Monday, July 11, 2011

Are You Joking?

Photo from: impactwrestling.com
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

I've been a Sting fan for the most part.  But his recent gimmick change has me a little baffled.  Let me preface this by saying I haven't seen every episode of Impact since the "Joker" gimmick started.  I've seen a couple of YouTube clips, and I did watch the week before last when he and Hulk Hogan had their confrontation in the ring.  I'm assuming he is trying to a remain a face here.  The gimmick does offer some comic relief, at least it does to me, but I'm not sure if it's supposed to be funny.

"Crow" Sting (photo from WWE)
So it's probably pretty clear that I'm not digging the gimmick.  To me, it's Sting trying to act like the Joker.  Maybe I'm missing something, that's entirely possible.  I get that he was imitating the Crow back in 1996 or 1997 when he "went dark."  But really, I wasn't overly excited about that version of Sting either.  What is it about deceased actors that Sting enjoys acting like in the ring?

For those of you who read this blog on a regular basis, you know I'm an old school mark.  So naturally, "Beach Bum" Sting is my favorite incarnation of the former WCW and TNA world heavyweight champion.
In fact, you can watch my tribute to that character in this video.

From PWI
Sting has been one of those characters in wrestling who has been around pretty consistently for the last 25 years or so.  I still remember the first time I saw him on Bill Watts' old UWF show.  He was a heel and teaming with Rick Steiner.  The two were managed by the late, great "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert.  Sting's history goes back even further than that, but his days as a Blade Runner (known as Flash) with the Ultimate Warrior (then Rock) weren't on TV (or at least in my area) when I was growing up.

Of course, as time goes on characters who stick around for a long time need to evolve too, or they end up going stale.  The beach bum Sting faded away and the spiked, bleach blond hair turned brown and was eventually dyed black.  It became long and stringy.  The pink, purple, and red make up and tights combos were replaced with simple white face paint with black features added.  At one point when Sting joined the NWO Wolfpack, the white paint was traded in for red, but the gimmick stayed pretty close to being the same.

"Beach Bum" Sting (photo from WWE)
I think it's partly nostalgia that the beach bum Sting was my favorite, and partly the fact that I've never gotten into the Crow movies or the Batman franchise to care that much about the characters.  Sting is a good enough character that he doesn't need to imitate anything, but like I've said before, that's just my opinion.

It seems now on Impact Wrestling that the Joker Sting is pushing for Hulk Hogan to go back and embrace the red and yellow.  Maybe that's where this is all taking us, to a Hogan face turn.  While Sting is pushing Hogan, I wish he'd go back to his roots too and return to the neon colored tights, short, blond spiked hair and yelling "awww!" like he did when I was a kid.  Besides, look at how many times Impact and WCW rehashed that look with guys trying to pull one over on Sting.  (Jeff Jarrett, Mr. Anderson, and Barry Windham immediately come to mind)

It's ironic how so many people were pushing for a Sting-Undertaker match at Wrestlemania 27.  The two have many similarities.  Their characters have evolved through the years and withstood the test of time.  They're both just as popular now as they were 20 years ago.  (I really do believe that)

Anyway, which of Sting's gimmicks has been your favorite through the years?  Post your thoughts here or on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

2 comments:

  1. I like the original Sting as well, but at his age I understand not expecting him to bleach his hair. Did you catch Mr. Anderson doing an impression of the original Sting about two months ago. Great stuff, he even had the paint on his face.

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  2. I remember the Blade Runners on Paul Boesch's Houston Wrestling. They were way down the line compared to the Rock n' Roll Express. I agree (maybe nostalgia for me too), Beach Bum Sting is still my favorite. I was never a fan of The Crow gimmick because it took the mic out if his hands. I am hoping the Joker gimmick allows him to mesh Beach Bum/Crow together.

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