Top-Down Smackdown: Of Austin Statues and Sting Possibilities


I’ve spotlighted McFarlane WWE statues before – Undertaker and Randy Savage have gotten the impressive deluxe treatment, and each time, my wife has said, “Well okay, do you really want it?”

To which my answer has always been that this is the kind of line you don’t collect all of – you pick your favorite one and leave it at that. And if they ever did a Steve Austin, I’d probably go weak at the knees.

Well…knees weak. But wallet empty. Them’s the breaks. Given that this is McFarlane, I’m a little disappointed WWE didn’t bend the PG policy just enough to have Austin giving the finger or drinking a beer – you know Todd would totally have done it, but they likely said no.

Now, let’s talk a little bit about Survivor Series, which gambled everything on a big reveal to redeem what was otherwise a poorly thought-out show. It was becoming more and more inevitable that Sting would be appearing in the ring at some point, and not just for merchandise deals – given that he held out against WWE offers for more than 20 years, it’s kind of a big thing no matter how jaded a fan you are, and how past his prime Steve Borden may be.

In affecting the main event, Sting made a big storyline impact by supposedly ensuring that Triple H will be barred from all WWE shows from here on, at a corporate level…while also setting up a Sting-Triple H match that will probably happen before WrestleMania.

How can that be, you ask, if Triple H is banned? The foreshadowing was right there on the show. Vince McMahon announced that if Triple H were banned, only John Cena could reverse the banning. And Cena said there was no chance in hell.

BUT…let’s say Sting says he wants a Sting-Triple H match to happen. Fan-friendly John Cena isn’t going to say no. And that’s how you get Triple H back. He’ll give Sting a good match, do the job, and then at WrestleMania, we get Sting against an even bigger opponent.

Here’s where the point of breaking the Undertaker’s streak last year comes in. If Sting had made his debut any earlier, the certainty would have been that if he faces the Undertaker at ‘Mania, he will lose, because everyone does – and there’d be no reason for Sting, who is presumably on a fairly short run, to be the one to break it. Now that Taker is past his prime and can lose, he and Sting are on an even playing field.

In theory. The problem is that Undertaker looked absolutely terrible in his last match, and Sting, while not what he used to be, can still go. If I’m Vince McMahon, I’m going to want to try and make a Sting-Rock match happen instead (the ’80s dream matches of Sting-Warrior and Sting-Bret Hart will sadly never happen). Or Sting-Austin, but that’s an even longer shot.

You know Sting’s going to want a world title match at some point, but I don’t see Sting-Lesnar as something likely to happen. Sting-Cena, Sting-Bryan or Sting-Reigns is a lot more plausible, and aside from that last one, a compelling money draw.

At this point in his career, who would you want to see Sting face – if anyone? Is this too late to still be good?