Sting stayed loyal to WCW well before and well after the Monday Night War of the 1990s. The character would not appear on WWE television until November of 2014, but the question always lingered in the back of everybody's mind, what if Sting would have gone to the WWE during the peak of the Monday Night War?
That is the hypothetical question Eric Bischoff attempted to answer on an episode of his 83 Weeks podcast.
Eric would immediately acknowledge the disastrous effects it would have had on the WCW brand had Sting abandoned ship during the war.
“It's hard to imagine it. I understand it's a hypothetical question and I get it. I just can't imagine what-- it would've been devastating. Let's first deal with that,” Bischoff began. “You know, there was so much emphasis on Sting, he was really the face of the company. Regardless of the NWO and all the success Nitro had. The fan base, I think, recognized Sting, as you know, other than Ric Flair, probably, was WCW and to lose somebody like that would have been devastating. Setting the storylines that were in place and everything that we had hoped to be doing with Sting in that hypothetical question, let's say in August or September of 1998 if Sting would've said, 'Sorry, guys, you know, got a better deal from WWE. I'm heading that way,' it would have been demoralizing. I think not only from a creative perspective but within the offices. Steve Borden, the man, Sting, the character, was someone that got along with everybody. It wasn't superficial. It was he wasn't just, you know, polite to people, he was obviously. But it was genuine with Steve. I don't think there was one person within WCW, either in the locker room or in the office, that had one negative thing to say about Steve Borden. You know, I think most people would have been devastated had he gone to WWE. And like I said, I don't think it's wrong. From the WWE perspective, I don't think that's a bad thing necessarily..”
Continuing on, Bischoff would praise Sting for his loyalty and say that Sting never used interest from WWE as negotiation leverage during his time with WCW and that is something Eric appreciates more when looking back on the situation today.
“We never talked about it,” he continued. “WWE reaching out to him or him reaching out to WWE, and I know there were probably conversations, but Steve never talked about it. He never used any interest in the WWE or any interests that Vince McMahon may have had. And Steve, he never used it as leverage to negotiate a deal. Never implied it. Whereas oftentimes people did. You know, sometimes it was more subtle than other times. But, you know, more often than not, everybody would let me know from time to time that they still had an ongoing relationship with Vince McMahon. The door may or may not always be open for them just to kind of keep everything in check from a negotiation perspective. Steve never did that. He was just so loyal. I respected him for it then and probably even more so today. I think it would have probably been in Sting's best interests to make a move to WWE, particularly in the late 90s, 98, 99, or probably 97, 98 would be a better time when Steve probably would have had a tremendous amount of leverage and would have made an enormous amount of money. But Steve was very, very loyal to Turner and to WCW. I have nothing but respect for him for that.”
Ultimately, Sting would have his final match under the WWE banner at Night of Champions in 2015. He would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame the following year.
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