Let’s get the negatives out of the way first of all. This “Best of” Sting isn’t anything of the sort. It’s a random collection of matches from April 1986 up until the last ever Monday Nitro in March 2001. The majority of them are TV matches, with just a couple of PPV encounters. And although there are some modern day wrestlers who pop up in the brief “documentary” style clips that are occasional features between the matches, there is no new input from Sting with interviews on this disc. On disc 1, for instance, the only comments from the main man are from a 1995 interview (presumably undertaken for a WCW project). Later on we progress to an 1998 interview.

    It’s a sign of respect, of course, for a man who has never appeared on WWE TV (and no, I don’t include WWE Network contributions as counting), nor wrestled for he company, that he even has a collection put together in the first place. One can only assume the random nature of this set (and the lack of a full documentary) is purposeful. That if Sting does indeed wrestle for the company, at say WrestleMania XXXI, another set will make its way onto shelves. But with that out of the way, what’s the collection like?

    It gives a wide-ranging overview of Sting’s career and the different phases of it. It’s amazing to see how much he improves even from the first match on the collection. An April 1986 match which sees him and the future Ultimate Warrior tackle some UWF jobbers, to the second one, a May 1987 NWA Southern match where he teams with Rick Steiner to take on Mike Rotundo and Ron Simmons. Later on disc one he tackles both opponents from here in singles matches but the highlights of his early years are a TV clash with Ric Flair, a TV Title battle with The Great Muta and his historic first NWA Title win from Great American Bash 1990 over The Nature Boy. Disc 1 ends with a strange choice, as Sting battles Dutch Mantel (who newer fans will recognise as Zeb Colter). Chosen perhaps because of Dutch’s current role on WWE TV. It’s not a bad match but the sheer amount of body hair on Dutch’s back and legs sure is distracting.

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    On paper disc two looks like a belter and it starts off well. Things kick off with a spirited bout against Nikita Kolofff from June 1991 before we get a real good match from Japan as Sting teams up with perennial nemesis The Great Muta to take on the Steiner Brothers. But the screwy ending of that one begins a pattern that continues on. The “Bounty Match” between Sting and Vader sounds great on TV but it’s the worst match between the two I’ve ever seen. It’s not terrible but it’s not a patch on their classics. Sting teaming with Barry Windham, Ricky Steamboat and Dustin Rhodes to take on the Dangerous Alliance is a good bout that besides is nothing but a “set-up” TV match to prolong feuds. Sting tackles Barry Windham in a 1993 singles match as well as a bout against Steve Austin from 1994. One can only presume that the inclusion of a 1992 match against DDP is because Page is in the WWE’s good books at the moment. Especially given how short it is. Disc two concludes as the Nitro era begins. A “Viewers Choice” match against Flair is fun for a TV match, as is a bout against Arn Anderson. The disc concludes with Sting teaming up with the Macho Man to take on the Nasty Boys.

    Disc three starts with the reinvention of Sting as “The Crow” and then one of WCW’s biggest ever nights as he unseats the nWo’s Hulk Hogan for the World Title at Starrcade 1997. It’s a poor match and completely mis-handled by WCW. What should have been the crowning moment of Sting’s career in many ways ended up being just another mis-step by WCW management. The rest of the disc is Nitro and Thunder matches all the way. Many are short, interference fuelled affairs. On paper, a lot to look forward to but bouts against the likes of Bret Hart and Scott Steiner are often storyline bouts that are over before we get extra curricular run-ins. When names such as Jeff Jarrett become part of the mix, expectations drop. And whilst a match where Sting teams up with old pal “Warrior” to take on Hogan and Bret sounds a thrilling prospect (at least in the sense of four legends of the ring going at it) it’s not a match worth watching more than once. As mentioned right at the top, the set ends with the final match from WCW Nitro in March 2001 as Sting tackles rival Ric Flair for one last time. The two have a chemistry but seeing Ric Flair having to work in a T-shirt to hid his flabby body is always sad. Still it would get a lot worse for Flair over the next decade and a half…

    Perhaps with the advent of the WWE Network there has been a conscious decision to downplay pay-per-view matches as part of this set. Perhaps they are trying to give fans who shell out $9.99 for the Network things that are not so easy to seek out on there. The problem is that even if as a whole the collection this set does provide a good overview of the different facets of his WCW career the matches themselves are often below par. There’s too many inconsequential TV bouts for my liking. It’s just a pity that there is the feeling that the WWE are holding something back on this collection, perhaps with an eye on releasing a “definitive” Sting collection further down the line.

    Thank you to our partners, WWEDVD.co.uk and Fetch.fm for providing our copy of The Best of Sting. The Best of Sting is available DVD & Blu-Ray NOW. You can buy your copy from WWEDVD.co.uk now by clicking here.


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