Sting is a professional wrestler who has worked for both World Championship Wrestling and Total Nonstop Action. During his career he has been a World Champion in both organizations, famously feuding with "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan and the NWO during the late 1990's. While he originally wore bright face paint and featured bright blond hair during the first half of his career, when his feud with Hogan began he changed his appearance to the long black hair and black-and-white face paint that is familiar with wrestling fans today.
Like many wrestlers, Sting got his start in a few professional wrestling territories ( small regional and local based wrestling federations ), first wrestling in 1985 under the name Flash. He tagged with then Jim "Justice" Hellwig, who went on to become famous as the Ultimate Warrior. They joined the Arkansas and Texas-based Universal Wrestling Federation where the owner, Bill Watts, drove Hellwig out of the company with his gruff personality. Sting stayed behind and was paired with Eddie Gilbert and ended up bleaching his hair blonde and started wearing colorful face paint. In 1987, Watts, facing a market that was ravaged by the collapse of the oil industry, sold his company to Jim Crockett who owned the largest member of the NWA. Crockett soon sold his also-financially struggling company to Ted Turner who renamed it World Championship Wrestling after the long-term wrestling show hosted on his network. He had notable feuds with such wrestlers as Ric Flair, who essentially made his career with an excellent match at the first Clash of Champions on March 27, 1988. He remained a main eventer for the rest of his time in the NWA and later WCW up until the company was shut down. He later won the NWA Wold Title from Flair at Great American Bash 1990 after taking several months off due to a serious knee injury suffered in February 1990. He dropped the belt back to Flair in January 1991, not long before WCW left the NWA entirely.
Loss of Popularity in Mid 90s
In 1994 Hulk Hogan was signed to WCW, and soon enough along with him came popular former WWF stars such as Macho Man Randy Savage. Those WWF stars were promoted more than Sting, so Sting's career and TV time began to take a back seat. Scot Hall and Kevin Nash, former WWF stars who suddenly switched to the WCW in a very popular storyline at the time, again added to the undermining of Sting's popularity.
Betrayal and "Crow" Sting
At the 1996 Bash of the Beach Hogan turned on Randy Savage, Sting and Lex Luger to start the New World Order with Hall and Nash. Soon after there was a story where Sting betrayed Luger on an episode of Nitro. The fake Sting was not Steve Borden and after laying out the nWo at Fall Brawl 1996, he ceased speaking and went into the rafters. The reason for this was that his WCW contract had a maximum number of dates he had to work and he had reached that number by September and WCW stopped having him work to save money. Sting then changed his look completely, dumping the blonde hair and colorful face paint with what can only be described as a "Crow"-like look of long fair, black and white paint, and a long trench coat.
The black and white attire, Sting's new mysterious character and the fact that many WCW wrestlers were joining the NWO at the time made it unclear whether or not he was with WCW. Many classic angles, including one where the WCW promoters weren't sure "what Sting wanted", Sting "joining" the NWO, and Sting awakening to beat the NWO ( after they assumed they were going to beat up a dummy, like they'd done week after week) built up this storyline. It became clear soon enough, however, that Sting was on the side of WCW and desperately wanted to beat Hollywood Hulk Hogan. On December 28,1997 at Starcade 97, Sting beat Hollywood Hulk Hogan to win the WCW World Heavyweight Title, bringing the title back to WCW from the NWO.
In the twilight years of WCW Sting still held a prominent position within the company. One of the interesting feuds to note at this time was a feud with Hulk Hogan in late 1999. Sting defeated Hogan at Fall Brawl '99 in a unusual fashion. Sting beat the daylights out of Hogan with a baseball bat to display his aggresive heel turn, but even after a kayfabe act of dishonor the fans still cheered for Sting, even weeks after the altercation. Eventually the WCW booking team decided it to return Sting to being a babyface. This was likely contributed to his huge fan base and is a testament to his popularity with the fans.
Sting's final WCW match was also on the final broadcasting of WCW Nitro on March 26th, 2001. Sting defeated Ric Flair, ending a 13 year feud between the two in WCW.
The TNA Years
Sting said publicly that he neglected to join the WWF after the buyout, fearing that he would not be portrayed well in that company. He said that he had talked with WWF management but he just did not feel sure about it. Instead of signing with the WWF, Sting maintained sporadic appearances in rival company NWA-TNA. It was not until January 1st, 2006, moments after New Years, that it was shown that Sting would be a full time wrestler in TNA wrestling.
Stings heavily hyped tag team match with Christian at the TNA pay per view Final Resolution ended with Sting pinning Jeff Jarret after using his Scorpion Death drop maneuver. This was supposedly Sting's final match, and at the following episode of Impact Sting declared his retirement. It was the first time Sting was seen on television in 5 years. This would set up a feud between Sting and Jeff Jarrett that would cement himself as a major player in the TNA organization. Eventually Sting would win the NWA-TNA World Heavyweight Championship at the pay per view Bound For Glory on October 22nd, 2006.
In 2011, Sting was an unfortunate party in a disastrous TNA pay-per-view event entitled Victory Road. He was part of the headliner match, with his opponent being Jeff Hardy. Hardy, however, was in no condition to perform. High on drugs, after a prolonged delay, he staggered into the ring, making a fool of himself and flipped off the fans in attendance. Sting was therefore given last-minute instructions to bring the match to a conclusion as quickly as possible despite it being the main event of the program. Within a minute of the match's start, Sting put Hardy in a Scorpion Death Drop and kept him pinned down long enough to win by three-count. While exiting the arena to the crowd's chants of "Bullshit," he paused to tell the audience, "I agree."