The Undertaker, Sting, and Hulk Hogan: One More Match?
Posted by Greg De Marco on 08.10.2014
Hulk Hogan, Sting and The Undertaker are three of the most iconic names in wrestling history, and the debate on their potential returns for one more match rages on. 411’s Greg DeMarco provides the definitive answer for all three!
For the first time in wrestling history, the eight biggest names to grace a ring in the WrestleMania era are all under one umbrella. Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Steve Austin, The Rock, John Cena, The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and Sting are all linked to the WWE, even if some of them aren't inked to a WWE contract.
I could talk about any or even all of them at length for differing reasons. One is still a full-time performer (Cena), one can still wrestle but is making blockbuster movies (Rock) and one had the most definitive retirement of anyone on the list (Michaels). But three have been the center of much discussion in 2014—and it hinges around if they'll wrestle again: The Undertaker, Sting, and Hulk Hogan.
If these men were to wrestle again, it would undoubtedly be at WrestleMania 31 in front of a sold out crowd inside San Jose's Levi's Stadium. Two of them have explicitly stated they want to have one last match, while one hasn't said jack crap to anyone...at least not publicly.
The Undertaker Age: 49 (born March 24, 1965)
Debut: 1984 (30 years ago)
Just in case you've been living under a rock since April, Paul Heyman would like to remind you that Brock Lesnar ended The Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania XXX. And that makes Heyman the one behind the one in 21-1.
The Streak was a great source for arguments among wrestling fans. And it remains one today but for a different reason. Should it have ended? Should it have been Brock? But those questions are slowly being pushed aside for talk of another kind. Will The Undertaker perform at WrestleMania 31?
There are any number of opponents that could be named for the event, including John Cena, Sting, Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns, an Undertaker rematch and more.
My vote goes to a slightly different opponent: no one.
You read that right. Did you see The Undertaker's condition in his match with Brock Lesnar? I'm not talking the later stages of the match, but the whole thing. He didn't look good—at all. In fact he looked bad at WrestleMania 28, great at 29, and miserable at 30. The Streak should have ended at WrestleMania 29 against CM Punk. I know what you're thinking, but in the Spring of 2013 we had absolutely no clue that CM Punk would eventually walk out of the company for good less than a year later. That comment wasn't about CM Punk, it was about The Undertaker looking good in his final outing.
I guess one could argue the point that The Undertaker could follow a pattern of "bad match, good match, bad match, good match" and have one last classic in him for WrestleMania 31. But why chance it?
If I had to endorse one more match for The Undertaker at WrestleMania, the opponent would be Daniel Bryan. He has the ability to work any style, and that would greatly help The Undertaker. He could carry ‘Taker to a great match, and could believably win with either of his finishers.
But the point is while I could endorse one more match…I don't want to.
Sting Age: 55 (born March 20, 1959)
Debut: 1985 (29 years ago)
Regardless of the contract, Sting is finally with the WWE in some shape or form. Depending on your perspective, his grand debut was made one of two ways: either in a WWE 2K15 commercial or as a panelist at the San Diego Comic Con. That should tell you everything you need to know—Sting's return was nowhere near a wrestling ring!
Before making his "triumphant" return to the WWE, Sting spent eleven years in TNA. He made his debut at the age of 46. His heavily promoted 2006 Final Resolution return (which was not his TNA debut) was the promotion's most successful event at that time. Prior to that event, Sting's involvement in TNA was largely due to the production of biographical film Sting: The Moment of Truth.
Over the course of eleven years, Sting feuded with much of the top half of TNA's roster. This included the likes of Jeff Jarrett, Abyss, Christopher Daniels, Christian (Cage), Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Dixie Carter (and most of TNA in 2010 during his "heel turn"), Hulk Hogan, Bobby Roode, Aces & Eights and Magnus. During that time he challenged for the world championship far too many times, holding that title five times after the age of 46.
In WCW, on more than one occasion, Sting clashed with "Mean" Mark Callous, a talented big man who just needed the right gimmick to take off. Obviously he found that gimmick. Today Sting is 55 years old, and will turn 56 nine days before WrestleMania 31 kicks off in San Jose. Sting has expressed his desire to wrestle one more match, and has further explained that his wish is to have it against the aforementioned Undertaker.
Please do not let this match happen.
To be fair to Sting, he looked great at times in TNA. And his "Insane Icon" persona was both well done and highly entertaining. But his ate work with the company was hard to watch. A pivotal moment for me was a #1 Contender match against Matt Morgan where Morgan had to sadly "pass out" from the "pain" of Sting's "Scorpion Death Lock." Those last quotes are quite telling as Sting could barely apply the hold and Morgan looked horrible for losing. He'd go one to have one more match himself, losing in a 4-way qualifying match (for what I can't remember) and say bye-bye to TNA for good.
