Powell's Blog: Is Sting vs. Undertaker a realistic possibility for WrestleMania 27?

Posted in: Powell's Blog, MUST-READ LISTING
Feb 2, 2011 - 12:17 PM

Wednesday, February 2 – 12:17 P.M. (CT)

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I've received countless emails regarding the New York Daily News story that claimed Sting has "reportedly" signed a one-year deal with WWE. I've tried to answer as many readers as possible, and it even got to the point that I prepared an answer to cut and paste as a response.

Here's the deal. I think the key word in said report is "reportedly." The New York Daily News wasn't reporting that they had firsthand knowledge of Sting signing with WWE. The author didn't cite a source for the news, so there's no telling where the report came from.

While it's certainly possible that Sting has or will sign with WWE, I have not been able to confirm that he is locked in for WrestleMania 27. Personally, I won't believe anything is official on the Sting front unless I hear it from reliable sources or it's reported by another reputable news outlet. I can tell you that my TNA sources are not aware of Sting re-signing with TNA, so it appears that he is contractually free to sign with WWE.

I would be shocked if there hasn't at least been conversations between WWE and Sting. WWE officials considered Sting for a past WWE Hall of Fame induction, and with WrestleMania 27 taking place in WCW country, this would be an ideal year to induct Sting. More importantly, the WrestleMania 27 card needs a hook to lure in casual fans or just fans who are on the fence about ordering the event.

It's no secret that Vince McMahon desperately wanted Brock Lesnar to appear at WrestleMania 27. With UFC officials and even Lesnar saying that isn't going to happen, McMahon needs to come up with something special to sell WrestleMania to the masses. Signing Sting to wrestle his first ever WWE match at WrestleMania would fit that description.

A potential match between Sting and Undertaker would be ideal. Of course, the question is whether Taker is healthy enough to carry a marquee match at WrestleMania. He's currently in rehab mode after undergoing surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff. He is said to be targeting WrestleMania for his in-ring return, and I assume the fact that he's advertised for a February 21 return on Raw means that he is planning to work a match at WrestleMania.

Speaking of which, I want to stress again that while WWE is officially advertising Taker for the February 21 Raw via the arena website and that date meshes with the video teaser that we saw for the mystery man on Raw this week, it's at least conceivable that the teaser is still for Sting or another wrestler. If so, I think it would be wise for WWE to hype Taker's return on Raw next week, yet still continue to air the vignettes to send the message that the person in the video is not Undertaker.

Knowledgeable wrestling fans know not to expect an in-ring classic from Taker and Sting that is on par with the performances that Taker and Shawn Michaels delivered at the last two WrestleMania events. However, Taker has a lot of pride and I don't believe he'd feel comfortable being billed in a dream match if he were concerned that he couldn't deliver a strong performance.

If Taker were to work with Sting, I have no doubt that Taker would need to carry his opponent. Sting had a reputation in TNA for forgetting spots in the middle of matches, and there's only so much one can expect from a 51 year-old part-time wrestler no matter how motivated he might be for an appearance on the big stage. I believe Taker and Sting could put together an entertaining match that would satisfy the fans, but only if Taker can be counted on to truly carry the match.

It's also possible that Taker and Sting could form a tag team at WrestleMania if Taker is physically limited. There would still be a lot of fan interest in seeing Sting in a WWE ring for the first time. It wouldn't pack the box office punch that a dream match showdown between Taker and Sting would, but it is a safe alternative.

For what it's worth, my gut tells me that Sting will appear at WrestleMania 27. He's turned down WWE offers in the past, but one of the key reasons was believed to be the number of dates that WWE wanted him to work. There's no reason to believe dates would be an issue this time around, as even if WWE wants to use Sting beyond WrestleMania, Vince McMahon's primary concern is making sure his marquee event has the hook it desperately needs.

Vince isn't afraid to throw around the big bucks at WrestleMania time, and Sting could potentially make more money for one WrestleMania match than it took Dixie Carter to pay him to put off his retirement in each of the last few years. It seems like a no-brainer decision for Sting to get that last big payoff and what could be a lucrative legends contract to boot.

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