Mostly Credited As: Steve Borden
Sometimes Credited As: Steve "Sting" Borden
Blade Runner "Flash"
(The Crow) Sting
Birth Name: Steven James Borden
Date Of Birth: March 20, 1959 (Age 55)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: Omaha, Nebraska
Height: 6' 2" (1.87 m)
Steven James Borden better known as ‘Sting’ or 'The Stinger’ was trained for the squared circle by the great professional wrestler ‘Red Bastien’ who was born Rolland Bastein but some sources indicate he was really trained by Bill Anderson. Steve made his professional wrestling debut in November 1985 in a small independent wrestling organization in California as ‘Flash Borden’ as the 4th member of a former bodybuilding group managed by ‘Red Bastien’ and ‘Rick Bassman’ calling themselves “Power Team USA” also known as “Power Team 2000”. The other members of the group were Jim Hellwig (Brian James Hellwig) better known as “Warrior”, “The Warrior” and “The Ultimate Warrior” and legally changing his name in 1993 to “Warrior” in order to retain the legal rights to use the name outside of the WWF, Mark Miller & Garland Donoho. Steve & Jim mostly wrestled together in tag-team matches and Garland and Mark were used very little and quickly faded from the scene. The group eventually disbanded but Steve and Jim remained partners and moved to the newly formed UWF (Universal Wrestling Federation) based out of Oklahoma and owned by promoter and former professional wrestler ‘Cowboy’ Bill Watts and Jim Ross. Jim had previously been a referee for the Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference and then a commentator for college football. Ross next became a ring announcer and interviewer for professional wrestling. In 1979 Watts bought TSW (Tri-State Wrestling) from former professional wrestler Leroy McGuirk and renamed it MSW (Mid South Wrestling). He then withdrew from the main branch of the NWA (National Wrestling Alliance). In 1985 he began airing matches on Saturday nights on the Ted Turner owned Superstation TBS out of Atlanta, Georgia. Ted had been upset with the owner of the then WWF, Vincent K. McMahon Jr. for promising Ted he would run studio-produced programs but instead presented 2-hours of highlights from other WWF programming. MSW quickly became the highest-rated program on TBS, and Watts positioned himself to take over the two-hour Saturday night block occupied by the WWF. In the meantime former Georgia promoter Jim Barnett made a secret deal that allowed NWA promoter Jim Crockett Jr. to buy the slot from McMahon instead and become the exclusive wrestling promotion for TBS. MSW was then dropped from TBS programming so Watts renamed his organization the UWF in March 1986.
Jim & Steve first wrestled in the UWF as the “Freedom Fighters” Steve as ‘Flash’ and Jim as ‘Justice’. They next became the vicious rule breaking team called “The Blade Runners” calling themselves ‘Flash’ and Jim became ‘Rock’. Jim next moved on to WCCW (World Class Championship Wrestling) renaming himself to the ‘Dingo Warrior’. Steve then joined “Hotstuff &Hyatt International”, a stable headed by ‘Hotstuff’ Eddie Gilbert (Thomas Edward Gilbert, Jr.) and Missy Hyatt (Melissa Lee Hiatt) that also included Rick Steiner (Robert Rechsteiner), Jack Victory (Ken Rinehurst) and ‘Hollywood’ John Tatum (John Frankel). Steve with Eddie won the UWF Tag Team Titles 2 times in 1986 defeating “The Fantastics”, Bobby Fulton (James Hines) and Tommy Rogers (Thomas Couch) both times. Steve won the tag titles 1 time in 1987 with Rick defeating ‘Gentleman’ Chris Adams (Christopher Adams) & Terry Taylor (Paul W. Taylor III). In November 1987 Jim Crockett Jr. bought out the UWF and signed many of their former wrestlers to include Steve who had totally remade his looks, changed his name to ‘Sting’ and he was turned into a babyface. His fist major match for the NWA was at the annual pay-per view “The Great American Bash” on 4 July 1987 where he defeated ‘Thunderfoot #1’ who was Joel Deaton (Joseph Lofton Jones) under a mask. He wrestled with Michael ‘P. S.’ Hayes (Michael Seitz) and Jimmy ‘Jam’ Garvin (James Williams) in a 6-man tag match against ‘Hotstuff’ Eddie Gilbert, Rick Steiner and ‘The Living Legend’ Larry Zbyzsko (Lawrence Whistler) on the annual “Starrcade” pay-per view on 26 November but it ended in a “No Contest”.
