He was the missing puzzle piece, the cause of the lone empty spot in the display case. From the moment his Time Warner contract expired in the spring of 2002, fans would spend more than twelve years wishing and hoping for an appearance from "The Icon" himself inside a WWE ring.
In 2014, the moment of truth finally arrived, as Sting, the heart and soul of World Championship Wrestling, crossed over into McMahon terrain.
And to be fair, Sting's run in WWE was quite underwhelming. In fact, the entire tenure was about as well thought out as building a playground on a toxic waste burial site. But that doesn't take away from the magnificence and brilliance that would define Sting across the decades, whether he was the blonde-haired Scorpion or the dark-tinged Crow, the exuberant hero or the shadowed avenger, the buster of fiends or the slayer of beasts.
For as long as Sting appeared on our screens, we knew we were watching one of pro wrestling's pre-eminent superheroes, no matter what the year was. A name like "The Icon" doesn't get bestowed so easily, but for the man called Sting, it's an apt description.
As we celebrate his birthday, we take a look at ten things you may not know about AEW's legend.
10. A Different Path
Particularly in his days as "surfer Sting", Steve Borden displayed an endless amount of enthusiasm and energy in both his interviews, and his matches.
After his seminal time limit draw with Ric Flair on the first Clash of the Champions in March 1988, Sting began to earn appreciation for his wrestling abilities and performance instincts. While much of the Sting mystique hinged on his character and portrayal, there's no denying that Sting could hold his own as a wrestler, working in some truly-inspired matches.
It may come as a shock to those who've seen Sting at his very best that he was not a fan of wrestling growing up.
According to Sting, he didn't have television access to wrestling, and thus never had an affinity for it. Rick Bassman, his eventual trainer, tried to sell him on the business, but it took many tries.
It wasn't until Sting decided to take in a WWE event in Los Angeles in the mid-eighties, where he saw the likes of Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant, that he was taken by the spectacle. From there, he decided to give wrestling a try.