Born In: Omaha, Nebraska
Hometown: Venice Beach, California
Resides From: Venice Beach, California / Atlanta, Georgia / St. Petersberg, Florida
Birthday: March 20, 1959
Weight: 252 lbs
Finisher: Scorpion Deathlock
Set-Up Move: Stinger Splash
Trained By: Red Bastein
Began Pro Wrestling Career: 1985
Earliest Warrior footage ever? A Freedom Fighters promo is interrupted by Phil Hickerson who challenges Jim (Warrior) to a match. Steve (Sting) interferes and Hickerson is beaten down by both men until Steve Keirn makes the save.
Section 1: The BeginningSteve Borden, known worldwide as Sting, began his pro wrestling career in 1985 when he joined a group of Wrestlers known as Power Team USA in California. Borden, Jim Hellwig (later known as The Ultimate Warrior), Mark Miller, and Garland Donoho made up Power Team USA. Sometime in 1986, Power Team USA dissolved. Borden and Hellwig decided to stay together and they formed a tag team called the Blade Runners. Borden took the name Flash and Hellwig took the name Rock. Later in their career’s, they joined UWF (Universal Wrestling Federation) and teamed with the late Eddie Gilbert and a young Rick Steiner. By now, Borden had changed his in-ring name from Blade Runner Flash to Sting. Hellwig was having problems with UWF Owner Bill Watts and Eddie Gilbert so he decided to leave the UWF. Sting remained in the UWF and he began to team with Gilbert. Together they won the UWF Tag Team Titles from The Fantastics. After a few re-Matches, the Titles were held up due to controversy. Sting and Rick Steiner later beat the team of Terry Taylor and Chris Adams for the vacant Belts. The Tag Team of Sting and Rick Steiner didn’t last long since Sting was growing tired of Gilbert. A confrontation between the three of them (Sting, Steiner, and Gilbert) erupted, and in the end Sting no longer allied with Gilbert and Steiner. This resulted in Sting becoming a huge fan favorite, or Good Guy. The UWF began working joint-cards with the NWA soon after. This gave Sting some national attention. Jim Crockett bought out the UWF and absorbed it into the NWA. Sting did not take long to make an impact in the NWA either. He went straight after the NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Ric Flair.
From The Vault One Of The Earliest Videos Of Sting Before His Nwa Debut
Section 2: The Start Of A RivalryRic Flair had lost the NWA World Heavyweight Title to Ronnie Garvin earlier in 1987. Flair wanted the Belt back so he sent Lex Luger to take out the Stinger. Sting and Luger wrestled many times, but neither had many clean wins. Sting made his first major national appearance when he teamed with the Freebirds (Jimmy Garvin and Michael Hayes) at Starrcade ‘87 in a Six-Man Tag Match against Eddie Gilbert, Rick Steiner, and Larry Zybsco. The match ended in a Draw, but bigger things were to come. After Starrcade ‘87, Sting began a campaign toward the NWA World Heavyweight Title. Ric Flair had regained the Title by defeating Ronnie Garvin at Starrcade ‘87. Sting was quickly developing into a Main Eventer. Sting was using the Stinger Splash as his set-up move to his Finisher, the Scorpion Deathlock. Sting had been wrestling a lot televised matches and during one of them J.J. Dillon came to ringside. Dillon dogged Sting for challenging the NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Ric Flair, to a Title Match. Dillon then threw some champagne in Sting’s face which really made him mad. Sting pulled Dillon into the ring and beat the hell out of him. Flair and the Horsemen came out and saved Dillon, but Sting had already left the ringside area. This prompted Flair to give Sting a NWA World Heavyweight Title Match in February. Flair was able to retain the Title, but he really took a bad beating. Lex Luger and Barry Windham held off the other Horsemen while Sting put Flair in the Scorpion Deathlock. Sting held the move on Flair for two or three minutes before he released the hold, however, the damage had been done. Flair has to be carried off on a stretcher. A re-Match between Sting and Flair was signed for March 27, 1988. The event was the first Clash of The Champions. Sting came very close to winning his first World Heavyweight Championship on this night. Sting had Flair in the Scorpion Deathlock when the 45 minute time limit expired. This Match cemented Sting’s position as a Main Eventer for the rest of his career. Sting’s feud with Ric Flair might have ended, but he still wasn’t completely through with the 4 Horsemen. Sting teamed with Lex Luger to enter the Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup of 1988. Sting and Luger defeated the team of Ivan Koloff and Dick Murdoch, The Midnight Express, and the Powers of Pain to reach the Finals. Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard, two of the 4 Horsemen, were their opponents. STING and Luger went on to defeat Anderson and Blanchard to win the Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup. After nearly beating Flair and beating the Horsemen team of Anderson/Blanchard to win the Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup, Sting continued to fight the 4 Horsemen. Sting teamed with multiple partners trying to win the NWA World Tag Team Titles, but they always came up short against Anderson and Blanchard. Sting fought Barry Windham, the newest member of the Horsemen, on a few occasions for the NWA U.S. Heavyweight Title, but he could never leave with the Title. Sting’s feud with the Horsemen died down when another team came into his career.
