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Back Story On How Sting’s Personal Issues Affected Major WCW Match

Hulk Hogan Sting nWo WCW

• OLD SCHOOL VIDEO HISTORY (December 26, 1993) – WCW Main Event

On this day in 1993, Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling aired an episode of their weekly TV show ‘WCW Main Event’.

This episode featured pre-taped matches, interviews & storyline segments on the road to the ‘WCW Starrcade 1993’ PPV.

The card can be found below:

Recap: Steel Cage: Harley Race vs Ric Flair (NWA Starrcade ’83)

Recap: Dustin Rhodes vs Steve Austin (WCW Halloween Havoc ’93)

Recap: BattleBowl (WCW BattleBowl ’93)

Recap: Gene Okerlund interviews Col. Robert Parker & Dustin Rhodes (4th December ’93 – SN)

Recap: Dave Hart vs Paul Orndorff (18th September ’93 – SN)

Recap: Ricky Steamboat vs Steven Regal (WCW Fall Brawl ’93)

Recap: Ricky Steamboat & Steven Regal vs Paul Orndorff & Shockmaster (WCW BattleBowl ’93)

WCW Magazine

Interview by Eric Bischoff: Dusty Rhodes

Recap: Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard vs Dusty Rhodes & Sting (NWA Clash of the Champions II)

Recap: Rick Rude vs The Boss (18th December ’93 – SN)

WATCH: Nia Jax Secretly Records Alexa Bliss’ Fine Butt:

• Back Story On How Sting’s Personal Issues Affected Major WCW Match

During a recent edition of 83 Weeks podcast, former WCW President Eric Bischoff discussed how Sting’s personal issues affected the Starrcade 1997 match between Hollywood Hogan & Sting.

Below is what Bischoff said (credit to Wrestlinginc for transcription):

“The mythical character and the illusions that we had spent 16 to 17 months creating kind of dissipating halfway down the aisle, I agree with that and, actually, that’s the same way that both Hulk and I felt earlier in the day.

We knew what the finish was going into this thing, so there was no question about who was going to win and who was going to lose. We’d known that. We’d known that for 12 months. The question was, ‘how do we get there?’, so Sting showed up in my dressing room.

Hulk was already there and he walked in, and I don’t want to overdramatize this, and I’m also going to say I’m not going to share everything in this recall because some of the stuff is personal to Steve Borden, a.k.a. Sting. And since he has never shared it publicly, it’s not up to me to do it.

I’m just not going to do it, but I will give you as much information as I can. So Sting walks in and Hogan and I had the same reaction. We didn’t acknowledge it to each other, but we both had this similar reaction, which was, ‘wow, he doesn’t look very excited about this.’ Before we had one syllable of a conversation, about what the finish was going to be or how we were going to get there, Sting, during Sting’s walkout, he had the same lack of energy, or presence, is an even better way of saying it.

It was almost as if he was only half there when he walked in the room. Now, Sting had, I think he has acknowledged in the past that he was going through a lot of personal things in his life at the time.

I didn’t know as the whole Crow angle began, and the character just kind of showed up in the rafters, he didn’t really talk, and he didn’t really engage with anybody. Well, that wasn’t just the character. That was what was really going on with Steve Borden. He was almost like a ghost. He was very similar to his character, believe it or not. So what we didn’t realize, what a lot of us didn’t know, was just the depth of the personal issues that he was having in his life. It wasn’t apparent to us.

I know this is going to sound ridiculous, but none of us had seen Steve without his gimmick on, right? We didn’t realize that he had quit working out. We didn’t realize, for example, I know it sounds artificial or superficial, I should say, and childish, but he didn’t even bother to tan.

I know that sounds funny to people who aren’t in the business, but I guarantee you that everybody that you love in WWE spends a certain amount of time maintaining their tan whether they do it naturally or unnaturally. You’ve got to take care of your body. You’re out there in your underwear for crying out loud. You’ve got to look the part. And when Steve came in, he was substantially smaller. He obviously had not been to the gym.

There was no preparation, physically, on Steve’s part. He didn’t even bother spending 20 minutes getting a spray tan for crying out loud. And Hulk and I talked about it after the fact, long after the fact, certainly not in that moment, but I think we both recognized the same thing, that this guy that just walked into the room, Steve Borden, is a shell of the Steve Borden that we thought we were going to see. And it was almost shocking in a way.

What we expected, given the magnitude of what we had built, and where we knew where we were going to go, what we were planning on doing, we expected somebody to come in that room ready to play at the very highest level.

This is going to piss a lot of people off. The original finish was Sting was going to go over. How he was going to go over, that wasn’t my deal. I didn’t ever get involved, even at this, in the details of the finish. It just wasn’t my strength. I can’t emphasize that enough. And rather than engaging myself and involving myself in things that I knew I didn’t really know enough about, I let the talent have a lot of say, especially someone like Steve and Hulk Hogan.

We knew what the finish we wanted was before we even got to the building, before we got on a plane. We knew about it months in advance. We knew we wanted Sting to go over. How he went over, he had to go over strong. We had to end the story exactly the way the audience wanted it to end, on the highest note possible. That was the finish going in. How we were going to get there on a step-by-step basis, I couldn’t tell you because I wasn’t involved.

Now, in terms of the changes in light of really feeling and believing, and as much as I liked Sting as a human being, as a friend, as a performer, as one of the most loyal WCW talents on the roster, he wasn’t up for it,” Bischoff stated. It’s like he… I’m going to try to do an adequate job of explaining this without overstating it… it’s almost like he didn’t believe it was actually going to happen, long, long, long, months ago, maybe when the whole angle first started. I’m not saying he felt this way.

I’m saying this is the impression I had. I’ll speak for myself. The impression I had is that through this whole big build up, he never believed it was going to happen. He believed he was going to get screwed out of an opportunity and he quit six months before this event. He quit caring. He quit taking care of himself. He quit preparing. He showed up with no energy with no anticipation, no enthusiasm. It was just like, ‘okay, you guys are going to f*ck me, so let’s get it over with.’ That was the vibe I got.

After Steve walked out of the door, Hogan and I just looked at each other. And Hogan said, ‘brother, he’s not ready. He’s not into this.’ And I agreed with him.

The tan was one aspect of it. It may be a small aspect to you and to the fans listening to this, but when you’ve got a talent that shows up and is totally not prepared or engaged, has had 12 or 16 months to get ready for this moment where we’re going to make this huge, huge change, in the direction of the company and the guy shows up like he just heard about the match 45 minutes ago.

It tends to make you rethink your position… it makes you change your direction and it wasn’t because of a tan. It was because of a combination of a whole lot of things that suggested to us that this guy’s head as not in the game, which, by the way, Steve has admitted later, after the fact, due to the circumstances in his personal life.

He was going through a lot of sh*t and his head was not in the game. We recognized it and made a decision afterwards. That’s the truth.”

        
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