The Blade Runners after leaving CWA would join the federation being run by Bill Watts. In the middle of 1986 Rock would leave and Sting was left without a partner. Sting joined the heel stable known as Hotstuff & Hyatt International headed by Eddie Gilbert and Missy Hyatt. During his run with the stable he would win tag team gold with Gilbert twice and then with Rick Steiner.
Sting would then begin a feud with the stable after they turned on him. The run in UWF would end when Jim Crockett would by out the federation to merge it with the National Wrestling Alliance.
National Wrestling Alliance / World Championship Wrestling (1987–2001)
Rise to Stardom (1987–1989)Sting would enter into the NWA by competing in the first PPV, Starrcade '87. Sting would partner with Michael P.S. Hayes and Jimmy Garvin to take on the team of Eddie Gilbert, Rick Steiner, and Larry Zbyszko. As a proven rising stars, Sting would be one of just a few former UFW wrestlers to receive a push in the NWA. At the Clash of the Champions PPV in 1988, Sting faced Ric Flair for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. The match would end in a draw and Sting would find himself on the losing end of several rematches. Sting begin a feud with the Four Horsemen and with Nikoli Koloff challenged Stable members Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson for the Tag Team titles at the Great American Bash in '88. This match too would end in a draw.
Sting would go on to feud the remainder of the year with United States Champion Barry Windham and Television Champion Mike Rotundo. Next up for Sting was a feud with the legendary Road Warriors, Hawk and Animal. Sting would team up with Dusty Rhodes to challenge the duo for their tag team titles at Starrcade '88, Sting again fell short in his quest for the gold.
During the summer Sting would come to the aid of Ric Flair and aid him in his feud with Terry Funk and the Great Muta throughout the summer. All of this would culminate with Sting joining the newly reformed Four Horsemen, along with Flair and Arn & Ole Anderson.
At Starrcade '89 Sting would would win a four-man round-robin Iron Man tournament to receive a shot at Ric Flair's World title. This would lead to growing tension among the Horsemen members.
Feuding with the Horsemen (1990–1991)The Horsemen would turn on Sting on February 6, 1990 after he refused to relinquish his title shot against Flair and restarted the Sting/Horsemen feud. Sting was injured later the same evening and was forced to sit on the sidelines for a bit.
Sting would participate in a bizarre incident that would see him being saved by Robocop. Upon Sting's return he finally defeated Flair for the World title on July 7, 1990 at the Great American Bash. Sting would go on to feud with Flair and Sid Vicious over the title. During his title run a masked man known as the Black Scorpion would interfere in his matches. This would all lead up to a Cage match between the two, which Sting won and unmasked the villain to revel Ric Flair.
Becoming The Franchise (1991–1995)Flair would finally win the belt back in January of 1991. This same month WCW broke ties with the NWA. Sting would team up with Luger to face the Steiner Brothers in what many say was the match of the year for 1991. In August of that year Sting defeated “Stunning” Steve Austin to win the United States Championship. Sting would hold the title till Clash of the Champions XVII where he would lose it to Rick Rude.
Following then end of the Feud a new challenger entered the picture. Sting faced off against Big Van Vader. Vader would go on to win the title against Sting at the Great American Bash. Sting and Vader's feud continued on into 1993. While both would face other challengers throughout the feud their general focus had been on each other. In the first part of '93 they exchanged the World Heavyweight title several times.
Vader would team up with Sid Vicious for part of the feud leaving Sting to partner up with Davey Boy Smith. Vader would drop the title to the returning Ric Flair and restart the rivalry with Sting again. Teaming up with Rick Rude throughout the first part of 1994 the duo feuded with Sting. After winning the International Heavyweight Championship away from Rick Rude, Sting would go on to lose the title in a unification match with Flair.
The remainder of 1994 and most of 1995 was spent with Sting teaming up with Hulk Hogan to take on Kevin Sullivan’s Three Faces of Fear and the Dungeon of Doom. Sting would win the United States title away from Meng at the Bash at the Beach.
At the first ever WCW Monday Nitro Sting lost to Ric Flair when Arn Anderson attacked Flair and cost Sting to get DQ'd. Teaming with Hogan, Luger, and Randy Savage, sting's team would defeat Dungeon of Doom members Kamala, Zodiac, Shark, and Meng at that years WarGames. In October of '05 Sting would once again team up with Flair to take on Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman.