On 28 January 1988 Steve tagged with Jimmy ‘Jam’ Garvin to beat “The Sheepherders” later becoming “The Bushwackers” in the WWF of Luke Williams (Brian Wickens) and Butch Miller (Robert Miller) at the “Bunkhouse Stampede” pay-per view. On 27 March 1988 Steve had his biggest match to date when he wrestled the then NWA World Heavyweight Champion ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair (Richard Morgan Fliehr) to a 45 minute time-limit draw at the very first ever “NWA Clash of Champions” held on live, free TV on TBS. Steve received several more title shots this year but could not win the title from Flair. On 22 and 23 April 1988 the 3rd annual and final “Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup Tag Team Tournament” was held. The first day was held in Greenville, SC and the final day was held in Greensboro, NC where Steve with his partner Lex Luger (Lawrence Wendell Pfohl) won the tournament by defeating ‘The Enforcer’ Arn Anderson (Martin Lunde) & Tully Blanchard in the finals due to outside interference from ‘Magnum T. A.’ (Terry Allen). On 23 July 1989 Steve wrestled ‘The Great Muta’ (Keiji Mutoh) to a “No Contest” to retain his TV Title belt at the annual “Great American Bash” pay-per view. The main event that same night was ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair defending his World Heavyweight Title against Terry Funk (Terrence Funk). ‘The Great Muta’ interfered in the match and attacked Flair. As Funk and Muta were destroying Ric to the amazement of the crowd 'Sting' appeared and saved Ric. Steve and Ric joined forces to feud with Funk and Muta for the rest of the year. In September Ric decided to re-form “The Four Horsemen” with Arn Anderson and Ole Anderson (Al Rogowski). Tully Blanchard who was the 4th member of the original group remained in the WWF where he and Arn had previously had a very successful tag-team calling themselves “The Brain Busters” managed by Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan (Raymond Louis Heenan). Ric invited Steve to become the 4th member, which he did. The group was short lived as Steve asked for a title shot for Ric’s World Title and on 6 February 1990 at “Clash of the Champions X: Texas Shootout” the other 3 members attacked him and then added Barry Windham as the new 4th member. Steve later that night suffered a very severe knee injury while climbing the steel cage to interfere in the match featuring the “Four Horsemen” which laid him up to recuperate until June.
When Steve returned to the NWA he joined forces with “The Dudes With Attitudes” which included Lex Luger, The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott), Paul ‘Mr. Wonderful Orndorff and ‘J. Y. D.’ better known as 'The Junkyard Dog' (Sylvester Ritter). On 7 July 1990 Steve finally beat Flair for his World Title at the annual “Great American Bash” pay-per view that was held at the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Maryland. ‘Sting’ defended his title throughout the year against several different opponents and on 11 January 1991 Ric beat Steve to regain his World Title. Also this month the organization after being sold in November 1988 to Ted Turner decided to secede from the NWA renaming itself the WCW (World Championship Wrestling). On 25 August 1991 Steve beat ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin (Steven James Williams) now better known as ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin to win the NWA United States Title. Steve lost his belt to ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude (Richard Erwin Rood) at “Clash of the Champions XVII” held in Savannah, Georgia on 19 November 1991. 'Sting' won his 2nd World Title by defeating his old friend Lex Luger on 29 February 1992 at the 2nd annual “Superbrawl” pay-per view held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He lost his title again on 12 July 1992 to ‘Big Van Vader' (Leon Bull) at the annual “Great American Bash” pay-per view in Albany, Georgia. He would beat ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude at the annual “Spring Stampede” pay-per view on 17 April 1994 winning the WCW International World Heavyweight Title but loses it to Flair on 23 June at “Clash of the Champions XXVII” in North Charleston, SC. Steve regained the now vacant United States Title by pinning 'Meng' (Uliuli Fifita) in the Finals of a tournament at the annual “Great American Bash” on 18 June 1995 held in Dayton, Ohio.