Despite never wrestling for the WWE, Sting's place in wrestling is cemented forever. People seem to forget that he made his professional debut in 1985 and was main eventing the NWA's biggest event to date when he challenged Ric Flair's NWA World Heavyweight Championship at the first ever Clash of the Champions. And for all intents and purposes, Sting should have become champion on that night and moved the company into a new era.
Of the three men being discussed in this article, Sting is in the best shape and can best justify being in a wrestling ring. But that's not saying much. If I were to advocate "one more match" for Sting, it's a match that likely not would attract his interest. I'd be down for a six-man tag team match at WrestleMania 31 as Sting teams with Jimmy & Jey Uso—a form of "Brothers In Paint"—against Bray Wyatt and The Wyatt Family.
If that goes well, I might be willing to sign off on a retirement match against Bray Wyatt at 2015's SummerSlam, especially if the event were moved to his current hometown of Dallas, Texas. Keyword there is might, and that has far more to do with Bray Wyatt than it has to do with Sting.
Hulk Hogan Age: 60 (born August 11, 1953)
Debut: 1977 (37 years ago)
And now we come to the man who not only sits among wrestling's best ever on Mount Rushmore (and for those asking, he sits there with Ric Flair, Steve Austin and The Rock), and all alone at the top of the wrestling hierarchy in general (as a performer, not the real hierarchy that Vince McMahon would top).
Hulk Hogan's inclusion as part of this article is painful in itself, but his recent "vow to wrestle again" necessitates his name appearing here. In fact, that report was the inspiration for this writing! (So thanks a bunch, big guy!)
Hulk Hogan returned to the WWE rings in 2014 and would up as the guest host for WrestleMania XXX. He was the figurehead for the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal (which Paul Heyman has stopped reminding you was won by "The King of Swing" Cesaro) and opened the show with his legendary "Silverdome" promo that included The Rock and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
The biggest name in wrestling history is best served in the ambassador role he holds today. Hulk Hogan was the medium used by Vince McMahon to build the WWF into a national wrestling promotion which would eventually become a global sports entertainment giant. Now he represents the pomp and circumstance that helped wrestling grow, while lending his name and credibility to today's talent.
But one more match? No.
The interview from The Matthew Aaron Show linked above includes comments from Hogan such as "it's not if, it's when" and "my back is perfect." He does acknowledge that he'd have to change his finisher as he can no longer drop the big leg—he goes so far as to comment that "the largest arms in the world" should have been using the sleeper hold for 40 years. Well, 37 but who's counting!
From what I can find, Hogan had his last official match at, of all things, a TNA house show in Nottingham, England in January of 2012, teaming with Sting and James Storm and leading their way to victory over Kurt Angle, Bobby Roode and Bully Ray.
Hulk Hogan also had what could be termed a "retirement tour" in 2009 with four shows in Australia. They were strangely named "Hulkamania: Let The Battle Begin" and reportedly represented his only appearances in "The Land Down Under." As you can see below, he main evented each show against Ric Flair, winning all four matches.
Hogan's best bet would have been to extend this tour worldwide, finishing it in the United States with a new name such as "Hulkamania: The Battle Ends." He could finish his career in the ring against Ric Flair, giving fans one last chance to see the biggest name ever in the ring one more time. Then he could have assumed the role he has today—an ambassador for the business he helped build.
Much like Sting and The Undertaker above, I do not want to push for any matches with Hulk Hogan. But forced to do so, I would select a tag team match with Roman Reigns against a team of "current legends" such as Randy Orton and Triple H. You could throw in John Cena and Batista to make it a six-man tag match, where Hogan "passes the torch" to Roman Reigns, the man to lead Vince's next generation.
And there you have three matches that could allow Sting, Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker (if he even wants it) to have "one more match" before riding off into the sunset. Sting and Hogan are already equipped to serve in their legend/ambassador role. The Undertaker would need one final appearance on Raw where he shows up as "BikerTaker" to transition into that role, a transition he could easily make.
Given the choice, I'd prefer we focus on the stars of tomorrow—Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. And maybe that's one of my next articles! The pieces are already in place to build them as Randy Orton, John Cena, Triple H and Chris Jericho could easily get them to the next level with main event drawing power.
I don't need to see one more Undertaker match, one more Sting match or one more Hulk Hogan match...
…and professional wrestling doesn't need to see it either.
Greg DeMarco is a wrestling fan of over 30 years and has also worked on the independent circuit as a promoter, announcer, character and booker. Greg a weekly contributor at 411Mania.com, applying his opinionated style to the world of pro wrestling on Sundays and Thursdays.
He began writing for 411Mania in October 2010 and has been pissing readers off ever since!