At Halloween Havoc Sting and Flair faced off against the duo only to have Flair turn on him during the match. The Four Horsemen had returned with Flair, Anderson, Pillman, and eventually Chris Benoit filling out the group. Sting would continue to battle the Horsemen, recruiting Hogan and Savage to aid him.
Sting would go on to team up with a returning heel Lex Luger. The duo won the tag titles from Harlem Heat. The team would go on a lengthy run as champions often winning due to Luger using illegal tactics to the oblivious Sting. Due to Luger being unavailable Sting had Booker T team up with him to defend Because of the growing respect Sting granted Booker T's Harlem Heat a rematch. Harlem Heat won the match. Luger would also accidentally cost Sting the world title during a match with the Giant at Slamboree.
In the summer of 1996, Sting was the first to stand up to Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. The Outsiders had been interfering in various WCW events causing chaos and threatening to take over. At Bash at the Beach Sting would team up with Luger and Savage to take on Hall, Nash, and their mysterious third partner. Hall and Nash started the match alone, taking out Luger when Sting accidentally hit him with the Stinger Splash. Hulk Hogan would make an appearance only to turn on WCW and perform a leg drop on Savage, signifying his joining of the outsiders. Post match Hogan would dub the group the New World Order.
Sting, Luger, Flair, and Arn Anderson formed Team WCW to take on the new nWo. On a Nitro prior to Fall Brawl, Luger was attacked in the parking lot by an imposter Sting leading the crowd and members of the locker room to question rather or not Sting had turned his back on WCW. Sting denied that he had attacked his partner. But at the PPV a frustrated Sting left his teammates during the match. On Nitro the following night Sting, told the crowd that he was leaving WCW and declaring himself a free agent.
Sting would appear in the rafters at WCW events brandishing a bat. The nWo Sting would imitate Sting's new look and characteristics. Sting's new appearance had been inspired by the film the Crow. Sting would later tell that Scott Hall had actually come up with the idea of Sting painting himself like the Crow.
Savage would join Sting as a free agent for awhile in the rafter. Savage though would ultimately decide to join the nWo. Sting would begin to show up at various times in or near the ring with the nWo.
This would go on to help WCW begin to win the Monday Night Wars against WWF and their flagship show Monday Night Raw. Eventually Sting finally was given a match by JJ Dillion to fight Hogan at Starrcade for the World title.
Hogan appeared to win the match after a fast count by Nick Patrick, but special guest referee Bret Hart reversed the decision and restarted the match. Hogan would go on to submit to Sting after being put in the Scorpion Deathlock. The following night on Nitro, after Hogan protested he was given a rematch. Two different men would declare two different men the winner of that match as well.
Dillion declared the tile vacant. Sting responded with his first words in over a year by telling Dillion that he had no guts. Hogan then turned to Hogan and declared, “and you... You're a dead man!”
In the first part of '98 Savage helped sting recapture the vacant title. Savage had begun to splinter from the group and used the opportunity to hurt Hogan. Sting would have successful title defenses against, Hall, Nash, and Diamond Dallas Page. But at Spring Stampede, Savage helped Nash to capture the title from Sting as Kevin Nash was also beginning to distance himself from the Hogan dominated nWo.
On May 4th, Nash and Savage officially split from the original nWo. They formed a face group called the nWo Wolfpac. Hogan's group would become to be known as nWo Hollywood. The two factions would fight for Sting's allegiance. Sting's friends the Giant had joined team Hollywood and Luger joined the Wolfpac.
Sting would seem to make a choice entering the ring wearing a black and white nWo shirt, only to take it off to revel a red and black nWo shirt underneath. Sting began to wear red and black face paint as he joined the Wolfpac. Sting and the Giant were the current tag team champions but in two separate factions. The two would feud over the title culminating with a match at the Great American Bash where Sting beat him with the rights to name his own new partner, Kevin Nash. Throughout the summer Sting and fellow Wolfpac members, Nash, Luger, Macho Man, and Konnan, would continue to feud with Hogan and his group. Sting also began a feud with Bret Hart as he showed alliance towards Hogan's faction.
