In 2015, close to 15 years after WWE purchased World Championship Wrestling, Sting made his long-awaited WrestleMania debut, one in which the WCW icon lost to Triple H in what turned out to be his only match at the “Show of Shows” before retiring. With close to five years gone by since that controversial booking decision, former WWE producer Arn Anderson looked back on what happened at WrestleMania 31, suggesting in a recent podcast appearance that Sting was “buried” in multiple ways during the aforementioned match.
As quoted by WrestlingNews.co, the latest episode of Anderson’s eponymous podcast with Conrad Thompson saw the Four Horsemen legend look back at how his fellow WWE Hall of Famer Sting came along “15 years too late” as the last WCW mainstay to join the now-defunct promotion’s fiercest rival. He then moved on to Sting’s WrestleMania 31 appearance, lamenting that WWE’s creative team booked the match as if it was WWE vs. WCW all over again, a good 14 years after the latter company shut its doors.
“I know this was fed to them, they just buried Sting,” Anderson said, referring to how WWE’s announce team was allegedly told to make the former WCW World Champion look bad.
“A minnow in a big pond, just total condescending ‘guy’s out of his element, this is ‘WrestleMania’ now, you’re just a small minnow in a huge lake.’ Whatever all the commentary was exactly, it was meant to basically beat you over the head with ‘we won the war, we’re WWE we won the war. here’s your big star? Well, he ain’t a big star here tonight.'”
As further opined by Anderson, WWE wasn’t able to accomplish one of the Sting vs. Triple H match’s main goals, which was to make both men look good. He again stressed that the company’s announcers were constantly burying Sting on commentary, also noting that both competitors overused each other’s finishing moves — a booking decision he didn’t particularly like.
Additionally, Anderson questioned why New World Order members Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Hulk Hogan ran in to help Sting during the match, given how Sting was almost always at odds with the legendary faction in WCW’s storylines. He did, however, note that the two stables that interfered — the nWo and D-Generation X — “had a relationship” with Triple H in one way or another.
As he finished discussing his thoughts on the divisive WrestleMania 31 match, Anderson criticized the immediate aftermath of the bout, where Triple H and Sting shook each other’s hands and effectively ended their rivalry. He said that the audience doesn’t need such outcomes, where WWE reminds everyone that what they’re watching is predetermined “entertainment.”
Although Sting’s short WWE career didn’t have the impact fans had hoped for, the 61-year-old has not ruled out the possibility of one more match for the promotion, unlikely as it seems. However, he has repeatedly made it clear that he would only consider returning to the ring for a match against another still-active WWE legend — The Undertaker.