After months of speculation and intrigue, legendary professional wrestler Sting made his World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) debut last night, losing a card-opening bout against Zack Ryder at a non-televised event in Red Deer, Alberta.
The seven-minute contest — during most of which Sting and Ryder took turns encouraging the crowd of 1,200 fans to echo their respective signature shouts, “Owww!” and “Woo woo woo!” — ended with Ryder scoring a three-count victory after hitting Sting with his “Rough Rider” jumping leg lariat.
The competitors shook hands after the bout, and Ryder could be heard by ringside fans encouraging Sting to “keep trying” and “stay positive.”
Many wrestling fans were surprised to learn that Sting’s much-anticipated in-ring debut did not happen on WWE’s popular weekly program, Raw, or at one of the company’s monthly pay-per-view events.
Given Sting’s impressive legacy as a multi-time champion in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and somewhat-less-impressive tenure as champion of Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling, his unveiling in WWE was expected to be preceded by much hype and fanfare.
Sources close to Sting report that he “doesn’t want any special treatment” and wishes to “climb the ladder like any other WWE rookie.”
He is scheduled to make his television debut against Tyler Breeze on this week’s edition of NXT.