Hart cost Sting and Nash the titles in a match against Scott Hall and the Giant. At Halloween Havoc in a match Hart would go on to beat Sting with a baseball bat and put him out of action for several months.
The Final Days of WCW (1999–2001)In March of '99 Sting returned once again wearing the black and white Crow inspired outfit. In April Sting compete in a four corners match for the World title with Hogan, DDP, and the champion Flair. Savage the guest referee helped DDP to win the match and the title.
Sting defeated Page on a April edition of Nitro to win the World title. Sting would lose the title back to DDP later that the night in another four way match this time consisting of himself, DDP, Nash, and Goldberg. DDP would win the match and title ensuring that Sting had the shortest eight as WCW champion with just a 90 minute reign.
Sting would spend the next several months engaged in mini feuds with Goldberg, Rick Steiner, Sid Vicious, and Savage. On July 19, Sting won a match against Flair to become the on screen president of WCW. Sting relinquished the title the following week and teaming up with Goldberg and Hogan begin a feud with Nash, Vicious, and Rick Steiner.
Sting would turn heel at Fall Brawl attacking Hogan with a bat and winning the World title. Sting would feud with Hogan over the title. At Halloween Havoc, Hogan in street clothes lied down in the ring allowing Sting to pin him. Later that night in an unsanctioned match with Goldberg, he last and attack Charles Robinson. The next night he was stripped of the title.
In April 10, 2000 a desperate WCW allowed Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff to essentially reboot the entire company. All the titles were declared vacant. At Spring Stampeded Sting advanced to the finals for the US title defeating Booker T and Vampiro. Vampiro would cost him the match and an intense rivalry between the two began. The two would go on to compete in a Human Torch match at the Great American Bash. A stuntmen taking the place of Sting was set on fire and thrown off a balcony during the match.
Following the conclusion of this rivalry Sting begin a feud with both Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner. Steiner would go on to kayfabe injure Sting and he would remain off the air until the final Nitro.
Sting would choose to ride out his contract with AOL/Time Warner rather then join the WWF for fear of how his character would be booked by Vince McMahon.
From most of 2001 through 2003 Sting mainly sat on the sidelines making a few occasional appearances for independent federations
Sting showed up as Steve Borden, dressed in street clothes and with no face paint. He would save Cage in a match against Rhino when he was attacked by Jarrett's Army. Sting places Jarrett in the Scorpion Deathlock by a debuting Scott Steiner would attack him. Sting would have his first television match in five years against Eric Young.
Following a post match attack, Sting teamed up with Styles, Ron Killings, and Rhino to face Jarrett, Steiner and America's Most Wanted at Lethal Lockdown. Teasing on who he would team up with Sting hinted at possibly Lex Luger, Buff Bagwell, or Rick Steiner as his partners. Ultimately he would team up with Samoa Joe.
Sting would continue his feud with Jarrett throughout most of the remaining year. Sting would go on to face Jarrett in a title vs career match at where he debuted a new look, a hybrid of his surfer, crow, and Wolfpac appearances. He defeated Jarrett for the title. His first title since 1999
Random Rivalries (2006–2007)Sting would drop the title to Abyss at Genesis. Following this he feuded with Abyss and his manager James Mitchell. Cage and Tyson Tomko would also become part of this short lived feud.
The three would continue to feud going into 2007. The rivalry with Abyss continued on into March of that year. Sting would team up with Abyss to face Cage in Styles in a match, but after some interference from James Mitchel, Abyss left Sting alone to fend for himself.
Sting would end this feud when he teamed up with Team Angle at Lockdown and with help from Jeff Jarrett pinned Abyss to end the rivalry.
Following the end of the feud Sting would not be seen again till Victory Road. During a match between Booker T and Samoa Joe Sting tried to talk sense into Joe to stop his vicious beating of Booker T. Sting would side with Booker T. After his match against Kurt Angle at Hard Justice, Sting declared that he had helped Booker because the young guys needed to learn to respect the veterans. Sting would go on to feud with Samoa Joe after this.
Sting would then once again feud with Joe. During a match, Taz debuted and helped Joe win. Sting next feuded with Styles. The two would fight all the way till Bound for Glory where Styles would ultimately win.