Steve would win his next title with Lex Luger as they defeated the team of “Harlem Heat”, Stevie Ray (Lane Huffman) and his real-life brother Booker T. (Robert Booker Tio Huffman) to capture the World Tag Team Titles on 22 January 1996 on “Monday Night Nitro”. On 24 June on “Monday Night Nitro", “Harlem Heat” regained their title belts. Later that summer “The Outsiders” consisting of Kevin Nash (Kevin Scott Nash) and Scott Hall (Scott Oliver Hall) who had just been lured away from the WWF decided to invade WCW and ‘Sting’ was the 1st person to stand up against the 2 thugs. At the annual “Bash at the Beach” pay-per view on 7 July 1996 in Daytona, Florida ‘Sting’, Luger and the ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage (Randall Mario Poffo) wrestled Hall and Nash and a so-called ‘Mystery Partner’. Their partner finally appeared later in the match and the audience was stunned to learn it was ‘Hulk Hogan’ (Terrance Gene Bollea) who was no longer a babyface and after they won the match Hogan announced that he, Hall and Nash have now formed the “N.W.O.” (New World Order). This new group of “Bad Guys" began wearing all black and white outfits and slowly added members to their group. Hogan soon dyed his beard black and renamed himself 'Hollywood Hogan'. On 10 August 1996 at the “Hog Wild” pay-per view in Sturgis, South Dakota Nash and Hall beat Sting and Luger. Hogan beat 'The Giant' (Paul Wight Jr.) to win the World Heavyweight Title. On a “Monday Night Nitro” in September Luger attacked the N.W.O. but he was blindsided and beat up badly up by his best friend 'Sting' now wearing a white mask and the black and white of the N.W.O. The World once again was shocked that their hero 'The Stinger' would move over to the darkside. The fans soon learned that this was not the real ‘Sting’ but a very good imposter. He was at first played by Jeff Farmer and later by Chris Harris now known as ‘Wildcat' Chris Harris ½ of the tag-team “America’s Most Wanted” with ‘Cowboy’ James Storm (James Allan Black) currently competing in TNA (Total Nonstop Action) Wrestling. Once the fans finally discovered this was a fake ‘Sting’ they began calling him ‘Stink’.
The fake was discovered the day the real ‘Sting’ finally appeared face to face with the fake ‘Sting’ dressed identically. This became a turning point in Steve’s career as he was no longer the very colorful ‘Sting’ but was now transformed into a baseball bat carrying ‘Black & White Sting’ possibly inspired by “The Crow” that he first appeared with for several weeks. This all happened after almost a year of 'Sting' dropping in from the rafters, and coming out of the crowd, and being very mysterious. The new ‘Sting’ finally revealed his true colors when he helped WCW fend off the N.W.O. after they tried to attack Luger. On 28 December at the annual “Starrcade” pay-per view ‘Sting’ regained the World Title by beating Hogan. On 24 January 1998 at the “Souled Out” pay-per view the new commissioner of WCW 'James J. Dillon' stripped ’Sting’ of the World Title and set up a rematch at “Superbrawl”. On 22 February ‘Sting’ pinned Hogan again and regained his Title. At the “Spring Stampede” pay-per view on 19 April Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage beat ‘Sting’ for the World Heavyweight Title. 'Sting'with tag partner ‘The Giant’ beat Hall and Nash for the World Tag Team Titles on 17 May 1998 at the annual “Slamboree” pay-per view. In June the N.W.O. split into 2 factions, ‘Sting’ joined Nash, Luger, Savage and ‘Konnan’ (Charles Ashenhoff) in the new “N.W.O. Wolfpac” that wore Red and Black outfits. 'Sting' had a falling out with ‘The Giant’ and they faced each other at “The Great American Bash” pay-per view on 14 June with the winner to retain both belts. ‘Sting’ won the match and quickly gave the 2nd belt to Nash.
After taking a few months off to film a movie he returned on 11 April 1999 to compete in a 4-way match with Hogan, Flair and 'D.D.P.' better known as ‘Diamond’ Dallas Page (Page Joseph Falkinburg) for the World Heavyweight Title which was won by Page. On Nitro on 26 April ‘Sting’ pins Page to win back the World Heavyweight Title belt but later that night Page regained the title again in a unprecedented special 4-way match with ‘Sting’, Nash and Bill Goldberg (William Scott Goldberg). On 12 September ‘Sting’ wrestled Hogan for the World Heavyweight Title at the annual “Fall Brawl” pay-per view, he suddenly turned heel in the process by beating Hogan repeatedly with his baseball bat with the referee's back turned, not seeing it and pinning Hogan in the process to win the World Heavyweight Title once again. On 24 October at the annual “Halloween Havoc” pay-per view ‘Sting’ beat Hogan again to retain his title but later that night Goldberg beat ‘Sting’ to win the title from him.
