, which included Shane McMahon appearing live on Nitro to announce he’d beat his father to the purchase and an eight month long feud that was the invasion of the WWF, Vince McMahon had finally won a war which had been over a decade and a half on the battlefield.
Now, Sting, the man most associated with the Atlanta group has sat down with AEW Unrestricted Podcast to discuss the purchase and how he felt like a second class citizen:
“It was surreal. It’s like we were second class citizens for many years. We launched Nitro, killed it for so long, almost put WWE completely under and out of business. All of a sudden, you have the Monday Night Wars, the ratings are coming up, it’s neck-and-neck, they catch us, they’re ahead of us every week. You hear all these rumors that we’re going to be bought out and you find out Vince McMahon might buying us out. Sure enough, Vince McMahon is going to buy us out. They show up in Panama City and want Ric and I to leave the fans with something good and positive, so we have a short match. It felt like the enemy came in and took the women and children. There was pillaging and raping and there was chaos.”
Sting wasn’t done there. He detailed how Ted Turner went back on his promise to stand by the talent and sold them down the river for what the former WCW World Heavyweight Champion described as, “next to nothing”:
“I remember Ted Turner meeting with us in the very beginning and going, ‘I have the suits and ties around me and they complain about you guys. They don’t like you wrestlers because we’re always in the red. You know what I tell them? I tell them I love wrestling and I have deep pockets. You guys keep doing what you’re doing.’ The billionaire, in the end, doesn’t even know what’s going on, I guess. We were put on the chopping block and sold for next to nothing. We were number one in the world and next thing you know, we get bought out and it’s over and done. You disappear like a puppy with its tail between its legs.”
Following the sale of WCW to WWF, Sting found himself in limbo. Many of the stars that he had grown up alongside made the jump to the opposition with varying levels of success, but ‘The Stinger’ failed to reach a buyout agreement with AOL Time Warner and was forced to see out his contract with the company.
Unable to lead the WCW charge against the opposition cavalry, Sting talked about how the sale hit him:
“It was a horrible time for me. I had a contract that had 18 months or two years left on it and I had a paycheck coming in. That was good. No job duties to perform anymore. What a way to go out.”
Once his AOL Time Warner contract expired, Sting chose to give the then WWE a wide birth and decided to sign with TNA where he carved out another legendary career.
He would finally arrive on WWE shores at the 2014 Survivor Series, but his stay was fleeting and he was forced to step away from the promotion and in-ring competition after suffering spinal stenosis as a result of a Seth Rollins buckle bomb.
Sting is currently signed to AEW, where he has shown great interest in working cinematic matches which could hide his inability to perform big moves and long bouts at the age of 61.
Credit for the interview: AEW Unrestricted Podcast
h/t for the transcription: Fightful