Bladerunners vs Ted DiBiase and Dr Death
Section 3: Road Warriors and The TV TitleThe time is October of 1988. Sting was asked to wrestle in Dusty Rhodes place in a 6-Man Tag Team Match with The Road Warriors against The Varsity Club (Kevin Sullivan, Mike Rotunda, and Rick Steiner). The Road Warriors, Hawk and Animal, did not like Sting being their new partner so they refused to tag him in. Near the Matches end, Hawk mistakenly tagged in the Stinger and he cleaned house. Sting started to put Rotunda in the Scorpion Deathlock when Hawk pulled him aside. Sting, confused by the situation, began to argue with Hawk. This turned out to be a big mistake for the Sting. A mistake he would pay for. Animal hit Sting from behind with a Double Ax-Handle. The Road Warriors finished Sting off with the Doomsday Device. Lex Luger came to the ring to help Sting, but he received a beating from the Road Warriors as well. Sting and Luger fought The Road Warriors a couple of times, but they were never as successful as they planned. Dusty Rhodes returned and he sides with Sting. At Starrcade ‘88: True Grit, Sting and Dusty Rhodes took on The Road Warriors, now NWA World Tag Team Champions, for the Belts. Sting and Rhodes almost won the Titles, but Paul Ellering, The Road Warriors manager, interfered. This Match ended the feud with The Road Warriors so Sting returned to singles competition. Sting finally earned a Title Match with NWA World Television Champion Mike Rotunda. Rotunda was so confident that he would defeat Sting he added a stipulation to their Title Match. If Sting could defeat Rotunda in under 10 minutes, Sting would not only win the NWA World Television Title, but $10,000 dollars as well. Sting knew Rotunda would have the Varsity Club get involved so Sting got Lex Luger and Ricky Steamboat to watch his back. Sting went on to defeat Mike Rotunda with a Reverse Roll for the NWA World Television Title and the $10,000 dollars. For the next four months Sting defeated the Television Title regularly, however, a newcomer was ready to stake his claim at the TV Title.
Section 4: The Great MutaSting was easily one of the hottest stars in Wrestling in July of 1989. A newcomer known as The Great Muta, however, was just as hot. The Great Muta amazed American Wrestling fans with his high flying moves and martial arts skills. The Great Muta had racked up quite an impressive winning streak by July of 1989 since joining earlier in the year. The Great Muta’s manager, Gary Hart, began to mock Sting and Hart would claim the Muta could easily destroy Sting in a Match. Sting challenged The Great Muta to a NWA World Television Title Match, and it was signed for July 23, 1989, at the Great American Bash: Glory Days. Sting proved to be the first real test for The Great Muta, but Muta showed the NWA he was no fluke. Muta hit Sting with every chop and kick he could, and Sting countered with his strength and high flying moves of his own. Late into the match, The Great Muta attempted to spit his green mist into the eyes of Sting, but the Stinger ducked causing it to hit the referee in the eyes. Sting missed a Stinger Splash allowing The Great Muta to hit a Backbreaker followed by his Finisher, the Moonsault. A new referee was now in the ring to make the count, but Sting somehow kicked out. Sting caught The Great Muta with a Belly-To-Back Suplex into a bridge for a double pin. The Great Muta left the ring with the TV Title. Sting and The Great Muta would meet again a lot sooner than expected. In the Main Event, Ric Flair defeated Terry Funk to retain the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. After the Match was over, Terry Funk, The Great Muta, and Gary Hart all began to beat down Ric Flair. Sting ran down to make the save and all four men had one hell of a brawl. Sting and Flair agreed to leave all the past animosity in the past. Sting and Flair decided that it would be best for them to team up to take on Funk and Muta. The only question was how long would it last?