His heel turn was very short lived as he quickly became a babyface once again and in 2000 began a long feud with the vicious ‘Vampiro’ (Ian Richard Hodgkinson). He had supposedly burned ‘Sting’ in a match on 11 June at “The Great American Bash” but word leaked out over the Internet that it wasn’t really 'Sting’ after all but was really a stuntman, who was set on fire and then pushed off a balcony. In November ‘Sting’ took some well-deserved time-off to rest and be with his family. On 26 March 2001 he returned to WCW for the very last time where he pinned Flair in an outstanding match on the final broadcast of “Monday Night Nitro”. Billionaire Vincent J. McMahan Jr. had purchased WCW and he was closing it down and signing on some of their talent to go to the WWF. Steve however was not one of the wrestlers that went on to the WWF as he went into a semi-retirement. On 28 November 2002 Steve made his return by joining the WWA European Tour (World Wrestling All-Stars). His first match was in Dublin, Ireland with Luger as his tag partner as they defeated the team of 'Buff The Stuff’ Bagwell (Marcus Alexander Bagwell) and his partner ‘Malice’ (Jerry Tuite) who had wrestled in the WCW as 'The Wall'. On 6 December in Glasgow, Scotland Luger pinned ‘Sting’ to win the vacant WWA World Heavyweight Title. On 13 December in Zurich, Switzerland in a rematch, ‘Sting’ won the title from Luger. He successfully defended his title against Rick Steiner and ‘The Franchise’ Shane Douglas (Troy Martin) in a 3-way match in Sydney, Australia. On the very last WWA show before they folded on a pay-per view from Auckland, New Zealand on 23 May 2003 ‘Sting’ lost to NWA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett (Jeffrey Leonard Jarrett). The pay-per view didn’t air in the United States until 8 June and Jeff won the unification match due to outside interference from Rick Steiner.
On 18 June 2003 during the one year anniversary show of The TNA (Total Non-Stop Action) promotion held in Nashville, Tennessee, ‘Sting’ teamed with Jeff Jarrett in defeating ‘The Phenomenal’ A. J. Styles (Allen Jones) and his partner ‘Syxx Pac’ (Sean Waltman). On 5 November 'Sting’ beat Jarrett by disqualification after Jeff hit him with a chair to retain his NWA-TNA World Heavyweight Title in Nashville, Tennessee. On 17 December he pinned Jarrett in a non-title match. On 24 March 2004 ‘Sting’ gave announcer Mike Tenay a long in-ring interview. He told Mike “it's about time that wrestlers started wrestling again”, he also stated “he is at the Asylum to film a movie, but he's also there to wrestle!”. He also commented that “he wasn't born to be a movie star, he was born to be wrestler!” and that he would be back next Wednesday night. ‘Sting’ didn’t appear as he went on the Independent circuit for a while. He wrestled in HCW (Hawaiian Championship Wrestling) in July then in (MACW) Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling in Korea in January 2005. Steve next had his wrestling name ‘Sting’ trademarked and on 1 December he began co-hosting a show on TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) called "Praise The Lord".
Back in TNA on 11 December 2005 at the “Turning Point” pay-per view held in Orlando, Florida at their new permanent home at Universal Studios the show closed with several gimmicks belonging to 'Sting' appearing in the ring under a spotlight, which included his bat and his mask. On 31 December after the stroke of Midnight TNA during a New Year's Eve Special airing of TNA Impact, was legally allowed to announce that 'Sting' would return to the organization very soon. On 12 January 2006 still co-hosting "Praise The Lord", ‘Sting’ had as his guests professional wrestler and born-again Christian ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ Shawn Michaels (Michael Hickenbottom) and former professional wrestling Director of Authority, owner, producer, promoter and writer, 'The Worlds’ Biggest Jackass’ Vince Russo. After a few weeks of 'Sting’ shadows and voices over the loud speaker system he finally appeared at the “TNA Final Resolution” pay-per view in Orlando, Florida and teamed with Christian Cage (William Jason Reso). They defeated Jarrett and his partner ex-professional football player for the “Buffalo Bills” and the “New England Patriots” ‘The Alpha Male’ Monty Brown (Montaque N. Brown). On the 28 January episode of TNA Impact 'Sting' made his appearance at the very end of the show where he entered the ring to make a “Major Announcement”.
