"The truth is that my legacy is putting your legacy out of business." - Triple H
The moment Triple H alluded to WCW in his Fastlane promo, speculators threw their hands in the air and groaned at the thought of the angle's overriding theme being based around the Monday Night War. Some have even gone as far to say that the WWE has booked themselves in to a corner. If Sting is to represent World Championship Wrestling in a match opposing a WWE mainstay, would a victory for Sting mean a victory for WCW?
In order to answer that question, we must first acknowledge another. Is Sting's legacy intrinsically tied to WCW? For many fans, the obvious answer would seem to be a resounding 'YES!'. The question is a huge source of controversy because there are several perspectives on Sting's run in TNA from 2003 till 2014. Did Sting detriment his legacy in TNA? Did he boost it?
As an avid follower of the financial world, I will put a stock market twist on this. Let's say that Sting's legacy is a publicly-traded stock and for the sake of space conservation, I will give it the ticker symbol: SLY.
SLY started trading publicly in 1985 and was, as Jordan Belfort of Wolf of Wall Street fame would deem it, a "penny stock". Stints in Continental Wrestling Association and Universal Wrestling Federation did little to boost the stock price but it was slowly incrementing. That all changed when Sting arrived under the Jim Crockett banner and became NWA's newest rising star. Epic title bouts with the legendary Ric Flair boosted SLY's exposure and the price followed suit.
From 1988 till 1995, SLY increased annually at continuous rate built upon increased exposure to fans worldwide and a universally-loved gimmick. And then it happened. The stock exploded. The time period from 1996 till 1998 saw SLY's price shoot up to astronomical heights on the backs of a historic feud with the New World Order. For a small period of time, SLY may have been the highest priced stock ever.
From 1998 till 2001, SLY lost value but not enough to refute its standing as a must-buy stock. Now here is the tricky part. I am not part of the group of wrestling fans that believes Sting's run in TNA was detrimental to his legacy. I believe that Sting proved his ability to wrestle decent-to-good matches with a unique array of competitors (e.g. AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle), be flexible in promos, and even take on new gimmicks (even if they failed miserably. To that, you may say: Those guys could have good matches with a broomstick! In response, I would have to ask how many broomsticks they have wrestled with such well-done faceprint. Anyways, I digress. For a run that took place during his 40's and early 50's, I would say that Sting more than held up his end of the bargain in the ring.
Based on these opinions and the fact that TNA was admirably committed to keeping Sting strong for over ten years, I think that SLY on decreased a tiny margin between from 2003 till 2014.
Since SLY was able to retain similar value post 2001, I do not think that it is intrinsically tied to WCW. Therefore, I do not think that a victory for Sting at WrestleMania is a victory for WCW. It will be a victory for SLY.
Figuratively speaking, WWE bought SLY at a bargain price and they are benefitting from the stock exploding again. Will it ever reach 1996-1998 levels again? Probably not but it will be comparable. And that is all that matters for fans of The Man Called Sting. SLY may have seen a stagnant stretch but due WWE's acquisition of the stock, it will live on forever at the price it deserves.
If you enjoyed (or hated) any of my thoughts or writing style, feel free to comment below! I am representative of Wrestling Spoilers (@YKIFR) and my personal Twitter account is @EthanTheBat. Feel free to follow either for more pro-wrestling analysis!