Wrestling fans everywhere waited decades for Sting to have a match at WrestleMania. When he finally had that match, he lost to Triple H in a move that shocked many.
On his podcast, current AEW coach Arn Anderson spoke openly about how he felt the match turned out and all of the things he did not like about what happened that night in California back in March 2015.
“But as I saw it, tackle, drop-down, hip toss, and those type spots to try to reset the audience. All it did was give the announcers, and I know this was fed to them, they just buried Sting,” he began. “'[Small fish] in a big pond.' You know, just total condescending, 'The guy's out of his element. This is WrestleMania.' Whatever all the commentary was. It was meant to just basically beat you over the head with, 'we won the war. We're WWE. We won the war. Here's your big star. Well, He ain't a big star here tonight.' [Rather] than continuing to put the guy over and put some mystery into the match. I'm a huge proponent of if you just go out and say, 'hey, Marko Stunt is a little piss ant You know, I could beat him by mailing a paper airplane across the room.' Then that's what he is. He's a little piss ant that you could just step on and keep walking. But if you put the guy over for being ballsy beyond belief because he's a third my size, you know, 'if this goes over 30 seconds, it's gonna be a huge moral victory for this guy.' There's so many ways to put your opponent over without demeaning yourself. You're just, as a heel, you put yourself over just a little more. And to just bury him on the commentary. If you go back and watch it, listen to it. They just buried him.”
Anderson would then go on to discuss another element of this match and modern wrestling that he doesn't like, the devaluing of Superstars’ finishing maneuvers.
He continued, “You know, it just as it turned out, you know, they prostituted each other's finishes, which I'm not a fan of, because guys don't have finishes anymore. The evolution of all that means it used to be, the strategy of a match was you would work and work and work to try to get an advantage. And then when you saw the advantage where a guy down, you hit, you finish and that's what you needed and you won the match, simple psychology. But now that everybody kicks out of everybody's finish, you don't have a finish anymore, so you can't build to that drama that pop finishes or just high spots. Nobody has a finish anymore. And when you got a whole show of it, it really gets old quick because you're just prostituting everything.”
The main moment of the match came when the New World Order and D-Generation X also ran in to add further elements of the Monday Night War playing out on television. Anderson took issue with this because throughout their time in WCW, Sting and the New World Order were enemies and also many of the members have a personal relationship with Triple H. Because of all of this, Anderson does not feel like that was a believable hope spot for Sting.
“Again, it's trying to kick dirt over something that-- there would have been another way to do it,” Anderson would say. “The match would've started hot. It wouldn't have to go too long. And, you know, if you decided you're not going to use Sting in any other capacity, it is going to be there, you know, the next year and the year after that. After that. Okay, you go Hunter's way and Hunter wins the match. And that's what it is if you're not going to use Sting anymore. But if you want to get that Sting vs. Undertaker match and you want to get another match out of them and possibly get several TV's out of him, what would be wrong with putting Sting over right in the middle with his finish?”
Anderson would conclude by voicing his frustration about the decision to have Sting and Triple H shake hands at the end of their match.
“After all that bullshit, run-in, abuse, hit me in the face with a sledgehammer. I'm gonna just shake your hand and walk out. It's another one of those deals of the WWE just beating you over the head with, ‘this is a work. Guys, it's just entertainment. It don't mean shit, the match is over now,'” said Arn.
Ultimately, this would be Sting's only match at WrestleMania. Later that year, he would be forced to retire after suffering a neck injury in a championship match against Seth Rollins.
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