After he briefly recounted his wrestling career, he said he had never had a chance to properly say goodbye and thank you to all his great, loyal and supportive fans. He said that the "Final Resolution 2006” pay-per view had been "finally, his official goodbye to his fans". He thanked all his fans again, then he thanked TNA management for allowing him the chance to say goodbye and then he dropped his bat in the middle of the ring. The spotlight shown down on his bat in the ring as he slowly left the ring, shaking hands with many of the various TNA wrestlers that were on hand that night on his way up the ramp for the final time. His new friend Christian was the last to shake his hand and he pleaded with Steve to please reconsider and not quit. Steve turned to Christian and told him “that he loved him like a brother" and then he left the arena. The following weeks saw the very goofy acting ‘Showtime’ Eric Young (Jeremy Fritz) who was one of many members in the group calling themselves “Team Canada” trying to convince everyone that ‘Sting’ had not actually left TNA. On 18 February Jarrett gave a video camera to wrestler Alex Shelley (Patrick Martin) and told him to get some personal footage on Borden that they could use to besmirch his good name. On the following week’s episode of TNA Impact Jarrett along with a group of wrestlers watched the tape that Shelly had made of Steve’s personal life with his family but was not satisfied and sent him back out to get some really good dirt on him this time. On the 4 March episode of TNA Impact they showed the new video of Steve playing golf with his family. He caught Shelley filming him and in a fit of outrage he walked up to Shelley's car, shoved him in the face and shouted obscenities toward him. He also told him that he was going to show up at the next pay-per view “TNA Destination X 2006” on 12 March in Orlando and would confront Jarrett not as the retired ‘Sting’ but as himself Steve Borden.
Steve made good on his promise attacking Jarrett and all his army of cronies until all of a sudden out of nowhere came ‘Big Poppa Pump’ Scott Steiner who beat him to a bloody pulp and left him lying in the ring. On the 25 March episode of TNA Impact an interview with Steve was shown and he said he would return to the ring as 'Sting' if he could be guaranteed a “War Games Match” with Jarrett and his Army. On the 1 April episode of TNA Impact Jarrett’s Army tried to attack the returning ‘Sting’ but thanks to A. J. Styles, Ron ‘The Truth’ Killings, Chris Sabin, Sonjay Dutt, Jay Lethal, Chase Stevens, Norman Smiley, Shark Boy, “The James Gang” of ‘B. G. James (Brian Gerard James) and Kip James (Monty Sopp) and ‘Rhino’ (Terry Gerin) they were able to run his army off. On 23 April at the “TNA Lockdown” pay-per view in Orlando Sting's Warriors ‘Sting’, Styles, Killings & Rhino defeated Jarrett's Army of Jarrett, Steiner, Chris Harris & James Storm with Gail Kim & Jackie Gayda at ringside. ‘Sting’ selected Samoa Joe (Joe Seanoa) who was the current X-Division Champion to be his partner at the “TNA Sacrifice” pay-per view on 14 May against Jarrett & Steiner with Gail Kim at ringside. After Joe and ‘Sting’ won the match Joe left the ring and Steiner hit ‘Sting’ in the head with a steel chair. Steiner next held ‘Sting’ up while Jarrett smashed him over the head with his guitar. Joe heard what had happened and turned around to look into the ring, but continued to walk out of the arena. Steiner next applied his “Steiner Recliner” on ‘Sting’ as Jarrett taunted him. “The James Gang”, Rhino, Styles, ‘The Fallen Angel’ Christopher Daniels (Daniel Christopher Covell) and a few others hit the ring to make the save. The following week on TNA Impact ‘Sting’ and his followers were up in the arena rafters where ‘Sting’ declared he wanted to enter the “King of the Mountain Match” to challenge for Christian's NWA-TNA World Heavyweight Title.
On 8 June ‘Sting’ beat Steiner on TNA Impact in his qualifying match to wrestle in the “King of the Mountain Match” at the “TNA Slammiversary 2006” pay-per view on 18 June in Orlando. ‘Sting’ won his match again versus Steiner this time by disqualification. The final 4 men in the championship match were ‘Sting’, Jarrett, Killings and ‘Abyss’ (Chris J. Parks). Jarrett won the match but due to the controversial way that the match had ended with referee Earl Hebner being knocked out, referee Rudy Charles took the belt from him and gave it to Jim Cornette (James E. Cornette) who was introduced earlier in the evening by announcer Mike Tenay as the “New Face of TNA Management”. On the 22 June episode of TNA Impact Cornette declared the World Title was vacant. The following week he fired referee Earl Hebner and officially awarded the belt to Jarrett on the condition that he would put it on the line against the Number 1 Contender at the “TNA Hard Justice” pay-per view in a "King Of The Mountain Match" on 13 August 2006. The number one contender would be decided in a fatal four-way match at the “TNA Lockdown” pay-per view which ‘Sting’ won even after Jarrett who was at ringside disguised as a cameraman jumped into the ring and spayed 'Sting’ in the face with what was claimed to be gasoline. TNA announced on 23 July that they were going to release a 4-Hour long DVD titled “Sting: Return of an Icon”.