Sting vs Flair (NWA Title)1988 Clash of Champions (1 of 5)
Section 5: From Enemies To Partners To Enemies AgainIn September the controversy over the NWA World Television Title was settled. A re-Match between Sting and Muta was signed. Muta won the re-Match and the World Television Title with a little cheating. Nonetheless, he was NWA World Television Champion and the feud with Sting was still going strong. At Halloween Havoc ‘89, a Thunderdome Cage Match with electricity running through the top of it was signed. The Match had Sting and Ric Flair going against Terry Funk and The Great Muta. The only way the match could end is when either Ole Anderson, Sting and Flair’s second, or Gary Hart, Funk and Muta’s second, threw in the towel. Bruno Sammartino was the special guest referee. The Match was very brutal. At one point, Flair applied the Figure Four Leglock on Funk, and Sting hit Funk with consecutive Top Rope Splashes. The Match finally ended when Ole Anderson decked Gary Hart forcing him to drop the towel. The partnership between Sting and Flair wasn’t over yet either. After the I-Quit Match between Flair and Funk, The Great Muta, The Dragon Master, and Lex Luger all attacked Flair. Sting tried to make the save, but he was knocked out by Lex Luger via a chair shot. Sting wrestled Luger for the NWA U.S. Heavyweight Title a few times, but Luger was able to leave as Champion. At Starrcade ‘89: Future Shock, the NWA decided to hold a Iron Man Tournament. The four Wrestlers would be Sting, Ric Flair, Lex Luger, and The Great Muta. Luger cheated his way to victory over Sting in the first Match, however, Sting would make a comeback. Sting defeated both The Great Muta and Ric Flair cleanly to win the Iron Man Tournament. Soon after Ric Flair invited Sting to join the newly reformed 4 Horsemen. Sting accepted and for the first time ever the 4 Horsemen were Good Guys. However, things wouldn’t last long. The NWA awarded Sting with a NWA World Heavyweight Title Match at Wrestle War ‘90 in February since Sting won the Iron Man Tournament back in December at Starrcade ‘89: Future Shock. Flair did not want to Wrestle Sting fearing he would lose his Title. At a Clash of The Champions in February, just three weeks before Wrestle War ‘90, the 4 Horsemen gave Sting an ultimatum. Either give up the Match or give up his career. Sting decided that he was going to accept the Title Match, and the 4 Horsemen laid Sting out. Later that same night, Sting tried to get some revenge on Flair. While climbing a cage to get to Flair, Sting tore his left patella tendon. This injury put Sting on the sidelines for the next five months, and it took Sting out of the World Heavyweight Title Match at Wrestle War ‘90. With Sting out, the NWA decided to give Sting’s Match to the U.S. Champion, Lex Luger. The Horsemen tried the same tricks with Luger, but they were not as successful. On World Championship Wrestling, (now WCW Saturday Night) Luger laid Flair and the Anderson’s out. Sting also announced during the show that he would be at Wrestle War ‘90 to watch the Match. During the Flair/Luger Match, Sting came out and got Luger back into the match. His exact words were: “Wake up! Come on and kick his you know what! Come on Lex, get in there and do it!” Luger took control and almost won the NWA World Heavyweight Title. Luger had Flair in the Torture Rack, but the rest of the Horsemen came down to attack Sting. Luger decided to save Sting instead of winning the Title. Luger was counted out, which allowed Flair to retain the Title. Luger and Flair then had some re-Matches, but Flair was able to hold on to the Title.
Section 6: The New ChampionAt a Clash of The Champions in June of 1990, Sting made a challenge to Ric Flair. Flair accepted the challenge and the Match was signed for July 7, 1990 at the Great American Bash: New Revolution. Sting was determined to beat Ric Flair for the World Heavyweight Championship, and the NWA added three stipulations to the Match to make sure it was clean. 1. If Ric Flair was disqualified, Sting would automatically win the Title. 2. The Junk Yard Dog, Paul Orndorff, and the Steiner Brothers would be ringside for the entire Match. 3. Ole Anderson was to be handcuffed to El Gigante. Sting and Ric Flair Wrestled what I consider to be one of the Greatest Matches in Wrestling History. Sting controlled the Match early even applying the Scorpion Deathlock to Ric Flair, but Flair was too close to the ropes. Sting hit Flair with many great moves showing his great in-ring ability. Flair also showed why he is one of the Greatest as well by dominating most of the Match. The Match came to an end when Sting hit his knee on a turnbuckle, and Flair attempted to apply the Figure Four Leglock when Sting caught Flair with an Inside Cradle for the pinfall. Sting was the new NWA World Heavyweight Champion. This was the first World Heavyweight Championship of Sting’s Career. Sting proved his wrestling ability in the Match, and he proved his modesty afterwards. In a post-Match Interview, Sting had these words to say: “My mouth is dry, so listen to what I have to say. Ric Flair is the Greatest World’s Champion of All Time. As for me, I am a Champion for one night, and one night only because I have some big shoes to fill.” In my opinion, Sting is the Greatest Wrestler / World Heavyweight Champion of All Time, but I talk about that more extensively in my article, “STING - The Greatest World Heavyweight Champion”. The words that Sting spoke was very nice considering what Flair had put Sting through the past five months. Sting was the new NWA World Heavyweight Champion. Sting would defend the NWA World Heavyweight Title successfully against all comers, including the former World Heavyweight Champion, Ric Flair, and the newest member of the 4 Horsemen, Sid Vicious. However, a new challenger would make his presence known in the months ahead.