Friday Flashback (1997): Sting Reclaims The WCW Throne
Friday Flashback Volume 2
Match: Sting vs Hollywood Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship
Date: December 28th 1997
Venue: MCI Center. Washington DC
Arguably the greatest build up to a single match in the history of professional wrestling. This dream match was almost 10 year in the making, with 7 of those years leaving the match wrapped up in the hypothetical “what if”? 1 1/2 of those years leaving fans asking “could we see?”. And finally, the latter 1 1/2 years having fans ask “When”? At Bash At The Beach 1996, when Hulk Hogan joined the nWo (New World Order) and turned his back on the pro wrestling fans, fans knew that the countdown of a dream match between the two all time biggest names in wrestling, was becoming a reality.
Shortly after Hogan joined the nWo, we would see the faction continue to grow rapidly with new members joining this elite force to take down WCW. Hogan made claim that Sting was a member of the group during his absence from the ring after the hostile take over. The nWo produced “Sting” as an nWo member, but later found out that it was a fake Sting, after the real one came back, after some time where he embraced his dark side. From September 1996 to November 1997 WCW would do all in their power to sign Sting to a match with Hogan to reclaim and recapture the WCW World Championship and bring it back to the company. Sting would not sign the contract on every occasion asked. But when the nWo would take Sting’s silence for granted, is when Sting’s non verbal communication made the loudest noise where he finally signed the contract to fact Hogan at Starrcade 1997.
This match would be rather unique as this would be one of the very few times where a wrestler would challenge for the world title without having to earn a championship spot. This case would be special, since this match meant more than just #1 contender-ship ranking, but rather the betterment of the future of the company. Hogan would come out to the ring, followed by the challenger. Donning a new ring look and possibly the most eerie entrance music played since The Undertakers debut. The smoke would clear and the match would start off. This match was in now way shape or form a mat classic, but the aura and mystic surrounding this encounter would be the element to make it historic. Sting did not look like himself as he once did, leaving fans questioning “is that really him?” Normally fans are used to seeing the spiked up blonde hair of his, along with the colorful face paint and matching tights, in addition to the perfect bronzed tan. No spiked hair, black and white and pale. This may be symbolic of his characters depression. But when the match started and we saw the familiar moves, we knew this…was…Sting.
Hollywood Hogan would go to great lengths to see that Sting was put away as quick as possible, even if it meant assistance from referee Nick Patrick. However, outside ring enforcer, Bret Hart would have no part in this and would not allow this to happen. Once Sting regained the advantage, it was his time. His time for glory, his time to be back on top, his time to once again be the WCW World Heavyweight Champion.
His time, to Save World Championship Wrestling.
Maurice D. Proffit is a writer for Rant Sports